Almost every business owner faces the challenge of motivating and engaging their employees. If you’re looking for innovative ways to boost productivity, it may be time to explore Objectives and Key Results (OKR).
Originally created by Intel and used by big names such as Google, OKRs are a way to set goals and increase accountability. You can invest in complex software to track OKRs or just use a basic whiteboard.
The process is simple: employees set measurable goals and track their progress. For instance, a bank employee might set a goal to open x number of new accounts in the next quarter, a sales rep might want to increase sales by a certain percentage, or the owner of an e-shop might want to increase the length of time shoppers stay on their site. Although all of these goals are different, they are all quantifiable.
On a regular basis, you and your employees should revisit the goals you have set and grade your progress. A lot of people like to use a grading system between zero and one. If they hit a target, they apply a one. If they get close to their goal, they may score a 0.7, while a clear miss might be a 0.2. You can set up your own grading system.
Once the grades are in, you can use those numbers to track the efficiency of various employees, but you can also use the numbers to determine which objectives aren’t working. If employees keep missing a certain target, you might decide you need to change the target or the processes related to that target.
When employees develop their own goals, they often tend to be more accountable to those objectives in particular and to the company in general. Tracking key results helps quantify progress in ways that can help with decision making while also identifying areas for improvement. When you combine these concepts in the form of OKRs, the results may be surprisingly effective.