In our article “Benefits of using OKR methodology” we have explained the advantages of OKRs for companies. The basis of OKR methodology can be easily understood, but it can be more meaningful and effective when you have a deeper and broader understanding of the underlying philosophy. Therefore, for companies that will get familiar with OKR system for the first time, the transition to the next generation performance management with OKR means a serious cultural transformation.
Having someone who will guide you to the ideal performance management solutions for your organization in OKR applications and approaches that your company will experience for the first time, and who will make it easier for you to get used to this method by training your employees at all levels, will enable you to progress faster on your journey to success. We call such people OKR coaches, and the scope of all the services they provide is OKR coaching.
What qualities should your OKR coach have?
So, you realize that you need an OKR coach, but don’t know how to find such a professional. Here are the key qualities that OKR coaches should have:
First of all, they should learn about current culture and dynamics of the company
When integrating OKR methodology, each company needs to take different steps. Therefore, only an OKR coach who analyzes the needs of an organization and employees can build the right integration. For this, OKR coaches must have detailed information about current company culture. They can ask questions to identify the obstacles that your organization faces on the way to success, evaluate the existing data on employee commitment and employee motivation, and try to understand the level of interaction between a manager and employees or just among employees. At this stage, an OKR coach has many ways to interact and many questions to ask. We can say that the person who finds the answers to the question of what things should change together with members of a company and puts them into practice is an OKR coach.
They should be patient, detail and communication-oriented educators in both theory and practice
An OKR coach plays a critical role in ensuring that all employees write OKRs that best fit their abilities and job descriptions, and that will contribute to each other and to the main goals of the company. However, before proceeding with OKR writing, a coach must first make sure that the Objectives and Key Results methodology is properly understood. The better a coach explains how both employees and managers will achieve effective results using this methodology, the better team members will understand what they are supposed do and why. They will perceive themselves as a part of the big picture by seeing that the OKR system is a set of applications increasing the value of employees. Therefore, the first step towards increasing transparency, setting and aligning the right objectives and ultimately increasing efficiency is OKR trainings tailored to the needs of companies. At this stage, coaches can benefit from exemplary OKRs and success stories by following various industries. They can talk about basic mistakes which should not be made while setting goals or moving towards them.
A coach can also train someone in-house to be an OKR ambassador. OKR ambassadors, who have gained a sufficient level of knowledge and skillset in terms of methodology, can help grow OKR experts within a company while an OKR coach continues to provide support from outside the company. Thus, the performance management system is better supported, a company becomes more agile, and the overall success reinforces.
They should be well-aware of the company goals and whether these goals are aligned
You should work with an OKR coach who is familiar with a company’s current strategies and is aware of the satisfaction level of both managers and employees with these strategies. However, an OKR coach who has reviewed your current position against your organization’s vision, alignment of goals and current success criteria can be of great benefit. It is extremely necessary for an OKR coach, who will meet with managers first, to ask what they think about current goals, to discuss the alignment of individual and team goals with the main objectives of a company, for improvements.
They should be direction indicators in defining the right goals instead of setting those goals themselves
An OKR coach is not a person who determines the objectives. While employees set their own goals, a coach observes whether they understand the methodology and their success in putting them into practice and guides them with OKR know-how.
It should be noted that OKR methodology goes far beyond performance evaluation
The employees of a company may be at a level that is currently considered successful in terms of performance evaluations, but there are many things OKR coaches can do in such a situation. The OKR coaching service, which will both motivate employees and guide them to perform better by making them leave their comfort zones, should include coaches who constantly think about contributions that can be made for the future, discover new growth paths for a company and point them out.
They should be people-oriented
OKR is by nature a people-oriented approach. OKR coaches should also be those who can provide critical employee-based support, as they will meet with employees after managers. A coach needs to take action by clarifying how employees feel about the transition to OKR system, what aspects they have difficulty with in getting used to the new methodology, what are the main factors that confuse them while determining their OKRs. Since OKR methodology is not a self-working system once the OKRs are determined, it is not possible to be successful if the employees are not fruitfully adapted. Likewise, we can say that it works the same way for managers. An OKR coach also monitors managers’ use of the methodology, and if there are situations that prevent the active use of OKR, they take action to identify and resolve them.
They must manage the feedback process in a proper way
The role of feedback and feedforward concepts cannot be overemphasized in new generation performance systems. Therefore, the adoption of the feedback culture by a company is an important task of a coach in the implementation of people-oriented performance management. OKR coaching provides support for the proper implementation of check-in processes, where new goals are determined by considering where you are on the journey to success, how many of the goals set at the beginning of the quarter have been achieved, and what revisions are required. In addition, when a certain OKR project is completed, the coaches, who prepare recommendations for companies by determining how the process goes, will bring multiple benefits to your organization.
Twiser is with you on your journey to success!
Twiser’s 360-degree OKR coaching solutions will create rapid growth of your organization. Our OKR coaching service, which determines the new vision of your company together with you and establishes your own OKR system, will transform your performance management system with a completely different approach, practice, and dialogue.
Contact us so that we can achieve your goals together with impressive results.