Below are some of the key terminologies used in the OKR and Performance management process:
Objectives and Key Results. Objectives are qualitative statements that answer the broad question "What do we want to do?" and Key Results are the quantitative statements that address the question "How will we know if we met success in achieving the objectives"?
PSC or OKR Cycle
Summary Cycle (PSC) or OKR Cycle means the period for which you wish to set and monitor your objectives and key results. For example, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year etc.
Check-Ins are progress updates against your OKRs. Typically a check-in involves updating one or more objectives with information such as % completion, OKR status, initiatives and blockers.
1:1 conversations are meetings between a manager and his or her team member. 1:1 meetings provide and excellent opportunity for managers to coach their team members.
Feedback is essential for continuous performance tracking. Feedback is a qualitative input which provides insights into what things are working and what can be done better. Feedback flows vertically, horizontally and sideways in terms of peer to peer feedback, manager to employee feedback, employee to manager feedback, employee to organisation feedback etc.
Reviews include both self-review by an employee and review by his or her manager. Reviews are summarisation of performance at the end of OKR cycle in terms of what the employee liked most in working on the OKRs, the impact that he or she could create, what his or core core strengths are, what are the growth areas and what future experiences would the employee like to achieve.
Calibration is a part of the performance review process where managers, after completing the review of their teams, discuss the manager assessments with the skip-level manager. Companies like Google, Facebook use committees made up of skip level managers of various teams and the business human resource partner. Some companies let skip level manager and the manger to calibrate in a 1:1 meeting between them.
Typically, there are 3 types of OKRs - 1) Company level 2) Team level and 3) Individual level. Individual OKRs align with team OKRs which in turn align with Company level OKRs. Alignment is both vertical and horizontal. in a "command and control" structured organisation, goals are set at the top and handed downwards with strict focus on goal cascade. Agility, flexibility and creativity become a casualty when strict cascading is practiced. Modern, agile organisations encourage a healthy balance between alignment and autonomy, common purpose and creative latitude.
Nudges are contextual reminders that elicit desired actions timely and enable a powerful culture of continuous performance tracking and conversations. Nudges are deeply linked to the company's OKR cycle (quarterly, half-yearly or annual). Users can view all their pending, upcoming and responded nudges in Kanban view.
Pulse allows you a real time insight into the organisation’s culture by providing feedback from employees across eight strategically chosen dimensions related to employee engagement and organisational commitment. Pulse helps an organisation to find out the EEI (Employee Engagement Index) through the periodic short surveys.
Watch 100+ 1-minute e-learning videos in the flow of your work and take quizzes about OKRs, 1:1 meetings, Check-Ins, Feedback and more. OKR Coach covers 15 topics and the content is based on the research into practices of large technology companies and popular journals and magazines like Harvard Business, Forbes etc. Videos are followed by short quizzes of 3-5 questions.
Work items are day-to-day activities that are aligned to OKRs. These activities are spread over emails, documents, tasks, meetings etc. Aligning work items to OKRs helps managers to monitor the productivity of their teams.
Campaign or broadcast is a mechanism for companies to quickly understand the chatter around a new policy or initiative. Employees are nudged to share their overall feeling about the new policy or initiative and a free text. Analytics on users' input can parse the free text to understand the sentiment i.e. positive, neutral or negative.
Company values are day to day positive behaviours demonstrated by employees and are a powerful indicator of the company culture.
Rating scales are 5 or 7 point Likert scales for giving overall assessment of employee performance for example Significantly Below Expectations, Below Expectations, Meets Expectations, Exceeds Expectations and Significantly Exceeds Expectations. Such scales help in stacked ranking vis-a-vis bells curves.
Summarising performance at the end of OKR cycle is exhausting and time consuming. Templates are preset texts that help managers and employees to give qualitative inputs like Initiatives and Blockers during check-ins, Appreciative and Developmental feedback, Impact, Strengths, Growth Areas and Future Experiences during end of OKR cycle.