OKR Goal Setting For Successful Businesses

by Chandler Barr Nov 23,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Using OKRs without realizing their purpose or objective, makes them feel complex or unusable. However, it is possible for organizations to use OKRs, just like Google, and achieve success if you understand every aspect of it.

Most businesses have digitized their goal setting processes by using OKR software. Here are a few things you should take care of before implementing OKR software in your organization.

Identify Your High-Level Goals

This is the first thing that an organization needs to identify. Organizational goals tie into the mission and vision of the organization.

Use your organization’s values to establish what you would like the high-level goals to be. Remember that all the department goals, as well as individual employee goals, will be linked to these goals and your metrics too will depend on these goals.

To give you an idea of what high-level goals are, here is an example.

“Become the market leader in the medical software field in the APAC region.”

This is a lofty and high-level goal, and by itself, it seems very impossible. However, it is necessary for you to figure out what your other goals will be. Do not fall into the trap of setting too many high-level goals. Instead, focus on setting 3 or 4 (or a maximum of 5) quality high-level goals. Keep refining them until you think they encapsulate what you want to achieve for the year.

Also Read: Employee Engagement Software To Help Enhance Productivity

Have Flexible and Challenging Goals

Flexibility and fluidity are important for goals because it gives employees the leeway to accomplish a goal in different ways. It also allows you to account for outliers or abnormalities that you would not have considered beforehand.

Often at times, when setting goals, we get carried away and set a number of goals that seem very easy to accomplish at the outset.

Goals should challenge you, that is for certain. However, they should not derail your work or even consume most of your energy, so much so that it is not possible to focus anywhere else.

Goals that consume an inordinate amount of time and energy and do not contribute to the main goal in an impactful way are wasteful goals.

Align Employee Goals To Organizational Goals

It is important to align employee goals with organizational goals. All employees’ goals should connect back to the overarching main goals of the organization. This ensures that everyone is on the same page, and more importantly, is working towards the same objective.

Goal alignment ensures clarity of purpose for employees because they can now see how their work ties into the overall scheme of things. It also ensures that employees are invested in the work they are doing since they are working with the knowledge that their work has a larger purpose and makes significant contributions.

Also Read: Using OKRs In Startups To Measure Success

Set Key Results

By breaking down your high-level goals, you can figure out how you can achieve them. Using the example from earlier on, let us break down the goal to its objectives and key results.

High-level goal: “Become the market leader in the medical software field in the APAC region.”

This is your objective. In order to achieve this objective, you need key results that can help you measure success.

Key Result 1: Gain 200 clients

Key Result 2: Increase sales team by 20 members

Key Result 3: Gain profit of $250k or more

As you can see, these three key results seem disparate, but they all tie into the higher-level organization goal. Achieving these key results will help you achieve your main objective.

When setting key results, clarity of purpose is really important. These key results are what you will measure to estimate if you have achieved your goal or not. If your key results are vague (or your main goal is vague as well), then the goal-setting process will become muddled as well. Your key result will not be a key result if it doesn’t have a number.

Also Read: Remote Team: Goal Setting And OKRs

Measure Progress

It is vital to track goal progress not just to see how far along you have come, but mainly, to take stock of the situation. Tracking goals and reviewing them tells you where you stand and what you need to do next.

Maybe you have been working really hard on accomplishing one goal and are close to completing it. Tracking that goal tells you that you can now afford to devote less time to it. Or conversely, you are tracking a goal and notice you have not been able to accomplish much. By taking stock of the situation, you understand that accomplishing the goal will require more resources and an adjustment to the end result.

By tracking goals regularly, you can make quick changes if necessary, rather than slogging away at the same goal with nothing to show for it.


Working with a coach is a proven best practice to help implement your OKR strategy and drive business outcomes.

The OKR Launch and Coaching Program is a customized consulting service program designed by Engagedly to help organizations successfully implement and widely adopt the OKR approach.

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Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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