Do your company’s OKRs not help you achieve your vision and mission? Here’s how you can get it right!

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Once you set the company’s mission and values, make sure that they’re reflected in your OKRs. It may sound a little tricky to read but keeping everyone in the company on the same page by aligning OKRs in to the company’s mission is where many leaders stay on the backdoor. This is when a supercharged and engaging framework of OKRs seems like a battle to conquer. 

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The strategy of ‘where it’s going and how it’s going to get there” is what puts the action into achieving the vision. For this, a clear roadmap for how to realize the vision is essential. However, many companies fail because of fitting wrong OKRs for achieving milestones. This results in drifting away from the core purpose. 

The OKRs you set should act like the staircase steps that lead you to the realization of the company’s vision. This is why a well-defined OKR structure is a major asset for any company. 

Now, what are the OKR mistakes that can jeopardize the organization’s mission? 

Major OKR Mistakes

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Mistake #1: Creating OKRs Not aligned with company’s values 

You can’t go upstairs without taking the stairs themselves. Keeping in mind, the stairs lead you to your vision. Thus, you’re risking disappointment if you’re defining goals that do not fit into your vision. Aligning your OKRs to the company’s vision saves you a lot of time as you spend more time tracing a single path instead of forking. Now, when you trace a single path, you move towards your vision and mission without fearing the lack of concentration and commitment of your employees.

Mistake #2: Setting OKRs without Differentiating between Committed and Aspirational OKRs. 

In order to fit your set OKRs into the company’s mission and values, it’s so important to differentiate between aspirational OKRs and Committed OKRs. 

What are Aspirational OKRs and Committed OKRs?

Committed OKRs are the ones that we agree will be achieved by adjusting the resources and their schedules to ensure that they are timely delivered. The expected score for OKRs marked as committed is 100. Thus, a score less than 100 is marked as a miss and requires an explanation for the error in planning or execution. 

Aspirational OKRs are the ones that we express to achieve without having a clear idea of how to get there. In the case of Aspirational OKRs, the resources and their schedules are kept untouched until necessary.

OKRs that are marked as Aspirational OKRs have a score of usually high variance.

What happens when you mark a committed OKR as Aspirational OKR or vice versa?

• Marking a Committed OKR as Aspirational increases the chance of failure-Objective remaining underachieved. In this case, teams may not take the OKR seriously and may not change their priorities to focus on delivering the OKR.

• Marking an Aspiration OKR as a committed OKR gives birth to the defensiveness in teams who cannot deliver the OKR. It also creates change in priorities as committed OKRs are bound to de-staff to focus on the aspirational OKRs.

Mistake #3: Creating Low-Value Objectives 

Your OKRs must co-relate with business value and mission. Without the same, all your efforts will go in vain. For this, it’s immensely important to create high-value objectives and bring them to everyone’s notice once completed by showing the achieved milestones over the company’s dashboard. OKRs are usually divided into the desired outcome and the measurable steps that are required to achieve the outcome. Thus it is important to write KRs that generate the same result as when the objective is marked achieved. 

Mistake #4: Creating Business-as-usual OKRs by Not taking the Team’s Input

OKRs should always be written as per the employees’ perspective for the employees themselves. What most companies do is create as per what their customers want, not what the team believes. This makes it difficult for them to align the set OKR structure with the company’s mission and values. 

Mistake #5: Setting apprehensive OKRs

Aspirational OKRs that are apprehensive and timid hardly find their way to fit into the company’s mission and values. Aspirational OKRs are, in a way, asking yourself to do a bit extra in order to achieve something beyond anticipation. This helps us in knowing what and how the landscape would look like in the future if we get freed from constraints- an approach that helps fasten the process of achieving the company’s mission and objectives. 

Thus, a major mistake many companies make is setting apprehensive aspirational OKRs.  

Mistake #6: Holding on to the KRs that do not work 

This is the major mistake why your OKRs do not fit into the company’s mission and values because maybe you’re holding onto the KRs that are not even working. OKRs are set quarterly, and this makes it a highly agile framework. Thus, holding onto the KRs that are not achieving outcomes hinders the achievement of milestones. 

Mistake #7: Setting OKRs with Un-measurable key results. 

We have been pressing on this for so long that setting KRs that are not measurable will not do any good to your OKR structure. If anything, it will drive you away from your company’s mission and values by setting the company on a course toward cynicism. Thus, Key results must be quantifiable as per the set goals. It’s important for your key results to include numbers to help you achieve your objectives. For example, the Key Results (KRs) should be quantifiable on the basis of percentage. Say 0 to 100% or 0 to 10.

Let’s understand this further; key results are like the destination you need to travel in order to reach another place from your starting points and the way they can be quantified are known as milestones. The starting point always stands at zero. This way, you will feel more organized and confident to reach your end goal. 

Final Take: 

In order to reach your company’s vision and values, it’s important to set goals that are realistic and growth-oriented. Avoiding the above-said mistakes will help you in evaluating and analyzing the odds in your OKR platform. To sum up, numerically, you should know when you’re achieving your OKRs by seeing the percentage achieved in the KRAs. If you achieve any less, you cannot consider it as a failure, but maybe your objectives are too high. Same way, if you achieve 100% of your goals, you need to re-calibrate as they may not be ambitious enough.

 JOP can help you in streamlining the process by sorting out the exhausting OKR mistakes that you might be making. Schedule a demo for yourself now. 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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