This blog is for those who have started their OKR journey and want to maximise the potential of this framework for helping them communicate more effectively with their teams.

This blog is for those who have started their OKR journey and want to maximise the potential of this framework for helping them communicate more effectively with their teams. Maybe you are finding it hard to define your objectives, or you need to review your approach to ensure that it’s resonating with your team. If so, we aim to help you understand how OKRs can be a practical tool for improving communications within an organisation.

Communication is at the heart of every successful organisation.

Communication is at the heart of every successful organisation. Whether it’s an internal team working on a project or communicating with colleagues, or an external communications department communicating with stakeholders, you need a clear and concise method for ensuring everyone knows what is expected of them. But when communication breaks down, it can lead to all kinds of problems: confusion about who is responsible for certain tasks; lack of trust in leaders; wasted time and effort; miscommunication and misunderstanding. So, how do you make sure your organisation communicates effectively?

OKRs are a useful tool that can help organisations improve their communication structures. OKRs stand for objectives and key results (you can read more about them here). When it comes to communications, one best practice we’ve seen over the years is thinking about the audience in two key ways: internal stakeholders and external audiences.

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Keeping employees engaged and in the loop is not just good for morale but can also boost productivity, reduce turnover and drive better performance.

So, why is this important? Well, simply put: keeping employees engaged and in the loop is not just good for morale, but can also boost productivity, reduce turnover and drive better performance.

To make the most of OKRs, it’s important to create a communication plan based on the key stages that your organisation goes through when setting an objective. These include:

  • Setting the goal (the ‘what’)
  • Planning for success (the ‘how’)

So it’s no surprise that a 2019 survey by Circa found that the number one organisational challenge was a lack of communication.

So it’s no surprise that a 2019 survey by Circa found that the number one organisational challenge was a lack of communication. Interestingly, this was seen more often in larger organisations with 200-500 employees – perhaps because as an organisation grows there are more stakeholders and hence more opportunities for miscommunication.

Communication is central to OKRs. All the work you do to set, cascade and monitor your OKRs is useless if nobody knows about them. You need regular communication with your team about what they are doing and how it relates to the wider strategy of the business. This is true internally, but also externally when communicating with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders on what you’re doing as an organisation.

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At ClearPoint we believe OKRs are a powerful tool to get everyone on the same page, focus efforts and drive alignment on the company vision, strategy and goals.

At ClearPoint we believe OKRs are a powerful tool to get everyone on the same page, focus efforts and drive alignment on the company vision, strategy and goals.

OKRs help communicate your overall organisational direction and ensure everyone from the top to the bottom is working towards achieving it. They set the context for what needs to be achieved and how you’ll measure the success of initiatives.

Once OKRs are established, employees can then develop their own personal goals that align with and support the broader organisation’s objectives.

But when it comes to communicating about OKRs there are still many companies who have yet to fully unlock their potential as an organisational communications tool.

But when it comes to communicating about OKRs there are still many companies who have yet to fully unlock their potential as an organisational communications tool.

In this article, we’ll look at how OKRs can be used not only as a goal-setting and alignment tool but also to help organisations in meeting their wider communication goals. We’ll examine the role that OKRs play in helping teams align with business objectives; the use of larger company OKRs in helping teams understand how their work fits into the overall business narrative; and finally how smaller cross-functional team OKRs can be used for more detailed communication between individuals.

How can you ensure your use of OKRs benefits, not just your organisation but also those working with them?

OKRs are not a tool for measuring individual performance. They are a tool for aligning teams and individuals to a shared strategic vision, driving better collaboration, more transparency and continuous improvement.

As such they should be communicated widely throughout the organisation, along with their goals and values around how OKRs will be used within the organisation. This includes:

  • The open review process
  • How feedback will be used to improve OKR quality
  • How cascaded objectives will cascade from top to bottom and back up again

These need to be explained in ways that the entire workforce can understand so that everyone is aligned on why they are part of the process and what’s expected of them.

Check out our OKR programs 

When talking about communications, it can be helpful to think in terms of audience.

When talking about communications, it can be helpful to think in terms of audience. Your audiences are your targets and the people you aim to reach with your communications. You may have lots of audiences, but when crafting an OKR it helps to focus on one or two main ones.

Take a look at the list below and see if you recognise any of these audiences:

  • executives
  • senior leaders
  • managers
  • employees
  • HR
  • IT
  • marketing
  • customers
  • partners

There are practical ways to communicate with people within your organisation through OKRs

However, OKRs are only as useful as how they are communicated — used in the right way, they can help align everyone in your organisation on what is important and what success looks like.

OKRs are a powerful tool that can be used to communicate with different types of people within your organisation:

Communicate company vision and strategy through OKRs. Your company’s CEO or leader should have top-level company goals, which then cascade down to departments or teams. These should be clearly communicated via OKRs so everyone understands the overall direction of the business and where it is headed. This gives each team focus and makes it clear what specific activities need to happen to achieve the broader strategy. Not only does this help drive productivity and remove unimportant work, but it also helps keep motivation levels high as employees will feel their work has a direct impact on achieving company objectives.

Communicate departmental goals through OKR roadmaps for rapid delivery of business outcomes. Once you have cascaded your company level goal into department-level goals (or key results), you can use a roadmap view of these to communicate with leaders who want an instant visual snapshot of progress across all their teams’ workstreams.

Check out our OKR programs