How Should One-to-One Meetings be in the Perspective of OKR

You need to work on your OKRs, which is a next-generation performance management method, regularly to successfully integrate them into your organizational operations. Discussing them, measuring their progress, and learning the up-to-date OKR ideas of your teams in various periods will provide significant benefits. The main purpose of these mid-term assessments, which we call check-in, is exactly this! As you can hold check-in meetings in quarters of the year, you can also hold short check-in meetings on a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis. 

Why are one-to-one meetings important?

Let’s assume that you hold frequent check-in meetings that take about 15-20 minutes. In these meetings, you can witness the progression of your team OKRs, review the results, and set new priorities for your OKRs in the next term by learning from various results. 
You may have set your objectives recently or you may already be checking the status of OKRs frequently in the digital environment. However, there is still a need for check-in meetings. Check-in meetings help you to align the objectives and focus employees on the objectives. These were our OKRs, we are at this point right now, well, what is our next plan? Here, you will be sure of the answer to this question.

One-to-one meeting preparations

If you are the team leader, review each of the team objectives and make sure you know the latest developments in key results. Such a review will provide you with various insights. Let us provide some examples: You may check whether the priority plan developed in the previous check-in meeting has been followed or not. You will decide whether you are satisfied with the current progress reached in your team OKRs. If you have delayed OKRs, you may think of their causes and prepare some suggestions to present them to the team. These elements will be decisive especially when determining your new priority list. We recommend everyone to take notes to discuss in the meeting. Also, if there will be any organizational change in your company that will affect your team goals, according to its importance, you can mention it briefly at the check-in meeting to discuss it in detail in the future. 

If you are an employee, you can think of whether there is an important note you would like to talk about the recent status of your OKRs. If there is any OKR that causes a problem for you, check-in meetings are the best platforms to discuss and assess these. You may also want to complete an OKR just because it was successful, in this case, you can inform your team leader to complete the objective. You can review what you have learned during the process. If you have a new OKR idea, you can make a pre-preparation to express why it is important. If you believe that you need to gain a new competence, you can offer solutions with its reasons.

How to moderate an OKR one meeting?

You did your preparation as a team manager, but the moderation of your check-in meeting is as important as your preparation. Let’s check what you can pay attention to:
Determine the general framework and time for the topics in advance. If you often hold check-in meetings, on average, 15-20 minutes will be enough. After you make sure that you have covered every important topic, if you believe your team lost their focus or discussed too many details, you can end the meeting. If necessary, you can hold another short meeting with the relevant people to discuss the other topics.

Take notes or assign someone to take notes. Thus, you will be sure that no great idea or learned lesson will be missed. It will be beneficial for everyone to remember these notes before the next meeting.

Do not do all the talking. Due to their nature, check-in meetings are far from being one-sided. Make sure that every member expresses his or her opinion. A different point of view and experiences can have a completely different influence on assessment meetings and the course of the OKRs.

Notice those who are not satisfied with their OKRs. If you notice an employee who is having problems with his OKRs or not paying enough attention, talk about the underlying cause of this problem during or after the check-in meeting. Make sure that the conversation will be constructive and does not hurt the self-confidence of the other party.

Encourage your team. If you are sharing new priorities for the new period, there may be employees in the team feeling they are pushing the boundaries of their comfort zone. Encourage them to be creative. You are the only one that should know your team best, if you do not know what will make them inspired, you may have to work on this problem.

Make sure that the questions are answered transparently for everyone at the end of the one-to-one meeting:

There are many checkpoints that can make you feel more confident that the check-in meeting was efficient. You can assess the situation by providing answers to the following questions.

  • Are objectives being followed?
  • Are there any OKRs getting worse among the delayed OKRs?
  • What is our most successful characteristic?
  • What did we learn since the last check-in period?
  • Which team members play what roles?
  • Is the OKR awareness high in the team?
  • Is there any new path emerging regarding the objectives?
  • How are soft competencies?
  • Is everyone’s success definition still common?
  • Did employees note that the check-in process was efficient?
  • Does everyone perceive the team as successful? 

If you are new in OKR…

Of course, switching to a new system requires a period of getting used to it. If you are new to the OKR method and your key results are numerically behind your objectives, you should focus on what you have learned instead of letting numbers demotivate you. Of course, we all strive to achieve those results, and this is why we have determined our OKRs but there will be trial and error processes during the integration. It is all up to you to try OKR and turn it into a learning practice to recognize OKR as a culture. In addition to the above-mentioned questions, what about assessing the following questions?

  • Which hypotheses came true, which are the ones we were wrong?
  • What were the reasons why we made such a hypothesis?
  • Could any of our prejudices have played a role in delaying the objective? 
  • If yes, how can we prevent it?
  • Can you talk about a huge luck factor in the success of any of our results?
  • Did we enjoy working towards these objectives and key results?
  • Is there any objective that we have less control over than we thought?

Discussing such questions together will improve your OKR competency and create an investment in your future success.

Enjoy maximum efficiency from your one-to-one meeting with an OKR coach!

As Twiser, we will be glad to offer you guidance on your adaptation to the OKR method and your mid-term assessment meetings. We are ready to develop special solutions for your company with our OKR coaches and advisors by examining your performance management and goals. You can contact us right now to request a demo.