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OKR Examples: From the Stellar to the Everyday

Stellar

As people begin to prepare for important integrations, many companies are looking to update their goal-setting processes to make sure they’re operating at the highest level possible. There are many goal-setting methodologies out there, but companies like Google, Schneider Electric and Kroger are using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to stay focused and aligned, as well as to achieve their business targets. And when you understand the OKR framework, it can make it much easier to write good objectives and key results.

OKR Best Practices

Over 90% of managers confirm that aligning employee goals to the organization’s top priorities is critical for business success. Ensuring organization-wide alignment is even more critical in today’s fast-paced business environment, where hierarchical departments are being replaced with cross-functional teams that are rapidly stood up meet new requirements and priorities.

John Doerr, partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and bestselling author of Measure What Matters says, “execution is everything,” and a motivated workforce provides organizations a critical execution advantage. Motivated teams work on what matters most (to the company and to them), are agile and aligned, and are able to successfully achieve today’s goals while also developing themselves to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

OKR: Company Strategies

Truly motivating a workforce requires nurturing a sense of purpose achieved through aligning employee’s work to the company’s top goals, as well as providing continuous coaching and feedback from managers who are authentically involved in the employee’s development.

These elements form the foundation of a successful OKR template, designed to create and sustain a motivated workforce.

Employee’s Goals Are Agily Aligned With the Organization’s Top Priorities

The needs of the business can change quickly. Organization’s must ensure employees are working on what matters most when setting OKRs. This visibility across the organization also has another benefit—providing each employee with a sense a purpose, a key element in sustaining motivation.

Help Managers Be Better Managers

Managers play an outsized role in employee motivation, and too many struggle with having the crucial conversations around alignment, feedback, development and recognition. Over 90% agree that technology and strategic OKRs can help ensure managers have these conversations regularly and improve their quality and impact.

Uncover Critical Workforce Insights

Using an application like Betterworks to support your continuous performance management process offers additional benefits beyond simplifying workflows. It also allows you to easily access the rich data from and about your workforce for actionable insights supporting targeted OKRs and business goal attainment, performance program optimization and the identification and retention of top talent.

Stellar to the Everyday

OKR Examples

Adopting OKRs for goal creation ensures employees in every department and function are aligned and working toward to the organization’s top priorities. Of course, the best way to envision writing our own OKRs is to see some examples for several different departments. This can provide a spark of creativity, or help you see how your own ideas can become even more innovative, strategic and insightful.

OKR Examples: HR

Goal: Hire 10 new employees by the end of March

As measured by:

1. Develop an annual hiring plan by end of February

2. Onboard 2 recruiting agencies for Engineering and Sales hiring by February 15th

3. Launch new careers page with employee content to improve hiring brand by end of March

4. Restructure employee referral program to generate 10% more referrals

Goal: Launch a new employee development program by end of March

As measured by:

1. Document career path matrix for employees at all levels by end of January

2. Start a new leadership development program by end of February

3. Launch a new employee learning management system by February 15

OKR Examples: Engineering

Goal: Complete all sprint stories and bugs for sprint 1

As measured by:

1. Complete all committed stories in sprint 1

2. Complete 100% of P0 and P1 bugs in sprint 1

3. Complete 75% of P2 bugs in sprint 1

4. Complete 10 code reviews in sprint 1

Goal: Address 100% of P0 and P1 bugs each sprint in Q1

As measured by:

1. Sprint 1 ending January 15

2. Sprint 2 ending January 31

3. Sprint 3 ending February 15

OKR Examples: Marketing

Goal: Drive awareness through PR activities

As measured by:

1. Publish 20 press pieces by end of Q1

2. Host 2 media dinners with key industry influencers by end of Q1

3. Secure a speaking spot for our CEO at TED

4. Place 20 bylines or contributed posts by Q1

5. Reach out to 5 publications by end of Q1 about Series D round on March 25th

Goal: Drive an epic launch for product v3.0

As measured by:

1. Get 10,000 page impressions/downloads within first month of launch

2. Ensure customers, partners and distributors have necessary FAQs and training by Feb 15th

3. Finalize messaging and competitive positioning by Jan 31st

4. Secure pricing, discounting, legal and trademark approvals by Jan 31st

5. Enable sales and services team by creating demo videos, datasheet and support marketing assets by Feb 15th

6. Create one customer case study or 3 testimonials supporting the product v3.0 value propositions by Feb 15th

OKR Examples: Product

Goal: Design major interactions for new product launch by end of March

As measured by:

1. Participate in 5 user interviews with User Researcher by January 10

2. Meet with lead software engineer and QA engineer 3 times before February 15

3. Create and present 5 prototypes to Head of Design by March 5

4. Deliver visual designs to product and engineering by March 15

Goal: Create content and documentation for Fall release

As measured by:

1. Meet with PMs and key stakeholders to understand new features and use cases by May 25

2. Document additions/deletions to product and share with customer support by June 20

3. Write 3 drafts of comprehensive Fall release guide by end of June

4. Get final approval on release guide from stakeholders by July 5

5. Send release notes to user base one month before product launch date on July 15

OKR Examples: Sales

Goal: Exceed Q4 quotas by 100%+

As measured by:

1. Create an account plan for each tier by January 31st

2. Generate 60 SQLs by end of Q1

3. Source 30 Fortune 1,000 CXO meetings by March 1st

4. Bring in $200,000 in bookings by end of Q1

Goal: Ensure quality activity on leads and opportunities

As measured by:

1. Maintain 100% of opportunities that are not older (younger) than 60 days

2. Convert or downgrade all leads within 14 days

3. Meet with 75 new opportunities by the end of Q1

4. Document 50 new discoveries in SFDC for Q1

OKR Examples: Support

Goal: Grow and acquire necessary skills to advance through the support team

As measured by:

1. Surface 2 pieces of constructive feedback for the team each week

2. Find a mentor external to the company and meet with him/her 2 times by the end of Q1

3. Hold weekly 1:1s with new support intern to improve managerial skills

Goal: Make our customers’ experience with support enjoyable and helpful. Ensure quality activity on leads and opportunities

As measured by:

1. Respond to new tickets in less than 10 hours, on average

2. Resolve initial questions in less than 24 hours, on average

3. Maintain a personal customer satisfaction score greater than 90%

Keep the Conversation Going for Sample OKRs

As a key component of a Continuous Performance Management process, HR should ensure that managers are aligning employee goals or OKRs, regularly checking in on progress and, importantly, providing feedback—including from the employee’s peers—to ensure goal achievement.

Be sure to ask questions on at least a quarterly basis like:

  • What outcomes do you want to achieve this quarter?
  • How are you going to measure that you achieved those outcomes?
  • What resources or support do you need to achieve those outcomes?
  • What success have you had regarding your OKRs this quarter?
  • What obstacles have you had regarding your OKRs this quarter?
  • Are your OKRs still in line with what you are focusing on? Have any of your priorities changed? If so, please elaborate.
  • Is there anything that your manager can do to help ensure you achieve your objectives?

Every Organization Is Unique

More and more functional leaders are recognizing that sustaining innovation and motivation is not a one-time event, but rather requires a continuous process maintained through regular, open and ongoing conversations between employees and managers around goal alignment, feedback, development and recognition. With goals being such a central part of your organization’s performance management process adopting OKRs for goal creation [I will (objective), as measured by (key result)] ensures employees in every department and function are aligned and working toward to the organization’s top priorities.

Every organization is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to continuous performance management. You want to understand all the learnings and best practices, and then use them to craft the unique program that best fits your organization’s culture and business needs.

To obtain an even deeper understanding on OKRs, examples of objectives and key results and more, be sure to check out our webinar: Taking Your OKRs to the Next Level or OKRs for a New Normal.