Growth-oriented organizations need to have a robust methodology for setting goals, and that goes beyond growing fast. There are a lot of frameworks to choose from, though: KPI, OKR, SMART goals, the list goes on.

So, how do you choose? Are OKRs a good fit for your company, and if so, how do you go about creating them? This article will answer those questions and provide some real-life context around using OKRs with several OKR examples from different organizational departments.

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What are OKRs?

OKRs are a framework for setting business goals, developed by Andy Grove for Intel back in the 1960s. The acronym stands for objectives and key results, which might give you some idea as to how the framework plays out.

OKRs help companies to:

  • Identify key business objectives
  • Set realistic targets
  • Determine timeframes for achieving those targets
  • Ensure that goals are related to overarching business objectives

It’s important to also clarify what the OKR framework does not do:

The OKR methodology is not designed to help your company determine your overall vision for the business, your fit in the marketplace, or the long-term direction of business development.

Rather, the organizational OKR process assumes you already understand these elements and helps you take that high-level vision for company progress and build out realistic, tangible organizational goals. Steps toward that high-level vision, if you will.

diagram of objectives and key result being created from company vision and mission

Makes sense in theory, right? But how do you actually create a good OKR?

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How do OKRs work?

OKRs consist of 2 components: the objective, and the key result or results.

The objective is the goal you’re looking to achieve. It’s not a numerical or quantifiable goal — at least initially — but tends to be a high-level aspiration that begins with a verb, such as:

  • Increase sales volume
  • Improve speed to sale
  • Reduce employee turnover

The key result aspect of a team OKR is where you get into the details, breaking down that big hairy objective into more tangible, realistic, measurable results. For example, if your objective is “Increase sales volume”, then key result examples might be:

  • 50% lift in new lead generation
  • 20% more sales revenue this quarter
  • 10 new deals closed above $100k

Still not quite sure how to go about setting an OKR goal? Let’s explore a few example OKRs to give you some clarity on how this process plays out for each business department.

Company OKR examples

Typically, when you’re setting company OKRs, you’re not really setting OKRs at all.

Instead, you’ll set the company objective — or objectives — which will then filter down into individual OKRs for each different department.

Let’s look at 3 examples of how a company goal can be further refined into objectives for each of the different teams in your company.

Objective 1: Increase revenue

  • Sales team objective: lift monthly sales revenue.
  • Product team objective: improve access to advanced features to further embed our product in customer workflows.
  • Customer service team objective: improve customer retention.

Objective 2: Increase market share

  • Sales team objective: increase average deal size.
  • Marketing team objective: improve brand awareness.
  • Product team objective: improve user experience by implementing competitor features.

Objective 3: Reduce operating costs

  • Admin team objective: improve supplier payment process to reduce late payment fees.
  • Marketing team objective: reduce cost of marketing spend.
  • HR objective: reduce labor cost via company restructuring.

Now, let’s investigate how we can turn each of these team objectives into an actionable OKR example.

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Sales OKR examples

screenshot of a board for tracking sales OKRs

Sales team objective 1: lift monthly sales revenue

  • Key result 1: increase number of closed deals from 400 to 600
  • Key result 2: increase average subscription value to $750 per month
  • Key result 3: lift demo to close rate from 50% to 60%

Sales team objective 2: increase average deal size

  • Key result 1: lift average subscription value to $900 per month
  • Key result 2: adjust lead scoring parameters to prioritize larger deals
  • Key result 3: increase percentage of high-value leads generated from 20% to 30%

Sales team objective 3: speed up deal velocity

  • Key result 1: hire 5 new salespeople to ensure new leads are tended to promptly
  • Key result 2: adjust email outreach campaign from 7 steps over 32 days to 6 steps over 24 days
  • Key result 3: reduce average days to sale from 66 to 54

Marketing OKR examples

screenshot of a board for tracking marketing OKRs

Marketing team objective 1: improve brand awareness

  • Key result 1: obtain 10 new earned placements in media outlets
  • Key result 2: publish 5 new blog posts to drive 3000 new unique website visitors
  • Key result 3: increase number of page one search results from 14 to 22
  • Key result 4: lift awareness score for our brand from 42% to 60% in our demographic

Marketing team objective 2: reduce cost of marketing spend

  • Key result 1: halt all TV advertising campaigns
  • Key result 2: reduce team headcount from 10 to 8
  • Key result 3: reduce content writing budget allocation by 10%

Marketing team objective 3: uplift number of new leads generated

  • Key result 1: increase number of new leads per month from 1200 to 1600
  • Key result 2: double paid social media spend from $10,000 to $20,000 per month
  • Key result 3: review top 100 ranking pages and blog posts on our site and ensure each has a relevant and persuasive CTA proposition

HR OKR examples

HR objective 1: reduce labor cost via company restructuring

  • Key result 1: reduce monthly cost of wages by 20%
  • Key result 2: layoff 20 employees
  • Key result 3: identify 3 redundant management positions

HR objective 2: improve employee engagement

  • Key result 1: achieve a weekly employee satisfaction score of 4+ over 90 days
  • Key result 2: launch a 360-degree feedback initiative and achieve a 50% response rate
  • Key result 3: hold a company lunch event once per month

HR objective 3: reduce employee turnover

  • Key result 1: reduce employee churn rate from 10% to 5%
  • Key result 2: lift employee satisfaction score to 4+ for all employees
  • Key result 3: ensure all employee salaries meet or exceed market averages by position and industry

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Product Team OKR examples

Product team objective 1: improve access to advanced features to further embed our product in customer workflows

  • Key result 1: 10% increase in use of identified advanced features
  • Key result 2: inform marketing team to develop a current customer-facing campaign that highlights the benefits of identified advanced features
  • Key result 3: review GUI design to prioritize use of advanced features and make them more accessible

Product team objective 2: improve user experience by implementing competitor features

  • Key result 1: perform a competitor and gap analysis to understand the features our product is missing
  • Key result 2: create a development roadmap for implementing new features
  • Key result 3: implement 50% of competitor features within 12 months

Product team objective 3: increase speed of product bug resolution

  • Key result 1: reduce average time to resolve bugs from 33 to 26 days
  • Key result 2: hire 2 new employees to focus solely on resolving product bugs

Admin OKR examples

Admin team objective 1: improve supplier payment process to reduce late payment fees

  • Key result 1: delegate supplier payment to a single admin assistant to streamline the process
  • Key result 2: set up an automated reminder system to ensure suppliers are paid before due dates
  • Key result 3: achieve a $0 late payment fee rate for 3 consecutive months

Admin team objective 2: ensure the office is a desirable place to work

  • Key result 1: launch an employee feedback campaign and receive response from 80% of staff
  • Key result 2: solve top 5 identified problems
  • Key result 3: hold one employee lunch each month

Admin team objective 3: improve company documentation management

  • Key result 1: design folder hierarchy structure and have all 5 teams agree to use it
  • Key result 2: collect positive feedback from 90% of users

Design OKR examples

Design team objective 1: show that our design company is a desirable place for new employees to work

  • Key result 1: win 3 design competitions
  • Key result 2: conduct monthly design meetups
  • Key result 3: receive 50 new applicants each month

Design team objective 2: launch a new landing page to drive conversions

  • Key result 1: test 3 landing page options on 150+ external users
  • Key result 2: launch new page by March 20
  • Key result 3: conversion rate lift from to 20% to 30%

Design team objective 3: improve visual aspects of our content marketing initiatives  

  • Key result 1: conduct a content audit to identify areas for improvement
  • Key result 2: hire a designer to be dedicated to internal company initiatives
  • Key result 3: increase shares of social content by 20%

Customer Service OKR examples

screenshot of a board for tracking customer service OKRs

Customer service team objective 1: improve customer retention

  • Key result 1: reduce call waiting time to less than 5 minutes
  • Key result 2: reduce churn rate from 10% to 5%
  • Key result 3: hire 3 new customer service reps to solve customer issues more rapidly
  • Key result 4: implement weekly product training sessions to upskills customer service employees

Customer service team objective 2: lift customer satisfaction

  • Key result 1: receive 2000 responses to customer satisfaction survey
  • Key result 2: identify 5 key areas for customer service and product improvements
  • Key result 3: hold phone interviews with top 100 customers
  • Key result 4: interview 20 recently churned customers

Customer service team objective 3: improve support ticket resolution speed

  • Key result 1: reduce average days to solve from 10 to 7
  • Key result 2: implement new helpdesk ticketing system
  • Key result 3: hire 5 new customer service team members

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How to manage OKRs in your Work OS

So, you’ve got a good grasp on how to create OKRs for each department in your business, and you’ve got a few good OKR examples under your belt to get started with.

The question is, where to next? Once you’ve written out those OKRs, what do you do with them? And, most importantly, how do you track progress towards achieving the key results you’ve identified?

On Work OS, you can design your own OKR tracking board — one that meets the needs of your business and the way you get things done. Let’s take a look at how high-performing teams manage, track, and achieve their key result measurements using the Work OS.

screenshot of a board for tracking OKRs

The above is a screenshot of our pre-built template for OKRs. In it, you’ll see 3 different groups, one for each of our company’s objectives:

  • Objective 1: launch Android version
  • Objective 2: grow the company 2x bigger
  • Objective 3: become a socially responsible organization

Each of these objectives has 3 measurable key results, which can be tracked using the following column types:

  • People: if there is a specific team member responsible for achieving this key result, you can tag and display them here
  • Priority: this column allows team members to prioritize certain key results over others
  • Status: using this column, everyone can see where a given key result is at — whether it’s done, being worked on, or shifted to the next quarter
  • Results: this column gives teams a numerical representation of the percentage completed for each result
  • Timeline: if your key results are time-bound, you can display this information here

In short, using a Work OS like brings transparency, ownership, and organization to your OKRs. With our drag-and-drop functionality, it’s easy to shift things around if your goals change, and our advanced reporting helps you keep an eye on progress.

OKRs empower your team to incrementally achieve company goals

Remember, the OKR framework is not designed to help you understand what your company’s overarching vision should be.

Instead, OKRs should be used to take that high-level vision, translate it into team-specific objectives, and then dig down even further, creating specific, measurable key results that move the needle of the larger objective.

Ready to get started creating and tracking team OKRs? No need to google OKRs examples—Why not check out our OKR template, it’s ready and waiting for you! 

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