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Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for Your Company: A Guide

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Business owners, big and small, have grand ambitions of growth. That growth comes from the lifeblood of the company, the employees.

Having goals and committing to them are separate verbs. Employees that commit to tasks are much more productive. Company objectives, when established correctly, can create the perfect environment for harboring voracious workers.

Following a linear system of objectives and achieving key results (OKRs) is practiced among all ambitious companies.

What are OKRs?

First and foremost, they’re not a to-do list. It’s much more powerful than that.

It’s a system that defines clear, ambitious objectives. They’re usually far-reaching, and often uncomfortable, but so is everything that’s groundbreaking.

Employers grade workers’ objective results on a scale. Ironically, workers aren’t meant to achieve these objectives fully. Instead, an optimum accomplishment is somewhere in the middle of the scale.

Success isn’t anything without failure. Being unsuccessful at something can often times be better for employees. Nobody learns from something if they’re infallible.

And even when goals are so unattainable, failure is an advancement. A rocket to mars landing on the moon isn’t a failure, just a pit-stop.

Remember, these “stretch goals” are meant to push an employee. Objectives that scrape the ceiling of human limitations.

These stretch goals get a bad rap, as unachievable objectives are a setup for failure. The unachievable brings the best out of everyone; and it attracts the best of people.

OKRs should be publicly viewable. The competitive atmosphere is conducive of productivity. People love showing off, and you should let them.

Groundwork for Introducing OKRs for Company Objectives

People are resistant to change. Learning new things and hard work often accompany it.

The best approach to introducing the system is transparency. Make all objectives clear with your employees.

Educate them on what OKRs are and what they accomplish. Show them how game-changing the system is.

Define the scale you’ll use to measure objective success. Make it known that absolute success is not expected, easy, or even encouraged.

It has to be clear to your employees that these stretch goals are a stretch to achieve. Else, this routine will be met with discouragement immediately.

Creating Objectives and Key Results

It’s important that you don’t over-extend your goals. Having too many objectives spreads teamwork too thin.

Objectives should muster excitement and inspire employees. Don’t set goals for the mundane.

Goals should be extremely unambiguous. Each has a definitive end result.

Each goal should have a few key results. Think of them as stepping stones to the finish line. Key results will measure how successful a team’s output is along the way rather than at the end.

An example of the structure of OKR is like so:

  • Team Objective: Develop and code the best baking app
    • Key Result #1: Create the app by end of the month
    • Key Result #2: Market the app to 100,000 people
    • Key Result #3: Redesign the app to make it more aesthetic by Friday

It’s an extremely ambitious goal, but each has a key result milestone.

If the app’s created after the month, it’s grade will reflect that. If only 50,000 people downloaded the app, it’s still a success, but not as successful as the goal.

Shoot for the Stars!

Ambitious businesses have goals and company objectives. They inspire growth and productivity.

OKRs, or objectives and key results, are overly ambitious goals. These goals’ milestones are graded as key results.

Before implementing OKRs, it’s important to guide your employees. Help them understand the essence of the system. Then shoot for the stars!

Passionate about being a boss? Check out other business articles about owning companies.

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