OKRs were first used by Intel and have since been deployed in forward thinking businesses such as Google, Spotify, Twitter and LinkedIn and since become more mainstream, especially for businesses wanting to maximise their growth potential. OKRs give you the ability to capitalise on the drive and energy inherent in your employees and their teams to focus their efforts on the overall company vision. It is an ideal goaling method used by both start ups and larger organisations across the world to implement a focussed strategy for development.
The Essence of OKRs
The OKR framework allows for
a series of Company, Team and Personal goals. Each OKR consists of a high level objective and between 3-5 key results, which should be set out as measurable steps that track progress to your objective. Optionally, you can also choose to assign a series of tasks and initiatives that will further support your key results.
Team OKRs can be aligned to company objectives and visibility shared across the business to provide clarity over where you are headed and exactly how you are going to get there. Each goal should be clear in terms of who owns it, who collaborates on it, and the tasks and measurable steps involved.
Here is an example of a typical Company OKR with the Team and Personal goals that could support the overall objective:
Increase recurring revenues
- Increase to an annual revenue of£1M
- Increase client account spend average to £1000 per year
- Maintain renewal rates of 85%
Give our clients the best contract package for them
- Quarterly calls into 60% of client base
- Review and increase contract packages to 20 of our clients
- Ensure full on-site annual account reviews for 50% of our clients
Increase client spend
- Identify 20 key clients for quarterly calls
- Increase your average client spend by 20%
- Schedule & carryout 15 onsite reviews
Impact on Business?
Establishing a clear process for continuous feedback, motivation and progress tracking is key to achieving your company goals and replacing the older style quarterly/annual review processes. With on-going visibility over performance not only at a personal level, but also as a team, it is always clear where contribution is coming from and where to focus on for improvement.
Being able to align your business goals across the entire workforce is crucial. Often, companies, teams and employees have targets and KPIs they are working to,
but without clear alignment it is impossible to trace these back to the overall business success, and difficult to move forward. It is important to recognise that goals align, they do not cascade down the organisation.
When high level goals are set without clear measures on how you are going to reach them, they will nearly always fail. If your teams and employees do not know how to achieve the smaller, measurable steps then they will not be able to focus their energy on the tasks that matter.
However large the organisation, a common struggle is always being able to meet the high level objectives with the resources available. For this reason it is especially important to maximise the results from every member of staff by ensuring you have set the key results to be clear, measured and of the highest impact to the overall objectives.
Impact on Employees?
When employees can see their goals, complete with measures (key results) on getting there, you will find they are more motivated and driven to reach them. With regular monitoring, updates and check-ins, the progress of goals is visible by all.
Aligning employees’ goals with Team and Company objectives, gives your workforce the visibility they need to understand how they impact the wider business, therefore instilling pride in their efforts and a knowledge of their direct contribution to the overall success. Having that insight really gives the employee a strong desire to achieve and keeps the company moving in the right direction.
Cross company visibility ensures employees remain accountable for their goals and the progress of team goals. Supporting this, OKR software allows regular monitoring of progress (check-ins); providing clarity on which goals employees are working on. It also often provides a simple method for encouraging your teams and engaging in peer-to-peer praise through “shout-outs”. Keeping the employees engaged and excited about business progression is the winning formula for overall success.
Adopting OKRs into your Company
Bringing OKRs into your workforce should be an exciting, collaborative effort across all teams and employees to drive success and growth. Implementation can be across an organisation in one go, or introduced into pilot teams who can prove the value before more widespread adoption.
- Business leaders will love the visibility over how team and employee focus is impacting company strategic initiatives.
- Team managers can see progress for both overall team and personal objectives, making day to day management easier than ever.
- Employees can see how they are contributing directly to the business success and will be motivated to achieve goals through collaboration, engagement and key result measures.
14 day trial and an exclusive 20% off your first year for all XU readers – XU1-XERO2019