Performance Management: Interview with Irina Sumkanyuk, Managing Partner of OKR Academy

In order to understand how Performance Management is built, you need to understand what employees want and what they lack to be productive. What has changed because of the pandemic? How have the goals and approaches to performance management changed?
SRM is much better suited to solve the problems companies faced during the pandemic than RM. In PMs, employees wait for "genius managers" to explain to them how to work under the new conditions and teach them new working tools. In SRM it's a bidirectional process. The conditions have changed and WE have to learn to work in them as effectively as we did before. And this collaborative search is beautiful. Because it turns out that by and large, nothing has changed and distance communication is just as effective if our goals are the same and it's important for WE to achieve them. The most important challenge of the pandemic is to build effective communications across all company processes. And of course it is very important to support those who are experiencing difficulties working in the new environment.

Can we expect quick results from performance management? Especially in conditions of rapid crisis changes.
It depends what you consider fast results:). If you know your bottlenecks well, or there is a specific problem to be solved, and you start using a specific (focused) tool to do it, the result can be quite fast. If, on the other hand, you start changing processes, it should take several periods of living by the new rules for you to see the result. After all by and large it is a change of Corporate culture (transition to other level on Spiral dynamics), and such changes do not occur quickly.

How to understand, whether OKR is suitable for your company and whether it is possible to combine OKR and the system of rewarding the employees?
Whether OKR is right for your company is the second question. The first is whether you need OKR? There are many different tools in management and each solves a different problem. OKR helps a company create a system of strategy execution by setting agreed goals and key results at various levels by its major divisions and teams in order to measure progress towards their achievement. This system also allows you to quickly reconfigure everything if you realize that the focus or direction needs to change. It's a very dynamic system. It sets the pace, gives everyone a unified understanding of what's most important in the moment, includes everyone in the process of achievement and makes progress transparent. At any given moment in time you can see at what level the progress of OKR is for everyone who sets it for themselves.

Now about constraints - this is of course a tool for mature companies. Companies in which the manager is ready to consider other team members as equal and having the right to their own point of view. For companies which want to build a transparent system where you can see the result of everyone's work and build the relationship "we are all working together on a common result," instead of "each of us performs his or her job duties perfectly. A system that is built on self-control, not vertical control.

What would you advise to read about performance management in a company? Which experts can you highlight?
Ben Lamort and Paul Niven, "Goals and Key Results: A Complete Guide to Implementing OKRs" ("Objectives give the authors of "Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs" by Paul R. Niven, Ben Lamorte)