The OKR (Objective / Key Result) method, which you can discover by clicking here if it is not familiar to you, is now popular with managers. 
However, the secret when setting OKR goals is not to overshed!

Why do I need to set fewer OKR goals?

Working over too long a period of time is difficult for many employees.

Formalizing a roadmap on a Short, Medium and Long term horizon is much more reassuring and allows you to clarify priorities with your team.

There are 3 behaviours that hinder the achievement of the objectives:

  • Set everything in bulk over a year
  • Giving too many details to the risk of falling into micro-management 
  • Falling into the dilution syndrome

When too many OKR goals are given, after a few months, it can generate a feeling of frustration or even misunderstanding and the work becomes less satisfying for leaders, managers and their teams.

It is sometimes useful to focus more on the next quarter thanks to the FEST approach:

Focus: Focus on what you can achieve

Engaging: validated together

Simple: understood by all

Timé: bounded in time

Here are 3 tips for managers to set motivating and engaging OKR goals

1. Focus on what creates value (Set fewer OKR goals)

The fault of the manager is often to set too many goals.

At first it does not bother anyone but with the passing of time, having dozens of goals generates frustration or even disengagement. The employee is demotivated and the results are diluted.  

2. Determine the cadence as a team.

Mountain to climb representing okr objectives

Climbing Everest should not be judged meter by meter and conversely it should not be judged at the finish at the top either.

We must find the right pace, the one that takes your employees on board and allows everyone to judge concrete progress.

Each manager will be able to, according to the pace and cycles corresponding to his activity, position objectives over the right period, with a horizon neither too short nor too long. 

4 people who work in a team their goals okr

As in an orchestra, it is the tempo that allows each musician to cling to the score. 

Validate with your teammates the timing of each site and respect the time horizon.

Rather than determining an arbitrary measure, encourage your employees to work on a notion of "Milestone". A simple question to get there is to work on the "What". 

Ex: in your opinion for this action, what success will we be able to measure in April? or "in your opinion to achieve this goal, what are the steps and results to achieve it?»

3. Stay focused on a fixed and agile period on a free period

Setting or proposing to an employee to set his OKR over a short period of time (Objectives and Key Results) allows him to know what he should focus his efforts on. Depending on the company and the specifics of the business, this period can be 3 months or less.

Too many goals and too many details generate distraction and dilution in engagement. To avoid falling into too much detail and too much diluted execution, it is useful to set up a shared visual management. 

A simple whiteboard with in the rows, actions and columns the arrival dates makes teamwork transparent and gives information without having to run after.

Encourage your employees to focus on a limited number of goals but they will be able to achieve. 

Today, commitment to work has never been lower. Loss of motivation, global vision, and interest of his daily work for employees. It is in the interest of companies to remedy this, in order to ensure development, by achieving their objectives. An employee who is committed and aligned with the vision of his company will be much more efficient and productive. There are many management strategies, but only management by objective can define clear objectives for employees.

What is goal-specific management?

He was born in the mid-50s by Peter Drucker. It comes from the need of companies to change the aging and demobilizing management system. Goal-by-goal management comes as opposed to task-related management. The latter are not engaging, and offer a lack of autonomy to employees who do not have the objective in mind, but the tasks requested by his manager.

Definition of management by objective

It is the management of a strategy by setting up clear and ambitious objectives in a collaborative manner between employees and their organization in order to establish an action plan to achieve them.

These common goals allow employees to get involved in the company and be more engaged. They can be qualitative or quantitative.

What are the different stages of DFO?

  1. Definition of strategic axes
  2. These strategic axes are transformed into operational objectives
  3. Its objectives are divided into sub-objectives for each directorate
  4. Employees define their goals with their manager
  5. The action plan is defined with the different deadlines to achieve them
  6. For each objective, it is necessary to determine the necessary skills and tools, indicators and measures for effective monitoring.

The objectives must be clear and declinable throughout the company. Peter Drucker developed smart goals. These are concrete actions within a defined period of time.

Temporally defined

They must be ambitious, which motivates the teams and pushes them to surpass themselves.

Management by objective is there to respond to certain managerial difficulties often present.
What is my company’s strategy?

Why do I have to do this?

It doesn’t seem consistent to me

We can never go to the end of our actions, …

This shows that the strategy is misunderstood. Employees no longer know the priorities, these are sometimes considered unachievable, bad timing between the actions of the different departments of the company. We notice that this is a bad communication with a lack of support for the project. Management by objective allows a better exchange between employees and managers that can be done in a participatory way with back and forth to define a common strategy and understood by all.

Goal-based management can very well link with the OKR or OGSMmethod. Indeed, the latter give an important place to the objectives and the transparent strategic vision for the whole company.

Infographic on Management by Objective

The advantages of management by objective

  • Allows to mobilize and empower employees in their actions, especially because they define their objectives.
  • Goal-based management also creates motivation and opportunities. Teams and employees are actors of their strategy through their personal organization to achieve the objectives.
  • Objective-oriented action and not tasks, which makes employees responsible for their work

Goal-specific management acts at several levels.

The manager deploys the strategy in the company in a transparent manner.

The manager reorients his agenda on value-added tasks, restores meaning and values the actions of his employees by assigning individual or collective objectives.

Then the employees have clarified objectives that they have discussed with their superior. They are committed to and contribute to the company’s project.

Visult a solution to digitize its management by objective

It is an agile software allowing with a simple and easy-to-use interface to express your business strategy and share it with everyone.

We find the objectives discussed internally visible on a single page and cascaded in the different services.

VISULT offers a comprehensive dashboard to measure the progress of actions, set the agenda for discussions and decide on new action plans. It is a real collaborative tool to inform and process a subject in real time without multiplying email exchanges.

If you want to know more, discover VISULT or make an appointment for a demo.

It is said, it is a directive that comes from above: "do not give too many objectives (no more than 3) and be SMART!"

Every year it's the same thing: you have to rewrite your roadmap, write everyone's goals and take the time to explain and validate them. Many managers, although trained in the process, often find themselves faced with a difficult exercise. That of setting realistic, motivating, understood and accepted objectives.

Some will tell us:

"Every year it's to be done again and I hate this period."

"I'm going to spend more hours there and they're going to talk."

"A good copy and paste and it passes".

The roadmap at the heart of the commitment

And yet it is not so difficult to realize the difference in motivation between a person who believes in his roadmap and a person who feels aggrieved from the beginning. The exercise is never easy for a manager or an employee. Some methods can help the manager in this process.

Have an understandable roadmap

The company that knows how to define its ambition and stick to it will give the beginning of the keys to performance.

Ambition must be understood by all, simple to read and as his word says "ambitious" without being unrealistic.

It is the driving force behind the construction of the resulting roadmaps. Try to clean a staircase starting from the bottom and you will understand.

Knowing how to write and explain your roadmap becomes essential in the motivation of your team. A manager must be able to explain the project he has for his team and for this must also be able to answer 3 questions:

  • Where are we going? what will we have accomplished in 6 months, in 1 year?
  • What for? for what ambition, what success, what evolution, what improvement?
  • Why are we going to succeed? 

These three questions are rich in meaning and allow us to begin to reflect on the objectives of our collaborators.

Set goals

Collaboration starts here: for an objective to be good, it must necessarily be understood and also acquired. Starting the discussion with his collaborator can be a source of astonishment and enrichment for those who do not already do so.

3 simple questions can engage in dialogue and co-construct objectives:

  • What can be your contribution to the roadmap presented?
  • What level of achievement can be envisaged?
  • How can we maximise our ambition? with what means?

The OGSM method to define its objectives

The OGSM method can help a company clarify a roadmap and develop employee engagement and contributions.

The OGSM method was invented in the 50s. At the end of the war, Japan wanted to become a major player in automobile production.But the country was not adapted and it is the whole economy that needs to be rethought. Schools, training, production methods, communication etc.

In 2021 Japan is the world's leading car manufacturer with more than 25 million vehicles produced and with the level of quality we know.This example shows us how successful cascading and aligning everyone with a shared ambition can be a source of success.

Many companies have followed suit and adopted this method to ensure their sustainability (L'Oréal, Coca Cola, Philip Morris, Dunlop, Essity…). Recently one of our clients who deployed the method replied:

"This is the first time I have seen my managers so motivated to carry out this exercise."

We have developed VISULT to allow a large number of employees to better understand their roadmap,that of their manager and that of the company. To engage and contribute with pride to the company's project.