Set effective personal development objectives

Work-life integration means achieving goals and being where you want to be, including work and personal goals. Sometimes we are a bit more organized when it comes to our work objectives, as we have a team and daily routine of working on those goals. However, it is important to apply the same OKR methodology to your personal goals, as they will help you break down huge tasks and make them manageable.

A personal development objective, also known as a self-development objective, can be used for anything you want to achieve. From feeling more balanced to learning a language, or creating something brand new; you can use this feature to break it down into manageable steps, measure how well you are keeping up with it, and share your successes with your team (if you choose).

Who can see your personal development objective?

That is up to you! All personal development objectives are viewable by your manager, but you are able to make them private to just them or share with your team or even the whole company. You can even have a group of friends at work that everyone shares personal development objectives and help support each other beyond the support you get from your manager.

Success Center article 🗒: Request to follow a teammate or coworker

What makes a good personal development objective?

The possibilities are endless! Think of something that you have been wanting to do, but have yet to find time for. Something that is important to you. For instance, I want to learn to Spanish fluently. Next, make sure that you can easily measure when you have reached that goal. For this example, I didn't use the title “Learn Spanish” because there was no way for me to measure myself as having “learned.” I decided on “Watch a Spanish film without subtitles and understand it.”


Personal development objectives:

  • Are something that matters to you (doesn't have to be related to work).
  • Are measurable. 


Don't be afraid to dream big! It is okay to re-evaluate how long it will take for you to meet your goal and readjust the due date.

Create a personal development/self-development objective

Creating a personal development objective is very similar to creating any other kind of objective. Here is a step by step walkthrough on how to create a personal objective.


Create key results

Defining key results that are measurable are important. What are the small steps that will get you to your big goal? Create as many as needed, but make sure to your due date of the objective reflects the workload you will be giving yourself. In the end, it is always good to strive for something that doesn't quite seem reachable in that timeframe, and readjust if need.

What do you do now?

The worst thing that can happen is that you set this objective and forget to update it with your progress. 15Five makes it easy to update your objective and key results from different places within the application. Your manager will also likely follow up to show their support in helping you get there. Feel free to enlist their help (who knows, someone at your work may have access to a resource that could help you achieve your goal!).

To view your personal development objective:

  • On your profile, by scrolling down to your Objective's section. You can edit your objective by clicking on it.
  • Your current Check-in. Give your manager an update on where you are on your personal development objectives as well as your work ones. It is a good practice to visit your Check-in during the week, so you can update progress as it happens and make things much easier for yourself come submission day.
  • The 'Objectives' tab- By owner. Here you will be able to see all individual objectives you have permission to view. If you are a reviewer, you will see your direct reports' objectives. 

Want to know more about updating the status of your personal development objective? Read this article to see the steps.

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