Dirk Schmellenkamp

How do I know if OKRs will succeed in my organization?

okr coach

The Success of an OKR program isn’t accidentally. It requires continuous effort. As an OKR coach who has been working with the OKR cycle for the last 6 years, I’ve implemented successfully the OKR framework in many organizations in different industries.

Here are the key factors, that indicates a successful implementation process in any company:

Executive involvement

Executive leadership often drives the choice to implement OKR framework. This decision is an important initiative and only stands for the start of the OKR program. The organizational implementation is that the responsibility of the OKR Champion, Managers though must be involved to translate the strategy into OKRs, approve quarterly OKRs, and reinforce the importance of progress in meetings and company-wide communications. If the leaders don’t still communicate they care, then nobody else will.

Strong OKR Champion

An OKR champion is that the person tasked with managing the education, rollout and ongoing operations of the OKR program. they’re an indoor OKR expert who must confirm employees understand the framework and implement it into their routine – knowing when to make and update OKRs. The OKR Champion must establish a performance system of accountability that communicates clear expectations, so it’s imperative that they need the right operational experience and right approach to manage this company wide challenges. Does the OKR Champion have previous project management experience? Is he or she organized? Does she or he feels empowered and motivated by OKRs?

Targets-first approach

OKR is about taking the corporate strategies and converting it into real results . The target is to interrupt the established order and grow. so as to try to to this, it’s important that the company has strategic goals to give direction. These objectives then inspire teams and employees to work out how best they will impact the company goals. Within the spirit of cross-functional, collaboration, transparency and alignment objectives are transparent by default, the main target then should get on the company and team goals, rather than private individual performance. Are team goals about pushing the company forward rather than individual development?

Team engagement

Leadership sets the strategic objectives and it’s the responsibility of teams to figure out how they’re going to achieve real results. This creates a way of autonomy and ownership since 50-60% of the objectives are then bottom-up. It then becomes important that teams embrace this role and fully plan to the OKR method. The standard of their objectives and participation matters. Progress is merely possible if teams are willing to find out something new, adapt, and thoughtfully contribute. Are teams taking the time to reflect on the business and draft thoughtful objectives? Are efforts being made to know the OKR framework and language respectively? It’s important that an OKR program starts off right. If the answers to any of those questions is “no,” then there’s a chance to quickly address the weakness. If you don’t create a solid OKR foundation, failure of your OKR program is, unfortunately, inevitable.

Contact our OKR Coach Dirk Schmellenkamp for our effective OKR Certification Programs

#okrcoach #okrs #okr #objectivesandkeyresults

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My Employees must Perform!


‘Because I Pay them!’

This transactional approach to people may need a scent of logic thereto – We pay people reciprocally for his or her performance.

However, my friends, willpower and energy is finite, our team members needs quite money to sustain them. The initial excitement of a new job and the willingness to impress might in some instances boost performance for a while yet more ingredients are needed to secure sustainable performance from our people.

#Secret 1

When focussed effort made to ensure that my team are empowered with the right skills, information and the communication in the business is both clear and uplifting we have made a positive step towards ensuring sustainable performance.

#Secret 2

When employees are empowered, meaning that they’re encouraged to influence and participate in deciding, they’re increasing their competencies and more responsibility is accepted and awarded, they are much more likely to perform at their best.

#Secret 3

When employee rewards aren’t only available but seemed to be fair and private your companies’ performance is probably going to be boosted. Rewards are not only bonuses, sincere verbal praise and other personal rewards are most likely to uplift your team spirit and performance

# Secret 4

When employees are inspired by a shared vision and value system it serves as fuel for increased performance. When employees see the positive impact they’re making collectively on society and knowledge their working environment as a relatives thanks to sharing, understanding and living the same set of values they’re going to be energised towards increased performance.

# Secret 5

Co-create clear goals and KPIs’ with your team members. Co-creation means our team members had a voice and they were not simply told what to do. Co-creation is an effective antidote to blame-shifting.

Clarity brings focus and diminishes the negative spells of doubt, insecurity and misunderstandings. A strong and collective specialise in co-created, clear and prescribed goals and KPIs’ will function a catalyst to amazing growth when combined with the opposite 4 elements of Performance above.

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Maintaining Productivity

Maintaining Productivity

When people know what is expected of them and what their priorities are, they can work steadily towards achieving audacious goals.

What are your primary goals this quarter?

People can be extremely busy and still contribute very little to overall company objectives. Helping your employees be strategic by focusing on higher-impact tasks allows them to contribute to the company’s success in big ways. This question lets you get to the bottom of how effective your internal communications  really are and how aligned people stay when they work from home.

Are there any projects or issues that you are worried about in either the short- or long- term?

For many, worry eats up much of our energy that could be spent more productively. And when you can’t see our employees sitting a few desks over, it might be impossible to recognize the look of concern without asking upfront. Sharing what makes us uneasy or just getting it out of our minds and into a doc frees up that energy to accomplish the things you really want to be focusing on.

Do you foresee any distractions that might keep you from making progress on your goals?

No matter where a person works, there will always be interruptions. And while there may be outside

distractions that can interfere like reading the news or checking social media, there can be plenty of distractions in a work environment as well. Maybe your employees are receiving a mass influx of slack messages throughout the day or even saying yes to meetings that are taking up too much valuable time. Finding out what is stealing the focus of your employees can present an opportunity to help them better manage their time and avoid these distractions in the future.

Do you feel like you have plenty of autonomy? Is there anything you’d like more guidance on?

Until tested, it’s hard to know just how much you can accomplish on your own. Having direct oversight and not enough challenges can sometimes limit our growth because it can feel safe relying on a person with greater experience and expertise. Studies on

employee autonomy have shown that workplaces that embrace it reap a multitude of positive outcomes, such as higher levels of job satisfaction and fewer intentions to quit. Conversely, zero guidance whatsoever can lead to complete failure, followed by a downward spiral of shame and frustration. Finding the right amount of autonomy is key.

 What are you spending time doing that you feel has the greatest and least impact?

We all have to divide our time between tasks that are high impact and those that just have to get done. By analyzing how much time you spend on a project and how high leverage it is, you can start to see the

opportunity cost of our efforts. Asking this question to your remote teams can help them redirect some of their efforts if they aren’t making the best use of time. For example, if your direct report makes $100 per hour and you can outsource some of the more tedious work for a fraction of that cost, do it. That will free up their time to do work that is directly tied to producing more revenue.

Deep Dive Questions

Questions can be a great way to get to dig deeper. Getting to know your remote employees on a more personal level helps you learn what makes them unique.

What part of your role is the most energizing, draining, and purposeful?

Part of being an effective coach for your employees is learning about their unique strengths and abilities. In this three-part question, you can quickly find out what they like and dislike about their role. Asking what parts of their day gives them the most energy helps you understand what’s driving their performance. Learning what your remote employees find difficult or draining can reveal things that might be hindering their growth.

And most importantly, asking what type of work they find most meaningful shares what they’re passionate about.

 As remote employees develop in their own career paths, they will naturally be given tasks that they can be trusted to execute well on, but the kicker here is that they may not particularly find enjoyment in doing those assignments. A manager may never know this without explicitly asking. This question can help you find out what specific practices are truly driving their overall

performance and fueling their motivation so that you can curate more opportunities like them.

What challenges are you facing? What wins—big or small—did you have last week?

At FlowyTeam, we often ask this question because it’s important to find out what’s not working well so we can catch issues before they grow out of hand. But most importantly, this question helps you learn what’s going well. Giving your remote employees a chance to share both big and small wins is an important opportunity for you to recognize their hard work. Each experience of receiving thanks or appreciation brings with it a brief moment of gratitude that will contribute to a sustained sense of positivity.

What’s one project you’d like to focus on for an entire week but don’t have the time to accomplish?

Without asking them outright, your remote employees may not ever share with you any of their ideas they feel could be of value to the company. “While we’re all capable of finding new ways to help our company succeed, we may not put in much effort, or feel welcome to, unless creativity is expressly required,” according

to Gallup. While it may be implausible to think you can put aside an entire week’s worth of work, it’s important to share that creativity is something that is expected of them in their role. This question can help lead to great ideas and breakthrough thinking.

When do you thrive the most—when you collaborate with other team members

or when you have time by yourself?

Not every employee has the personality type that allows them to easily speak up when they have something they’d like to say, but as a manager, it’s your responsibility to help your remote employees feel like they have a voice. If your employee tends to be more introverted they often have a preference for space

to develop their own ideas. Managers can use this question to learn about their employee’s collaboration style and create more cohesive relationships between them and their team.

 What’s one personal goal that you’d feel comfortable sharing that the company can support you in achieving?

Productive employees will often do whatever it takes to get the job done, going above and beyond. Although this can be viewed as a good way to work, it may not be the most optimized route to take. Not every task should be aimed at fulfilling a business objective—in order to grow, employees must also focus on personal development.

PRO TIP Personal and professional goals don’t have to be at odds with one another. It may seem strange for a manager to support a personal goal, but those are the type of experiences that create strong work relationships and deeper

levels of commitment especially among dispersed employees. In fact, when people feel fulfilled in both realms they bring more energy to work, not less.

What skill would you like to develop or improve?

As technology progresses, new pathways for personal development in the workplace begin to take shape.

But remote workers may not be aware of the resources available to them. Asking these questions helps empower your people to adopt a growth mindset and develop alongside the company rather than apart.

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Great Remote Employee Questions

Remote Employee Questions

1-on-1 Boosters

Holding regular weekly 1-on-1s is important for staying closely connected with your remote employees. Here are questions you can use during those uninterrupted times to help you get the most out of every meeting.

How are you feeling, and what’s your energy level?

This one may seem obvious, but when everyone works in the same physical space, managers can easily stop by their employee’s desk and check in with them. Even nonverbals can give insight into how your people are feeling, but it’s not as easy to pick up on these feeling states and energy levels over a slack message or email.

PRO TIP At FlowyTeam, we use the practice of Intentional Energetic Presence, or IEP. This can be easily adapted in daily practices, like at the beginning of meetings, and the goal is to be open and honest about how present you are at that moment. You can share your IEP level using emotion emojis to indicate the energy level of employees and team.

 Are you crystal clear on your role and what you should be working on? If not, what aspects aren’t clear?

Without role clarity, employees will work towards a path they can only assume is correct. Creating a psychologically safe environment begins with a well- defined role because working off of assumptions can quickly turn into misalignment, and when remote employees feel disconnected their development and growth with the company become heavily stifled.

Regularly checking in with your employee by asking how clear they are in their role and current responsibilities can help them define what success looks like for their role so they can continually strive for it.

How am I doing as a manager? Would you mind sharing your feedback?

Similar to providing role clarity, explicitly asking for feedback promotes a deep sense of psychological safety. It not only shows your employees that you care about their opinion, but that you’re helping to create a safe space for them to be open and honest. Having dedicated moments with your remote employees, like regular 1-on-1s gives you the chance to dive deeper and ask for this valuable feedback.

What motivated you to do amazing work this week?

In life and in business, motivation bleeds into everything you do and it helps us choose where to focus in our busy lives. Where you derive motivation is connected to how you expend energy both short- and long-term. Learning more about what drives your people can allow you to better support them in maintaining those levels of engagement.

How is life going outside of work?

Checking in with your direct report on how they’re doing outside of their normal work routine is important for learning who they are outside of working hours.

And because you don’t get the chance to see them face-to-face each day, this gives you the chance to see if anything is impacting their work that you can help support them on. Maybe they’re having a rougher than average week because a family member is in the hospital, or their child is sick at home with the flu. Knowing this information creates the space for more empathy and allows you to be the best coach you can be.

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