March 25, 2022
OKRs Are Not About Micromanaging Your Teams
Do you ever want to work for someone who exercises too much control over you? You, of course, don’t want to work under a manager or leader who micromanages you. Some leaders and managers keep telling their teams what they need to do every quarter and often dictate how to do it. You find yourself responsible for deciding on the team’s key results (KRs) so there are no pitfalls, but remember, “micromanagement is often considered mismanagement.” Micromanagement hinders employee productivity and lowers team morale. While objectives and key results boost open, transparent, and frequent communication about what progress matters the most. In a way, OKRs build trust between leaders and their teams.
Goal Setting and Delegation with OKRs
1. Never Prescribe OKRs
Are you a “command and control” leader who creates a to-do list of OKRs? Controlling leaders tend to over-manage, often leaving no breathing room for team members’ input. Prescribing OKRs can be detrimental for your team and damage how the employee embraces the OKR culture. As a manager, set objectives that guide and do not command actions. Leave it to your employees to decide how they want to achieve these objectives. When you allow individuals and teams to set their objectives and key results, they are engaged and motivated to achieve them, leading to a better output. They also know how their efforts contribute to the bigger organizational goals.
2. Meetings are Meant to Track Progress
It is the safest practice to begin your team meeting with a quick OKR check-in. No-judgment accountability is the best policy. “Rhythm” is well-embedded into the OKR framework. Rhythm is the organization’s “Developing a strong cadence of action, communication, and accountability to ensure success.” Regular meetings with teams to coach and support them where required helps a big deal. To further ramp up your organizational success, work to create the right meetings throughout execution, thus creating a steady and robust battle rhythm. If anyone is lagging in the progress where you expect them to be, make plans to help them achieve it and move to the next OKR.
3. Report Progress Often
Know that it’s already too late if you wait till the end of the cycle or quarter to report your progress on OKRs. Goal tracking is as crucial as goal setting. Report progress often to ensure the goals are on track. Unlock:OKR acts as an excellent early detection tool. If your team members lag in their routine tasks or fall behind in their team OKRs, managers can make an early and quick adjustment. Tracking OKRs ensures that everyone is on the right path to achieve their goals on time.
4. Separate Key Results from Work Plans
OKRs are the key 3-5 priorities your team is working on for the cycle. Key Results of OKRs help you measure progress in accomplishing your organization’s ultimate goal(s). Your KRs relate to the set objective, and this objective reflects your company’s high-end goals. OKRs are thus not to-do lists. Separately track activities, tasks, and work not explicitly included in your OKRs.
5. Don’t Set Unrealistic OKRs
As a leader, you can’t expect OKRs to solve every problem arising within your team. OKRs are not a solution rather a framework for goal setting and progress monitoring. OKRs can work effectively only when you set them realistically. You may not get OKRs right the first time.
To learn how to set realistic OKRs, look at these free OKR templates.
What Should You Not Do as Managers?
Have you been micromanaging but are now a recovering micromanager? If yes, it is enough to learn that your team’s goals are formulated and transparent. Go for weekly team check-ins and deeper dives in 1:1 meeting. Fastening control on teams hardly works in the long run and fails to scale. Micromanaging teams and giving directives on what to do and how to do it daily can do more harm than good. It can be overwhelming for the team if their leaders want to track daily activity. Effective OKRs, thus, allow managers to focus on leading, providing direction and checkpoints to their teams. Unlock:OKR is an early warning sign, indicating where more attention is required and which key results should be improved.