Putting HR at the core of your business and HR’s role in OKRs

by Lawrence Walsh | Jun 05, 2020

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In case you missed episode 1 of Giant Watch, here’s a recap. Host and Head of OKR Projects, Lawrence Walsh was joined by Founder and Chief Giant Roger Longden, to share their thoughts on how HR can take centre stage in your business and the challenges to get there. Of course, as we are OKR consultants, we will take a look at what role it plays in the OKR process.

Getting your business to view HR as a fundamental role in your business isn’t easy – even if your business gives its function an appreciative nod, most organisations don’t treasure HR like they should. Yet if you can crack what we cover in the webinar, they will see you as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

We don’t live under a rock, so we know your business is likely feeling the effects of COVID-19 right now, but that just means it’s time to focus on your ability to adapt and change. It is challenging how businesses work towards their goals, you should still be working towards your North Star – but along the way, you’ll need to be flexible.

Organisation agility. Yes, that old buzzword. This way of working can be scaled up and transform how the business functions. The biggest companies in the world, whether you look at Apple, Microsoft or Google, they’re recognisably agile. 10,000 HR leaders 94% said “agility and collaboration” was critical to their organisations’ success – just doing enough isn’t enough.

Since everything has changed, OKRs should be a spotlight to focus on what is going to drive greatest value for your organisation. You then need a culture that doesn’t resist change, that welcomes fluidity. If your business is a shape-shifter, it can get in the growth-mindset and unlock innovation, enabled by OKRs.

How agile is your organisation currently? Are they motivated to become more agile?

The majority of you sit somewhere in the middle, you’re not completely rigid but you’re not rapid to change either. Most businesses are motivated and striving to become more agile, but have some areas of resistance.

What drives organisational agility?

What are you waiting for? When you have data, you need to make decisions and act fast – test, learn and adapt. You need to stay ahead, or at least keep up with change – something we’re experiencing exponential amounts of right now. But how do you strike a balance between agility and stability?

Where does HR come into this?

Is it an executioner? A partner? Or an agile enabler? The team should be the unit of work, not the individual even if individual accountability still needs to be present. Teams also need to be able to form and disband quickly – something most organisations aren’t used to. HR needs to take the driving seat. Giving people permission to test, learn and adapt and start to drive innovation.

Overcoming HR mistakes with OKRs

OKRs are not one-size-fits-all, each organisation needs to have their own OKR framework that takes agility, alignment, innovation, transparency, accountability and collaboration into account. To make OKRs and HR work together, there needs to be the culture, accountability and adaptability in place to redefine how performance is managed and motivated.

If you’d like to watch the webinar on-demand, the recording is available here.

Giant Watch Episode 2 – In our next episode we’re joined by our Cultural Practice Lead, Georgia Parker for a discussion about a healthy culture for your organisation and understanding the resistance to culture change. Sign up to join us here.