Ally.io
September 13, 2021

Leaders, here’s why you need OKRs

Lucy Hitz
Lucy Hitz
Director of Content, Ally.io
Why-OKRs-for-Executive-Teams-Blog-Image

Objectives and key results, or OKRs, are gaining momentum amongst business leaders looking to bridge the gap between strategy and execution. The goal methodology was created by Andy Grove, the former president of Intel, then popularized by John Doerr in his book, Measure What Matters. 

With an emphasis on outcomes, rather than process, industry giants like Amazon, Adobe, Facebook, Google, and Netflix are finding OKRs to be a more effective way to focus on what matters and embrace strategic intent. As author Jeff Gothelf writes in the Harvard Business Review, OKRs allow leaders to focus “on the impact the work is having, rather than micromanaging the specific work that teams are doing on a daily basis.” 

80% of Ally.io customers say their OKR program with Ally.io has helped create a higher performing team; 62% say it has led to faster growth for the business. 

Organizations putting OKRs to work see three primary benefits: 

  1. OKRs boost employee engagement and profitability
  2. OKRs enhance organizational alignment while allowing leaders to delegate responsibility
  3. OKRs make it easy to visualize (and trust) results

Read on to learn more about these three advantages OKRs have to offer your organization.

How OKRs boost profitability by engaging employees

Companies with a highly engaged workforce are 23% more profitable than companies with lower employee engagement scores, according to Gallup. 

But what drives engagement? High performing teams (and thus high performing businesses) are fueled by shared values, a common mission, and a clear vision. Together, these three things create company culture.

Mission

In our 2021 Goal Management Report, we found that 77% of Ally.io customers say our OKR platform has helped them build a stronger company culture. This is incredibly important, given how strongly culture impacts performance. That’s because it influences how people show up to work, and how motivated they are to achieve organizational goals. 

And when it comes to motivation, Asana’s 2021 Anatomy of Work found that 34% of employees say knowing how their efforts contribute to their company’s overall mission is the main motivator for them to do their best work. OKR programs do just that: they draw a clear connection between daily work and organizational goals. 

Learn more about how OKRs connect daily work to goals. Download the eBook.

Enhancing alignment and delegating responsibility with OKRs

The OKR structure allows leaders to clearly communicate priorities and expectations, while easily and effectively delegating responsibility throughout the organization. That’s because each team and individual has their own OKRs, outlining what they will do to help the organization achieve its goals.

OKR structure

This gives executives more room to focus on strategy, knowing that others are doing their part to make the execution happen. Beyond that, when everyone – from the CEO down to the individual contributor – is tracking toward the same goals, it does away with power dynamics and silos, and gets an organization operating as a cohesive unit. As we saw above, that’s good for culture and engagement, which in turn is good for productivity.

See progress towards your goals—and trust your results 

Without OKRs, many executives are forced to rely on inconsistent progress reports to run their business. The data has typically been cobbled together from multiple systems and teams, and is often outdated. This makes it incredibly difficult for executives to assess how well their organization is executing upon strategy, and how close they are toward reaching their goals. 

With an OKR program, key results are designed to be measurable so that progress can be easily evaluated. Leaders are also encouraged to hold weekly OKR reviews, providing high level insight into what’s going well, and what’s presenting challenges. This allows key decision-makers to reprioritize if needed, or to shift around resources to support objectives that may be falling behind.

Using a software platform like Ally.io, instead of a manual goal tracker (like Google sheets or Excel), helps facilitate these meetings, while also ensuring the data that executives are relying upon is accurate and consistent. That’s because Ally.io integrates with the tools you’re already using, allowing updates to flow automatically from the data source. 

See below how data flows directly from Salesforce into Ally.io to provide an up-to-date, consistent source of truth on goal progress. 

Salesforce

As leadership teams at companies you know and love have already concluded, OKRs offer major advantages for organizations looking to connect strategy and execution, boost productivity, and meet goals effectively.

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