OKRS Facilitate Focused Conversation and Drive Engagement
According to a survey of seven thousand LinkedIn members across five countries, the primary reason people leave companies is lack of advancement opportunities. Three times as many people cited that rationale over a poor relationship with their supervisor as cause for leaving. The good news for OKRs users is that whether people are tempted to start circulating resumes because of a sour relationship with a supervisor, or because they see no upward mobility in the company, using OKRs can reduce the likelihood of either.
OKRs are not a top-down exercise with goals handed down, as if on stone tablets, to lower level units and departments who are expected to dutifully execute, regardless of their opinion. In fact, an important distinction of this model is its focus on inclusivity. Individuals have a legitimate say in the objectives and key results chosen, which reflects a mix of top-down and bottoms-up goal setting. Having the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to what you will be held accountable for goes a long way in enhancing engagement. And later, when results are tabulated, the chance to engage in a meaningful discussion, conducted in a spirit of inquiry, also boosts morale and demonstrates to superiors an employee’s readiness for the next level on the corporate ladder. This phenomenon has been demonstrated at Sears Holding where OKRs have been in place since 2014. Employees who use OKRs are three and a half times more likely to be promoted.