Can OKRs be Used for Building Critical Skills & Competencies?

Aug 23, 2022
Can OKRs be Used for Building Critical Skills & Competencies?

Gartner surveyed over 500 HR leaders across all significant industries to estimate their priorities and challenges in 2022. Building critical skills and competencies are the most popular priorities amongst a few others.

59% of the respondents voted that building critical skills & competencies will be their aim in 2022 & beyond.

The dire necessity of upskilling your people

As the world changes, so do the skills and competencies required to succeed. To stay ahead of the curve, it is essential for companies to continuously adapt to new skills and stay competent. For many organizations, critical skills, and competencies are a priority. By investing in employee development, businesses can foster a culture of growth and innovation. Furthermore, employees who feel supported in their development are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Ultimately, Building critical skills and competencies are essential for staying competitive in today’s ever-changing landscape.

Achieving the operational excellence

Operational excellence is the implementation of best practices to deliver superior value to customers. Businesses need employees skilled in various areas that can work together seamlessly. Upgrading the skills of existing employees and hiring new employees with the right skills can help businesses to achieve operational excellence.

Achieving operational excellence requires a focus on continuous improvement. Businesses must constantly strive to find new ways to improve their processes and procedures. By providing employees the opportunity to learn new skills and grow their competence, one can ensure they have the workforce needed to achieve operational excellence. Ultimately, upskilling and having more competent employees are essential for businesses that want to achieve operational excellence.

How OKRs can help in building critical skills & competencies:

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results and usually refers to the business strategy tool/framework that can be used in order to measure and track progress toward organizational objectives. OKRs have become popular in recent years as a way for businesses to increase transparency, align team members around common goals, and hold individuals and teams accountable for results. Let’s have a look at how OKRs can help here:

  • Continuous performance management: By tracking the performance of individual employees and teams, businesses can identify gaps in performance and areas that require improvement. The information can then be used to plan training and development programs to improve employee skills in these areas.
  • Training & development: You know that training is essential for the success of your business. However, you don’t know whether employees are taking the training seriously. One way to do this is to set OKRs for training. Employees will have specific objectives to achieve concerning their training goals. For example, they may need to train for a certain number of hours or obtain a vital certification. By setting these goals, you can ensure that the employees are training seriously and progressing toward their goals. Additionally, you can add skills or credentials to employees’ OKRs. With training OKRs you can ensure they are continually developing their skills and expanding their knowledge base.
  • Post-training analysis: Measuring the success of employee training can be a challenge. Did training lead to improved job performance? Did it result in better customer satisfaction ratings? Was there a decrease in safety incidents? There are many factors to consider, and sometimes it can be hard to attribute any changes directly to the training itself. However, with the OKR framework, you can check if the training was successful and if your employees’ performances have improved or not. By setting specific, measurable goals for your employees after they’ve completed their training, you can determine whether or not the investment in training was worth it. If you see an increase in sales, fewer safety incidents, or higher customer satisfaction ratings, you’ll know if your employee training was effective or not.
  • Identifying & rewarding the protagonists: Leading performers can easily be identified using OKRs, and they can be chosen to lead projects and teams. Rewarding them also helps in building a culture that truly motivates people to upskill in order to succeed. For example, if Sally in Marketing is constantly meeting and exceeding her quarterly objectives, it would make sense to give her additional responsibilities such as leading a new product launch. By doing so, not only are you rewarding her for her great work, but you’re also building a culture of excellence and motivation within your organization.

In short, OKRs can be a great tool to aid you in your endeavor to upskill & create a more competent workforce.

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