Employee engagement, like other abstract concepts, can be challenging to define. There is plenty of literature on its various aspects—from motivation to group dynamics, and even power relations, many people have attempted to describe it.
People go to such great lengths to define engagement because one of the largest resources of an organisation is its people. Workers who find meaning and value in their roles will achieve the company's goals, which leads to the fulfilment of its founders' vision and enabling leadership.
Managers can facilitate engagement through OKRs, or objectives and key results for each role and team.
Here are some ways OKRs help your employee engagement:
1. It allows your team to develop a shared purpose
Employees would like to see meaning and value in their work, and they are more devoted to roles that contribute to something bigger than themselves. Objectives and key results connect your employees' tasks with the overarching mission, which fosters alignment in the company. When you have OKRs, you create clarity and help people stay with a common strategy.
2. It gets your employees to participate better
People will be more likely to support ideas and strive to achieve things that spark a sense of ownership. Bottom-up engagement through creating team OKRs empowers your team to connect with the leadership's vision. This way, they become involved in creating the company.
The traditional top-down framework for learning does not work with today's mobile and autonomous workforce. Your best workers would be able to create more value if they have the freedom to shape their workflow and decide on metrics. Top-down instructions and micromanagement will cause employees to find work at a place that utilises their unique skills and contributions.
3. It creates a culture of transparency
The most dangerous thing for an organisation is extreme silo thinking or competition among groups that are supposed to achieve the same results. Since labour must be distributed efficiently in a company, silos become a necessary part of organisations.
You created narrow-minded employees in siloed teams that cannot see how their work relates to the outputs of another unit. If a team sticks to its members and does not share knowledge with other departments, it could result in groups trying to one-up each other.
If you have OKRs, you can solve siloed thinking by showing teams to see how their jobs fit into the larger picture, and how it contributes to the company's vision.
When there is transparency, managers can capitalise on cross-team collaboration. You also show employees that their work does not exist in a vacuum. People need reminders of how their work impacts others, and they need to realise how much other departments' outputs influence theirs in turn.
Objectives and key results create ambitious metrics for companies. You would think that allowing your employees to brainstorm a list of things they should achieve is demoralising; on the contrary, it is empowering. When employees create OKRs, they produce standards for themselves, ones that encourage them to collaborate with their peers and align their unit's activities with the company's goals.
Encourage engagement in your workforce and partner with SKILLFIRE for organisational alignment. We are a management consulting firm working with enterprises in Sydney and Melbourne, helping companies design and implement their blueprints for success.
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