KRA – Is it the Corporate Euphemism for “Kyun Rakhein Aapko”?

KRA (Key Result Area) is the bedrock of every employee’s existence in an organization. Possibly the most powerful guiding principle that cascades far and deep to every function and level. After all, every part (however small) needs to be aligned to the ‘whole’.


Instead, KRA setting is often reduced to an act of intense negotiation between leaders and team members. It possibly stems from the innate fear that an ‘under par’ performance on the preset parameters will result in a boot!


In most organizations, KRA statements get reduced to CYA (Cover Your A**) pointers. What should have ideally been a healthy ‘stretch’ that challenges and inspires, remains a few notches below one’s comfort zone! And there begins the negative cycle that is toxic and ‘anti-growth’ for individual professionals and the organization.


One of my former bosses (an intellectual powerhouse) would jokingly refer to KRA as “Kyun Rakhein Aapko”. Underneath the banter lies a deep-rooted insight on the way most organizations function.


Consider this: most KRA statements would deal with areas like revenue growth, increasing productivity, creating a culture of innovation and fostering a great culture. Net-net – It is always about success maximization!


Now take a minute to think about the following facts:


  • Happiness is not the outcome of success, but precedes it. While this might make intuitive sense, it is also corroborated by a meta-analysis of over 200 studies on happiness covering 2,75,000 people from all over the world by leading researchers like Lyubomirsky and Diener.


  • Happy sales people generate 37% greater sales.


  • Workplace happiness increases employee productivity by 12%.


  • Unhappy employees take more sick days, 15 extra sick days a year.


  • Happier employees receive better evaluations and higher pay later on.


  • Happy employees result in happy customers and superior stock market performance.


It’s a no-brainer – ‘Happiness’ is the shortest path to success. Yet, it never features on any KRA list. Instead, a few organizations have created a new position of a Chief Happiness Officer. No offence to the designated harbingers of happiness…But, shouldn’t every individual take ownership of their happiness?


A possible stumbling block on integrating happiness as a KRA could be measurability. KRAs by definition need to be measurable to ensure the needle is moving and at a fast clip. ‘My-mother-says-so’ is yet to be recognized as a formal unit of measurement…and I doubt if it ever will be! So, how does one measure happiness in a manner that is reliable and accurate?


Professor Ed Diener, often referred to as Dr. Happiness, has done a lot of pioneering research in the field of measuring happiness. He observed that self-reported levels of happiness had a high correlation with empirical evidence (brain scans, serotonin and cortisol levels, etc.).


The next time you sit down to discuss your KRAs – Make it a point to add happiness as the first point. In fact, you won’t need to negotiate on the quantum…Technically, “I say so” should suffice to close the argument!


Go ahead, raise a toast…raise the bar!



Sorbojeet Chatterjee is a marketing consultant, media specialist, certified life coach, avid traveller and a doting dad. He is the Co-Founder of Happ Coach (an online platform for Life Coaches and Mentors). He tweets @sorbojeet



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