Everyone gets a share of the Limelight with OKR (Objectives & Key Results)

Bonuses, increased pay and out of cycle salary increases is often seen as common motivators used by companies to retain their talent. But does this work long term? The answer is “No”.

A new research by Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ashley V. Whillans shows that using cash as a carrot may not always be the best answer. He highlighted this in his 2019 article

Feeling appreciated

As managers we have the responsibility of making every individual in the team feel valued and appreciated for their work. This can be the biggest inspiration to come to work and produce their best work.

As coaches we often come across disgruntled team members who despite their best efforts at doing quality work are frustrated because their boss does not recognize their work. Some who are really talented leave the organization. At the end of the day, the organization stands to lose.

Feeling appreciated makes people feel safe in a way which no pay hike can do. Lack of appreciation does not just impact their productivity at work, it can also be a cause of stress and anxiety leading to health issues.

John Doerr in his book “ Measure What Matters”  talks about how weekly check-in meetings during the OKR cycle are meant to review and celebrate success. Transparency and employee recognition is the key to the OKR journey for any organization. To understand this ,read the article on how Ending the week with a Win with OKR is done at Apartment Therapy.

Conversation and Feedback

“A conversation can make (or break) a relationship. It can spark a new idea, it can be the catalyst for change… This is particularly true when it comes to a feedback conversation.” – Sarah Rozenthuler, Clinical psychologist.

Conversations and feedback in the workplace can make or break relationships, but without them, it is difficult to stay connected with your team members. Having a good or difficult conversation is a skill required for giving or receiving feedback. Many managers ignore this and lack the necessary skills to engage in open dialogue with their team members.

The OKR methodology requires CFR (Conversation, Feedback and Recognition), which is an essential part of the process.  To make OKRs a success, having a conversation with every individual and the team is crucial for the bi-directional feedback. It also provides an opportunity for the managers to mentor the teams.

OKRs methodology is gaining popularity because it promotes Agility and transparency in an organization, which improves individual performance and increases productivity. When the CFR component is completely ignored, the real reason for an OKR initiative to fail in any organization.

Some of our prospective customers of OKR Stars have shared with us on how they have not been able to motivate their staff to adopt OKRs. For any change program to succeed , communication is important . Most change programs fail because the leadership fails to communicate the purpose for the change. Transparency makes organization objective very clear and encourages individuals at all levels to contribute towards them.

According to John Doerr, a key difference between OKRs and traditional management systems, is that OKRs demand that every what and how must align with the very important question: Why are we doing this work?  Such questions encourage dialogue. Company cultures that encourages such questioning  and dialogue , include CFR in their process.

When objectives are clearly defined and widely communicated, everyone understands the purpose of the CEO’s most important goals. This inspires the teams. This is, in essence, the secret sauce to effective execution.

I have personally been a part of many such change programs. While communication, conversation, feedback are key, allowing everyone to get their share of the limelight and giving them time to celebrate their success makes them more involved in the whole process. By shortchanging celebrations, you miss the opportunity to recognize employee hard work and prevent them from taking up audacious goals.

Achieving success in OKR is lot more than setting objectives and tracking key results. It is also about building a culture that involves, reviews and recognizes employee’s hard work.

To know more about our Full OKR Services you might want visit our website

Best Regards,

Vaidyanathan Ramalingam

OKR Consultant, Founder & CEO

OKR Stars™ and Skills2Talent™



Read more: Get started with OKR, Moonshot OKR, Top 4 Performance Management Strategies

4 thoughts on “Everyone gets a share of the Limelight with OKR (Objectives & Key Results)

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  1. Thanks for sharing. Good article. Can you please share me the few okr samples to refer…thanks in advance.


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