Turn Strategic Goals Into Tangible Results Using OKRs

Our previous post discussed the North Star Metric (NSM) and how it aligns teams, clarifies strategy, and helps drive your business toward its goals. This post is the next step: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and how they can transform your business strategy into actionable steps. Using the example of a model physiotherapist clinic, we’ll see how setting clear OKRs can help achieve growth and enhance customer satisfaction.

What are OKRs?

OKRs are a framework for setting and achieving goals. They consist of an objective—what you want to achieve—and key results—how you will measure progress towards that objective. This method ensures everyone in the organisation is aligned and moving in the same direction.

Applying OKRs to the Physiotherapist Clinic

Let’s break down how a physiotherapist clinic can implement OKRs to boost growth. Start by defining clear objectives. For instance, the clinic’s primary goal could be to increase the number of completed treatment plans. This objective reflects their commitment to patient recovery and overall clinic efficiency.

Next, establish key results that will help achieve this objective. To reduce appointment cancellations, the clinic could introduce a reminder system and streamline scheduling. Improving patient satisfaction might involve enhancing the clinic’s facilities or offering additional services. Finally, increasing referrals could be achieved by implementing a patient referral programme or building partnerships with local gyms and sports clubs.

Here’s what OKRs might look like for the physiotherapist clinic:

  • Objective 1: Increase the number of completed treatment plans.
    • Key Result 1: Reduce appointment cancellations by 20%.
    • Key Result 2: Improve patient satisfaction scores by 15%.
    • Key Result 3: Increase the number of referrals by 25%.

You hand over responsibility for each Key Result to a team or team member. You empower them to figure out how and deliver that target.

The Dark Side of OKRs

While OKRs are powerful, their implementation can have a dark side. Over-obsession with hitting targets can create a toxic work environment. It’s crucial to remember that OKRs are guides, not punitive measures. They should inspire and align teams, not pressure them into stress and burnout.

Consider a situation where the clinic’s therapists are overly focused on meeting referral targets. If they start viewing each patient interaction as a sales opportunity rather than a genuine effort to help, the quality of care might decline. This defeats the purpose of the OKRs, which is to improve overall performance and patient satisfaction.

To prevent OKRs from becoming a source of pressure, use them as a roadmap for growth. Encourage teams to view OKRs as tools for improvement, not as strict performance metrics. This approach fosters a positive atmosphere where everyone feels motivated to contribute to the business’s success.

Review progress towards OKRs regularly and celebrate small wins. This helps maintain morale and keeps the team engaged. For example, if the clinic achieves a 10% increase in patient satisfaction halfway through the quarter, acknowledge this achievement and encourage continued efforts.

OKRs can offer SMEs and startups a clear path to achieving ambitious goals. Focus on growth, celebrate progress, and ensure that your primary goal remains delivering exceptional value to your customers.

We use North Star Metric and OKRs to help businesses focus and deliver their growth strategies. Check out our ROOTS methodology and Growth Marketing Programme.