What Are Objectives And Key Results (OKR)?

by Srikant Chellappa May 7,2018

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

OKRs stand for ‘Objectives And Key Results’. OKRs are a popular approach to goal-setting, which allows employees to execute individual and organizational goals.

OBJECTIVES are something that you want to achieve, whereas KEY RESULTS are a measurable way to keep track of how close you are to achieve your objective.

Many employers confuse OKRs with KPI (Key Performance Indicators). But Key Performance Indicators are typical performance metric that was a popular during the 1900s. While KPI (Key Performance Indicators) help you gain an accurate idea of how well your organization is doing, they do not help you understand how far you are from achieving your objective.

Also Read: 4 Leadership Skills To Improve In A Hybrid Work Environment

KPIs help you measure the process and not the outcome of the process. OKRs, on the other hand, help you set objectives and key results which keep track of the progress on the process as well as the outcome.

OKRs should answer these two questions:

Objectives – What Do You Desire To Achieve?

Key Results – How To Know If You Are Getting Closer To Achieving It?



Increase market reach by 35% by Q4

Key Results:

  • 2nd largest distributor network in Q2 growing at 15% per month
  • Voted most popular product across 5 leading publications


Leverage product feature that is most popular in the market

Key Results:

  • The heat map of the website shows that 60% of visitors focus on a primary feature of the product and the remaining on secondary features
  • Feedback received from customers indicates the product’s primary feature provides 2x more value.
Also Read: The Essential Guide To OKRs: Your Ultimate Tool To Setting Winning Goals

Benefits Of Using OKRs For Goal-setting

OKRs work on all levels, be it corporate, departmental, or individual goals. Using OKRs promotes collaboration and helps you drive employee engagement in your organization. Here are a few more benefits of using OKRs for goal-setting in your organization.


Lack of transparency is one of the most common reasons for employees to leave an organization. Most employees do not know the mission and vision of the company they work for. OKRs let you define objectives and keep track of the progress on the key results (Outcome).

They help every employee understand what the mission and vision of their company is and what they can do to achieve it. In short, OKRs help employees understand what managers and organizations expect of them.

Also Read: Workplace Culture: How To Create And Sustain It

Increased Focus

OKRs help you prioritize your goals and define a clear set of key results to achieve those goals. Studies say that employees are more focused and motivated to complete their tasks when they clearly know what needs to be done and how it affects the organization.

OKRs bring focus and clarity to what needs to be achieved and motivate employees to revisit and check-in on their goals more frequently.

Employee Engagement

Engaging employees is not just about keeping them happy and satisfied, it is about making employees contribute to the company. Disengagement is a common problem in many organizations and yet it not addressed. Disengaged employees can be dangerous to the rest of the workforce.

Having clear goals and regular check-ins helps employees stay focused and hence increases their contribution to the company.

When employees physically write their own OKRs, they are more committed to their work and be engaged in their workplace. OKRs give them a purpose to work towards.

Also Read: Virtual Onboarding: A New Reality

Goal Alignment

Setting OKRs is just the first step. For employees to take them seriously and work on them, they should understand the importance of their individual OKRs. Aligning individual OKRs to departmental or organizational goals allows employees to understand how they contribute to the big picture.

Additionally, these OKRs can be cascaded to other team members where they work towards achieving the objective collectively by sharing the key results. In this way OKRs not only help individual development but also help employees see how their teamwork can help the organization grow.

The trick is to have the right amount of objectives. Too many objectives dilute the positive effects of OKRs.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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