How OKR’s Support a High-Performance Culture

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework we’ve talked about at length here at Frankli. Not only do we use OKR’s in our business planning, but they are also a key feature of our performance and engagement platform because they empower everyone in an organisation. From CEO’s to interns, they give every person the ability to decide how to work towards the company goals, so it’s no surprise that they are a vital tool in building and supporting a culture of high performance. If we look at OKR’s as more than just a goal-setting tool and instead as a communication one, it shows us why they are brilliant at building this kind of environment.

OKR’s Are People Focused

It can be hard for people to feel motivated or be engaged if they are working every day towards an objective they don’t see or understand. A study by Mercer found that people are more likely to work for a company with a strong sense of purpose. OKR goal-setting allow everyone not only to see the organisations goals but also how their work feeds into them. This builds motivation and focuses your people on the task at hand – they can see what their hard work results in rather than feeling they’re completing aimless tasks with minimal results. OKR’s show people clearly what their aims are and how their work impacts the company’s overall goals, resulting in focused people who know what they’re working towards and why.

They Create Transparency

Research from the Harvard Business Review shows a list of the ‘Most Impactful Employee Engagement Drivers’. On it, continuous communication on updates and strategy from senior leadership is at 70%; showing the important link between effective communication in the transparency process. Having transparency in your business means more engaged and happier people and builds better and healthier relationships between senior management and everyone else. OKR goal-setting encourage people engagement and better aligns your company.

OKR’s Improve Accountability

Studies have shown that when people are involved in goal setting and decision making, it makes them more motivated and driven to achieve the goals they have helped set. While 93% of people in a study by Partners in Leadership say, they could not take accountability for the results they wanted or had challenges aligning their work. Sharing OKR’s with everybody means that everyone understands the goals they need to achieve and why, resulting in everyone being more accountable. Of course, this is even truer when the company uses peer to peer feedback. But even without it, OKR goal-setting improves accountability resulting in improved work and motivates your people.

They Build Trust

People like to work for a company and management they can trust. It echoes the sentiment that people leave managers, not companies. When a company doesn’t communicate thoroughly with its people, it creates a feeling of superiority. They can feel less valued and more out of the loop resulting in a strained relationship with managers – with knock on effects such as demotivation and a drop in productivity. With OKR’s, however, people are communicated with regularly and are involved in goal setting and decision making. This inclusion means they feel on a similar level to their managers and makes them more committed to achieving their goals because they were part of the process. Not only do OKR goal-setting help foster a more inclusive workplace but a report by McKinsey found that 20% of people’s working week time is spent looking for information or trying to get a hold of their colleagues so, it’s no surprise that a lack of communication and trust impacts productivity. Building this trust has a positive impact on performance and engagement working towards this dream culture.

The key takeaway is that OKR’s are more than just a goal-setting framework. They enable stronger and healthier relationships within companies, improve focus, motivation and builds a transparent environment that empowers everyone leading to a higher-performing culture.

If you want to improve the performance culture in your organisation, get in contact with us today.

(Cover image extract by Artmonkey –

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