New to OKRs? 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Started
It’s goal-setting season for many. 🎯
If you’re new to Objective and Key Results(OKRs) here’s a short list of 6 common mistakes to avoid from experience.
1. Too many Objectives
I see this a lot. When you introduce too many objectives none tend to be accomplished and people lose interest, declaring OKRs just aren’t for them.
2. Everyday To-Do’s as OKRs
Avoid creating objectives that end up with a list of everyday tasks as key results. OKRs are designed to be future focused and aspirational.
Tasks/Initiatives play a crucial role in the delivery of OKRs but not as key-results. Instead shift the focus to measurement and ask yourself ‘How will we know if we were successful or not?’
3. Set and Forget approach:
Don’t treat your plan to roll out OKRs as a new year’s resolution.
Adopting OKRs has to become a core part of your organisation’s culture. While Companies Objectives might have an annual or multiple years focus, start by setting quarterly OKRs for teams. Stay honest with regular check-ins on overall progress.
4. Objectives set are not aspirational enough
Many traditional goal setting frameworks focus on your people hitting 100% of their goals. With OKRs you need to think differently with a focus on stretch goals.
Setting OKRs that challenge, drive innovation and push people to succeed see better outcomes at 70–80% completion.
5. Creating OKRs in silos
Your people need to talk to each other when setting OKRs, otherwise achieving alignment and a common understanding will be impossible. Make the company OKRs public and help teams understand how they can align and contribute to the delivery of the overall company strategy.
6. OKRs solely linked to performance & compensation
Performance outcomes and compensation are two separate events regardless of how goals get set and measured. In the context of OKRs, the focus should always be on setting stretch, creative goals.
If employee compensation is solely linked to the completion of goals, your people will always play it safe. Encourage the right kind of behaviours and results by separating the two.
OKRs allow you to stay agile, grow and successfully align your people and business priorities.
Like most things, less is more when getting started.
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