Business leaders understand the benefits of using objectives and key results on a company wide basis. OKRs align employees, managers and executives toward success, creating a detailed strategy designed to let the business prosper. Yet these goals mean nothing if employees don’t want to achieve them. In fact, being forced to complete a task that goes against a person’s individual goals and values is a great way to create an employee who is actively disengaged with the business.
So what can you as a leader do to make sure the goals of both your company and your staff are something everyone wants to achieve? You can start by using these three tips:
1. Make Goals You (and Your Employees) Actually Care About
We’ve often made note of how offering additional training and development programs increases employee engagement, but how many of your staff members want to complete them? Forcing training sessions down your employees’ throats only leads to frustration, and many will come to view such classes as a waste of time. Make sure you survey your staff before implementing OKRs that require everyone’s involvement.
It might be a good idea to start at the beginning and ask employees not only what they want, but why they want it. As Entrepreneur noted, many people have the self-discipline to achieve their goals, but they don’t have the drive because they never stopped to consider why this is something they wanted to achieve in the first place. Sometimes, the goal itself simply looks good on paper but won’t help that person live a better life. By reflecting on the motivations behind their personal OKRs, employees can better identify what it is they really want. The same is true for your business as a whole.
2. Align Your Goals With Your Values
Research suggests keeping company wide goals aligned with the business’ overall values goes a long way to increasing engagement, especially among millennials. According to Deloitte, these young members of the workforce prefer employers that align with their individual morals, which tend to swing toward community and helping one another. In addition, millennials of all corporate levels tend to make decisions based on their personal values. By synchronizing these views with their OKRs, businesses keep their employees engaged and eager to work.
Additionally, when asked what values best made a company successful in the long term, millennials said employee satisfaction, overall ethics and level of customer care. Innovation, environmental impact and corporate responsibility were other principles, but it seems millennials most want respect for themselves and their customers. These characteristics should be a core part of your company’s code of conduct.
3. Regularly Write and Review Your Goals
Everyone’s made a New Year’s resolution they were initially excited for only to forget about as the months passed by. Usually, these ideas weren’t written down and people forgot about them over time.
Therefore, you and your employees should record your OKRs and update your them every quarter – if not more frequently. Not only does this process keep them at the forefront of your mind, but it gives you a chance to evaluate how your priorities have shifted over the past few months. If you or your employees notice your values have changed, then it’ll be harder to achieve the original OKRs. Your company is better off if these objectives are adjusted accordingly.
Want more advice from industry leaders on engagement and goal-setting? Come join BetterWorks as we host our annual Goal Summit April 20, 2017 in San Francisco.