What Happens When You Focus Your Team on Key Results

Creating and maintaining alignment around desired team outcomes is one of the greatest challenges team leaders face. The need to keep priorities aligned and everyone heading in the right direction is critical to achieving your desired impact.

But, how do leaders focus a team on the Key Results that matter most given the fast pace of business, shifting priorities, and market demands that require agility and innovation? Added to this is the new normal of remote work, reducing the face time that teams once spent together problem-solving and collaborating on projects.

A result of this is that too often, employees are left in the dark when it comes to what the desired results even are, let alone the larger purpose driving them. In fact, according to our research, which surveyed over 40,000 participants, just 15% of organizations clearly define their Key Results — the three to five meaningful, measurable, and memorable topline organizational results that employees should be working towards.

Want to learn more about how to create and maintain alignment of Key Results? Well, read on and discover some tips to keep your teams engaged.


Defining Key Results Is Critical — How Do You Do It?

Key Results empower leaders to clarify crucial organizational objectives and build alignment across their teams. To begin, team leaders should consider the most important topline deliverables — the targets that the team must collectively achieve.

Communicating Key Results

Once a team leader identifies and defines Key Results, the next step toward creating higher levels of commitment and alignment within the team is to communicate these targets effectively. Team leaders do this by sharing the Key Results with their teams.

Update a Team on Progress Towards Achieving Key Results

For a team leader, it’s critical to keep every member of the team on the same page when it comes to progress toward Key Results. Updates from the leaders should be shared with team members that detail quarterly profit growth, sales, regulatory scores, and other progress indicators.

Notifying the team of gaps in progress, or labeling a Key Result to “at risk,” can spur team members to explore what else they can do to accelerate progress.

Employee Questions and Comments

Leaders can build employee buy-in by addressing employees’ questions and concerns about team outcomes. When leaders answer employees’ questions (Why these Key Results? How do we measure this result?, etc.) directly, they foster a higher sense of purpose and inspire teams to engage more fully with their work.

Personal Connection to Key Results

Team members can take more ownership when they see their role in achieving Key results. Creating and sharing a personal impact statement helps connect daily work to team and organizational success. Individuals and teams should focus on taking positive accountability — described by the New York Times bestseller The Oz Principle as “a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.”

Achieve Lasting Results

As a team leader, effectively communicating your team’s three to five “must-have deliverables” empowers employees with a clear sense of focus and purpose in their everyday work.

Leaders build accountability for Key Results by regularly updating employees on progress, addressing employees’ concerns and questions, and above all, asking each employee to take full ownership for achieving them. When you deliver on these counts, you build a unified, highly accountable team that is equipped to reach and surpass ambitious goals.

Create a deeper connection to your organization’s Key Results and drive employee engagement through shared ownership and accountability.

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