OKRs and CFRs – the Continuous Performance Management Approach, From “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr

In “Measure What Matters” author John Doerr tells us that CFRs (Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition) give OKRs “their human voice.”

OKRs determine the Objectives, the goals; and the Key Results, the metrics. The logical adjunct to these goals and metrics are the Check-Ins, Conversations, and Feedback that provide continuous updates relative to progress towards goals. Without continuous performance management, OKRs are nothing more than MBOs which are set and not revisited throughout the year.

How CFRs Contribute to Continuous Performance Management

CFRs (Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition) replace the obsolete annual performance review. Through frequent Conversations, managers identify and address roadblocks and obstacles in real-time before they threaten the viability of Key Results. Managers can determine if an employee needs additional support or training. OKR Software institutionalizes performance, feedback, and recognition data on an ongoing basis versus a backward-looking, once a year performance review.

Compensation is minimized or divorced from the OKR/CFR process, especially with aspirational goals. That said, compensation tied to “committed” OKRs such as sales budgets is entirely acceptable. Keep in mind, tying bonuses to OKRs can encourage sandbagging and aversion to risk-taking. In CFRs, an employee’s contributions and teamwork are recognized and rewarded.

In CFR mode managers take on the role of mentor, or coach, rather than micromanaging. The Feedback in Conversations should be bi-directional. Employees can address their desire for forward momentum. Opportunities for growth are discussed, and the road forward is mapped.

The 360° visibility of an OKR Software dashboard can be used to encourage peer to peer Recognition where cross-functional collaboration is required. Recognition should be frequent and public. Create a high-performance culture with real-time praise and feedback for successful teams and Individuals.

To quote Doerr from “Measure What Matters,” his New York Times bestseller; “Together OKRs and CFRs capture the full richness and power of Grove’s innovative method.

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!

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