Google is arguably the world's most successful company. They're so successful, they became a verb. So enterprising business owners can hardly be blamed for wanting to take a page out of Google's playbook. One of the best pages to borrow? OKR software, a.k.a. a central goal-setting strategy behind Google's mastery of the market.
Here are eight reasons why you should be using OKR software too.
1. Clarity and Direction
Employees fail to meet goals for any number of reasons. Most of the time, though, it can usually be boiled down to two reasons:
OKRs help clarify your goal setting strategy from the outset. They're designed on SMART goal principles (Specific, Measurable, Aligned, Relevant, Timely) which means that you'll be crystal clear on your goals from day one. Your objectives help you set the final goal and your key results help you break it down into manageable parts.
2. Connect Teams with Individuals
Part of why Google embraces OKRs in their management strategy is so that employees in every team can see what their coworkers are working on.
Why? Because this level of transparency helps employees see the whole picture and connect more closely with the work their team is doing to advance the company. Plus, when someone needs input or assistance, their coworkers will feel more compelled to offer it, since everyone can see how everyone else's work is feeding into their own.
In addition, all objectives are aligned with company initiatives, which makes it easier for employees to feel a connection between their work and the company as a whole.
3. Alignment of Your Team
One of the main reasons employees fail to meet goals is that they weren't clear on what goal they were trying to accomplish. They may not understand how you're going to measure their success either.
This comes back to a central tenet of good management: providing your employees with a clear framework of what success looks like and how success will be measured in the company. OKRs work so well because they combine qualitative and quantitative goals so that you can clearly align your teams towards the objectives you want.
4. Focus on Your Goals
One of the biggest struggles for many companies, especially young ones, is Shiny Object Syndrome, a.k.a. the affliction that leads you to chase project after project without a clear sense of priorities or settling on any one option long enough to make a tangible difference. It's not a "which fish is bigger?" problem, but rather a disagreement over which fish should be frying.
OKRs help to alleviate Shiny Object Syndrome by forcing you to get clear on what goals you really want to accomplish and the steps you need to take in order to accomplish them. They demand that you set your priorities from the outset and focus on them to achieve measurable results.
5. Acceleration to the Impossible
A pioneer of OKRs, Andrew Grove, helped Intel achieve success with OKRs by demanding the impossible of his employees. Grove believed that the best objectives should be nearly impossible, forcing employees to stretch and apply themselves in order to reach them. He said that if you hit 70% of the goals you set, that was as good as hitting 100% of them. And if you hit 100% of your goals, they were too easy.
Google applies this same logic to their goals, setting objectives that seem just beyond the threshold of possible. They found that this method attracts the best people to the job and encourages them to never stop pushing once they get there.
6. Drive Discipline
Because OKRs are designed to push your employees to constantly do better, they're also a great way to drive discipline among your teams. If everyone can see and understand the work that every other team is doing, it adds a sense of responsibility for your employees to complete their tasks.
You don't need to publicly shame them, but you do need to make it clear that your employees are responsible for their own successes and failures.
7. Support Performance Management
Another attractive element of OKRs for Google management is that OKRs are cyclical by design. Usually, the objectives are set and reviewed every quarter. This is vital because it gives employees a clear timeline of how to set out their goals and when their project should be completed, allowing them to plan better and use their time more effectively.
This helps support ongoing performance management, as its easier to provide ongoing coaching if everyone involved is clear on what should be happening and when it needs to be completed.
You can also use this to encourage your employees to grow each quarter by implementing OKRs in your rewards system, incentivizing employees to show you that they're doing a good job.
8. Feeling of Progress
Finally, the last big benefit of OKRs is the feeling of progress that it brings you your company, from the CEO to the most junior employee. Momentum is critical for business growth and morale alike. When your employees understand what they should be doing and clearly see their progress towards that goal, it's easier to feel like they're accomplishing something.
Even if your company doesn't actually get more done with OKRs, it certainly feels that way since you can see the progress you're making. And that goes a long way towards maintaining employee morale and productivity in the future.
Using OKR Software to Your Advantage
So, are you ready to use OKR software to your company's advantage?
If so, we're ready to help you achieve the growth you've been dreaming of.