Get everyone on the same page using OKRs for organisational alignment

by Roger Longden | Mar 15, 2018

time icon 3 mins

Using OKRs can provide growing businesses with a priceless benefit – organisational alignment. Not sure what this means? OK, let’s take a step back. In essence, OKRs enable understanding.

You may feel, as a senior manager or company owner, that you know your employees well. You interview them, after all, and wouldn’t hire them unless you felt their values, goals and ambitions aligned with those of your business.

However, if a company is experiencing a period of rapid growth, it’s possible that some new recruits will be brought on quickly to fill a gap in the workforce. As a result, senior managers can start to see faces they don’t know around the office, especially if the interview process is delegated to other colleagues.

Even if you do feel like your do employees align with your brand values, that feeling may not be mutual. According to a recent study by Reward Gateway, 89% of employers say it’s critical to the success of their business that employees understand their overall corporate mission. Despite this though, only 32% of employees feel completely informed about the values of their organisation.

At the same time, 84% of senior decision makers claim their enterprise is doing enough to recognise employees who demonstrate the practices the company deems most valuable. However, 33% of employees don’t agree that their employer recognises them when they demonstrate those values.

So in short, the majority of surveyed employees don’t understand their organisation’s values, and a significant minority don’t feel that its worth them trying to achieve them. Altogether, this means that employees probably aren’t working strategically towards business values.


Organisational alignment can impact communication and employee trust

Put simply, approximately a third of the workforce surveyed are saying that internal trust and communications are a one-way street from management level. It’s also telling that 59% of employees say they would rather work for a company that had a culture of recognising an employee’s efforts over one that offers a higher salary and no recognition!

Perhaps most damning is that while 86% of senior decision makers say they are transparent with their workforce over the overall company mission and plans to achieve goals, only 30% of employees ‘strongly agree’ that management is honest, open and transparent in their communications.

It all suggests that large parts of the workforce feel alienated from upper management when it comes to the direction of a business and their role in its success. Even worse, they don’t feel that demonstrating key qualities on a regular basis gets any recognition or reward. That’s hardly an incentive for employee engagement!

For some businesses, they may just need to tweak the way they communicate with employees to improve the situation. For others, they may need an entire internal culture change; not just to improve worker happiness but overall business performance, too.


Using OKRs can improve communications and employee morale

Recognition is one of the key drivers needed to encourage employee engagement and satisfaction. However, recognition works best in relation to impact on business goals.

Using OKRs can go a long way in communicating business objectives effectively across different departments, and identifying the impact of individuals on these broad goals.

While company-wide OKRs can map out organisational growth, team OKRs can drive collaboration and individual OKRs can map out the contributions of employees to these overarching goals. The right set of OKRs can therefore effectively align individuals and departments with overall business objectives.

Constantly reviewing your OKRs on a regular basis also provides staff with clear goals to aspire to on a personal and professional level, promoting employee engagement and improving the overall growth ambitions of your business.

Perhaps most importantly though, the right set of OKRs can bridge the gap between employees and senior decision makers, creating greater understanding and harmony.

Ready to align your organisation and get every employee on the same page? Get in touch with There Be Giants, we would love to hear from you.

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