Individual OKRs don’t always add value. They add complexity. Let us learn why it is a bad idea to have individual OKRs.
Employees putting individual goals above their organization’s goals can negatively affect the “culture” aspect or employer brand. After all, who wants their business to turn into a group of people jostling for themselves. Top performers within your organization may accomplish a few important things with their focus on individual OKRs, but it is a suffering for the organization.
Managers are already overwhelmed with check-ins, meetings, and administration-related work. So, when they are managing team OKRs already, managing individual OKRs becomes an additional responsibility. Such OKRs, of course, serve as an additional level of complexity to track and report. Managers will thus have less time to converse with their team members, contextualizing the work and broader team objectives.
OKRs don’t work at an individual level because they dictate to employees how to do their work and attain the end goal, rather than offering them a “North Star” for guidance. When you prescribe to employees how to do their job and what activities help meet the set organizational objective, they lose the autonomy to determine what is working for them. With reduced autonomy, you risk increasing employee turnover.