Best OKR Practices for Your Business
Achievement. Everyone wants it but the word means something different to each individual and also to each business.
So, how do you successfully define and track progress for a team of unique individuals?
The answer is with OKRs. Also known as Objectives and Key Results.
Understanding The Objective and Key Results Method
Let’s start at the beginning.
What is OKR?
OKR is a method used for setting goals. The simple OKR framework consists of setting clear objectives and then defining the handful of expected key results for meeting that goal.
The OKR methodology is simple but there are a few OKR best practices that you should keep in mind when setting your strategic priorities.
1. Make Company Objectives Clear
It’s important to define exact goals.
For your company strategy, start by working with your leadership team to establish the vision for each of your objectives and key results. Then, communicate that vision well to the entire team with a clear OKR structure.
That means providing distinct key results that indicate success or failure for your OKRs.
Also, be open and transparent with your team. Help them to understand more than just the tasks at hand. In addition, show them the reasons behind the goal setting.
When the goals are clear and employees understand the what and why they are far more likely to take personal responsibility for OKRs.
So, how do you set good OKRs?
You set good OKRs by making objectives clear and letting your employees know exactly what you expect. For example, let’s say that your objective is to increase sales by 10%. This is a clear and specific goal that can be easily measured. On the other hand, an example of a vague objective would be something like “improve customer satisfaction.” While this is certainly an important goal, it’s difficult to quantify, which makes it hard to know whether or not you’re making progress.
2. Challenges Are Good
Morgan Freeman once said,
“Challenge yourself; it’s the only path which leads to growth.”
The point of a goal is to improve and grow your company to a new level. Beyond the need for clarity, OKRs must also be challenging.
Typically, as people and companies, we are capable of far more than we envision. Easy goals will get your organization nowhere. So, set your OKRs high.
You should also take into account the limits of your employees so that you can set a realistic OKR cycle. This will ensure that your team OKRs challenge employees to give their best without expecting unrealistic results.
How to write effective OKRs?
OKRs should be a clear and challenging goal that moves your organization toward higher success.
Those specific OKRs will be fully dependent on how your business labels the term success, which leads right into our next topic.
- Objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Key results should be quantifiable and tied to specific objectives.
- OKRs should be aligned with the company’s strategy.
- OKRs should be reviewed and updated regularly.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your OKRs are effective and help you to achieve your desired results.
What does achievement look like for your organization?
If you’re a nonprofit, it likely means helping a specific amount of people. If your objective is profit, it could look more like meeting a specific sales goal.
Great OKRs include determining the appropriate measurement methods for performance management. Accomplishment or failure cannot be measured without the right ruler.
For example, a company might set an objective to increase sales by 10% over a year. The company’s Key Results might include increasing the number of sales calls made each week by 20%, increasing the conversion rate on sales calls by 2%, and generating $10,000 in new sales each month. By setting measurable OKRs, companies can track their progress and ensure that they are making progress towards their goals.
So, be sure to create the ruler for your OKRs, whether it’s money, inventory, people, or something else.
4. Regular Reporting
At this point, you know the challenge that you’re aiming toward with your OKRs and you know how to measure it.
So, the next of the OKR best practices is to do just that. What we mean by that is to set check-ins for your team before you begin to implement OKRs.
Provide appropriate deadlines along the way to show progress toward the goal. This will help your team achieve good task management skills. It can also encourage your team to create their OKRs in line with company goals.
In addition, you can create a company environment of employee engagement by offering rewards when each of the key results is met.
Having your team report to senior leaders regularly can also help you determine your typical OKR cycle for future goal setting.
5. Automate with OKR Software
The final of the OKR best practices is to automate the process using OKR software.
What is OKR software?
OKR software is an electronic system that takes your pre-set goals and uses them to accurately track how well your company is performing. This provides an easier way to see what your weak points are and how to fix them.
Most companies assume that an OKR system has to be operated manually. However, this can take up a lot of time and is completely unnecessary.
Instead, focus efforts on setting your OKR goals and then use reliable software to ensure successful implementation. This will save you energy while still helping you implement OKRs and meet your success criteria.
Your New OKR Coach
Strategic and tactical OKRs are great for helping you grow your organization. But it can be quite time-consuming to pull it all together in an effective way.
Huminos is equipped with all the tools and structure that you need for both company and individual OKRs. We specialize in helping startups get organized by using the correct OKR approach.
Our OKR software provides you with an OKR framework and all the key features and project management tools you need to start implementing OKRs. This is a great tool for your team leads, management personnel, and other employees.
Sign up today to get your team on the same page, working toward growth. The best part is that it’s completely free to get started!
And of course, don’t forget to read through the rest of our blog posts for more advice and ideas.