It’s time to ditch the annual goal setting process

Aug 23, 2019

Elizabeth Houghton

Sutton Full Potential Founder

Why OKRs Instead of Annual Goals?

Many companies find it very hard to measure the achievement of their goals. The problem is that most evaluations of goal fulfilment are done annually. By the time you reach the end of the year, you lose track of the small goals you achieved on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You also forget the issues you faced that hindered the annual goal fulfilment.

This can create a lot of challenges for companies. Without concrete information about what went wrong, companies can easily flounder and drown.

In comes Google

Andy Grove is seen as the Father of OKRs, who introduced the approach at Intel during his time there and documented this in his 1983 book High Output Management. Google adopted the approach later, with Google backing the OKR methodology, the approach quickly gathered a following in the tech world.

OKRs – Objectives and Key Results – is a framework that was adopted by Google to help them manage their company performance and achieve their goals. OKRs are focused on short-term goal management and performance planning on a quarterly basis.

Here are six reasons why you should ditch your annual goal-setting process and adopt the OKR methodology:

OKRs give us clarity about what to do

Companies often waste a lot of time and effort doing unproductive things, which do not help them achieve the overall vision. OKRs are time-bound, action-focused, and goal-driven. They help us get things done by showing us what we need to do and how we need to do it. Ultimately, OKRs show companies the path to achieving their vision.

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OKRs facilitate inter-team collaboration

OKRs are very company-driven. The goals and responsibilities of each team member are visible to every employee. This allows employees to see how a colleague’s work directly contributes to their own. This increases the feeling of togetherness and facilitates teamwork and collaboration.

OKRs help us align our actions to company goals

The primary objective of OKRs is to help employees achieve role-based goals, which then either directly or indirectly help in the achievement of the company vision. OKRs can be used to set-up a solid work plan, which can eliminate any wasteful tasks and focus on company goal fulfilment. OKRs foster a culture of creativity and help the company react quickly and effectively to new technology, competitors, and market shifts.

OKRs are instrumental in improving performance

The best thing about OKRs is that they provide employees with identifiable and measurable milestones. Now it becomes easier to know what result to strive for. Additionally, it makes on-the-job training, performance management, and mentoring much easier since managers can now provide highly focused feedback and give rewards to deserving employees. This helps employees remain disciplined, focused, and committed to their goals. Finally, OKRs encourage employees to take ownership of the work they put in and become better with each cycle.

OKRs eliminate chaos

OKRs are developed using a stringent framework. OKRs drill-down the exact steps that need to be taken for the goals that will be achieved. The objective of OKRs is to eliminate any ambiguity about what needs to be completed, which increasing role clarity. With such high role clarity, there is zero chaos and zero wastage of time.

OKRs increase employee engagement

It’s been found that OKRs are most effective when they’ve been developed keeping employees in the loop. This allows managers and employees to work together to do a comprehensive SWOT analysis of the employee’s skills and then implement effective steps that can aid with goal achievement. This high level of interaction between team members increases employee engagement.

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