Can OKRs Reduce Workplace Uncertainty?

Nov 30, 2022
Can OKRs Reduce Workplace Uncertainty?

What is Workplace Uncertainty?

Workplace uncertainty is the occurrence of unexpected scenarios disrupting the standard workflow. This leads to changes in the work schedule, making the future prediction of your work difficult.

Note that workplace uncertainty can either be external or internal. As the name suggests, external uncertainty is influenced by external factors, like changes in your industry or sector, which prompt adjustments to your workflow.

Contrarily, internal uncertainty arises when your team has insufficient information to carry out your task, experience changes to their existing work schedule, or handle tasks that are more complex than what they are familiar with. 

As a startup or small business, there will be times when you and your team find yourselves in unfamiliar territories. This moment of uncertainty makes it difficult for you to come up with excellent business strategies. Hence, the way you handle or manage this situation can make or mar your chances of achieving success with your team.

Why is Workplace Uncertainty a Serious Problem?

You must recognize when there is any uncertainty so you can control the situation. This is because workplace uncertainty can overwhelm or negatively impact your work environment, as it can result in decreased motivation, loss of confidence, and reduced job performance. And that’s bad for business. 

However, it’s one thing to recognize the presence of uncertainties and another to find an effective solution. This leads to the million-dollar question: What can you do to reduce workplace uncertainty and ensure the workplace atmosphere remains conducive?

Now, this is where OKRs come into the picture.

How OKRs Can Help You Fight Workplace Uncertainty?

OKRs stands for Objectives and Key Results. It is the go-to goal-setting framework for individuals, organizations, or teams that aim to assign measurable goals and track their progress as they work towards these goals.

OKRs centre around the assumption of the existence of uncertainty within an organization or company that hinders the execution of strategies. 

It acts as a connection between the strategy stage and the execution stage. Hence, OKRs can directly impact the transparency in the communication of overarching goals — bigger goals with underlying smaller goals.

That said, below are two ways OKRs can help you handle workplace uncertainty effectively and ensure your team thrives.

Shifts Focus To What is Important

With OKRs, you can help your company or organization to concentrate on specific goals and key actions every time. This goal-setting framework (OKR) ensures that each of your team members focuses on what moves the needle. In this case, uncertainty over relevant metrics or projects, or the best application of available capacities is non-existent.

Although OKRs create room for the mapping out of strategic company topics, it isn’t advisable. Some organizations that have gone down this road encountered one problem — the difficulty of addressing or dealing with all the laid down topics. This led to discontent and, ultimately, a lack of commitment.

However, with the ideal goal-setting framework, your team can learn to prioritize the essentials and channel their attention to them.

Shorter Learning Cycles

OKRs are determined and handled in extremely short cycles. Normally, OKR cycles are processed once every quarter of a year, encouraging rapid response to changes in external factors. In turn, this leads to rapid adaptation. 

Furthermore, this short cycle timeframe allows your team members to meet now and then to discuss their challenges and experiences, and rapidly find solutions.

In a nutshell, these shorter learning cycles reduce workplace uncertainty from unpredictable external factors. And once your team members are aware that the company can swiftly adapt to a situational change, the chances are they will feel reassured and confident.

How Do Feedback, Recognition, and Coaching Help in Reducing Workplace Uncertainty?

Communicating clearly and comprehensively with your team members works a treat. You can achieve this via Feedback, Recognition, and Coaching, as they can help to establish much-needed transparency.

  • Feedback

Giving your team members constructive feedback eliminates uncertainty and motivates them to bring more to the table.

  • Recognition

In cases when your team members are uncertain about the security of their jobs, recognition is an excellent option to consider. Recognizing their contributions to the team’s previous and future success makes them feel valuable and certain of staying on the team.

  • Coaching

Expert business coaches can help you and your team adapt to new conditions. With the right coaching, you will notice an improvement in commitment, performance, and team culture.


During workplace uncertainty, an aura of negativity fills the atmosphere leading to the emergence of worried team members. And it is no secret that “worry” is an unsettling factor in any business, as it makes your team members unhappy and uninvolved. 

Therefore, as a leader, you have to treat workplace uncertainty like a challenge and give it due attention. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. 

You can turn to OKRs to help you fight and reduce uncertainty in your workplace, ensuring a suitable working atmosphere with committed team members.

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