Some of the most common questions we receive when initially engaging with new clients focus on things such as:
- How does the OKR methodology help boost performance?
- Does the alignment enabled by OKR software contribute to improved execution?
- Why is the alignment of corporate objectives so important for mid-sized companies?
In this article, we’ll address these subjects and others, explaining how goal setting software can boost your organization’s performance against top corporate initiatives.
The OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Methodology
In “The Strategy-Focused Organization”, authors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton tell us that, “A mere 7% of employees today fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them to help achieve company goals.
This speaks to a lack of focus, alignment, and engagement for the remaining 93% of workers.
How does OKRs address this issue? Objectives and Key Results is a management goal-setting methodology that helps to focus and align everyone’s efforts on the most important corporate priorities. Public goals, broadly communicated, and frequently reviewed, are the fastest way to create focus and engagement to drive superior performance.
Goal Setting Software – Enabling Alignment
The best Goal Setting Software brings the entire OKR lifecycle into one system to help set, communicate, and manage the process. Goal Alignment Charts help to connect departments and teams to your top corporate objectives.
The visibility provided in Goal Setting Software allows everyone in the company to see the objectives and performance of everyone else in the organization. This line of sight enables collaboration and teamwork while eliminating silos and duplication of effort.
How Goal Alignment Improves Performance
Let’s review how alignment improves performance in measurable ways. First, organizational alignment ensures that employees are making progress towards what truly matters to the company. Alignment helps to create focus and clarity on to the top priorities. They increase engagement since employees stay connected to the company’s mission and know what is expected of them to help the company achieve those priorities.
The Role of Engagement: Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition
We’ve mentioned engagement or the lack thereof on several occasions. Let’s look at the role of engagement through CFRs (Conversations, Feedback, & Recognition), and how they improve performance, delivering tangible results. The number one imperative in an OKR execution is regularly scheduled check-ins. “Employees who do regular check-ins and receive regular feedback from managers are 20 times more likely to be engaged at work.” Source: Gallup, “Driving Engagement by Focusing on Strengths”)
These automated progress update check-ins help to build the OKR habit with teams and individual contributors. The process features feedback to managers as to what goals may be at risk, and why, what roadblocks are impeding success. The process then enables real-time course corrections and the opportunity for employee recognition of superior performance.
Goal Setting Software – Standard and Customizable Reports
The standard and customizable reports available in a best-in-class OKR software platform empower your company’s leadership with actionable insights. Reports such as a Monday Morning Report allow management to gain visibility into teams’ and individuals’ progress to date. Executives can then drill down through the organization for any “at risk” objectives on a single pane of glass.
These insights allow real-time course-correction and the ability to address roadblocks, leading to real gains in execution across the company.
Great Managers and Great Companies are Using OKRs
Although OKRs were first popularized by tech companies today the methodology is employed in numerous other verticals. Tech industry leaders such as Google, Intel, and LinkedIn use the system, and so do leaders in other verticals such as Amazon, BMW, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Anheuser-Bush. For a more comprehensive list, refer to our blog titled Top Companies That Use OKRs.
How has OKRs gained such popularity in such a short period?
A great deal of the credit is attributable to John Doerr, and his 2018 New York Times best-seller, “Measure What Matters”. In the book, Doerr tells us that “OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a collaborative goal-setting protocol for companies, teams, and individuals. They are a management methodology to help ensure that the company focuses its efforts on the same important issues throughout the organization.”
OKR Examples for Every Department
We hope this short article has helped illustrate how OKRs can boost your company’s performance. If you’re ready to start implementing OKRs right away and need inspiration for your goals, check out our free OKR Examples.
You’ll find examples of OKR objectives for various departments such as:
- Top Corporate Goals
- Marketing Goals
- Sales Goals
- HR Goals
- Engineering Goals
- Product Management
- Customer Success
- Customer Support
And, if you are a B2B company, you may want to also download our Ultimate List of OKR Goal Examples for B2B Companies. It’s our most popular resource!
Are you a CEO guiding a company? An executive responsible for managing teams? Does aligning employee performance to company goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results?
If so, feel free to request a demo of our dedicated, cloud-based OKR software built on the best practices of John Doerr’s “Measure what Watters.” You’ll see our all-in-one dashboard to manage top company objectives and true alignment. We’d love to hear your thoughts.