I just finished making over 30 in depth interviews with managers all over the world. The number one concern that they had about using OKRs is how to make their employees engaged about their OKRs.
A great goal-setting framework is a good start in making people motivated about their goals, but you as a manager, still have to help people understand why it is beneficial for employees to use OKRs.
Here are the main reasons why OKRs are beneficial to an employee. These are also the points you as a leader have to explain to your team in order to be aligned and get their buy-in.
Remember, people are the greatest resource of any team or company. It's the people who create, innovate and achieve business results. So, it's your job as a leader to help these people in any way possible to bring out their best.
OKR benefits from an employee perspective:
- Clarity of what is expected from you and defined key results by which your success is measured.
- Transparency and alignment. You know how your goal is connected to the goals of your team, department and company. Giving you a sense of impact, connection and meaning. Instead of working in isolation and not knowing the impact of your work.
- Increase productivity by focusing on the right goals that are aligned with the overall business goals. Gives you that beacon to help you decide and prioritize what daily tasks are more important than others. Thus avoiding working hard on a project or presentation which might be discarded later on just because it wasn't aligned to what management needed. Also, you don't have to constantly explain and prove what you are doing is important. You can just refer to your goals set in the beginning of the quarter.
- Get praise and know what others are doing. By listing your quarterly or monthly goals and key results, everybody knows what you are focusing on and therefore don't have to report as much. Also, it is easier to give feedback when everybody knows what you are up to.
- If done correctly, you as an individual would have a say in coming up with your goals and key success indicators. Therefore, have an impact on your goals right from the start, which should make you feel more engaged with your goals.
Setting goals with your team and creating a habit
As I pointed out in the last paragraph, it is vital that you as a manager also involve your people in the goal-setting process from the start. This way every person has a say in it and they are all invested in achieving their goals.
It is an amazing sight when everybody is working towards a common goal. You start to see the power of unity, making the work more efficient and less time consuming. In a way, this process consists both ways – top to bottom and vice versa. Here is my personal story and insights of how I set goals with my team.
As you probably know, only the act of setting goals and getting people motivated is not enough. You have to create a habit of setting and tracking your OKRs, so that it would have an impact on the actual outcome you as a leader are trying to achieve.
One part of creating a habit is you as a leader constantly asking people to review and update their progress. The second part is making the whole process of setting and tracking your OKRs as easy and comfortable as possible.
For that purpose I strongly advise you to use a tool or a software which supports your chosen goal-setting format and automates all the activities that you shouldn't waste your time on. Lot of the people and companies are using spreadsheets to do their OKRs, but about 75% of companies give them up, for the simple fact people not using them.
Therefore, if you are serious about getting people motivated and engaged about their goals, pick a tool that would make it as easy as possible. Then you will have a greater chance of creating a habit and people updating their goals on a regular basis. In case, you want to implement Objectives and Key Results with the best user experience and customer support (words of Weekdone customers, not mine), I recommend Weekdone. Test it out for free!