Wondering if your company is OKR ready?

OKRs Can’t Resolve Your Team’s Communication Issues! Know why

31 July, 2021
3 mins

One of the biggest challenges faced by most huge organizations today is to set up clear lines of communication. Clear communication comes with its own list of benefits and that is why it should be transparent and effective. Employees who are aware of their company’s business goals and vision, why and what kind of operations they need to handle, are seen to be more engaged and more productive.

JOP - Team’s Communication
Source: Pexels

Recent studies by Forbes reveal that most successful organizations make employee engagement central to their business strategy. They give employees clear expectations and provide them with the tools and support to do their best work. Why are engaged teams more profitable? Those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover. Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, presence, and energy.” 

As a leader of the organization, you would need to best understand that clear communications reduce the important time that you would most likely spend in certain other important business activities that are vital for your company. Not to mention, if you are one of those few companies that actually worry about how to establish clear communication and the advantages it brings, you prosper from a clear competitive advantage. Communication is complex and setting up clear lines of communication is even more challenging.

Setting Up OKR Doesn’t Mean Setting Up Clear Communications

If there is one thing hard to achieve then it’s open communication. The bigger your company, the more difficult it becomes to manage and track it. Managers often take out most of their time using the telephone or mobile and ensuring that everyone has the necessary information and no one is misinformed. This becomes easy to handle if you have just three people in the company. When you run a huge organization that has several employees, the more complex it becomes to share information and ensure that all employees have understood what needs to be conveyed. Luckily, there are things that you can do to ensure that this does not happen.

Although Objectives and Key Results are a management framework known to boost transparency in organizations, just adopting OKRs doesn’t guarantee clear lines of communications can be established all the time. This specifically holds for larger organizations that have several hundreds and thousands of employees. Sharing information can become a game like Chinese Whispers, where if someone has misunderstood something then the person could possibly share incorrect and inaccurate information with others as well. This way employees may understand one part of the story and what they need to achieve however they have an incomplete picture of business goals.

OKRs are now becoming popular means of establishing leadership processes for setting, communicating as well as monitoring goals and results in an organization on a monthly or quarterly basis. One big goal of OKR is to ensure that people are connected and team and staff members know their interdependency. It also ensures goals are measured thereby making all employees work as one unit and in one direction. However, OKRs cannot guarantee clear lines of communications, and neither can they resolve your team’s communications issues.

Effective Implementation of OKRs and Challenge in Setting Up Communications

Many organizations use the hit-and-try methodology, which doesn’t work well as it eats up a lot of time and things can go haywire especially when it comes to setting up clear lines of communication. To be able to see how best you can implement the OKR framework, it makes sense to go through OKR case studies. The last thing you would want to do is to reinvent the wheel. Alternatively, you can also appoint an OKR expert and look at how you can implement the system to match your exact requirements.

Setting up an OKR framework for your organization is one step towards productivity; however, this framework needs to be supplemented with other activities to ensure effective communications among peers. One way is by conducting physical group discussions or through emails or one-to-one sessions. This ensures that there is clarity and no room for confusion. You can also bring across your points more effectively so that they can be heard.

Conclusion

On a concluding note, if you are striving for better communication in your company, you can hire someone with significant experience in OKR. OKR can establish better means of communications but cannot guarantee effective communications among your peer groups and the entire staff. This is something that you would have to manage manually by face-to-face contacts or through group discussions.