Are you aligning your employee goals with your organization goals? If not, 2023 is the right time to start. With your teams mostly functioning remotely or hybrid, OKRs are a great way to keep them focussed towards a common goal and achieve results.
Globally, they have become an indispensable part of performance management in organizations. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) methodology is one of the most simple and effective ways for goal setting and monitoring at workplaces.
Brief History Of OKRs
OKRs were introduced at Intel in the ’70s by Andy Grove and were made famous by John Doerr when he introduced it in Google in 1999 as a “management methodology that helps to ensure that the company focuses efforts on the same important issues throughout the organization”.
Now multiple industries across different domains such as Amazon, LinkedIn, GoPro, Salesforce, Target, Duns and Bradstreet have adopted OKRs as their goal-setting framework.
Create Your Goals
The first and most crucial step for setting up OKRs is to create business goals based on the company’s annual strategy. This step involves collaborating and brainstorming with different departments and understanding how the organization collectively will achieve the OKRs.
Remember that your OKRs should answer these two questions:
Objectives–What Do You Want To Achieve?
Key Results–How To Know If You Are Getting Closer To Achieving It?
Objective: To improve inbound lead processing by 52%
Website enquiries answered within 24 hours
50% sign-ups given product demonstration within first 2 days
Minimum questions on landing page to prevent customers from losing interest
Objective: Leverage product feature that is ranked most popular in the market
Key Results: Heat map of the website shows 60% visitors focus on a primary feature of the product and remaining on secondary features. Feedback received from customers indicates the product’s primary feature provides 2x more value.
It is important to introduce your team to the OKR methodology and give them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the whole process. While there are a number of OKR guides out there, why not go to the one that is synonymous with the term OKRs. Google has an OKR guide that will take users through history. It will help them set up and even teach them how to write actionable OKRs.
Before moving onto the next step, make sure that your teams understand why OKRs play an important role in the growth of a company and how alignment of goals works internally.
Create and Align Individual OKRs To Team / Business OKRs
Once all your teams are sufficiently familiar with the approach, encourage them to draft their own OKRs. Collaborate with them and help them create their OKRs. This can sometimes lead to conversations that help you understand your teams and their plans better. It allows employees to understand an organization’s expectations of them.
All goals need to be aligned with an organization’s goals. That is the true purpose of achievable goals and objectives. Once your employees have set their individual OKRs, align their goals with company OKRs or business goals of your company.
Now that all your teams understand the purpose of OKR methodology for goal setting and have set their individual OKRs and successfully aligned them with company OKRs, all you need to do is review these OKRs before they start working on them. Review the OKRs of all your teams and make sure that their OKRs align with the company properly.
The next step is to monitor these OKRs. You have to keep track of the progress your employees make on these OKRs in the coming days. Monitor how regularly your teams are checking in on their OKRs and keep track of their progress regularly and modify the OKRs if needed.
Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.