Build purpose-driven organizations with OKRs

What motivates an employee to wake up and go to work each day? How does this drive translate into productivity that helps the company achieve its goals? It seems like the million-dollar question, considering that in recent years the – “shaken up” by the pandemic – work environment is characterized by a lack of motivation and passion.

The absence of culture, unclear vision, lack of trust and transparency in communication, poor alignment of teams and their operation in a ”silo” structure, the top-down (command & control) approach without clear priorities and strategic goals, power games, and excessive workload – a result of rigid, inefficient processes – are just some of the factors we have identified in recent years. We believe these factors weaken the connection between the employee and the company and the achievement of its goals. Our observations are confirmed by a recent study conducted by Strategy& (PwC’s strategy consulting business) 1 , in which over 50% of respondents stated that they lack motivation, passion, and enthusiasm for their work. According to the same study, which surveyed more than 540 employees worldwide, only 28% feel fully connected to the company’s purpose, 39% recognize the value they create through their work, and only 34% believe they significantly contribute to the company’s success.

This reality may not be immediately reflected in a company’s financial figures, but in the long term, this lack of motivation and purpose among the workforce will have a significant impact on its sustainability.

Let’s imagine, on the other hand, an environment where highly motivated employees unite their productive forces toward a common purpose.

 

OKRs are the most effective tool for creating purpose-driven teams and organizations that “live” and “breathe” for a defined purpose.

 

Looking forward: Purpose-driven teams and organizations

 

Purpose. This is the word we believe will dominate the workplace environment in the (near) future.

Our focus will be on creating teams and organizations with a clear purpose, which includes aligning the company’s mission, values, vision, and goals with a broader “sense of purpose”, beyond the obvious goal of achieving profitability.

To abide by this direction, companies should focus on the following areas:

Defining a Clear Purpose: This should answer why the company exists beyond profitability.

Aligning Behaviors and Values: Enriching, defining, and reinforcing the company’s purpose so that the business creates an environment where employees feel inspired and motivated to contribute.

Empowering and Engaging Employees: Enhance the sense of responsibility and accountability, as well as open communication and feedback, so all employees feel connected to the company’s purpose and understand how their work contributes to it.

Embedding Purpose into Business Operations: Focus on how every aspect of the company’s operations, from product development to marketing and customer service, can contribute to fulfilling this purpose.

Measuring Impact: Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the organization’s core activities and regularly evaluate progress to improve practices and strategy.

Transparent Communication: Communicate the company’s purpose, values, and impact both internally and externally authentically and honestly, sharing success stories and examples that demonstrate how the organization operates through its purpose.

Continuous Learning and Improvement: Adopt principles of continuous learning that respond to changing conditions and evolving practices, to better align with the company’s purpose.

Lead by Example: Demonstrate a strong commitment to the organization’s purpose through actions and decisions, empowering and supporting employees to do the same.

Recognition of Successes: Acknowledge the achievements of teams and individuals who contribute to fulfilling the organization’s purpose.

 

Operationalize your purpose

However, does the above seem too theoretical? Our concern and insistence on linking theory to practice and measurable, tangible results led to the founding of altoValue.
Our strategic approach has always been to organize companies using successful and agile methodologies and organizational models like OKRs in designing and executing their strategic goals.

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a globally recognized Business Management and Strategy Execution Framework used by major organizations such as Google, Amazon, Nike, IKEA, HSBC, and emerging companies across all industries.
OKRs provide organizations with a structured yet agile framework for setting priorities and achieving goals aligned with their purpose, mission, and values. They emphasize transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement in a rapidly evolving business environment.

The effectiveness of OKRs is not solely based on the mechanism of setting and tracking strategic goals. The psychology behind OKRs plays a crucial role in identifying challenges and corresponding solutions, leading to motivation, engagement, and employee performance (Dr. Deepa Nagarajan, The Psychology Behind OKRs, 2023).

We consider OKRs the most effective tool for creating purpose-driven teams and organizations that “live and breathe:, for a clearly defined and commonly accepted purpose.

”Begin with the end in mind”. This is the fundamental principle of OKRs, emphasizing the importance of purposeful intentionality and strategic thinking in personal and professional endeavors. Starting with a clear vision of a desired outcome increases employees’ long-term chances of success and personal fulfillment.

The culture of OKRs has fully shaped our corporate vision since the first day of altoValue’s founding. Our mission goes beyond guiding companies toward growth and achieving their strategic goals and vision. Through the practical application of our methodology, we help companies create a workplace environment with a strong sense of trust, where employees feel valued, and motivated, and fulfill their professional aspirations. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity, innovation, overall success, prosperity, and a sense of fulfillment.

In short, a corporate environment where the company’s purpose is collective achievement and everyone’s business.

 

Bibliography:

[1] https://www.strategyand.pwc.com/gx/en/unique-solutions/capabilities-driven-strategy/approach/research-motivation.html

[2] The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Franklin Covey

 

 

* The article was published in the special edition Thought Leaders.

What motivates an employee to wake up and go to work each day? How does this drive translate into productivity that helps the company achieve its goals? It seems like the million-dollar question, considering that in recent years the – “shaken up” by the pandemic – work environment is characterized by a lack of motivation […]

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