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Written by Pete Wilkinson

Last updated 10 June 2022 ·

Deliver great results with OKR coaching for teams

As a leader or manager, you might wonder how to get your teams to achieve goals with OKRs, Objectives and Key Results. It’s easy to fall into micromanaging your team, but that’s not what we’re trying to do here! Try effective OKR coaching for teams by avoiding common pitfalls and letting your team discover solutions independently. Here are the most effective ways to make it happen.

Set it up properly

Achieving goals involves aligning people around something bigger than themselves; it requires cooperation and commitment from everyone involved. When laying the foundations for your coaching approach, start with the following three steps: defining what’s important, setting team objectives and creating a plan. Only after these things are in place should you start holding regular OKR meetings. Set the structure for how your team should plan out their OKRs for the best results; we love the award-winning 1-3-5® planning process. It proved highly successful in helping businesses plan their strategy and execute faster.

Provide objectives

OKRs should ideally be set at the business level by the CEO or MD and then cascade out to all teams, providing the strategic focus for the entire company. The best business-level OKRs are concise and generally cover several aspects of a company’s performance, such as revenue, market share, user adoption, etc. Therefore, as these top-level OKRs filter down, each team can then adapt these objectives according to their specialism and create the key results necessary to achieve those objectives.

Evaluate progress

OKRs shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve. The ideal is to make them challenging but realistic and achievable to gauge where you are in terms of your results. A significant element of coaching teams is encouraging them to identify their achievements and challenge their thinking. Check in every week or two to discuss the progress being made towards OKRs – how each team member feels about their progress and any problems they might have so you can get to work resolving those immediately. A significant element of coaching teams is encouraging them to identify their achievements and challenge their thinking.

Adjust as necessary

If progress is falling behind, you need to make adjustments. If you don’t course-correct at this point, your team will fall behind its goals and fail to deliver results. Have a regular cadence of meetings where your team addresses obstacles and makes changes accordingly. Understanding the common reasons why OKRs sometimes fail may be helpful to know.

Keep consistent engagement

In your OKR coaching team sessions, it’s essential to keep your team members involved and engaged. Always keep your sessions quick and relevant to ensure you’re doing that. It can be hard sometimes, but a rule of thumb is to try not to go over 15 minutes without pausing to gauge interest and listen to questions. If disengaged, they won’t learn from it or benefit from their time spent with you.

Report your team performance

One of the main benefits of OKRs is the amount of visibility and transparency they create at all levels. Leaders can see at a glance how each team is performing in their business and know if they are on target to achieve their vision or not. Managers can reflect on team performance regularly and easily, making things like recognition and reward more achievable. Teams should celebrate success and reflect on any losses before creating a plan to recover those.

Appointing an OKR Champion can be a good idea if you have large teams. For more help and guidance on OKRs, please get in touch with us at hello@reclaro.com.

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