As leaders we’re expected to motivate our teams to achieve consistent results, seek excellence and achieve company goals; whether it be revenue, employee retention, or customer satisfaction. This can be a huge challenge. At Pipefy, we use the OKR methodology to develop our leaders to guide the growth of our company.
John Doerr, author of the book Measure What Matters and OKR Methodology guru, believes corporate leaders must also be mentors in order to drive execution and achieve company goals/growth. He took the OKR concept to companies like Google and Intel and found every company needs the right people, reasons, and goals. But, none of that matters if you don’t have exemplary execution.
What is an OKR?
OKR stands for the sum of objectives and key results. Objectives meaning the direction the company wants to take. According to the methodology, goals must be significant, inspirational, concrete, and action-oriented. The key results, on the other hand, express what was (or wasn’t) done and must have a well-defined limit, such as time. They are aggressive but realistic; measurable and verifiable.
OKRs are essential to show the entire company how growth can be achieved.
The objective corresponds to “what”; the key results correspond to “how”; but the most important thing is “why”, since it conveys the purpose behind the objectives. (A true and good “why” will delight, inspire, and align employees and investors with the company’s strategy.)
How can I put the OKR methodology into practice?
To apply the OKR methodology, it is very important that your team has a well-defined direction and knows why they are performing a certain task. The way teams build a growth mindset is by understanding the reason behind their tasks and goals.
It’s crucial to involve the team and not just the leader, as he acts much more as a mediator of the discussion. The main goal is to listen to those who are involved in daily operations to understand their challenges, ideas, and objectives. At this stage, it is important to have evidence of what will be discussed and proposed in the short, medium, and long terms, so that the strategy is clear and there’s no guessing.
After defining the OKRs, your next step is to ask “how can the team achieve what has been defined and what is the role of the leader in this process?”. Here are some suggestions to come to a conclusion:
- Daily half-hour meeting to talk about the actions being taken and their progress;
- Weekly meeting to analyze the bottlenecks of the department’s funnel and understand what is helping and what is hurting the team to reach the expected results;
- Monthly meeting to review all results, strengths, obstacles and set expectations for the next month;
- Monitoring of metrics. It is good to have a blank board; so that people can write down how the actions are going and what is missing to reach goals.
Here are some recommendations to keep your teams motivated:
- Celebrate each achievement (from small things to great ones): it can happen through a virtual happy hour or an acknowledgment during a meeting with the whole company. The important thing is not to let this victory go unrecognized;
- Congratulate each of the team members for their achievements and recognize them in front of each other;
- Take time to understand the motivating factors of each person on the team, so you can help them achieve their professional goals;
- Lead by example and inspiration. Adopt a hands-on attitude to help the team.
Simply having well-defined goals is not enough. Success comes from having a team that believes in the goals the company has set and leaders who can help achieve them. Let the team at Pipefy help you organize your journey to success!
* written by Marina Agranionih, HoneyBadger from the Curitiba office, People team, and responsible for the Pipefy Culture team.