OKR, where the development of the employees is more important than the implementation of the targets


While OKRs can help ensure coordination and targeted action in cumbersome companies, they only work if they are structured and used correctly. So that you can use OKRs successfully, we provide you with one or two tips.

A study by Asana on the subject of goal setting shows that employees in Germany are more likely to be dissatisfied with the goals of their employers. Because only 17 percent of those surveyed stated that their company effectively sets, communicates and implements corporate goals. The question often remains open: what goal am I actually working for? The OKR method is a management method from 1979 that sensibly combines goals and tasks. It is particularly characterized by its agility, which distinguishes it from the Management by Objectives approach. OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results”. You can read exactly what OKR is and how the approach came about in the Previous article: “OKR: The optimal management method for your company”.

OKR method: From a nice idea to an efficient management method

Executives often read about OKR and then introduce them half-heartedly. However, if OKR is not used consciously and linked to daily work, the team loses interest and the OKR system does not lead to any result. The following tips can help you with the implementation:

1. Lay down basic rules for your OKR program

Before you start with your OKR start, you should first determine how they will really be used in your team and in the company. Three elements can help with orientation: the frequency, the review process and the creation of OKR. Frequency is simply a matter of how often you want to set OKR. Depending on the company’s growth, it is advisable to set annual or quarterly targets. The review serves as a schedule: You should review your goals every two to four weeks, as they are often forgotten. And: How do you actually set your OKR? Many companies rely on a hybrid form of top-down and bottom-up approach: This enables a good balance and your team has the opportunity to propose interim results that drive progress.

2. Set company-wide goals

Once the basis is in place, the company-wide introduction can begin: At the beginning, the goals of the top company level should be defined. They give your team clarity about the bigger picture and make it clear what is to be achieved in the long term. In all cases, your goals should be clearly measurable. Because in the end you should be able to clearly determine whether the goals were achieved – or not.

Create clarity: The goals and associated tasks should be clear to the entire team. (Photo: Shutterstock / Rawpixel.com)

3. Key results for goals

What do I want to achieve? Choosing the right key results can be challenging. Can help you CRIB-Testto perfect your key results. CRIB stands for “Clarity, Results-oriented, Important, Big” – in German: Clarity, results-oriented, important, big.

4. Individual and team OKR

OKRs are effective when they run through the entire company and are directional for the work of smaller teams and individuals. If OKR is to be used at team level, however, a bottom-up approach is recommended: because your team knows best where to invest resources in order to achieve the best results. As a rule of thumb, each individual employee should have a maximum of three OKRs. That is enough as motivation, but does not distract the focus.

5. Implementation and create clarity

Linking your goals to the work it takes to achieve those goals makes it easier to track goal progress and identify issues that could stand in the way of successful completion. People want to be empowered and want their work to count – the best way to do this is to meaningfully link their work to the overarching goals.

6. Evaluate and rethink

Your planning cycle is complete – but the work is not yet. Ask your team to rate the OKR they are responsible for. As a manager, you should collect the results, compare them with the goals and share them with the company. Have all of the goals or key results been achieved? Future cycles can be adjusted based on a retrospective.

How can you put the OKR method into practice?

Your entire OKR cycle you can display it very simply and clearly in Asana and check your goals at any time. Here the Pyramid of clarity help: At Asana, it acts as a framework for the connection between day-to-day work and strategic goals. Everyone on your team should understand how their own work contributes to fulfilling the company’s mission. Each task should belong to a project, which in turn is part of a portfolio. This is then with a aim that supports the company’s mission. A well-implemented pyramid of clarity will help you make better decisions and prioritize your work for measurable impact. Corporate giants like Awin do it: With the help of Asana, OKRs have already been successfully implemented there.

I want to know more about OKR!

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