Have you heard of OKRs and KPIs before? You may have even seen them used in some goal-setting and measuring methods and wondered, “Just how are they helpful?” The truth is, if your metrics aren’t used properly, they won’t be helpful. Let’s explore.

What do these acronyms mean?

They might seem mysterious, but OKRs and KPIs are simple acronyms. OKR stands for objectives and key results and KPI stands for key performance indicator. Both OKRs and KPIs are metrics that organizations use to improve performance.

You can use a combination of OKRs and KPIs to set and communicate goals to your staff, then track whether or not progress is being made in achieving said goals. This sounds good, but how do you put these metrics in place in a meaningful way?

How to implement your metrics

To avoid wasting time tracking information that you don’t need and setting goals that don’t make sense, you need to implement a method that uses OKRs and KPIs the “smart” way:

  • Limit yourself to 5 metrics. Track only the metrics that are important toward reaching your goals.
  • Make the metrics quantitative. If it can’t be measured, it can’t be tracked.
  • Set the bar high. Expect to reach 70-80% of your challenging target.
  • Set a timeframe. Plan to have goals be accomplished quarterly and annually, so you can go back and evaluate each timeframe and improve processes if necessary.

Keep in mind that the method of communicating critical metrics is just as important as the metrics themselves. For example, you could set the best goals in the world, but your surefire way for tracking progress may fail simply because your team didn’t feel engaged and didn’t stay up to date on the OKRs and KPIs you are tracking.

Enter the age of visual communication. It’s now possible to have a constant eye on performance metrics, making them more impactful than ever before. Take a look at this excerpt from First Round Review on the common features of the best goal-setting systems:

    Make it something people look at, every quarter, every week, every day. This consistency turns goal-setting into a habit and changes how people think about their work and approach their everyday to-dos. It puts in place natural milestones that make you think about what you need to do next and aim high.

Through repetition, you can create a team culture where working toward achieving goals and improving key performance indicators is second nature. You just need the right system in place to ensure your employees are all on the same page.

How creating office-wide engagement helps

There are a few stellar platforms that have set the bar high for employee engagement. What these innovative companies have found is that by broadcasting OKRs and KPIs office-wide, they can improve performance across the board. The automatic and far-reaching nature of displaying your key data on digital screens throughout the workplace has a more immediate and more permanent effect than having employees check the metrics periodically on their own time.

Real-time updates lead to real-time engagement and instant feedback that motivates employees to put forth even more effort. With the right system, you can go even deeper, creating a culture of celebration driven by acknowledgment of important benchmarks. Furthermore, this keeps the fun factor high, folding relevant metrics into pleasant visuals and divorcing them from the dull, insipid corporate-speak that many employees loathe.

Carefully implemented metrics are vital to performance and work best when combined with a form of effective office-wide visual communication. By using digital signage, companies can achieve better employee engagement and performance in the long run.