How OKRs Impact Organizational Culture

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How OKRs Impact Organizational Culture

Many employees are not engaged enough in the modern workspace. They are mentally and emotionally detached from the daily dealings within their organization whether due to poor management, lack of clarity on how the contribute to the organization, or other factors brough on by work-from-home. They might be doing their jobs, appear committed and even contributing to the system that they exist in, but they are not truly entrenched in the cultures and goals of the company for which they work.  The effect is that these disaffected employees eventually incur losses for their respective companies to the tune of billions. While a lot of discussions have been had as to the potential solution to this problem, it is often a pointer to more serious issues within an organization

Amongst the many ‘solutions’ that have been introduced include, making the workplace more leisure with games integrated into the work area. Another method that has been tried is injecting financial incentives and reward systems with the hope that that would create drive within the staff. While all these methods might point the staff in the right direction, it is often temporary, and the respective employees get disillusioned quickly. There is a more effective alternative that has been impacting company culture positively for many years.

OKRs And Organizational Culture

The way purpose and meaning are created should evolve beyond reward systems, financial incentives, and playful workspaces. The ‘potential’ solution already exists with the company and that is in the minds and hearts of the employees. One of the most important indicators of disillusionment and bad company culture is how the staff aligns with the direction the organization is headed and the strategy that the organization has chosen to employ. The truth is that in the modern workspace today only very few and top-level employees are in touch with the organization’s strategic priorities. You might be wondering why this should even be an issue if employees must know what the company’s direction is. It is. The company is a ship and everyone on it is a passenger. It is very unlikely that anyone would want to be on a ship that does not disclose its direction.

This is why the process of setting OKRs creates transparent insights into what the company is and where it is going. The employees begin to actively feel that they are a part of a brand, an identity, and organization. As they participate in the goal setting and accomplishing, their progress can be tracked even as they assess the progress of the company. There are no gray areas anymore and they get a full sense of the big picture.

It is the transparency that OKRs create that allow people to align with the process, goals, and goals of their companies including having a deep sense of how important their contributions are and what value they hold within the organization.

This process of understanding the organization’s objectives and setting one’s own individual contributing objectives help the employee understand how important seeding goals is because when the required results are achieved, a clear line can be traced through the process from the inception to its achievement which makes them more engaged with the overall process and creates within them a company culture that is driven, cohesive, and ambitious while remaining grounded.

OKRs as the Forefront of Company Culture

OKRs allow room for efficient prioritization amongst employees on any level of the organization. Although employees may be responsible for setting and tracking their individual contributing objectives, managers and other company leaders still must integrate OKR conversations into existing one-on-one’s and team reviews.  Doing so helps ensure alignment and accountability throughout the execution phase of the OKR cycle and helps Key Results stay on track.  Further, it helps management reallocate resources if they find they are falling behind on a more critical objective. 

The process of formulating OKRs for any company creates traction which in turn impacts the levels of productivity and engagement within the employees of the respective company. They also function as the bedrock for the ones in charge to use when implementing the company’s objectives at both an organizational level and a corporate level. 

These Objective Key Results eventually help the leaders move away from focusing on the level of outputs to the outcomes. This is because outputs are major indicators for the finished objective, not the actual process that led to that output.

After an organization fully adapts to OKRs after a few quarters, the whole company will be aligned and finding synergies between teams management never thought possible. OKRs create a unified insight that allows you to be able to continuously evaluate the performance while the objective is being pursued which gives room to necessary and engaging discussions about hey elements within the company’s journey towards its outcome without neglecting the amount of progress that has been made towards the top-level company objective.


OKR as the Bedrock of Company Interaction

Sustained interactions between leaders and their staff will make sure that there is a thorough direction, support, and guidance that will keep the employee engaged and driven while they pursue the company goals. It is however important that Key Results are clearly defined because this will help the leader be able to more effectively engage with the employee whenever problems arise that might impede the journey towards the set goal.  Here is People Stretch’s recommended and minimum OKR execution meeting cadence:

While these conversations take place, employees will begin to feel the urge to contribute even without being cajoled. This will boost and greatly reposition the company culture towards that of quality feedback and worthy mention of the individual.

With open lines of communication that can easily be accessed by employees, there will be no doubt when there is a hurdle that urgently needs the lead guide and the employee will be able to chart a clear course towards the company’s goal. 

Final Note

OKR must take center stage in company interactions and dealings. It is even more critical when those conversations actively involve employees because it is the foundation of employee engagement and solid company culture.

Corporate goals and objectives do not depend solely on actionable strategies but on the employees’ minds and hearts who must engage and work daily to achieve those objectives.

Interested in learning more about how OKR could transform your company’s culture? Please leave us a message to schedule a 30-minute consultation with one of our OKR experts.

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