How to Run Effective OKR Meetings

How to Run Effective OKR Meetings (With Templates)

Do you run weekly OKR (objectives and key results) meetings to monitor your team and their progress?  Are your team members encouraged to reach out for support to hit their independent OKRs when they face roadblocks? 

If the answer to both or any of the above questions is ‘No,’ you must take your OKRs more seriously. 

OKR meetings ensure that your team goals are on track. These meetings provide a forum to stay in touch with each team member and check their progress through weekly OKR meetings. Doing this will help contribute to the overall growth of your organization. 

Let’s find out what OKR catch-ins are, why they matter, and how to run effective OKR meetings with tried and tested OKR templates. 

What is an OKR Meeting? 

OKR meetings are weekly sessions where the team discusses how far they have progressed in reaching their objectives and key results. 

During these sessions, the team manager or team lead connects with the team members for 15 to 30 minutes to track the objectives and key results, set priorities, and get a better overview of team alignment for a project.

Based on the achievements shared by the team members during OKR catch-ins, managers will set new goals and agenda items for the coming week and discuss roadmaps to hit those goals. 

From the manager’s standpoint, the goal of an OKR meeting is to assess if the team members have successfully achieved the assigned goals within a given timeframe. If they were unsuccessful, dive deeper to find the root cause and rethink the set goals to ensure their feasibility. 

At the end of the project, the OKR cycle, or every quarter, the OKR retrospective meeting evaluates the progress. It identifies areas of success, lessons learned, and opportunities for improvement for the future OKR cycles. 

Why are OKR Check-In Meetings Important? 

OKRs are about setting realistic goals, planning key results to hit them, and creating a solid process to track progress. OKR meetings help managers get a practical overview of where the team is in terms of objectives and goals. 

OKR check-ins keep employees accountable for their actions 

Suppose you assign the product team a goal: Create five explainer videos for every feature you launch this quarter. There were no OKR meetings to track the progress for the entire quarter. 

At the end of the quarter or a few months later, during your OKR meeting, the team forgot to create videos as they juggled multiple tasks and new priorities.

This means you and the product team would have to scramble to make the videos, as your marketing team expects them to be a part of the product’s landing page.

What went wrong here, even when you had conveyed the requirements in the team meeting?

There was no standard framework to track the current OKR status or weekly check-ins to track OKRs.

As a result, the product team gave top priority to other goals assigned to them.

On the other hand, regular or weekly OKR catch-ins keep the employees accountable and help them realize the significance of the goals assigned to them. As a result, they prioritize their goals, seek support from managers to ensure they’re progressing in the right direction, and fulfill their goals within the given time.

Whether looking at one OKR or collective team OKRS, regular one-on-one meetings keep everyone on the same page about the progress and bring more accountability within the team.  

OKR meetings are an employee’s weekly dose of motivation 

An OKR structure keeps your employees motivated. OKR meetings allow teams to connect with their managers directly and discuss what stops them from hitting their goals. 

You can use this opportunity to discuss new ideas, lessons the team learned, changes in priority plans (if any), and follow up on the progress of challenging goals.

Listen to your team’s struggles, create recognition opportunities for those who go above and beyond, and encourage them to perform better.

OKR weekly check-ins guide employees to focus on high-priority tasks

Getting distracted is easy when there is no one to guide you. Employees often fail to prioritize which key results to reach their goals faster and focus on unnecessary tasks that don’t move the needle or are low on priority.

OKR meetings establish transparency in the OKR tracking process and help employees focus on activities that matter the most to reach their goals.

When an employee drifts from their goal or is assigned a complicated goal that is not attainable, the OKR review lets us understand their pain points and helps them move forward. 

How to Run an Effective OKR Meeting? 4 Simple Steps 

Once your OKRs are defined and set, the next step is to communicate them to your whole team in an OKR planning meeting. 

Here are the steps to run effective OKR catch-ins within the scheduled timeframe. 

Step 1: Prepare an agenda for the OKR check-in

A successful OKR meeting has a clear agenda.

Without a pre-decided agenda, the meeting will be unproductive, employees will be clueless about what to discuss, and you may not achieve your quarterly goals. 

Meeting agendas create transparency and set expectations for the structure of the meeting. A pre-defined OKR meeting template helps everyone stay on the same page and simplifies sharing updates. 

Here is a proposed goal-setting framework for your OKR catch-ups to try out: 

First 10 minutes: Share the status action items of the previous week, including completed plans. An OKR software will allow you to personalize these statuses. Some simple statuses to try out are ‘To-do,’ ‘Work-in-progress,’ ‘Review,’ and ‘Done.’ 

Next 10 minutes: Plan the key results, to-dos, and priorities for the week ahead. Adjust goals as needed and eliminate already-achieved or irrelevant goals from the pipeline. 

Last 5-10 minutes: Use the last part of your meeting to reflect on the learnings. For example, why wasn’t a specific goal achieved? Was the agenda point unclear, or did your team members expect more support from the manager on a particular agenda item?

A best practice is to note and answer the retrospective questions in the next meeting.

A productive meeting should give you answers to what went right, what needs to improve, and the lessons learned, along with documenting good ideas. 

Step 2: Invite the participants and communicate the meeting agendas in advance 

Once you have a transparent OKR meeting agenda and OKR framework, it is time to share the information with the meeting participants before the meeting. 

Sharing the meeting agenda in advance ensures that the team is well-prepared with updates and learnings. 

 Invite the participants through online meeting tools like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams with the OKR meeting agenda. 

Be clear about who should be part of these weekly OKR meetings. For example, inviting senior managers to the weekly OKR catch-ups may do more harm than good. The team members may hesitate to open up about the roadblocks with the stakeholder’s presence.

While it makes sense to include the stakeholders or leadership in quarterly OKR meetings, weekly OKR catch-ins should be between managers and their teams. 

Step 3: Discuss the OKRs (current week’s status, last week’s OKR progress, and next week’s plan)  

There are many common misconceptions about OKRs, and you must ensure that your team is fully aware of what OKRs are and what types of updates they need to provide. 

When starting with the OKR best practice framework, give your team some OKR examples. For a content marketing team, a quarterly OKR goal can be:

ObjectiveCreate lead-focused social media posts
KR 1Connect with 50 existing customers to find out how our product helped them
KR 2Increase organic social traffic by 50% 
KR 3Achieve 10 demo bookings per month from LinkedIn and Twitter
An example of quarterly OKR goals for a content marketing team

Break down these critical results into smaller and actionable tasks and assign them to the team members so they know their goals and prepare their weekly OKR meeting task updates accordingly. 

If a team member needs more clarity on their key result, encourage them to have a separate meeting instead of wasting everyone’s time during the team meeting. 

Use ClickUp’s OKR Template to manage OKRs, break down and assign goals to team members, and track OKR progress. 

Step 4: Record the minutes of the meeting (MOM) 

Take notes of all meeting discussions manually or with AI meeting tools. This way, you will communicate the meeting discussions effectively with the team and reduce the possibility of confusion.

This further means documenting the MOMs every week so the manager gets to revisit the MOMs by the end of each month to track progress and assess the team’s performance. 

Best Practices for OKR Check-In Meetings 

There are different types of meetings, and running each requires some distinct best practices. And OKRs are no exception. 

To run successful OKR meetings, focus on the following best practices: 

Use a dedicated OKR framework 

A dedicated OKR framework helps you set realistic goals, monitor OKR progress, and identify the roadblocks to overcome them faster. 

ClickUp’s OKR Framework Template offers all the features required to manage OKR meetings. 

Here’s how this template helps managers and their teams: 

  • Allows a collaborative space for the entire team to brainstorm together to jointly participate in the goal-setting process and identify the main objectives 
  • Identify each task’s key results (KRs) and convert them into ClickUp tasks. Managers assign these tasks to relevant team members and add due dates to complete those tasks to keep up with the organization-wide OKR goals 
  • The color-coded template with personalized status allows employees to provide weekly updates during the OKR meetings. The structured framework helps managers identify the roadblocks and assist employees in deciding next steps 

In addition, consider using communication plan templates to document the OKR strategies and objectives for internal and external communication, which should be updated regularly. 

This template specifies the target audience, the type of messages to send out, the communication channels, and the frequency of communication. 

When all your OKRs are communicated and documented, everyone knows the exact details and action items. 

Run your OKR meetings on ClickUp 

Running your OKR meetings on ClickUp is easier than you think. Here’s why. 

ClickUp meetings
Capture key meeting details and keep your team on track with ClickUp

With powerful editing features and collaborative functionality, manage all your meeting documents on ClickUp Docs. Add tables, presentations, PDFs, and embed bookmarks to suit your working style. 

As a project management tool, ClickUp allows you to create OKR meeting checklists aligned with the meeting agenda. As you complete the discussion items individually, strike them off from the checklist to keep all meeting participants on the same page. 

Add recurring tasks on ClickUp and update their statuses based on the progress discussed during the OKR catch-ups. This means you will not need to create tasks from scratch every time and have a record of discussion items for the upcoming week. 

With ClickUp managing all your meeting essentials, you don’t need to switch between Google Docs and Zoom. ClickUp’s Calendar View syncs your Google Calendar, allowing you to send meeting invitations from within ClickUp. 

Take goal-setting a step further with ClickUp Goals 

Use ClickUp Goals to break your objectives into smaller, measurable goals and hit your targets with clear timelines and automated tracking. 

Keep the goals organized in folders to track OKRs and sprint cycles, and share them publicly with your team. 

What sets ClickUp apart from other OKR software is it combines OKRs with project management and encourages teams to own their progress to achieve shared objectives. 

Use an AI writing assistant to auto-generate OKR meeting notes 

Add ClickUp AI to your OKR meetings and note down MOMs like a pro. Here’s how: 

  • Summarize meeting discussion transcripts and convert them into actionable tasks for your team 
  • Avoid manual errors like spelling mistakes and grammatical errors within your meeting notes and elevate your writing 
  • Access ClickUp AI from anywhere and help your remote teams attend OKR meetings without any hassle 
ClickUp AI
Summarize your tasks and documents in seconds with ClickUp AI

Ready to Run Effective OKR Meetings?  

By now, you know how OKRs align your company’s strategies to its goals, and OKR check-ins are critical to ensure everyone is on track with their objectives and key results.

An OKR software like ClickUp helps you set ambitious goals, monitor progress, and measure outcomes because writing OKRs on a spreadsheet or paper does not complete the job.

To help you achieve the best results, ClickUp has features ranging from goal-setting and tracking to ready-made templates.

Create actionable OKRs and improve your goal management.

For the best results, sign up on ClickUp for free.

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