John Doerr, partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and bestselling author of Measure What Matters says that when it comes to Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), “execution is everything.”

Truly motivating a workforce requires nurturing a sense of purpose through continually aligning and re-aligning employee’s work to the company’s top goals, as well as providing them with continuous coaching and feedback from managers who are authentically involved in the employee’s development.

Critical to all of this is facilitating regular, ongoing conversations between employees and their managers. A once or twice a year performance review simply isn’t enough, so it’s imperative that HR Teams coach their employees and managers in having more frequent and productive conversations around OKRs that ensure employee motivation stays high and business objectives get achieved.

To keep things simple, Betterworks has broken down these conversations into three sections based on the frequency with which they should occur: Quarterly, Bi-Weekly/Monthly and End of Quarter.

I. Quarterly Conversations

Quarterly conversations between employees and managers should be used to set and identify the OKRs they will be focusing on over the next 90 days. To maximise the impact of these conversations, the employee should answer their questions first. If your employees are unsure what they should be focusing on, ask them to note that in the questions below. It may help to have them indicate how they currently spend their time so that their manager can help identify the top priorities and areas of focus.

Questions for Employee to Answer:

1. What outcomes do you want to achieve this quarter?

2. How are you going to measure that you achieved those outcomes?

3. What resources or support do you need to achieve those outcomes?

Questions for Manager to Answer:

(Note for Managers: If an employee hasn’t completed their responses by XX Date, please follow up with them.)

1. Is the employee focusing on the right outcomes?

2. Are there additional priorities that the employees should focus on this quarter?

3. How do these outcomes contribute to your focus this quarter?

Cadence:

Before/ Immediately following the start of the Quarter. An example structure for these conversations might be: Leadership Team has their conversation before the start of the quarter, while managers and employees have theirs the week the quarter starts.

I. Bi-Weekly/Monthly Conversations

Now that your managers and employees have agreed to and set their OKRs, HR Teams have to ensure that frequent check-ins around goal progress occur. The final cadence (bi-weekly, monthly) can be determined by the unique needs of your organization, but these conversations should be viewed as a light-touch opportunity to for managers and employees to check in on their OKR progress and make any necessary realignments.

Questions for Employee to Answer:

1. What success have you had regarding your OKRs this quarter?

2. What obstacles have you had regarding your OKRs this quarter?

3. Are your OKRs still in line with what you are focusing on? Have any of your priorities changed? If so, please elaborate.

4. Is there anything that your manager can do to help ensure you achieve your objectives?

Questions for Manager to Answer:

1. What has been the employee’s biggest success regarding their OKRs this quarter?

2. What challenges have you seen arise regarding their OKRs this quarter?

3. Are their OKRs still relevant? Have any of the priorities changed? If so, elaborate.

4. What can you do to help ensure that the employee is achieve their objectives?

Cadence:

Multiple times throughout the quarter.

I. End-of-Quarter Conversations

While conversations around performance should mainly be forward looking and focused on development opportunities, it is important to look back and take stock of what was achieved and identify areas of future focus. Managers and employees should do this by having a conversation at the end of each quarter to review how they did on achieving their OKRs and kick start the next quarter’s goals.

Questions for Employee to Answer:

1. What success have you had regarding your OKRs this quarter?

2. What obstacles have you had regarding your OKRs this quarter?

3. Are your OKRs still in line with what you are focusing on? Have any of your priorities changed? If so, please elaborate.

4. Is there anything that your manager can do to help ensure you achieve your objectives?

Questions for Manager to Answer:

1. What has been the employee’s biggest success regarding their OKRs this quarter?

2. What challenges have you seen arise regarding their OKRs this quarter?

3. Are their OKRs still relevant? Have any of the priorities changed? If so, please elaborate.

4. What can you do to help ensure that the employee is achieve their objectives?

Cadence:

Within a week of the quarter’s end.

Ready to turbocharge your performance management? Check out our brand-new Ultimate Guide to Utilizing OKRs Within Continuous Performance Management, featuring tips and strategies from NY Times best selling author John Doerr.