Every change in an organisation faces obstacles. Steepest one being of low adoption. Fortunately, the reasons are well known.
People are used to doing things certain way. Any process or tool that tries to alter these ways, will be met with resistance.
OKRs is definitely one of those initiatives. It starts with a lot of enthusiasm & fanfare, but fizzles out if employee adoption is not managed.
Vital reason for low adoption of OKRs is, its approach of making progress updates as frequent as possible. This is a head-on contradiction with traditional ‘set & forget goals’. Naturally, the resistance to adoption is monumental.
One of the surefire ways to better adoption rates is reducing the changes in daily workflows. UpRaise addresses this problem by embedding a natively built OKR app within Jira. Since Jira as a system of records is used umpteen times in a single day, the adoption barrier for OKRs via UpRaise is minimal.
Also, there is no context switching when you are looking at your routine tasks or short to long term goals.
To smoothen this adoption further, we have introduced – Key result reminders.
How do KR reminders work?
UpRaise administrator/s have a company level setting where they can turn on/off these reminders. Individual users will only be able to make use of KR reminders, if they are turned on at the company level.
Every active key result (except for Jira issues) will allow setting up these reminders. KR reminders can be set on a recurring basis – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. Only KR owner will be able to change these reminder days & frequency.
KR owners receive an unobtrusive & consolidated email notification. Like the one below.
Why not reminders for Objectives?
Objectives are qualitative & aspirational in nature. Objectives do not provide a clear measurement of failure & achievement. That is the case majority of the times. But key results precisely do that. Objectives actually make progress based on achievements of their key results.
Thus, it just makes common sense to keep track of key results & keep them frequently updated.
The reminders are set on a weekly frequency by default. KR owners are free to change this frequency to bi-weekly or monthly. In fact, there is also an option to turn off these reminders at the key result level.
KR reminders, combined with the visual cues for ‘last punch-in’ tend to be a good indicator of adoption. If despite several reminders, team members are not making progress on their key results – something needs to change.
The underlying cause here is either the employee is stuck and needs help. Or it could be that they are not paying attention to that particular activity. Either way, this is exactly what happens with the ‘set and forget goals’ attitude and you don’t want that to repeat that here.
How we increased continuous feedback with KR reminders?
Modern companies are moving to continuous feedback exchanges rather than periodic performance reviews. While at the macro level this shift is obvious, it is fairly difficult to implement continuous feedback at the workplace.
Each manager in the company had at least one objective dealing with continuous feedback. One of the key results on these objectives would invariably be – ‘Ensure all your direct reports receive feedback at least once every two weeks.’
This way, every time the manager gets a reminder, he/she can give a quick contextual feedback to his/her direct reports. It could be anything simple, as long as it stays relevant. After all, every little bit counts. It also ensures that everyone is on their toes and on track.
KR reminders go a long way in making sure that users are not deviated from their goals. And if they do, they can always get back on track without losing sight of these goals.