Objectives and key results, or OKRs, is a framework for employers and employees to discuss how the work of an individual employee is connected to the overall business strategy. This effective strategy has proven to be very effective when determining how to utilize all employees in the workplace to the fullest extent. Some of the benefits of such a plan include: imposing disciplined thinking so major goals surface, informing everyone about what is important, enabling more accurate communication, establishing indicators for measuring progress, focusing effort, and ensuring alignment.
The first step is to set forth an objective that you plan to accomplish. According to John Doerr, the father of OKRs, objectives should be significant to the company and personally meaningful. The goal should be accounted for and supported by the entire organization, not just a sole member. Also, it should be noted that the most difficult step for most organizations is fully committing to the OKRs process. Doerr reiterates that a company requires a “champion” who fully understands the benefits of the approach and can help make sure teams are on track to accomplish their goals. Often times, these individuals tend to be top-level executives in the company, such as the chief executive officer.
OKRs have also shown to be a good fit for all types and sizes of organizations because it all leads to the organizational alignment that promotes operational excellence in the workplace. For large enterprises, it is important for all members of the team to provide feedback and suggest their own goals to meet. Since there are a lot of members, it is imperative that all members of the organization work collaboratively to make a group contribution. For example, Google successfully utilized OKRs to grow their company from 40 to 40,000 employees. For smaller and medium-sized organizations, the same concept applies, but the employees have more pressure on them to meet the needs of the company. In an effort to maintain competitive advantage, OKRs keep employees driving towards the same goals.
OKRs have multiple steps in its process, but companies have the ability to utilize all of the steps at once or one at a time. Since OKRs have proven to be successful in the past, it is important to recognize these steps should be followed thoroughly in order to see maximum results. The steps include:
- Asking employees to individually set OKRs.
- Establishing a time frame after goals are set (one day, one week, etc.) during which managers meet one-on-one with employees to review OKRs.
- Establishing a time frame after goals are negotiated for a larger group (e.g., all employees in a group) to review and collectively negotiate departmental OKRs.
- Establishing a time frame after goals are negotiated by the group to present OKRs to everyone in the company during an all-department meeting.
OKRs are an effective way to promote efficiency in the workplace. If utilized properly, an organization will experience highly rewarding results.
Want to begin implementing OKRs in your organization? Click on the link below to watch a quick video and to download the whitepaper OKRs Explained