Here’s why you should transform employee engagement using OKRs

by Roger Longden | Jan 26, 2018

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Objectives and Key Results (OKRs for short) are changing how companies define and communicate success. Why not have a read through our free beginners guide to OKRs to get more information on how you can align and grow your company.

Employee engagement can make all the difference to how a business functions from day to day, and conversely how it achieves long term growth ambitions. Despite this, management often seem unable to engage with employees in a way that benefits the individual and the business. Luckily, we believe companies can transform employee engagement using OKRs.

Read on to discover why a productive employee isn’t necessarily an engaged employee, and how this could impact the future of your business.


What is employee engagement going to do for my business?

Business leaders must possess many skills, but perhaps the most important is the ability to ‘read the room’ and adapt to internal and external changes that may threaten the business. Internal change can occur in relation to employee morale, progression and engagement.

Plenty of research shows strong correlations between employee engagement and positive business outcomes. Lower recruitment costs, increased productivity and customer loyalty are just some of the rewards on offer.

Executive Coach Cha Tekeli gave a brilliant explanation to Forbes recently:

“Employee engagement is not a project. It is not a workshop. It is not a new wellness program or a cool perk (though all that can contribute). It’s not one-size-fits-all. And it doesn’t have an end date.

“While I wouldn’t compare it to the foundation of your house, I might say it’s similar to installing insulation, which provides everything from climate consistency to energy efficiency. Your employees feel and experience it every day.”

Without employee engagement, not only are you doing your employees a disservice, you’re also shooting yourself in the foot.

Do you believe that business innovations only ever come from senior management? Hopefully not – and this is why it’s so important to engage with all of your employees, and give them the opportunity to understand and contribute towards your business goals.


How do I define employee engagement in my business?

Elizabeth Dukes, co-founder of iOFFICE software, recently talked to Forbes about the difference between employee productivity and employee engagement.

In a nutshell, a productive employee will probably show up to the office on time, complete their work to a high standard and meet all their deadlines. All good qualities, right? Punctuality, productivity and performance, that’s three ticks on the annual appraisal sheet.

However, this individual may also have a tendency to stay quiet in meetings and simply complete the tasks they are given, rather than actively contributing ideas and working towards wider company goals.

In contrast, an engaged employee believes in their work, and is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. They also attend work events, socialise with colleagues and share their ideas in meetings with management.

This doesn’t automatically make them productive, and we admit this quality is still vital.

The key point though is that employee productivity doesn’t generally last without employee engagement. While productive employees may start as model hires, its difficult to expect these standards to last forever if they are not engaged with the business. Unengaged individuals may also fail to see ‘the bigger picture’ of how their work impacts the company.


Why you should transform employee engagement using OKRs

Despite there being clear potential benefits to the bottom line, many businesses are still hesitant to commit the necessary time, money and effort to addressing employee engagement. For many, it also means abandoning traditional methods of performance management (say, annual appraisals).

There are several important benefits to managing employee engagement using OKRs:

  1. Having visibility over top-level OKRs means employees can see how their individual activities align with and contribute towards broader business goals.
  2. Boost employee engagement using OKRs by letting them play a part in the process. Ensure they understand their responsibilities and have a say in them.
  3. With the right OKR software in place, employees can see precisely how the completion of personal OKRs contribute to business OKRs
  4. Regular OKR check ins between managers and employees ensure that staff receive consistent attention and support.

Employees need to be productive and engaged in order to contribute to business success. Using OKRs, we believe companies can make employees feel valued, supported and properly informed, creating a positive impact on their overall performance.

Ready to transform employee engagement using OKRs in your business? Get in touch with There Be Giants, we would love to hear from you.


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