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Employee Engagement

8 Steps to Creating a Winning Company OKR Plan 

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8 Steps to Creating a Winning Company OKR Plan 

Introduction

Companies often set up challenging goals that each team member, department, or the entire company must accomplish within a specific timeframe. However, the majority fall short to see this through because of the lack of effective strategies. The biggest problem for executives is that they don’t involve their employees in setting goals. In fact, less than a third of executives share the company objectives with the team member. Such poor collaboration at a department level is the largest barrier to achieving the company’s goals. If everyone in the organization isn’t in sync, the team members won’t be moving in the same direction and the priorities will be unclear, resulting in failure.

On the other hand, the world’s most successful businesses have adopted an objective and key results goal-setting methodology that fosters alignment and monitors the advancement of measurable targets. This process breaks down goals into smaller focus areas that you can easily track. Employees using OKR are better at what they do, perform more effectively at work, and help in boosting revenue.

If you want to learn how to create a winning company OKRs plan, make sure you read on; we’ll discuss the types of company OKRs, best practices, and the essential steps to follow.

Types of OKRs

Company OKRs are divided into various categories. Therefore, businesses should choose the one that suits them the most.

Ambitious OKRs

Ambitious company OKRs, also known as stretch goals or “moonshots,” indicate that not all key objectives will essentially be achieved, but the teams will make an effort. They will have to develop new paths to accomplish most of the ambitious goals. Although more challenging to achieve, ambitious OKRs are essential for the business because they encourage team members to think creatively. They are usually created when a company is looking for new opportunities. Ambitious OKRs are long-term company goals that will most likely continue to exist after the cycle.

Committed OKRs

Simply put, committed objectives and key results are team duties. Since they are designated company OKRs, the business and its teams must meet them at the cycle’s conclusion. Therefore, you should include only key results you are confident you can attain.

Learning OKRs

This type of OKR is used when the employees need to learn something after the process. If the teams or the organization don’t have a solution for a specific issue, they can write key results that would allow them to learn. A learning OKR is supposed to report facts that support or refute a hypothesis. Finding the data that will provide you with intelligence about the future is the most crucial phase in developing these company OKRs. The cycle’s final outcomes can be utilized to create committed or aspirational OKRs for the next cycle. 

Strategic and Tactical OKRs

Each team within an organization needs to work at a different pace. To make this happen, you can employ strategic OKRs, which align with the broad organizational goals and are usually set annually. Tactical company OKRs are similar to strategic ones. However, they are at a lower scale and less concerned with the company as a whole. They are designed for teams working on separate projects. 

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

How to Write Winning Company Objectives and Key Results

You should learn how to write OKRs if you intend to use them. The prime objective of an OKR is accompanied by three to five supporting key results. They may be expressed in the form of a statement. Let’s take a look at the essential steps to creating successful OKRs below.

Define the Company Vision

While OKRs aid organizations in achieving their goals, they are meaningless if employees are unaware of the organization’s direction. When thinking about your company’s mission, don’t make everything about the money; your vision should be about doing good for the industry and even the world. Your team would be motivated if it had a higher purpose, enabling everyone to work towards the same goal.

Set Company Objectives 

You should first create a company-level objective. This target is the high-level improvement area on which various teams within your organization will be working. The business goal should be general to enable various teams to come up with the best team objectives. On the other hand, it should also be detailed so everyone can understand the company’s overall orientation.

Create Team OKRs

After the company goals are defined, you should write goals at team levels. They need to complement the broader company strategy and give each individual team direction, a sense of urgency, and purpose. Team goals are usually the issues that need to be resolved or chances for progress that should be pursued during a specific time frame.

Get Suggestions from Each Team

Getting feedback from key team members is critical. With this approach, your employees will feel that their opinion is appreciated and be more confident to voice their thoughts. Moreover, they likely have better ideas about the objectives they can accomplish, so their input is extremely valuable. 

Write Key Results to Your Objectives

Key results outline how you’ll achieve the objective. As a result, they need to be practical, time-bound, explicit, and measurable. Key results also indicate whether the problem has been successfully solved. For each objective, you should write three to five key results that evaluate outcomes and represent any significant change in the company. For best results, convert the company-level key results into team outcomes.

Remove Roadblocks and Encourage Your Employees

When teams have high expectations, it’s too easy to become demoralized, especially if they encounter obstacles or don’t get adequate assistance. So try to remove any challenges your teams face to accomplish their objectives.

Document Progress

At the conclusion of each week, you should record your team’s progress toward your goal. This keeps your company-level OKRs in the forefront of your team members’ minds and holds them accountable for their part in assisting the organization in achieving its objectives. 

Celebrate Little Wins and Improve as You Go

It’s crucial to celebrate the victories, even the small ones. On the other hand, look for growth potential in the losses. Then, get the team’s feedback to find out what was challenging for them and what they’ve found inspiring. When knowing all the facts, you can start the OKRs process over and create stronger and better company objectives and key results.

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Final Thoughts on Creating Winning Company OKRs

As you can see, the OKRs methodology may be used to achieve a range of objectives that will, in the end, increase employee engagement, performance, and accountability. Setting company OKRs will motivate your team to succeed and provide you with the ability to surpass your organization’s objectives.

But it’s not simple to put your knowledge into practice right away. Spend time planning and making adjustments, and soon, you’ll master it!

Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider

https://usefocus.co/

Dave Schneider is the founder of Focus, an OKR app for remote teams, and has run multiple remote businesses in the software and agency space. He has a love for travel, having visited over 70 countries. He is a Boston native currently living in Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters.

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