OKR examples: Create OKRs that actually work (sales, marketing, operations, HR)

OKR examples: Create OKRs that actually work (sales, marketing, operations, HR)

Portrait of Jess Cheung Lark's Author
Portrait of Jess Cheung Lark's Author

Jess Cheung

October 3, 2023

10/3/23

Oct 3, 2023

10/3/23

4 min read

As we enter Q4 2023, it is also the strategic time of the year when organizations, both big and small, are in the process of preparing their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for the upcoming year. While we are familiar with the theory - setting clear, achievable, yet ambitious goals, tracking them, and making it a loop - setting effective OKRs is still an art.

In this blog, we’ll see some examples of good and bad OKRs to get you familiar with how to crafting effective OKRs that motivate your team and steer your organization.

What’s an OKR?

OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results, a popular framework for setting and communicating goals and results in organizations.

Objective

This is the O in OKR. Objectives are significant, concrete, action-oriented, and ideally, inspiring. They are the mountain peaks that your team or organization aspires to conquer. Objectives answer the question of "What do we want to achieve?" An effective objective is easy to understand and aligns everyone in the same direction, encouraging forward movement.

Key Results

This is the KR of OKR - Key Results. Key Results are the specific, measurable, and verifiable steps needed to achieve your objectives. Think of KRs as the milestones you'll need to reach as you climb up to the summit of your objective. Typically, each objective has 2 to 5 key results.

Key results are not tasks or to-dos. Instead, they are outcomes that indicate that the objective has been achieved. Key Results answer the question, "How will we know we've achieved our objective?"

What makes good OKRs?

When it comes to good OKRs, we are not only looking for well-written objectives and key results, but also effective OKRs that drive tangible performance and results. Consider measuring your OKRs against these standards:

1. Specific

An effective OKR should be detailed and clear, leaving no room for ambiguity. Everyone should be able to gain the same understanding on what's expected and what success looks like.

2. Measurable

Every OKR should be quantifiable. There should be numerical values associated with the key results, indicating whether or not the objective has been achieved.

3. Achievable

While OKRs should be ambitious, they also need to be realistic. Setting unrealistic goals can demotivate and frustrate your team, which can hinder their performance.

4. Relevant

OKRs should align with the organization's mission, vision, and current priorities. If an OKR does not contribute to the bigger picture, teams should review and reconsider how OKRs are cascaded within the organization.

5. Time-bound

Every OKR should have a specific timeframe for completion, often aligned with quarterly or annual planning cycles.

6. Transparent

OKRs should be visible to all relevant members of the organization. Transparency ensures everyone understands how their contributions fit into the larger objectives.

7. Tracked

In addition to setting up and documenting OKRs across the organization, keeping track of OKRs is equally important

Good and bad OKR examples by teams

Depending on your role and function at a company, your OKR will focus on improving one or a few areas of your business. This could include more efficient operations, better project management, overall cost savings, or higher employee retention. OKR can serve as a framework to help you set up, track, and measure your efforts. Learn how to write OKRs with this step-by-step guide.

OKR examples for sales teams

Increasing revenue is the primary metric for sales teams of all types. However, when developing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) around this north star, it is important to consider the specific measures taken to achieve higher sales numbers.

These measures may include shortening the sales cycle, increasing referral streams, improving deal-closing skills, enhancing the customer onboarding experience, and more.


Good OKR example for sales team:

Objective: Increase market penetration in the mid-sized business sector from 55% to 70% in Southeast Asia.

Key Results:

  • Increase qualified leads from mid-sized businesses by 30%.

  • Achieve a 15% increase in conversion rate across all channels through continuous optimization.

  • Launch two new product bundles for mid-sized businesses, which can be directly purchased through the website.

  • Acquire the first 100 customers for each of the new bundles via website.

Objective: Increase sales revenue in the Northeast region by 15% compared to the previous quarter.

Key Results:

  • Close 10 new enterprise-level deals in the target region.

  • Increase average deal size by 20% through upselling and cross-selling strategies.

  • Achieve a 30% increase in the conversion rate of leads generated through marketing campaigns in the target region.

  • Improve customer retention rate by 10% through the implementation of customer success initiatives.

Objective: Enhance the performance and effectiveness of the sales team.

Key Results:

  • Increase the average monthly sales quota attainment by 15%.

  • Implement a comprehensive sales training program and achieve an 80% participation rate among the sales team.

  • Improve the lead-to-opportunity conversion rate by 10% through the optimization of sales processes and qualification criteria.

  • Reduce the average sales cycle length by 20% through process streamlining and automation.


Bad OKR example for sales team:

Objective: Increase sales.

Key Results:

  • Sell more products.

  • Get more clients.

  • Develop new products.

  • Host weekly meetings.

Objective: Increase sales.

Key Results:

  • Sell more products.

  • Get more clients.

  • Develop new products.

  • Host weekly meetings.

Objective: Achieve higher revenue.

Key Results:

  • Make more calls.

  • Send more emails.

  • Attend more industry events.

  • Close more deals without considering their value or profitability.

OKR examples for operations teams

For an operations team, the main objective is to achieve operational efficiency and effectiveness. This overall goal can be broken down into different objectives depending on the industry and role of the operations team. Examples include faster order fulfillment, optimal inventory turnover ratio, and higher capacity utilization rate.


Good OKR example for operations team:

Objective: Enhance operational efficiency by 20% in North America.

Key Results:

  • Reduce order processing time by 30%.

  • Decrease customer complaints related to delivery by 20%.

  • Implement the new CRM system to track customer interactions and feedback.

  • Lower repetitive issues by 30% based on the CRM data.

Objective: Streamline supply chain logistics to reduce costs by 15%.

Key Results:

  • Reduce lead time for raw material procurement by 20%.

  • Decrease transportation costs by 15% through optimization and negotiation with vendors.

  • Implement a real-time inventory tracking system to improve inventory management accuracy by 25%.

  • Achieve a 10% reduction in product defects through process improvement initiatives.

Objective: Enhance workforce productivity and performance.

Key Results:

  • Increase overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) by 10% through equipment maintenance and optimization.

  • Implement a training program to improve employee skills and competencies, resulting in a 15% increase in production output.

  • Reduce employee absenteeism by 20% through the implementation of employee engagement and well-being initiatives.

  • Achieve a 5% reduction in production downtime through proactive maintenance and process improvement efforts.


Bad OKR example for operations team:

Objective: Make operations better.

Key Results:

  • Work faster.

  • Reduce complaints.

  • Collect data.

  • New operations protocol.

Objective: Improve operational processes.

Key Results:

  • Implement new software.

  • Train employees on new procedures.

  • Reduce errors.

  • Attend industry conferences.

Objective: Increase efficiency.

Key Results:

  • Complete tasks faster.

  • Reduce costs.

  • Improve communication.

  • Attend training sessions.

OKR examples for marketing teams

The marketing team's typical goal is to increase brand awareness, engagement, and intention to purchase a product or service. To assess the effectiveness of marketing efforts and audience engagement, various objectives are set across different marketing channels.

Examples of these objectives include increased website traffic, a larger social media following, and a higher engagement rate per content piece.


Good OKR example for marketing team:

Objective: Elevate brand awareness from 15% to 25% globally.

Key Results:

  • Increase website traffic from organic search by 40% in the target regions.

  • Grow social media following by 25% across all platforms.

  • Increase the number of unbranded keywords by 50% for which the brand website is ranked within the top 10.

Objective: Increase website conversion rate by 15% in Q4.

Key Results:

  • Optimize landing page design and copy to achieve a 20% increase in conversion rate.

  • Implement personalized email marketing campaigns to drive a 10% increase in email sign-up conversions.

  • Improve website load speed to reduce bounce rate by 10% and increase conversion rate by 5%.

Objective: Enhance brand engagement on social media platforms from 5% to 10%.

Key Results:

  • Increase social media followers by 20% through targeted advertising and engaging content.

  • Achieve an average engagement rate of 5% on social media posts.

  • Generate 100 user-generated content submissions through social media campaigns to enhance brand advocacy.


Bad OKR example for marketing team:

Objective: Improve marketing.

Key Results:

  • Get more website visitors.

  • Increase social media likes.

Objective: Increase social media followers.

Key Results:

  • Post more frequently on social media platforms.

  • Use more hashtags in social media posts.

  • Follow more accounts on social media platforms.

Objective: Improve website traffic.

Key Results:

  • Add more keywords to website content.

  • Share website links on social media platforms.

  • Send more email campaigns with website links.

OKR examples for human resources (HR) teams

HR teams typically strive to improve employee engagement and productivity. Their goal is to ensure that the right talents are able to make their best efforts in the company to contribute to the strategic goals and vision. This often involves objectives such as enhancing employee satisfaction, improving retention rates, boosting diversity and inclusion, increasing onboarding efficiency, and more.

By setting clear, measurable, and impactful objectives and key results, HR teams can align their efforts and drive meaningful change within the organization.


Good OKR example for HR team:

Objective: Improve talent acquisition process efficiency by 20%.

Key Results:

  • Decrease time-to-hire by 20% through process optimization and automation.

  • Increase qualified candidate conversion rate by 15% through improved candidate screening and selection methods.

  • Achieve a 90% candidate satisfaction rate based on post-hiring feedback surveys.

Objective: Enhance employee satisfaction by 15%.

Key Results:

  • Increase employee satisfaction survey score by 10% through targeted improvement initiatives.

  • Reduce employee turnover rate by 20% through the implementation of retention strategies and programs.

  • Implement the new employee development program, with at least 80% participation rate among eligible employees.

Objective: Foster a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Key Results:

  • Achieve a 15% increase in diverse candidate representation in the talent pipeline through proactive sourcing and outreach efforts.

  • Implement unconscious bias training for all hiring managers and HR staff, with at least 95% completion rate.

  • Launch the D&E awareness week with at least 80% participation rate across 3 office locations.


Bad OKR example for HR team:

Objective: Make employees happier.

Key Results:

  • Decrease resignations.

  • Get positive feedback.

  • More perks.

Objective: Improve employee satisfaction.

Key Results:

  • Conduct an employee satisfaction survey.

  • Host a team-building event.

  • Implement an employee recognition program.

Objective: Enhance talent development.

Key Results:

  • Conduct a training needs assessment.

  • Schedule training sessions.

  • Create a talent development plan.

Conclusion

In conclusion, crafting effective OKRs is crucial for organizations to drive performance and achieve their goals. By setting specific and measurable objectives and key results, teams can align their efforts and work towards tangible outcomes. Teams can also leverage OKR software tools to help adopt the best practices.

Whether it's sales, operations, marketing, or HR, well-defined OKRs provide a roadmap for success. Wondering how to set up, align, and track OKRs for your team and looking to get more best practices on OKR implementation? Contact the team at Lark today for a free demo ⬇️

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