5 Easy Steps To Get Executive Buy-In For OKRs And Goal Setting!

OKRs and Goal Setting

Setting goals is the key to success. We have heard it all the time, and it makes sense because a game plan is important for the business to succeed. An effective goal-setting strategy increases the momentum by keeping everyone in the organization on the same page. To be precise, goals are an excellent way of estimating where we want to go and how far we’ve come. However, it sometimes becomes difficult to make progress despite setting effective goals- the reason being- lack of communication. You might be painting a picture for the company but the leaders may not understand the purpose behind goal-setting strategies. Just like that, you lose the battle of getting executive buy-in even before the real work begins.

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The executive team is likely to have numerous questions about the goal-setting strategy being proposed to them. Thus, it’s important to be prepared with all the needed information to address the questions they’ll raise. In this blog, we are opening the playbook of all the possible questions you’ll get while getting the executive buy-in for OKRs and goal setting strategy, along with five easy steps to get one. 

Step #1: Approach executives as buyers telling how OKR will benefit 

You know that implementing OKRs is a win-win deal for your organization. Your executives don’t. Thus, in order to get the goal-setting strategy on board, getting the executive buy-in must go exactly the way you’re approaching a buyer. A clear understanding of the company’s objective on the strategic front will be marked as a bonus point. 

So, the first step to get the executive buy-ins for OKR is to understand what success will look like for individual executives, the challenges they are likely to face in achieving their goals.

Once it’s done, provide them a solution in terms of introducing the OKR product to them that addresses:- 

• The top obstacles or problems employees face in the organization

• How OKRs can speed up the process of reaching organizational goals. 

• The top-down goal and 360-degree feedback enrichment by easy goal-attainment

• What will happen in the absence of the OKR framework

Step #2: Establish KRs for different departments stating how they will Impact. 

It’s so important to understand that the right goal-setting framework doesn’t just benefit your company; it helps employees to grow in the bigger picture. Thus, cracking the equation while explaining to your executives how it will impact different departments will be a big positive. 

Once you ask for the implementation, the major concern of the leaders will know how long the implementation process would take. For this, explain how effective goal setting can ensure every goal department is aligned while keeping them moving towards the company’s objectives. 

Example of KRs: 

➊ Suppose the marketing goal is to get 50 leads through paid campaigns in a quarter. Show your executives how bringing OKRs onboard will help get through online channels by keeping everything on track for the said campaign. 

➋ Suppose the business goal for 2022 is $75 million ROI through the sales channel. The key result for this can be “Increasing sales up to $20 million in Q1.” Now keeping the goal-setting framework in mind, all these will be achieved by having an effective OKR strategy in hand. 

Telling KPIs for departments and how they’ll benefit from OKR will act as checkpoints in getting the executive check-in.

OKRs and Goal Setting

Step #3: Emphasizing the benefits the whole organization will leverage.

In order to gain executive buy-ins, it’s important to view them as your buyers. For this, telling them exactly how the company can make the most of the goal-setting strategy will act as a cherry on top. To begin with, understand the loopholes they see in the business and how your efforts will solve them. Choose specific pain points that will show progress toward achieving company goals in those areas like: 

○ Keeping your organization aligned: Bringing in an effective goal-setting strategy will keep your organization aligned by keeping moving in a straightforward direction. OKRs connect individual performance and team performance in alignment with the shared organizational objectives so that everyone focuses on what matters.

○ Brings transparency in the organization: If implemented well, OKRs inform everyone of the priorities of teams and individuals across the organization. This way, an effective goal-setting strategy brings a transparent approach among employees and fosters organizational culture. 

○ Employees in the organization focus on priorities: When everyone in the organization is clear about their priorities, they know exactly what needs to be focused on. An OKR software will simplify the process for HRs and top-level management to prioritize those objectives that will significantly impact the company.

Step #4: Take a Holistic approach 

Many aspects of a company are closely related to another. Organizational culture is at the core of it. When the corporate culture is strong enough, feedback, communication, and alignment tend to improve- improving the overall employee engagement. Thus, it’s important to take a holistic view of understanding the connections between different facets of employee engagement that sum up enhancing organizational culture. This will help in putting the goal-setting strategy as a way of addressing a business need that leadership has identified already.  

Step #5: Be prepared for the questions that are anticipated

Executive buy-in is a tedious process and needs a lot of effort to be done in the right direction. 

Now if you make it this far, it’s really important to know about the questions that HR teams are likely to encounter while proposing the OKR and goal-setting framework.

• Can we make sure that this framework will impact the organization in the way we want it to?

• Is it an out-of-budget framework? 

• If we don’t meet our goals, employee morale will suffer

• How will we be able to track the effectiveness? 

Having the answers already prepared for these questions will help you in getting the easy and quick buy-in from executives for your goal-setting framework.

Final Take: 

The deal is simple- when you align a company’s goal in a brighter light, executives are likely to buy in more quickly. All you have to do is find a way to unfold your proposed goal-setting strategy with something your manager has already invested time into. Once you understand the executive perspective and have pondered on the critical key points to bring in, tie all the pain points with proven KPIs. Since the executives report more on KPI, they’ll have more time to see how their investment in OKRs should impact the results they care more about. 

Getting an OKR and goal-setting framework for your organization doesn’t have to be an expensive practice but you have to be prepared for the initial struggle for getting the OKRs. There are many ways to set your goals effectively, like, Google Docs, Microsoft Excel, or JOP OKR and Performance management platform.

To sum up, OKRs are great. And since you’ve presented the benefits, assure them that committing to OKRs will be worth it. A well-made OKR structure not only keeps your employees focused and motivated but explicitly keeps reminding them of their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. This helps the organization get closer to its objectives. Exactly like how the JOP OKR platform works for you. JOP channels the regular interactions that directly impact mobility in your business. To know more, schedule a demo with us today.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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