OKRs Explained: How They Help Your Business

For someone to work diligently and efficiently, it’s critical to set structured goals and to be able to track progress made towards achieving those goals. Everyone benefits when they have clear goals, ways to achieve them, and a system in place to gauge the results.

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In a business or big organization, there are a large number of people working together; so, having a precise objective, taking the right steps to reach it and studying the results helps everyone know where they stand. In this way, employees can give their best, the employer can understand what needs to continue or change; and what must be the way forward.

What are OKRs?

OKRs stand for Objectives and Key results. OKR is a goal-setting and progress tracking process. This is highly beneficial for teams that have to constantly take on and complete new assignments, while keeping track of the current ones. Here are more OKR examples for you to read on.

Who introduced OKRs?

Andy Grove is said to have introduced the OKR approach at Intel around the 1970s. But Google’s VC John Doerr’s book Measure What Matters, explained the concept further and popularized it in the business world.

How do OKRs help your business?

Any company would like to set concrete goals, enhance business performance and be able to measure the success rate of everything that they complete.

The OKR approach simplifies this process by letting businesses define specific goals, check the actions taken towards achieving those goals and letting everyone involved know where they stand in terms of completion of tasks.

The Objectives are clear, concise, short-term goals that every team member can easily comprehend. The actions that must be taken in order to reach these goals are also communicated to every team player. These objectives must be ambitious and time bound so that employees feel motivated to work towards the goal.

The Key Results are deliverables that are defined for each objective. These must be quantifiable and realistic. Select Key Results can also be used as Key Performance Indicators in an organization’s strategy. However, there are a few essential differences and similarities between OKRs vs. KPIs – check out the link for a deep dive on the topic.

OKRs have multiple benefits for your business.

1. They really push everybody to perform better.

Instead of long-term, over-ambitious goals that traditionally, companies tend to focus on, the OKR approach gives employees short-term, achievable goals whose results can be seen and enjoyed by all in the near future. This ensures that the team members working hard towards achieving something also get to witness the culmination and success of their tasks. Hence, they are more focused and motivated to give their best.

2. There is better coordination and teamwork amongst all.

This process tries to eliminate the top-down approach. Different departments and teams have the freedom to set their own Objectives and measure Key Results. The entire process is more dynamic, and allows for more creativity and combined ownership of goals and achievements.

3. The system is transparent.

OKRs are not just regularly monitored and updated but are also communicated to all employees. This ensures total transparency. As the key results are gauged based on the company’s or department’s performance, individual employees need not worry about their position, pay, rewards, or benefits. OKRs improve company performance quickly and efficiently.

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