How to Successfully Establish OKRs When Working Remotely

Updated: Sep 16

Since the start of the coronavirus lockdowns, most of the world has adopted remote working for their organisations. Nearly all jobs that require work on a computer have approved work-from-home schemes, which has brought new trials to businesses everywhere.


Communicating with a distributed workforce is a challenge, but it is not impossible. You can achieve your objectives and key results even if you have team members in different time zones. To begin, you need to start doing these four things.

Take stock of what you had previously

Reflecting on your previous goals is essential when setting OKRs. Let your team gauge its effectiveness; ask the members what their goals were and how close they were to achieving these in the previous quarter.


You could also frame your planning session in terms of your team's response to the pandemic. Ask them how COVID-19 affected your results, and what challenges the group met last time. Finally, ask them if there are practices from the previous period that they can bring into the next.


Schedule meetings between managers and subordinates


Encourage managers to schedule virtual meetings with their direct reports. Establishing OKRs can be confusing, especially if there are new people on the team, so get everyone on the same page with a session dedicated to brainstorming goals for the next quarter.


OKRs provide transparency and direction. Having a meeting just for your objectives ensures that your team has measurable goals that align with the company's mission. If your employees do not understand why they must do something, it can stagnate and lose productivity.

Have weekly updates with the team


Remote working has its perks, but it also has disadvantages. You will find it difficult to adjust to the lack of clear guidelines for ensuring accountability in your team. Have about five minutes per week dedicated to reviewing your plans. 

Ask questions like "are we on track?" and "what will you commit to next week to see progress in your OKR?" Doing this will make it easy to develop concrete actions for the next week. Analysing your progress in this way should be the standard for all levels in the company and promotes organisational alignment.

Have leaders reflect on OKRs at all-hands meetings

Include objectives updates in your weekly or fortnightly company-wide meetings. This should include rough statistics of the number of people updating their objectives, and those who are not.

Remember that this should not be a tool to shame anyone. Instead, it should remind everyone to be continuously aligned with company-wide objectives and be conscious that they are always working toward these. Doing this also helps people see their goals together with the company's overarching mission.


Conclusion


Establishing goals even if you are not in a single space is all about communication. It might be overwhelming to set up a framework for goals when you are working remotely. If you are successful with it, though, it gives your team an edge over others. Goals like these help you direct your efforts, produce systematic results, and grow your business.

Develop a winning team and grow into your goals by consulting with SKILLFIRE. We specialise in strategic agility, working with businesses in Melbourne and Sydney looking to create high-impact teams within their company.


Reach out to us today and learn how you can achieve the incredible!

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