When Youtube came out they offered short videos in 5- 7 minutes compared to normally on TV’s half an hour or one hour program. When Tik Tok came out they offered even shorter bite size videos, like a minute.
In this generation we are consuming information in smaller and smaller bite sizes and can no longer sit through a long video or read a long newspaper article.
Although with less info, Bite-size information are not turning people away, but got users more engaged, as long as the message is to the point.
For millennials and Gen Z, they are consuming info in bite-size and work better with bite-size assignments and shorter turnaround time.
Out is multi-year or year long company objective; in is quarter or month long objectives.
The key is to break it up.
When getting the younger work force to align their work assignments to the company overall OKRs, consider the 4 following points:
1. Set priorities
Every day employees are asked to muti-task. I once talked to a successful project manager colleague, as project managers, we have to manage project deliverables, finances, compliance and resolve conflicts daily. There so many tasks on hand, even the best multi-tasker is not able to finish it all. What she said was important, accept the fact that one cannot complete all the tasks. Priortize and do the important ones first.
2. Set short-term deliverables
Job satisfaction is an important driving force for a team member’s willingness to work. Achieving shorter and less complex milestones are minor steps towards a bigger goal. Breakup a large milestone to smaller milestones. Acknowledge small accomplishments and acknowledge often. In my experience, I wrote thank you emails to the resource’s manager and informed him what a wonderful job their staff has done for the project. This went a long way to building future collaborations.
3. Set a deadline
Work will not get done when there is no deadline. This ties in well with ‘Set priorities’. When clear deadlines are set, teams members can priortize their work and ensure the most urgent tasks are completed first.
4. Connect your team to the corporate OKRs
I once saw a Gordon Ramsey ‘Kitchen Nightmare’ episode where he was attempting to turn a small restaurant around from the brink of bankruptcy. The turnaround effort involved commitment from the owner at the top, down to the waitress and busboys. The focus was not showing the restaurant a few magic dishes that will turn the restaurant around, but rather a mindset change. The owner and everyone working in the restaurant had to CARE. Gordon asked one of waitress what can she do to differently to improve the current situation. She said “It is not my company”. She was not connected to the turnaround effort at all.
Do not let your teams get to that state of don’t care. That is a sign of ‘quiet-quitting’.
When an OKR is created at the leadership level, it is important to get the downstream departments involved to create their 2nd tier departmental OKRs that align to the 1st tier OKR key results. At the department level OKRs, engage and empower your teams to create or pick the projects or tasks they can most relate to or enjoy working on. In larger corporation, there might be further down 3rd tier or 4th tier OKRs.
Coach your teams to ensure they are picking and working on projects that they feel are impactful and meaningful to the company. The teams are working not just because it is required work, but because they can contribute to the company’s overall success. When OKRs are met and job well done, ensure you acknowledge their efforts, a job well done. This simple action will come full circle in connecting everyone back to the company’s over objectives and also to show that each team member’s work matters.
- In handling a younger generation workforce, communicate in bite-size information. Assign smaller chunk of assignments, which are small milestones towards a large milestone.
- Setup prioritizes and empower the team to work on the urgent tasks first. Acknowledge and accept not ALL work can be done on-time.
- Set deadlines that are tied to priorities.
- Connect you teams to corporate OKRs by asking them to align and select work they deem meaningful and impactful.
- Acknowledge and praise often to reinforce the team’s contribution to the company’s overall OKR.
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