September 9, 2020
OKRs bring Business results by driving Employee Performance
We have all heard about the importance of goal setting, but does it really impact employee performance? The answer is yes, if you use the right strategy. OKR’s are a goal setting framework you can use to set clear aligned goals that drive performance throughout your entire organization.
What are OKRs and what do they have to do with employee performance?
This strategy was developed in the 70’s by Andy Grove and became more popular after he and John Doerr began using it at Google in the 90’s. The term OKR stands for objectives and key results. OKRs are a goal setting framework organizations use to align, set, track and measure their goals.
Objectives define what you would like to achieve. They are short inspirational and focus on a single idea or outcome. It is suggested that you set between 3-5 objectives per quarter. Each objective should have somewhere between 2-5 key results. Key results are the measurable deliverables or milestones that will need to be completed to reach the final objective.
OKRs are also an important tool for businesses, when it comes to performance management and can be used to evaluate individual employee work and performance levels. When used correctly, the goal setting strategy can enhance employee performance and help your organization achieve even the boldest of goals.
Tips for setting OKRs that improve employee performance
Keep them both simple and specific
When it comes to setting OKRs that make an impact on organizational goals and improve employee performance it is important to keep things simple at the individual and even team level. Each individual should select a few objectives each quarter. It is not the sheer amount of work that is important, but the quality that counts. It is also important to remember that each objective should be as specific as possible. The more specific your objectives and results are the easier they are to both accomplish and measure.
Align goals by cascading objectives
The company OKRs are typically shared throughout the organization which makes it easier for teams and individual team members to align their goals. Teams and departments should be able to use the organizations OKRs to create objectives that clearly support the company’s larger objectives. The same process can be used for individuals. They should be able to use the team’s objectives and results to develop their own. This strategy will help improve employee performance and ensure that your entire organization is working to accomplish the same achievements.
Make them measurable
One of the most important things to remember is that your key results should be measurable. If they are not measurable you will have a hard time trying to determine whether you reached your objectives or not. This is incredibly important when you are setting performance expectations and during performance evaluations. Measurable key results are clear and include numbers. Key results that do not have measurable outcomes are more subjective to opinion which could impact the quality of work lead to a lack of clarity during performance reviews.
To truly make the power of OKR’s work for your business, you are going to need to take a strategic approach. Both individual and team OKR’s need to be aligned with the organization’s larger goals. Each objective needs to be clear and every key result should be measurable. Using this approach will help you get the most out of your OKR’s and help you drive employee performance.
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