“I don’t like this! Another unnecessary activity to please the whims and wishes of management. 😮💨”
The above was pretty much how I felt about OKRs when it got introduced. I’ve deeply reflected on the subject and have come up with five reasons why OKRs can feel like your great-grandfather has returned to haunt you.
- Time-consuming and additional work: The process of setting and achieving OKRs can be time-consuming, as it involves regularly reviewing and tracking progress against specific goals. This can be especially challenging for employees who are already stretched thin with their regular duties. In addition, achieving OKRs may require employees to take on additional tasks or projects, which can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and overworked.
- Disconnection from personal goals: Some employees may feel that OKRs are not aligned with their personal goals or objectives, leading to a sense of disconnection from the work they are doing. This can be especially true if OKRs are not clearly communicated or if there is a lack of transparency in the process.
- Culture of overwork and burnout: If OKRs are not implemented properly, they can create a culture of overwork and burnout, as employees may feel pressure to constantly be meeting goals and targets. This can lead to a lack of work-life balance and negative impacts on employee well-being.
- Micromanagement and tracking of employee performance: Some employees may view OKRs as a tool for management to micromanage and track their performance, rather than a way to align their efforts with the overall goals of the organization. This can create a sense of distrust and resentment among employees.
- Lack of transparency: There may be a lack of transparency in the OKR process, leading to confusion and frustration among employees about how their work fits into the bigger picture. This can be especially true if employees do not have a clear understanding of how their OKRs relate to the broader goals of the organization.
Having outlined five solid reasons for the dislike of OKRs, it is important for organizations to carefully consider how to implement OKRs; and to ensure that the process is fair, transparent, and aligned with the needs and goals of both the organization and its employees.
I write from lived experience as both an employee and a manager. My managerial experience has taught to me to listen to the people I am managing and identify their pain with the process. What you want is positive results and not negative results!
You’re welcome to fire your employees as well if you feel you don’t want to listen.
Have you heard of the statement: a happy employee is a productive employee? If you haven’t, read this post.
OKR is in use by many companies around the world and may have been popularized by Google, but it doesn’t mean it is what will work for your team, or for your company.
While OKR can be a useful tool for driving progress and focus within an organization, it is not without its criticisms. Thus, training and support for employees to understand and effectively use OKR may be required, as well as regularly soliciting feedback from employees; it is necessary to ensure that the process is working for them.
Don’t forget to read this post.
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