OKRs have been implemented by plenty of organizations, including giants like Google, Microsoft, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon – because of the popularity and success of the OKR methodology to leverage business objectives and key results. The process builds an efficient goal-setting mechanism that is based on outcomes and not tasks: This focus on outcomes enables employees to keep their focus on the vision of the organization and concentrate their efforts on furthering the same.
What is OKR in business and how does it work?
OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) make the process of setting goals and tracking them very easy. While small businesses can use tools like google docs or Excel sheets to establish and propagate goals, the static nature of the process falls apart as the number of employees increases. OKR tools like Upraise for Employee Success can help organizations assign and track goals in real-time, allow employees to connect their work to tangible goals, and make the process of communicating company objectives easy.
What is the purpose of OKRs?
OKRs are designed to improve performances of individual employees (and by extension, the output of the teams or organizations they work for). While small and medium businesses can do this using free tools that may not be designed to create and maintain OKRs, but the process gets more and more difficult as the organization grows. Apart from providing employees a clear view of the intentions of the organization, and give managers and leaders a strong tool to push for success in terms of the metrics being measured – be it sales, productivity, or outcomes.
For businesses, The OKR approach can result in the aligning of day-to-day operations centred around a set of goals. All stakeholders are expected to be identified with them, so that organizations can leverage multiple benefits of OKR methodology. From radical focus, better transparency and better rhythm, OKRs can positively impact alignment too.
What do businesses use OKRs for?
It is no surprise that OKRs are well-liked by product development teams, and some reasons can be found in the list below.
1. Elevated Focus and Productivity
The OKR framework links actionable objectives to 3 to 5 measurable key results that drive focus and foster business productivity. These can be set for any and all departments based on the needs of the organization – be it in sales, after-sales support, marketing, or development. The limited number of items in the list is essential to bring a single-minded focus to the process that has only the vision and goals of the organization in mind.
2. Improved Employee Commitment
Annual goals might sound like a better option to maintain focus for a long time when compared to quarterly OKRs, but the opposite is true. The shorter duration and constant feedback allows employees to achieve a set of goals and then look forward to the next set. The challenging atmosphere that is oriented towards growth is essential for the all-round development of the employees, and the constant engagement in the form of two-way feedback and collaborative goal setting process also adds inspiration to the mix.
3. Better Alignment to Business Goals
Progress is intoxicating in a good way, and OKRs enable it on individual and organizational levels. By letting employees understand the need for the goal setting process and then providing them with a set of values they can base those goals on, makes the process simpler for many and gives them a sense of belonging. The better an organization defines its goals and requirements, the easier it is for the employees across all levels to align their personal goals – and the chances of them getting achieved is higher.
4. Frequent Progress Tracking
The idea of frequent tracking of progress seems counterintuitive to the autonomy employees seem to desire, but under the principles of OKRS – it is actually very easy. The tracking under OKRs is done with the intention of improving performance, not measure it. It enables employees to think in terms of success, not reprimands. Also, the two-way nature of the feedback process allows them to highlight issues or lack of knowledge that is proving to be a hindrance in doing their work effectively, which can be addressed by managers and other leaders of the organization.
Business development OKRs are necessary to articulate the goals and ways to achieve them. They help employees across levels understand the need for these goals and objectives, and corresponding Key Results illustrate how they can be achieved. Not only this simplifies the process of learning and development for employees, it shows them how their everyday work is contributing to the bigger picture.
For organizations looking to adopt a powerful OKR tool to effectively set and track employees’ goals in different departments, Upraise for Employee Success can prove to be of immense use.