OKRs as a goal-setting framework has been a massive success in companies like Google, Intel, and Netflix, and is gaining popularity as the business and talent context change.

What is OKR?

OKR, which stands for Objectives(O) and Key Results(KR), is a method for identifying, tracking, and achieving goals that matter the most.

OKRs have 2 parts to it —

  1. The Framework

Regular 1-on-1 meeting with direct reports is the most potent tool in the hands of managers. Research tells us that it has an enormous impact on the team’s motivation, engagement, and productivity. Yet most managers don’t do it regularly.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

If you ask any manager whether they should be doing 1-on-1s or not, most will say “Yes”. Today, they go through an abundance of training and read enough articles to know they should be doing regular 1-on-1s with their team. But yet they don’t do it regularly.

What can organizations do to address this 1-on-1 enigma? How can companies make it a habit for your people managers to do regular 1-on-1s with their team?

You can restrict their choices and force them to do it. You can use carrots and sticks approach to…

The last few years have seen a major shift in how companies manage employee performance.

Continuous Performance Management
Continuous Performance Management
Continuous Performance Management

From the earlier model of once a year process focused on evaluating employees, the trend now is towards continuous performance management with regular conversations focused on employee development and performance coaching. The trend started in large software and consulting companies with companies like Adobe, Google, Deloitte, etc. moving to continuous performance management, but now it’s catching up in other sectors and smaller companies too.

Why did this shift happen?

  1. To understand why this change happened, you need to look at the kind of companies where it all started. Companies like Google, Adobe, Deloitte are very different in terms of how they operate, the nature of…

Caring about the team’s growth and development can have a huge impact on their motivation.

Career development conversations
Career development conversations

Helping your direct reports in their growth and development is one of the key responsibilities of any manager. When done well, research shows, that it has an enormous impact on employee motivation, engagement, and ownership behavior. And yet, very few managers do a good job of having career conversations with their direct reports. As a result, most employees end up feeling like just a pawn in the chessboard.

To have meaningful career conversations with direct reports that can truly motivate them and help build stronger teams, it takes authentic caring, and sincere effort over a period of time.

Here is…

Large companies spend millions on managerial capability development every year. Is there a better approach?

Today, we see many start-ups focusing only on achieving the business goals and growth, and things like manager capability development and culture building take a back seat. You can’t argue against it. In the initial year years revenue and growth matters. But yet, if you want to win in the long term, you need to win the talent war.

So many great companies in the Valley are growing and hiring that there’s no reason to stay with a company if you are unhappy or think your potential is being wasted. And there’s certainly no reason to pay “a**hole tax”. If…

Treat 1-on-1s like a journey with different stages where the manager and the employee discuss a variety of topics depending on what is going on in the company, team, and with the individual employee

The one-on-one meetings can be a truly valuable tool for managers to keep employees engaged and motivated to do their best work. I have been doing 1-on-1s regularly with my teams. I have worked with both kinds of managers — ones who did regular 1-on-1s and the ones who didn’t. And I can tell you the difference it has on the team’s productivity and motivation.

As a manager, if you start doing your regular 1-on-1s effectively, it can make you more successful.

But a lot of managers shy away from these meetings or don’t do it well and end up…

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

The first step towards improving an organization’s productivity is to measure the current productivity level. Only when you know the current productivity level of the organization, you can work towards improving it. So how do you measure productivity?

Measuring productivity is easier at the organization level. This is because you can focus on high-level metrics like revenue per FTE, profits per FTE, revenue to employee cost ratio, etc. While these metrics are easier to measure, these alone will not help you identify the root cause of productivity problems in the organization. …

I remember, five years back, before I went for my MBA, nobody was talking about digital transformation. There were start-ups, the smartphone market was booming, interesting apps were coming up, there was analytics, there was even digital marketing — but still nobody was talking about digital transformation.

So what has changed? — A lot.

Let me take my example first:

  • I used to take a bus to the office every day in 2012/13. Now I take an Uber.
  • Every day while returning from office I used to buy vegetables/fruits, and on the weekend we used to get groceries from supermarkets…

Mayank Prabhakar

Mayank is a management consultant with a passion for technology. He explores the latest research and emerging fields to solve people problems at scale.

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