Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework we’re passionate about here at Frankli. Not only do we use OKR’s in our business planning, but they are also a key feature of our performance and engagement platform because they empower everyone in an organisation. From CEO’s to interns, they give every person clarity on how to work towards the company goals, so it’s no surprise that they are a vital tool in building and supporting a culture of high performance. If we look at OKR’s as more than just a goal-setting tool and instead as a communication one, it shows why they are brilliant at building a high performance culture.
OKR’s Are People Focused
It can be hard for people to feel motivated or be engaged if they are working every day towards an objective they can’t remember or understand. A study by Mercer found that people are more likely to work for a company with a strong sense of purpose. OKR’s allow everyone not only to see the organisation’s goals but also how their work feeds into them. This builds motivation and focuses people on the task at hand - they can see what their hard work results in rather than feeling they’re completing aimless tasks with minimal results. OKR’s show people clearly what their aims are and how their work impacts the company's overall goals, resulting in focused and motivated people who know what they’re working towards and why.
They Create Transparency
Research from the Harvard Business Review shows a list of the ‘Most Impactful Employee Engagement Drivers’. On it, continuous communication on updates and strategy from senior leadership is at 70%; showing the important link between effective communication in the transparency process. Having transparency in your business means more engaged and happier people and builds better and healthier relationships between senior management and everyone else. OKR’s encourage people engagement and better aligns the company.
OKR’s Improve Accountability
Studies have shown that when people are involved in goal-setting and decision-making, it makes them more motivated and driven to achieve the goals they have helped set. While 93% of people in a study by Culture Partners say, they could not take accountability for the results they wanted or had challenges aligning their work. Sharing OKR’s with everybody means that everyone understands the goals they need to achieve and why, resulting in everyone being more accountable. Of course, this is even truer when the company uses peer-to-peer feedback. And even without it, OKR’s improves accountability resulting in improved work and motivates your people.
They Build Trust
People like to work for a company and management they can trust. It echoes the sentiment that people leave managers, not companies. When a company doesn’t communicate thoroughly with its people they can feel less valued and more out of the loop resulting in a strained relationship with managers - with knock-on effects such as demotivation and a drop in productivity. With OKR’s, however, people are communicated with regularly and are involved in goal-setting and decision-making. This inclusion means they feel on a similar level to their managers and makes them more committed to achieving their goals because they were part of the process. Not only do OKRs help foster a more inclusive workplace but a report by McKinsey found that 20% of people’s working week time is spent looking for information or trying to get a hold of their colleagues so, it’s no surprise that a lack of communication and trust impacts productivity. Building this trust has a positive impact on performance and engagement working towards this dream culture.
The key takeaway is that OKR’s are more than just a goal-setting framework. They enable stronger and healthier relationships within companies, improve focus, motivation and build a transparent environment that empowers everyone leading to a higher-performing culture.
If you want to improve the performance culture in your organisation, get in touch with Frankli today.