The global pandemic has sewn chaos and disrupted many of the world’s industries and businesses, as well as the livelihoods of millions of people. For the companies that possessed the capabilities to switch to remote work those burdens were mitigated, to an extent, as they began to adapt to a new normal

Adapting to this new normal has not been a simple walk in the park as remote work has introduced new challenges for businesses to overcome. It has been several months since the switch to remote work and the biggest struggles that individuals and businesses have now are collaboration and communication. 

The communication tools that were available provided many businesses with a lifeline in the early stages of remote work, but in time, gaps were discovered in their ability to conduct one of the most essential tasks for many businesses – managing their OKRs and their employees’ performances in real time, as it used to be done when work was in the office.

Why are OKRs important for businesses?

OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are the goals that you and your teams want to accomplish, and how you measure your progress in achieving those goals. They are important to businesses because they help them hit the short term goals that feed into the bigger vision of the company. 

With no definitive end of the pandemic in sight, remote work is now expected to continue into the foreseeable future. That is why, for businesses and leaders, it is imperative that they reconcile the uncertainties and devise methods to set their OKRs and manage their employees’ performances of them in real time while remote.

Here is a formula designed for leaders to follow and implement so that they can continue setting their goals and managing performance remotely and through the uncertainties that the future may bring. Use this as a checklist to make sure your business stays right on track.

Link teams and individuals with their OKRs and measure their performance

As mentioned previously, communication and collaboration are the main struggles that teams and individuals have when working remotely. Therefore, the first step of the formula is to ensure that your teams are aligned so that the communication process is transparent. Transparency of communication minimizes confusion and allows leaders to convey the objectives that they want employees to accomplish.

With teams linked and communication transparent, following the progress of individuals with their objectives gives leaders a clearer picture on the overall attainment of their goals.

Utilize attainment scales

Next in the formula is to make sure you are using an attainment scale. This will give you the advantage  to measure the data of individuals’ progress on their objectives, as well as the quality of their progress in relation to their goals. This will allow you to gain insights remotely as to why targets and goals are being reached or not.

Your team leaders will then have the ability to see if there are any potential risks or bottlenecks forming and have the opportunity to prevent them. Since your teams are now linked remotely, by following the first step, you can measure all of this in real-time. 

Provide effective feedback through constructive 1:1s

You are following the first two steps of the formula, and teams are now linked and you are able to shadow their progress remotely through the attainment scale. The next step is to provide individuals who are struggling with their goals working remotely with effective feedback. The best way to do that is by providing constructive feedback one on one.

Employees want feedback and it has become harder to provide remotely. 

But, with teams and individuals linked, you and your team leaders have the ability to provide accurate feedback to those having difficulty with their task and objectives. 

Stay agile and adapt your goals to the circumstances

The last thing you should do is stay firmly committed to a certain goal when the data on its progress and the feedback from individuals tells you otherwise. You should stay agile, and course-correct with the information now at your disposal. 

With the insights gained into how your teams are performing, you will be able to help them on issues like: Who needs support and how to drive growth? This is essential for your progress on objectives. Changing course does not mean a complete overhaul when working remotely, rather it means subtle adjustments that will allow individuals to perform in a way that suits their needs.

Listen to employee feedback and provide flexibility to work remotely

Setting goals for your business and managing performance of your employees is undoubtedly critical for your OKRs. The final step in this formula to follow is to take care of the well-being of your most important asset – your people. Do not just provide feedback but be humble enough to listen to any feedback your employees have to share. If they are struggling to hit objectives remotely, provide them with enough support and give them the flexibility to manage their work on their own.

The future is uncertain, but setting your goals and managing your employees performance and their well-being can be controlled while working remotely. Use this formula as a guide to help your business drive forward and to stay on track with your goals.