Category: OKR University.

Since the time OKRs have been around, they’ve been used to define measurable goals, track their outcomes, create alignment and encourage engagement.

Jack-Welch-quote

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

OKRs are not just a management tool, but it fosters a culture of collaboration to achieve the common organizational goal. OKRs have many benefits, but let’s take a look at why OKRs are so effective, and how they work:

  1. OKRs steer the company in the right direction
  2. OKRs help align the organization across all levels
  3. OKRs enable innovation
  4. OKRs help focus on what really matters
  5. OKRs are trackable
  6. OKR goals make the team and individual more accountable
  7. Short-term and long-term OKR goals help teams and individuals to adjust and adapt to change
  8. Alignment and accountability make employees more engaged
  9. Ambitious OKRs help individuals push the barriers to achieve more
  10. OKR method ensures quick turnaround time
  11. An engaged employee is a motivated employee
  12. Keep it simple is the mantra of OKRs
12 Reasons that OKRs Work

1. OKRs steer the company in the right direction

One of the main functions of OKRs is to give direction to the organization, which only works if everyone is aware of them. Creating that awareness amongst employees isn’t an easy task. At a very basic level, it requires the organization to build habits and rituals as part of the OKR framework.

And figuring out these habits and rituals also doesn’t come easy. It takes time. Once the ideas for how to create awareness of company OKRs have been decided, it needs to be set in motion, and its progress checked as a group every two weeks.

2. OKRs help align the organization across all levels

Lack of alignment across various levels translates into complete confusion. That’s where OKRs play a role in getting the entire organization aligned.

OKRs connect every department, team, and employee towards the big organizational goal. Top management sets the goal for the organization. This cascades to the departments, teams, and down to the individual employee. What this means is, individual goals should be informed by team goals, team goals should be informed by department goals, and department goals should be informed by company goals.Therefore, knowing what the organizational-level goals are helps employees to write their own goals. Their goals will be aligned to the top-tier priorities of the organization, so that they will be focused on what matters most for the organization.There’s a clear connection across all OKRs at different levels, thus making OKRs a great tool for creating organizational alignment. It helps every employee understand why their work matters and how it relates to the whole, larger picture.This ensures that every employee’s effort contributes to the larger company goals, gives everyone a sense of accomplishment and meaning, and strengthens engagement and creativity.If you would like to maintain company-wide transparency on an intuitive OKR software, you can get started on Profit.co completely free!

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3. OKRs enable innovation

Ambitious OKR goals help motivate employees. It pushes them to give it their all. This can lead to innovation, and encourages employees to be creative and think outside the box. Everyday work isn’t just day-to-day work. With OKRs, it focuses on change, it leads employees to contemplate — what are they doing now, how are they doing it, what should they do differently?

4. OKRs help focus on what really matters

Prioritization is the name of the game. Too many goals without adequate prioritization is a recipe for disaster. Having multiple priorities means it would be hard to achieve some, or all of them.With OKRs, each OKR level, department, or team is limited to between three and five objectives and three and five key results per objective.OKRs help simplify and reduce the number of goals that employees are chasing so that they can focus on what matters most for their organization. This helps close the gap between a company’s strategy and execution and keeps employees’s sights set on what will help drive the organization forward.

5. OKRs are trackable

If a company does not have an adequate way to track their goals, they won’t have timely reviews and feedback. With OKRs, measurable goals can be tracked, allowing for weekly check-ins and routine reviews that help leaders keep their finger on the pulse of the organization.

6. OKR goals make team and individual more accountable

Not knowing what the organizational and departmental priorities are can lead to complete chaos. Teams and employees would not know what to work on, or what they’re working on has any meaning or significance. This can be quite a dampener for everyone involved as it might come across as their work doesn’t matter to the organization or to the others.OKRs help guide everyone in the company, and help with knowing what is really priority and what just seems like priority.Goals (mostly) set on a quarterly or monthly basis, gives teams and individuals things to be accountable for. All work done by all employees, from the CEO to the individual employee, are visible to everyone in the organization.

7. Short-term and long-term OKR goals help teams and individuals to adjust and adapt to change

OKRs can be defined as short-term or long-term goals; what that means is they can be defined quarterly or annually. Most OKRs are set for shorter goal cycles. This allows for teams and individuals to adjust and adapt to change, should there be any changes. Strategic OKRs are set annually, and tactical ones are set quarterly. The annual strategic OKRs act as the blueprint for short-term OKRs.

8. Alignment and accountability make employees more engaged

Poor visibility leads to low accountability. And low accountability leads to low employee engagement.But if they’re transparent for everyone to see, then everyone knows what everyone is working on. They must be transparent for everyone to see. It keeps everyone on the same page, and everyone knows what everyone is working on. Transparency, alignment, and accountability gives employees a sense of purpose and contributes to the larger organizational goal, which increases engagement and motivation of the employees. Therefore, when you set OKRs, make all OKRs visible to the entire organization. This will help eliminate silos and keep employees motivated by demonstrating how their goals connect to the top company priorities.

9. Ambitious OKRs help individuals push the barriers to achieve more

The goals set must be ambitious, but not impossible to reach. Google’s OKR philosophy is to set goals that can’t be reached because that’s when they push themselves beyond their limit and maximize their creative and ambitious potential to go further than they would have before. They aim to achieve 70% of their goals, for they believe that if they achieve 100% of the goals, they might not be ambitious enough.Ambitious goals help motivate employees to do more than what they thought was possible. The ambitious goals that come with OKRs goal setting, help employees push the barriers that stretch them to their full potential.

10. OKR method ensures quick turnaround time

OKRs are set quarterly; and are flexible so that employees can adapt and adjust to change should the need arise. It’s always ‘active’, therefore every employee is aware of innovations, disruptions, and changes.Companies that follow an OKR framework have an edge over other companies that do not follow it as they can react and adapt faster if changes happen unexpectedly. For example, when the pandemic occurred, many company’s priorities changed incredibly quickly. Luckily, OKRs are reset each quarter, allowing for agility and flexibility.

11. An engaged employee is a motivated employee

OKRs foster a culture of meaningful contributions to the company which, in turn, encourages engagement. When employees’ work and opinions have an impact on the company goals, it’s one of the biggest drivers of motivation.

12. Keep it simple is the OKR mantra

OKRs must be kept simple and easy to understand throughout the company. It must be clear, not ambiguous and understandable by every employee of the organization. OKRs need to help provide more clarity on goals and strategy so that everyone knows what is expected of them and what needs to be done in order to achieve the organization goal. This is possible when the objective is aligned with the company’s objective and it helps the organization achieve its vision. When this ‘alignment’ is set in motion, OKRs create a positive change that changes the company for the better.

In Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all for OKRs. What works for Google will not work for another company, because Google has their goals and their own definition of success. But given how flexible and adaptable OKRs are, they can be tailored to fit according to the requirements of each organization — that’s the beauty of how OKRs work.OKRs provide an organization or team with a sense of security and structure because it provides orientation, transparency, and focus. To learn more about how OKRs and an agile OKR software can benefit your organization, book a free demo with the OKR experts at Profit.co today!


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