OKRs: How to Overcome Restrictions and Secure Team Buy-In

OKRs -How to Overcome Restrictions and Secure Team Buy In - JOPOKRs -How to Overcome Restrictions and Secure Team Buy In - JOP

The new year paves the way for new goals, opportunities, and decisions to take for the business. One such common decision being taken in the world of business is organizations deciding to embrace the OKRs (Objective and Key Results) management framework. Over time, organizations of all sizes and industries have swiftly adopted the OKR approach.

OKRs is a robust goal-setting methodology that organizations have used for quite a while to achieve their desired success and growth. It’s an agile and scalable goal management approach that segregates the top business priorities into ambitious but realistic objectives supported by measurable key results. The most effective impact of OKRs is that they are transparent—they enable teams to understand the why of every task and how their effort contributes to a broader goal.

OKRs -How to Overcome Restrictions and Secure Team Buy In - JOPOKRs -How to Overcome Restrictions and Secure Team Buy In - JOP

Why and how will everyone agree to embrace the OKR approach? Well, introducing a new goal-setting framework for the first time, or refining your current plan, may face resistance, which is why getting top management on your side is one of the best things you can do. Obtaining the buy-in of your organizational teams is one of the important initial steps in developing your organization’s new goal-setting process.

Your teams will almost certainly have questions and reservations about your new goal-setting process, so be prepared to address their concerns and make them understand why OKRs are being introduced in the organization and how it will impact their professional life. Let us look at some of the common objections to adopting the OKR management framework and how you can answer them to secure the buy-in from your teams.

1. The process seems complicated and tough to maintain

Absolutely not. At its foundation, the OKR management framework is a straightforward system that revolves around setting, tracking, and reviewing goals. Set your OKRs at the start of each quarter, check progress, and evaluate what functioned well and what didn’t at the end. Apply what you’ve learned to develop more specific goals for the next cycle.

However, you should be cautious about the OKRs you set and take on each cycle. The best OKRs are specific, concise, and difficult but not impossible to achieve. You should also limit the number of OKRs you set, especially at the start. Experts recommend having three to five objectives supported by three to five key results. You want your OKRs to reflect your high-impact priorities, not your daily task list.

2. Using a new approach will be an extremely time-consuming process

Successful organizations are not built within a blink of an eye or without a concrete strategy. If you’re suggesting a new goal-setting approach to your teams, you might want to achieve the targets that weren’t achieved or want your teams to be more productive in reaching far-off targets.

With no OKR software in place, teams may have conflicting objectives or duplicate efforts, slowing or hindering company success. The correct goal-setting framework benefits both your organization and your workforce. It ensures that everyone remains focused, organized, and agile enough to change the course of action when there are unanticipated challenges.

3. If we don’t achieve the objectives, employee’s confidence will be affected 

Even though this is can be a valid concern, it is readily avoidable, as was shown to us by many companies that gained success through OKRs. If your organization consistently falls short of its objectives, you must investigate what drives this. Sometimes teams simply set unrealistic objectives that unintentionally set the workforce up for failure.

It is also critical to note that OKRs are a significant driver of employee morale and job satisfaction. If your organization does not currently have a solid goal-setting framework, you may be seeing the repercussions of an unmotivated workforce already.

4. Our current approach is working well, so why do we get a new framework?

Goals aren’t merely for the present. Your company’s present goal-setting approach may be working in your favor for the time being, but will it continue to position your business for success in the future? Remember to remind your teams that implementing OKRs and a more formal goal-setting framework will help your organization be more future-proof.

Getting OKR software will aid in the promotion of alignment at all levels of your organization, which is especially crucial as your business grows. When new employees join your company, they will grasp its overarching business goals and understand how their work adds to the company’s success. This is a tremendous triumph for productivity, engagement, and work happiness, allowing you to keep the people you need to help your organization grow.

5. How are we sure that OKRs will bring us the desired success?

Organizations such as Google, Adobe, Uber, LinkedIn, etc., have already shown us how effective use of OKR management framework can bring unparallel success to the business. So, makes sure to tell your teams about the diverse benefits of OKRs and how they will bridge the gap between strategy and execution.

If someone points out the differences between your organization and one like Google, emphasize the flexibility of the OKR system, which allows teams to tailor elements to their specific needs. If the team is still overburdened, consider reducing the number of OKRs. Remove any important results that appear to be irrelevant to the current direction.

Now that you are all set to introduce the OKR management framework in your organization, book a consultation call with the experts today. 


  • How can I get my team to buy into OKRs?

One way to get your team to buy into OKRs is to clearly communicate the benefits of using them. OKRs can help align individual and team goals with the company strategy, increase transparency and accountability and improve focus and productivity. Additionally, involving your team in the process of setting and regularly reviewing OKRs can help increase buy-in.

  • How can I ensure my team is held accountable for achieving their OKRs?

One way to ensure accountability for OKRs is to review and track progress towards them regularly. This can be done through regular team meetings or check-ins where team members share their progress, and any obstacles face. Additionally, setting clear and measurable goals and consequences for not meeting them can help increase accountability. Clear communication and understanding of the OKRs and their importance are also important.

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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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