The OKR framework may appear fairly simple but before you decide to adopt it in your organisation, there are various things to consider.
Bring in an OKR expert:
While you may have a thorough understanding of everything that needs to be done, you may not necessarily be able to communicate the same to your company. In this case, hire an expert trainer or coach to educate the entire organisation about the OKR framework. By conducting workshops for all the departments and trainers, one can efficiently explain ‘What is OKR?’, ‘Why is it required’ and ‘How to create OKRs at individual, team and company level?’
Importance of communication:
Today nobody wants to work in an organisation that sees its man power as just resources to achieve their bottom line. Employees want to be appreciated. They need to know how they are contributing to the company’s growth. They seek meaningful work and give results that will eventually fit into the larger picture. Make use of every opportunity to articulate how OKRs are going to help you build a transparent & ambitious culture. Be it town-hall meetings or informal discussions, let people know how excited you are with the prospect of each one of the team members working in the same direction.
Everyone is on board:
It is not sufficient that only a certain departments are following the OKR framework to set their goals. Everyone, right from the top management to the newest employee needs to be onboard for OKRs to be successful.
When you sow a seed, you don’t expect the plant to grow overnight. You have to give it time, water it and nurture it regularly. Within a few weeks you may see a short growth and within time, it will grow into a huge tree. Similarly, even if you have started efficiently setting OKRs for everyone, you will not see overnight changes in the way your organisation works. There are bound to be a few trials and errors. There is going to be resistance to weekly checkins & monthly/quarterly assessments. At each step, share with the team members how important it is that everyone is committed to success of OKRs in the longer run.
During OKR implementation
While implementing OKRs, objectives should not be dictated to the employee. Managers should work with their teams and goals should be set after a thorough discussion. Every individual has a specific OKR that is designed according to his attitude and aptitude.
Once the goals are clear, it is not suggested that the employees carry on performing their task and only seek feedback once they finish it. They are welcome to approach their superiors or team mates for any help or assistance they may require to fulfill their goals. Particularly, obstacles should be addressed immediately so that it not does hamper their productivity. Feedback should be consistently asked for and given as and when necessary.
Refining the OKRs continuously
OKRs are meant to be ambitious so that you always push yourself to perform better. Targets should be set that are difficult to achieve yet not impossible. Unlike traditional performance management techniques, you are not expected to achieve 100%. A typical successful achievement would be of 70%. Though if you are able to achieve 100% or more, it would mean that your goals weren’t aggressive enough. Once you fulfil your objectives for the month or quarter, identify which results you haven’t been able to achieve. What you could have done to perform better on these ones & how you were able to achieve the ones you succeeded at. Refine the OKR setting process with this feedback at the back of your mind.
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