VfL Wolfsburg are the first Bundesliga team to use the globally established management method known as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to further increase motivation and, last but not least, efficiency in the company. OKRs are defined at all levels of the organisation and for each employee individu-ally in order to demonstrate each individual’s contribution to achieving the company’s goals clearly and comprehensibly. The OKR system has been suc-cessfully used by Google for several years and is now being used by other large companies (including Rewe, Flixbus and ProSiebenSat.1 Media).
“We want even closer links between management and employees. As man-agers, we often set goals that are ultimately not implemented with the proper passion and rigour in day-to-day business. There is a lack of trans-parency. Motivation is lost,” explains VfL managing director Michael Meeske. His fellow member of the board, Dr. Tim Schumacher, adds: “Setting clear, common goals helps make it clear to each individual employee how im-portant his or her contribution is to the success of the company as a whole. That way, we promote cohesion and mutual appreciation throughout the entire workforce.”
To start with, Meeske and Schumacher have set clear topics for the employ-ees in their divisions to focus on for the rest of the current Bundesliga sea-son, such as further increasing cost efficiency, continuously improving ser-vice quality and expanding VfL’s leadership role in the area of CSR.
“With the consistent implementation of the OKRs throughout VfL as a whole, we will be the first mover in the Bundesliga,” said Prof. Dr. Juppi Lee, head of corporate development at VfL, who was entrusted with the selection and implementation of the OKR model, adding: “In the next few months, the sporting department in the club will also be trained, so that we can be more agile in reacting to external changes by using a uniform system. That is an enormously important skill – especially in today’s world.”
Each employee derives his or her personal goals from the company’s goals. “This ensures that everyone in the club pulls together in the same direction,” says Valerius Braun, managing director of management consultancy Learn IO, who assisted VfL during the introduction of the OKR system. “This will set us on the path to being a truly meaningful organisation, as we will ultimately align all our activities with the vision of VfL Wolfsburg we all share,” adds Lee. The results are measured at short intervals in a transparent manner and the goals adjusted, if necessary. This model promotes agility.
With the implementation of the OKR management method, VfL ensures that the most important goals for the club are addressed as a priority at all levels, including in day-to-day business. The integrative approach also consistently increases motivation and self-efficacy in cooperation with the employees