Writing OKR goals effectively can be an excellent way for business leaders to get their teams on the same page, and improve their chances of reaching their targets. After all, studies have shown that clarifying goals in a written format can make you up to 42% more likely to reach your targets.
Unfortunately, while many organizations have a basic knowledge of what OKRs are and how they work, they don’t always understand how to utilize them correctly.
So, how can organizations improve their chances of creating OKRs that deliver results?
The first step in writing OKR guidelines effectively, is understanding what “OKRs” actually are. The term “OKR” in the business world stands for “Objectives and Key Results”. Writing OKRs essentially a collaborative goal-setting strategy, in which multiple people come together to set targets based on data and forecasts, with measurable results.
OKRs are how companies track progress, encourage engagement around measurable targets, and create alignment between teams. For instance, a OKR for a sales team might be “We will increase sales by [percentage] by [specific time] measured by [metrics]”
Compared to other goal-setting frameworks and strategies, OKRs are relatively straightforward. They follow a basic structure that involves starting by establishing the objective, or what you want to achieve, followed by an explanation of how you’re going to measure the results.
For instance, the objective statement for an OKR may be “We want to deliver an amazing customer experience” or “we want to increase brand loyalty by the end of the year”. The “Key Results” part of the statement looks at how you’ll measure whether you achieved your targets. For the case of “We want to achieve customer experience”, your key results could include measuring “customers satisfaction score and NPS rate”.
Learning how to write OKRs effectively means making sure each statement is clear, actionable, time-bound, and measurable. Notably, while each OKR should have a set of “key results”, it’s best to stick to around 2-3 metrics to measure. More results can make outcomes harder to quantify.
While the exact nature of an OKR can vary from one business to the next, any good OKR should include specific components. Some of the characteristics that make up a good OKR include:
While every company’s OKRs will vary depending on their specific objectives and processes, they should always be engaging, collaborative, and inspirational. These goals aren’t written in a board room and presented to team members. Everyone should have input in deciding what the goals for the team should be. Here are some quick tips to improve the quality of your OKRs:
Finally, remember to celebrate your achievements. When you achieve around 70% of your OKR target, it’s time to start commending your employees. Don’t expect to achieve 100% of your goal before you give your staff any recognition. After all, the best OKRs are constantly just a little out of reach, as this helps to keep your staff motivated and inspired.
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