Have you finally decided to adopt the Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) management framework for your organization? Congratulations, you have taken the initial steps to make your employees more productive and your organization’s culture more resilient and joyful, which will eventually lead your organization towards success. Continue reading below to get each and every detail about OKRs, what benefits it brings to your employees and how just by using a few tricks you can make the process of using OKRs easy for your employees!
Goal-setting has become an incredibly crucial part of the lives of leaders of the organization. By not aligning individual goals to priorities, you put your employees at the risk of scattering their focus and investment in what matters the most. The demand for having an agile framework for employees has added to the already-existing global popularity of OKR management over the last few years.
OKR management framework is a tested and proven method of increasing the efficiency of your employees, teams, and organization. However, you as an HR leader still have to make sure that your employees know what OKRs precisely are and how they will be fruitful for them. So, first things first – let us take a glance at what the OKR program is.
What are OKRs?
OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results and is a combination of two things:
• Objectives – The goal an organization is aiming to achieve (Answers the question “what”)
• Key Results – The trail to attaining that goal (Answers the question “how” and “as measured by”)
Proven to be highly instrumental for organizations of all sizes and industries, OKRs are an invaluable management framework. When executed correctly by the leaders, they enable the organization to unlock the four superpowers:
➊ Focus and commitment to priorities.
➋ Alignment and collaboration for teamwork.
➌ Accountability through tracking.
➍ Stretch goals for achieving the impossible.
When your employees are not super enthusiastic about implementing a cultural change, goal-setting frameworks can fail. However, this is natural as the majority of the organization faces this issue while mutating from a traditional methodology to a more agile one. It is anticipated as they were stuck in the old methods that involved a system with ‘no system’.
Leaders like you need to prioritize making them aware of the need for the change to an agile framework and how using the OKR management framework will benefit them, and not just the organization as a whole. Remember it is the employees who are the biggest resource for any team or organization. It is they who create, innovate and achieve results for the organization. So, it is your responsibility to help the employees in understanding the need and benefits of OKRs for them, even if it requires you to clutch at straws.
What are the benefits of OKR from the perspective of an employee?
We will now take a look at the main reasons why OKRs are beneficial for an employee. These are also the points that you being in the HR industry have to describe to your team so as to be aligned and get their buy-in.
It will make the employees aware of what exactly is expected from them and define key results through which their progress and success will be measured. Having this clarity beforehand helps in avoiding any obstacle that can potentially hinder their efforts and productivity.
• Transparency & alignment of goals
Employees will get an idea about how their goal is connected with the goals of their team, department, and organization. OKR gives the employees a sense of influence, connection, and meaning, as opposed to working in isolation and being totally alienated from the impact of their work.
• Boosted productivity
Employees are able to focus on the most important goals that are aligned with the overall objectives of the organization. OKRs serve as a beacon that guides the employees to decide and understand which tasks are more important than the others. This helps in avoiding their efforts being discarded just because they were not aligned with what was needed by the management.
• Getting recognition
By getting quarterly or monthly goals and key results listed, everyone becomes aware of what goals the employees are focusing on. By getting their progress and efforts monitored, employees are more likely to get appreciation upon achieving their goals. Likewise, they are also able to get real-time and constructive feedback when everyone in the team and management know what they have been up to.
• Increased engagement
If implemented correctly, the employees do have a say in coming up with the goals and key indicators for them or their teams. Therefore, it benefits the employees as they have an impact in setting their goals right from the start, which leads to making them more engaged and motivated to accomplish them. OKRs result in fostering conversations throughout the process of OKR, leading to increasing the engagement of the employees.
For any leader, it’s exciting to see everyone working towards a common goal in a very planned manner. You will relish seeing the power of unity, functioning of the organization getting more efficient and less time-consuming, all because of the OKR management framework. However, at the same time, it is also very crucial to make the whole process of OKRs easy and comfortable for your employees.
Tips to motivate your employees to adopt OKRs
Telling your employees about the above-listed benefits of OKRs should be an adequate way for you to start motivating them to adopt OKRs. However, you need to do more than that. Continue reading further as we now discuss a few easy hacks through which you can motivate your employees to accept the implementation of the OKR management framework.
#1 Roll out amongst the goal setters
It is very likely that your organization already has managers and teams who are responsible for setting and regulating goals. Teams that already have the responsibility of measuring work outputs will be easily able to accept and succeed with the OKR management framework. We recommend using a pilot program with such groups as it will enable others to witness and emulate the success of such groups.
#2 Educate your teams
Resistance to change can be an outcome of a lack of understanding. Once employees and teams become aware of the “why” behind the setting of the OKR management framework, they will be more tempted to support this change. Ensure that the managers of each team make their members understand the “how” and “why” of the OKR program. Clearly defining and broadly communicating everything about the OKR will make the employees understand that they are getting a framework that will make their roles and contributions focused on what matters the most.
#3 Train employees on OKR goal-setting
Another barrier to accepting the OKR programs amongst the employees is the lack of training. You just cannot expect your employees to hit the nail on the head right away. Despite OKR being a simple methodology, training is important to maximize the results. Using OKR software is also a highly popular way used by several organizations to eliminate all the guesswork in using the OKR framework. The employees will get a medium that will make it easy for them to set their goals, monitor their progress, and get real-time feedback without making any comprise with the effectiveness of the OKRs framework.
#4 Appoint OKR champions
Done with rolling out the OKR program successfully? Well done. Once you have rolled out OKRs, move on to deciding who should adopt the position of OKR champion. These advocates can be from your organization, or you may take the consultation of the people who are proficient with OKR programs. These individuals help you to lead by example and promote encouragement amongst the others to follow you to achieve their goals. They will also share their expertise and illustrate the efficacy of this goal-setting method.
You, us, and everyone have realized that implementing the OKR management framework is not anymore the question of ‘why’ but ‘when’. So make sure you don’t keep your organization away from this incredible program any longer, as you may be left behind the competitors sooner than you can imagine. So, for more assistance and consultation about OKRs and performance management tools, take consultation from the experts right away!