OKRs (Objectives-Key Results) are a remarkably helpful method to help roll out long term goals for a workplace. While laying out a list of tasks to your staff can be effectively comprehensive, they may end up overtaking each other in importance and clouding the main mission statement of your business.
Instead, OKRs take the most important objective of your company and engineer it to become a plan that motivates a team. First, you create an Objective – a clear goal that will propel your business forward. Underneath, you construct three to five Key Results – measurable, specific goals that your team can achieve in order to further your Objective.
These OKRs should be among the driving forces behind the projects your workplace undertakes and the choices you make as a team. Once each employee and/or each team completes their OKRs, you should see your company continue to grow and achieve greater levels of success.
If you’re not sure what an example of an OKR might be like, have no fear. We have examples of Objectives and Key Results from all kinds of industries. While our examples probably won’t be identical to your company’s, you’ll get a good idea of the way you could craft an OKR to fit your needs.
Objective – Redesign our best-selling SUV to be safer
Key Result 1 – Build a larger crumple zone for the front end
Key Result 2 – Optimize the pressure of the passenger airbag
Key Result 3 – Ensure the front of the chassis will survive a stress test of 9,000 PSI
Key Result 4 – Earn a higher crash test rating from the IIHS
This example from the automotive manufacturing industry demonstrates the key components of the OKR method; the Objective of redesigning the vehicle is broad in scope, but the Key Results are specific and quantifiable. Once the four Key Results are completed, the Objective can also be considered complete.
Objective – Create a more welcoming environment for visitors to our hospital
Key Result 1 – Subscribe to a more expansive cable package for the rehab wards
Key Result 2 – Add three new menu items to the cafeteria
Key Result 3 – Hang floor maps to ease navigation around the hospital
The healthcare industry isn’t as profit-driven as most others, but OKRs can still be used to improve facets of your business that aren’t graphed in the data.
Objective – Increase employee engagement by the end of the year
Key Result 1 – Send out a weekly survey, whether about work or something more casual
Key Result 2 – Implement monthly get-togethers on evenings or weekends
Key Result 3 – Include a company reward for increasing total client pull by 25%
Key Result 4 – Get employees small gifts for their birthdays
A helpful tip for creating an Objective is to include a timeframe if you feel like the subject is a bit broad.
Objective – Increase our female customer base
Key Result 1 – Replace “outdoors” marketing campaign with a family-centric one
Key Result 2 – Create a designated aisle for makeup lines
Key Result 3 – Implement a loyalty program to be pitched at checkout
Interesting fact — women are more likely to be involved in retail loyalty programs/rewards memberships, which is where that Key Result is derived from.
Objective – Become known as the most comprehensive auto insurer on the market
Key Result 1 – Determine what incidents don’t fall under any of our coverage options
Key Result 2 – Develop a premium plan that fully covers virtually every possible incident
Key Result 3 – Launch a new slogan that emphasizes our expansive coverage
The insurance industry is one of the most competitive ones you can manage in; OKRs could be the step that helps put you ahead of the others.
Objective – Obtain a higher rank on the list of best private universities in our state
Key Result 1 – Allocate funds from the advertising budget to be used in the housing budget
Key Result 2 – Sign a contract for a fast food restaurant to be built on campus
Key Result 3 – Add two more campus shuttle buses to the circuit
Key Result 4 – Increase qualification requirements for incoming professors
Universities present a tough balance between improving quality and increasing profit. With measurable, actionable OKRs, you can find a way to hit both marks.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)
Objective – Clear our physics program for launch in mid-Q4
Key Result 1 – Develop a debugging tool for physics simulations
Key Result 2 – Finish a complete design for the program’s user interface
Key Result 3 – Release a beta build to select customers by the end of Q3
OKRs can be especially important for the IT sector, as it’s likely a majority of the staff is remote.
Objective – Expand our product to overseas markets
Key Result 1 – Identify and sign a contract with a top European retailer
Key Result 2 – Increase our international sales by 30%
Key Result 3 – Test a second edition of our product that caters more to an international market
Key Result 4 – Hire bilingual sales workers
While the long term goals of a sales team can seem pretty straightforward, OKRs can align the team to focus on particular goals even more directly.
Whether you’re running a class project or a Fortune 500 corporation, OKRs can be an essential tool to bring a team together and complete a long term goal.
As versatile as they are, though, there is still a right way and a wrong way to develop Objectives and Key Results. Click here to make sure you’re not committing any “OKR Sins”. (coming soon!)