OKRs – Google-story

Google Ventures Startup Lab | GV partner Rick Klau covers the value of setting objectives and key results (OKRs) and how this has been done at Google since 1999. Understand the key attributes of effective OKRs and how to apply them in your own organization.

Why CXOs Choose OKRs?

The OKRs methodology is appealing to many CEOs because it is one of the few that encapsulates the organization both top-down and bottom-up. Unlike traditional goal setting methodologies, the company vision and long-term strategies are being converted into quarterly objectives with clear key results. The key results are then assigned to your management team and eventually to each team member.

OKRs and CFR (Conversations, Feedback and Recognition) together provide a clear path to setting and achieving the most inspired to the most trivial goals businesses and teams pursue.


 “Our mission is to galvanize leaders to set and achieve audacious goals—through inspiration, education, and application

John Doerr

John Doerr

Co-Founder & Publisher, © What Matters

Ref. Measure What Matters, World’s 1st & #1 Book on OKRs



  • Publicly available to the entire company.
  • Not directly related to performance evaluation.
  • Set, reviewed, and revised quarterly (and annually).
  • Need to be supported by leadership, (simple) tools, and (lightweight) process.
  • Speaker recommends simple, open-source tools such as Wikis, Google Docs, etc.


  • May or may not be measurable but must be strategic (ex: accelerate revenue growth).
  • Must link to (i) the OKRs at the next level up (ii) what the individual wants to work on .
  • Top 5 objectives
  • Mostly (60%) set by the individual .
  • Objective score is the straight, equal weighted average of the key results grades (avoid weighting).

Key results:

  • Must be measurable (ex: launch a new product or feature; achieve win rate of x%).
  • Should be a little uncomfortable so that you are always striving. 
  • Self-graded quarterly (they should average 0.6 or 0.7 so there is room for improvement; 0.4 or below is bad, but a learning management system will help to improve).
  • Limited to 4 key results per objective.

Top 4 SMART Development Plans Needed For Performance Management System Of Your Workforce

Employee career development
Top 4 SMART development plans in Performance Management

Need for Individual Development Plan during Performance Appraisals:

SMART development plans help you identify and develop the best talent required to improve your organizational strength and achieve today’s business goals with visibility and succession planning capabilities to support the future growth.

SMART development plan stands for:

S: Significant, Specific, Stretching
M: Measurable, Meaningful, Motivational
A: Achievable, Attainable, Agreed Upon, Action-driven
R: Relevant, Realistic, Results-oriented, Rewarding
T: Time-bound, Timely, Trackable, Tangible
With SMART development plans, you can increase employee engagement, foster professional growth, and development, and maximize career opportunities for top talent.

Different SMART development plans that should be assigned to your employees :

IDP (Individual Development Plan):

  • Reduces organizational risk: Identifies and addresses current and potential talent gaps to reduce the risk of poor business execution.
  • Ensures talent continuity: Develops and maintains a continuous supply of internal talent to fulfill critical job profiles and roles throughout your organization.

CDP (Career Development Plan) :

  • Optimizes career development in your organization: Enhances career development opportunities by mentoring programs linked to business strategies.
  • Increases employee engagement: Empowers employees to reach their full potential, advance their careers, and accelerate their learning with targeted development plans.

PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) :

  • Assigns the performance improvement plans: to improve employees’ contributions and engagement, business commitments, and expected results.

SDP (Succession Development Plan) :

  • Maximizes organic growth: Creates & tracks strategic succession planning processes that reach deep into the organization, align with business needs and drive better business outcomes.
  • Leverages workforce: Analyzes your organizational talent supply and talent demand so that you can make better decisions.

To achieve hike in your business growth with these development plans, reach to the software solution provided by skills2talent.com as a Talent Management Software integrated with open source IT to make it more cost-effective and request for an online demo to know more about Smart development Plans in Performance Management for an Organization.

6 Benefits of a Chatbot in Talent Management 2019

Research has proved that HR and recruiting chatbots are capable of minimizing the business costs heavily. As chatbots are already in use with the corporate, let us find out how chatbots can potentially help with Talent Management in more creative and smart ways.
• Impartial behavior: A bot always starts from a neutral and unbiased point as it doesn’t acquire preconceived opinion, it can be proved very much helpful in performing a cognitive interview for recruiting.
• Agile enough: Chatbots can be employed via SMS, emails, applications used for messaging and through websites also.
• Simultaneous engagement: with any no. of applicants, interviewing them as per the job role/profile requirements and responding to the interviewee questions as well. They can also be used to gain on-demand and real-time feedback for processes such as onboarding, offer management and induction training.
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• Promoting your employer brand: by differentiating themselves and maintaining their repo through advancement, originality, and responsiveness in their talks while interacting with the candidates during the course of recruiting and onboarding. Thus, a chatbot indirectly displays their company’s values and mission to the candidates.
• Help with scheduling: Chatbots can be used as an option to schedule interviews, talks and vacation time for the employees, instead of logging the information into their HR software or sending multiple messages/emails to HR people.
• Performance Management: Chatbots are designed and developed to accurately evaluate the performance of an employee based on employee skills, education, demography, manager ratings, years of experience, years associated with a company, employee engagement details, past performance, continuous performance conversations, 360 degree feedback and matrix reviews etc. along with social & personal profile(dob, gender, hobbies, time management, punctuality, leave records etc), combined with historical trends & deep insights of talent management KRAs. These exact predictions can drive the smart strategies and established a strong connection among recruiting, performance, learning, and engagement on top of core HR layer, which cannot be possible with an excel sheet or simple automation tools.
Confused about selecting a chatbot which can help you to meet the objectives of human resource management of your organization? Then go to skills2talent.com to learn about HIRA-chatbot which is implemented using customized talent management software services, in-application AI data and on-demand and predictive analysis using natural language processing algorithms and deliver the best digital-self-service.


Talent Management Software – Need & Advantages

Traditional HRMS vs Talent Management Software

HRMS is traditional, more administrative and mainly deals with salary, vacations, time management, incentives and complaints of employees whereas Talent Management is not only a process of attracting  & hiring skillful candidates but it also includes retention and development of its great performers.

Talent Management – Need & Advantages :

Talent Management is a process of transformation of skills to unbeaten talents by recognizing & motivating the skills & potential and therefore we called the whole journey as Skills2Talent (skills2talent.com). Here are 6 benefits of Talent Management Software which are going to revolutionize Talent Management of your organization and reform it into a strategic move.

  • Core Human Resources: You can maintain your organization data by keeping it in the cloud, manage competencies & HR framework, maintain employee central, manage resignations & retention and plan & track SMART plans also.
  • Recruiting & Offer Management: Consists of building talent pipelines, attract skillful candidates, application tracking, quick identification of target profiles, the hiring of top talents and effective onboarding with fitment and offer framework as well.
  • Performance & Succession Management: To manage & evaluate the performance of employees accurately it enables goal planning, assessment tools like 9 box grid & 360-degree feedback and extensive analysis through consolidated & overall performance reports for specific performance review cycle.
  • Compensation Management: In order to align compensation programs with your business you need to allocate budgets to support the strategies through budget planning & appreciate the contributions of employees in terms of monetary incentives.
  • Learning & Development: For motivation & development of best-performing employees, you need to map the roles, skills & proficiency, identify the learning gaps and provide self-learning through e-learning & instructor-led training, online quizzes & certification in the respective domains and follow a culture of knowledge sharing as well.
  • Business IT Application: Through the integration of your business IT on the cloud you can manage assets, documents, communication, content & tracking of utilization of resources, provide internal support to your customers with the help desk. Apart from that, you can also focus on employee engagement and HR & talent analysis.
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Planning for not only recruiting best employees but also wants to retain, maintain and cherish your productive and high performing workforce? Go for the integration of above 6 benefits at one place with the help of open source IT to make it more cost-effective by skills2talent.com and request for an online demo to know more about how these 6 strategies are technologically combined to help you bring best and smart talent into your organization, acknowledge their existing potential and to develop them further to keep hold of engaged and unparalleled employees.

4 Must Have Features For Effective Performance Management Software

Performance Management & Evaluation

Performance Management & Evaluation is not only an indispensable but also an artful exercise which indirectly propels the success and prosperity of an organization. As every business needs to retain its experienced & talented workforce, enhance employee engagement, maintain a friendly corporate culture & last but not the least renovate and improve its employees’ skills, an effective Performance Management Software can be proved as a masterstroke in achieving all these requirements simultaneously in a smart way, if it is assembled with these 4 features:

  • Strategy development tools: can be used to ensure that the tasks assigned to employees are directly/indirectly aligned with goals and objectives of the organization. They enable development & management of goal plans, goal library, performance review cycle, the configuration of section types (like objectives, core values, behavior, job competencies etc), content sections, weights & eligibility group mappings, the configuration of bell curve distribution graphs etc.
  • Monitoring which provides transparency: An effective Performance Management Software must have a feature of getting a transparent look at each employee’s performance with the help of reports about the status of different goals & their weights for a specific performance cycle, core value reports, job competency reports, behavior competency reports for a specific performance cycle, reporting manager wise appraisal and overall performance reports etc.
  • Assessment tools: like 9 box grid provides an insight of multiple dimensions like performance vs. potential, objectives vs. behavior, attrition risk vs. loss of attrition etc to accurately measure the performance of each & every employee. On the other hand designing, distribution, collection, and analysis of 360-degree feedback form not only speed up the process of performance evaluation but also provide you an opportunity to focus on different and multiple perspectives.
  • Thorough analysis: With consolidated performance reports over multiple cycles (quarterly, half-yearly, yearly, multiple years) you can focus over the overall average score for an employee whereas with a feature of deep analysis you can have a view of content sections and their weights for a specific performance review cycle. You will also get recognition of stage-wise pending count for different stages like self-assessment, manager’s assessment, skip level approval, one to one meeting, employee acknowledgment and final stage for a specific performance review cycle.

Confused about selecting and investing in an effective Performance Management Software? Get a solution with Performance and Succession Management software module provided by skills2talent.com  and sign up for the free trial to get a deep understanding about how these four features are incorporated in one software module with the help of open source IT to provide an immense hike in your business growth.

“Customisable” Stages of L&D (Learning and Development) and Industry best practices for an Org.

Here is our updated version 2.o (based on our previous article version 1.0 can be found below).


Dear fellow readers & experts,

I would like to personally thank and appreciate for your valuable views, comments, feedback and suggestions for my earlier post (ver. 1.0) on “8 stages of Learning and Development (L&D)”.

The vibrant L&D, HR, Talent management, OD, Leadership coaches through LinkedIn community/groups contributed several pointers. Naturally, I had an opportunity to improve and enhance as “ver 2.o” article. I am happy to share this with you all again.

But this time I would like to call this article as  “Customizable” stages of L&D (learning and Development) and industry best practices for an Org. From the technology standpoint to a larger extent the implementation of these stages can be managed to bring in the configuration by software design. The missing things (or) so-called cannot be automated (for sure) needs consulting approach with experts filling the gap.

Although one model does not fit for all org, hope this customizable L&D stages will be used with flexible options combined with experience based real-time best practices shared by L&D practitioners and experts.

Besides, for a solution to human capital, the human element is a must! Having said that the L&D consultant as a strategist naturally to start with a need analysis. Because, “What” part is difficult to arrive then “How” part, I feel.

Further study, research combined with the key pointers/practices suggested became drivers for ver 2.0;

  • Culture It is not just the skills & competencies but culture is a critical part. The culture can be knowledge, belief, morals, law, custom, capabilities, habits, social domain etc. It could even be an agility (from OD or transformation standpoint). In merger & acquisitions culture alignment between both Organisations are always given high priorities by CXOs to make its intent success!
  • Skill matrix is added in the 2nd stage.
  • Emotional Intelligence (or emotional quotient) and Intelligence quotient in the 2nd stage as more scope is added for assessments based on needs. Again it is a very big subject by itself and has the long legacy.
  • 70:20:10 Learning model. The 3Es here are 70% Experiential L&D, 20% Exposure by social L&D and 10% through Education (formal) L&D.
  • Learning Management System seems to be not favored by many for various reasons (need deeper analysis).
  • Overall face to face / blended as structured training programs are suggested in replies to my post as against the e-Learning. Of course one need not debate here as you decide what is best and you know which works for you (based on org requirements, suitability for millennials or job function or given budget etc).
  • Recognition badges based on the credentials as an outcome of online test/quiz etc. It is also essential to link these with the employee’s profile and performance data. Especially in 9 Box grids in performance management when we plot performance Vs potential this linking will help in connecting dots.
  • In Skills2Talent (our cloud software platform for integrated talent management – Hire to ROI) we did a decent job of showing 3 different dimensions in 9 Box grids, such as 1) performance vs potential, 2) objectives Vs behavioral and 3) attrition risk Vs loss of attrition. Of course, it is subjective (by managers) and I could see more improvement scope here in our future cloud software versions.
  • In the next stage, the Leadership Coaching is additionally introduced. In the organization pyramid more is the top the seniority is higher and a simple approach won’t work. Thereby the coaches come into action. For leadership coaching & grooming the consultants typically adopt 1-on-1 approach (i.e., mid to top management). So one pill will not cure all disease. So, the consultant would choose how he/she wants to strategize and implement considering org needs & dynamics.
  • Many responses came to this last stage – ROI (Return on Investments). Is it just a math, oh no. Some expert suggested let’s call this as ROE (return on expectation). At the end of this yearly initiative/exercise we need to use L&D analytics (again what data is the key). Sometimes the number alone can not speak. It is recommended to visualize what needs to be measured at the beginning itself. As the time goes based on the realities a new set of trends and metrics can be introduced. The management typically looks at L&D metrics as (a) effort based or (b) result based or (a+b) both!!!

Once again thank you all for sharing your practical & rich experiences. Thus a broader idea from this framework hopefully be beneficial for all and help to enhance further.

If you have any feedback, suggestions, questions please feel free to post here. I am happy to assist/respond to you. Also can plan for  another updated article ver 3.0

This article was first published in our blog Skills2Talent


Vaidyanathan Ramalingam |  vaidya@usrinfotech.com  |  skills2talent.com


Skills2Talent L&D Stages

What are the stages of L&D?

Going with typical corporate set-up or anSME the following stages are very common in Learning and Development.

  1. Role-based competency mapping: In this first step, the L&D specialist needs to list out the skills and competencies, roles and definition of proficiency levels. Based on these data the mapping to be done to create an Org. level competency framework. Basically, it means mapping each role and required skills/competencies to their required proficiency levels. The proficiency levels can be an entry, basic, specialist, master, an expert. The same can be applied (used) during the recruiting process, job confirmation, promotion time, role or job changes in addition to training and L&D requirements.
  2. Skill Assessments, Learning need analysis: After the competency mapping exercise, the next step is to identify the skill/competencies gaps. There are multiple ways to find the role-based gaps as against the competency framework defined. The skill gaps can be found using simple questions, self-assessments, supervisor assessments, SME (subject matter expert) assessments etc. The outcome of this stage is assigning the development plans based on role(s) of an individual against his/her job function. The consolidated skill gaps (actual Vs target) list becomes the basis for learning need analysis which is the primary input for the L&D budget for a financial year.
  3. SMART development plans: Individual development plans to be  Simple, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related. It is suggested to have 3 to 5 IDPs with short (1 to 3 months), medium (3 to 6 months) and long-term (>12 months) timelines. Company-specific SMART IDP libraries can help in assigning to help the talents grow in the organization. Thus based on the business dynamics, change in job demands, technologies and competitive landscape one (employee) could always be on top of the skills/competencies.
  4. Self-e-Learning courses in LMS: After the competency mapping, skill gaps and IDPs the next stage is to assign and track the target learning to the workforce. Going with the modern trends the self & continuous learning is getting more popular as against the instructor lead Face to Face (F2F) training programs. With the technology aid, the e-Learning is possible at any time, anywhere and using any internet enabled devices. The successful learning can also end up with a certification process to honor for the qualification.
  5. Structured programs via F2F training delivery training management system: In certain cases, the F2F training is unavoidable as the electronic mode of learning has few drawbacks. When an expert delivers the training along with the e-Learning content via LMS (Learning Management System) gives the best results while combining with seminars/collaborative study/workshops or gamification with an interactive approach. An intuitive training management system (TMS) can automate this process including pre and post-training assessments followed with online test and certification.
  6. Online test and certification: Although the learning effectiveness is not necessary to be only measured by online test and certification, this approach is widely followed in the entry-level workforce. The applying skills happen by various practical scenarios when the trained staff experience or get a chance to showcase the skills/competencies to apply their abilities.
  7. Knowledge sharing: This stage helps in retaining the knowledge & related assets using various process, tools, and methodologies. To spread the knowledge via an electronic platform or workgroup approach helps to exchange ideas, share their lessons learned, best practices, white papers, research thesis or even customer experiences. The best way to promote knowledge is through knowledge champions and encouraging internal networking & collaboration.
  8. ROI: Return on investment is the most critical metrics or the expectation by the management. The most popular 5 level evaluation concept developed by Dr. Jack Philip, ROI Institute, USA is worth reading to get insights.

When you can get all these 8 steps with an integrated talent management platform over the cloud, it becomes easy to manage, has seamless data flow and act by L&D analytics.

If you have any feedback, suggestions, questions please feel free to post here. We are happy to assist you. Also can plan for updated article ver. 2.0

Thus a broader idea from this framework can be beneficial for all and help to enhance further.

This article was first published in our blog Skills2Talent


Vaidyanathan Ramalingam |  vaidya@usrinfotech.com  |  skills2talent.com

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