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How to Get Leadership Buy-in for OKRs?

For successfully rolling out OKRs it is crucial that your leaders are in for the change. In this blog, you will get simple tips to get leadership buy-in for OKRs
Sagrika Mehta

Sagrika Mehta

Leadership Buy-in for OKRs

To make a successful OKR rollout every member of the organization has to be willing to adopt and adapt to the new changes. And the process has to start with leadership buy-ins. Now the question which arises is how to get leadership Buy-in for OKRs?

Well below is the answer-

OKRs are more than a mere management tactic. They are a tool that expedites decision-making and drives exceptional business results. And helps employees to figure out what’s most important and where they should be heading. 

Why do you need leadership buy-in for OKRs?

Executive leaders in an organization act as role models for the rest. Transformation of vision into reality requires commitment and it starts from the top. If the executives are not consistent and committed to the OKR program, the initiative is most likely to fail.

“A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.”— David Gergen

When executive leaders are not convinced about the benefits of the OKR framework themselves, how can you expect easy acceptance from the employees? 

As senior leaders, executives have more rights to say and influence in the organization. They have more reach and authority than the rest. And if executives are on the side of OKRs, other employees are more like to take the new changes seriously and make it a part of their work culture.

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How do you get leadership buy-in for OKRs?

Leadership Buy-ins for OKRs

The impact of OKRs is far-reaching. There are some common concerns of the executive leaders in adopting OKRs. To be able to take them in confidence, and get leadership buy-in for OKRs you need to be able to give them a satisfactory response for all their concerns. 

Following are some of the common questions your executive leaders might have regarding implementing OKRs in their organization-

1How will it help us improve?

“Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.” – Vaclav Havel

Time-saving, increased revenue, and higher-performing teams are among the top reasons for implementing a goal-setting framework by executive leaders.

  • OKRs will help your team laser focus on priorities. The OKR framework leaves no room for procrastination.
  • It can align the collective effort of your teams across all departments and eliminate silos. 
  • It fosters collaboration, transparency, autonomy, and flexibility in your organization.
  • With ‘stretching’ OKRs make your teams think out of the box. It makes moonshot objectives achievable.
  • It makes success measurable. With OKRs you will know exactly how much progress you have made towards your goals.

2It’s time-consuming. How will it help us now? Will it be worth the effort?

Dr. Edwin Locke in his book Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentive mentioned that Specific and challenging goals combined with appropriate feedback increase performance levels. 

Many reputable companies like Microsoft Google Intel HP LinkedIn husband using the ok are the framework to drive significant growth. These companies have been able to see the positive cultural and financial impact in their organization which is the OKR framework.

With proper planning, training, and support for your employees, you can ensure OKRs are a success in your organization. 

Case study: Sears holding company increased its hourly sales by 8.5% within 18 months of rolling out OKRs. And the teams which were consistently using OKRs were 11.5% more likely to perform higher.

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3How can we be sure that the results are going to be as expected?

Your concern is valid. While some organizations can get the right OKRs in the first attempt. There are examples of organizations having failed at it.

But the list of companies who are rocking the OKRs is bigger and outweighs the failures. Their success speaks about the benefits OKR can bring to an organization when implemented the right way.

To make sure that the results are as expected, you can adopt OKR best practices for a successful OKR rollout. To know more about the best practices click here.

Click Here to download ready to use OKR templates for your organization

4How expensive is it going to be?

OKR buy-in from key executives

OKRs are not necessarily expensive. You don’t always need an intricate system to run OKRs at your organization. You can simply start your OKR journey with just a pen or printer and paper. 

There are several free tools as well to help your teams monitor goals transparently. Like Google Docs or Google Sheets. write your OKRs on pen and paper. 

Although using OKR software can ease the process, your OKR doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive like us.

OKRs can save your time and money. As John Doerr has said in Measure What Matters “By clearing the line of sight to everyone’s objectives, OKRs expose redundant efforts and save time and money”.

As Gallup’s research showed, U.S. companies are losing up to $550 billion a year due to employee disengagement. While only  15 percent of employees are engaged in the workplace.

Strategic OKRs help your employees understand their parts in the organization and thus keep each employee engaged. Employee engagement, in turn, impacts employee turnover rates. As highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave the organization. 

“By clearing the line of sight to everyone’s objectives, OKRs expose redundant efforts and save time and money -Measure What Matters by John Doerr

5What if things don’t go as planned?

Every change comes with risks. “You can measure opportunity with the same yardstick that measures the risk involved. They go together.”

Even if your company falls short of its goals it may be caused by unrealistic goals or too many objectives and key results. Whatever may be the reason you need to dig deeper to find out the real cause behind the failure. And resolve it. Rather than rejecting the framework itself. Even companies like Google have also learned their OKRs with trial and error.

6How will we be able to track progress?

The whole OKR framework makes sense only when measured. OKRs are easily measurable because of their mechanism. You will have 3-5 key results for each objective. It makes tracking progress easy and transparent.

OKR software can make tracking progress easy as pie. It is quite easy to automate the tracking of goals with next-gen OKR software like Peoplebox. You can integrate with tech tools you are using and automatically update the KRs & projects

Tracking progress will mirror the real connections of OKRs, initiatives, and employee performance. It not only motivates and engages your employees but also gives them direction.

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.”

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