Aggrieved at the process of annual performance reviews throughout my previous career, I embarked on a journey of inquiry to find a better model.
The process used throughout my previous career was often:
- Annual feedback which can result in ‘top of mind recall’. (I can barely remember what I did 11 months ago so how can the line manager?)
- Tied to promotion/compensation.
- Outcome focused.
- Prone to bias.
Every year we are encouraged to record our personal objectives at the start of the reporting period, which on the surface sounds good, but I have never been questioned on how I am progressing against them.
The annual reviews lack metrics and objectivity, and are often a subjective opinion written by an individual who barely knows you. They take 15 minutes to review a year’s worth of activity and performance with you, in which the review has already been written and talked through, and often lacks quantifiable areas of improvement for the next reporting period.
It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for.
Measure What Matters is a book written by John Doerr, who explains to the layperson how companies such as Intel, Google and NUNA have used OKRs to achieve great success.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are the brainchild of Dr Andy Groves (Intel) and when combined with Communication, Feedback and Recognition (CFRs) provide the ultimate tool for continuous performance development.
Google credits it meteoric rise and continuous application of innovative ideas to their implementation of OKRs as a tool for setting organisational, team and individual goals that force them to stretch themselves in reaching for the moon.
I implore everyone to go out and read John Doerr’s book and learn all about the world of OKRs. We are in the process of implementing OKRs here at QP, in the hope that they will assist in creating a better situation than we have suffered in our previous careers.
If they are good enough for that little known company called Google, then they are good enough for us!