Are you setting a new goal? Do you have huge ambitions but never seem to achieve then OKRs may be the solution. OKR stands for objectives and key results. The idea of OKRs was first used in Intel and later by Google to help them grow from 17 employees to over 98 000 employees. Let’s take a look at OKRs and how you can use them to grow your business into a multinational company.
But why should you try using the OKR system to set your goals? By using this system,
- you and your business will be focused,
- you and your employees will be held accountable for achieving the best for your business,
- your business will be better aligned to achieve a unified goal,
- your employees will engage more in their role, and
- you will increase transparency throughout the whole business.
OKRs are also very agile and can be tweaked for the changes in your business. If you work in a fast-paced business, you can adapt the OKR to suit your time frame.
You should be able to complete the following phrase from John Doeer’s book on OKRs when thinking about your objectives and key results – We/I will __(objective)__ as measured by __(key result)___.
When creating an objective, it must be qualitative. It should not have a number in it or be able to be answered by a yes or no. An example of a qualitative objective is “to build a world-class team”. You should not create more than three objectives per time frame. The time frames you could work in are annual, quarterly, bi-monthly, or monthly.
When creating a key result, it should be quantitive. You need to be able to measure your result to see if you have achieved your objective. You should create between three to five key results per objective. If you feel you need more than you may need to divide your objective into two parts.
An example of a key result for our example objective will be “hire two new salespeople” or “increase staff retention to 95%” It is important in the beginning that most of the key results are achievable. You should make one a stretch goal to encourage your employees to push themselves out of the comfort zones to help build the business.
It is noted that achieving 60-70% of your objectives in OKRs is considered doing a great job and achieving anything over it is exceptional. But in the beginning, when you are initially involved with OKRs, it is important to create goals which challenge you but are achievable to build your muscle and appetite to achieve the goals you set for yourself. If you don’t, you and your employees may become complacent and won’t strive to achieve the bodacious goals you set for yourself.
You should also not attach OKRs to employee performance. They can be used as one of the criteria to help evaluate your employee’s overall performance but should not be the sole evaluation. By not attaching it to employees’ performance, they may be encouraged to create objectives that are a bit braver than if they thought their job hanged in the balance if they failed.
You can learn more about OKRs here.