Have you ever considered setting goals, but found the prospect too daunting? Even for those who feel uneasy about it, goal–setting can be an effective way of achieving success.
Research shows that setting challenging objectives for employees drives them further to attain goals and success. This means that implementing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is an excellent way to help businesses achieve their desired outcomes.
OKRs Defined Further
Google’s success can be attributed to its use of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). OKRs are directional goals with measurable metrics that track progress toward those objectives.
By setting OKRs, Google was able to expand from 40 employees to an astounding 60,000 – creating a company culture of ownership in which employees make decisions and take action based on their vision of success.
John Doerr, the innovator who brought OKRs to Google, coined the phrase and devised a straightforward formula for setting goals: I will ____________ as measured by ____________.
This simple yet effective approach helps organizations set clear objectives and measure progress towards achieving them. To ensure success, businesses must also lay down initiatives – the tasks and/or projects that are essential to achieving these goals.
The more specific you can make your objectives and key results, the better your chances of reaching them! By following this formula, companies can create a clear path forward that everyone in the organization understands and works toward.
This strategy is composed of two parts: OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) as your measuring stick, and initiatives as the executory components to reach those goals.
For example, if you want to increase website traffic with the aim of generating more sales, your objectives and key results (OKRs) may look like this:
Objective: Increase website leads.
- Increase website visitors by 20%.
- Increase contact form submissions by 10%.
- Implement effective call-to-action (CTA) on landing pages to invite users to start the conversation.
- Reduce the number of fields on the contact form.
- Write at least 2 articles per month blog article to be published on the company’s blog.
- Start a Google Ad campaign with a conversion-focused strategy.
Using Doerr’s formula as an example, a rephrased version could be: ‘My goal is to boost website leads by growing visitors by 20% and contract form submissions by 10%.’
The Core Components Of OKRs
Although OKRs offer a straightforward approach to goal-setting, several core components should be taken into consideration:
When creating OKRs, ensure they are straightforward and succinct. Too many objectives, key results or initiatives for one team/department can lead to a lack of focus and drive.
Accountability is essential when it comes to goal–setting, ensuring that everyone involved understands their role in achieving the objectives and key results. This way, we can ensure that all are working towards the same target.
To further motivate employees and teams to reach a common goal, bidirectional goals should be implemented. OKRs should incorporate both stretch goals – which provide challenge – as well as easy, achievable goals for attainability.
Room for mistakes
OKRs should not only be utilized to monitor progress and success, but also to give teams the opportunity to make mistakes. This will enable them to learn from their mistakes and refine their operations. A typical mistake with OKRs is when goals are perceived as tasks, leading them to eventually be forgotten. In such a case, creating new OKRs may well be necessary.
Companies that use OKRs
Tech titans Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all embraced OKRs as part of their goal–setting methodology. This system has been widely recognized for its ability to track progress and assess results compared to more traditional approaches while helping firms keep the right objectives in focus by fostering an atmosphere of accountability throughout the organization.
For example, employees at Google are encouraged to set ambitious goals and measure their progress against them – a trend that other famous brands such as Gap, Walmart, and The Guardian have also adopted.
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