Do you know what’s common between Google, Twitter, Intel, and LinkedIn? They all use goal-setting to track progress. This helps them improve performance management.

Even research backs it. It has been shown that setting challenging and specific goals for employees can help improve their performance and engagement.

Among the plethora of goal-setting techniques available, the objectives and key results (OKRs) framework is arguably the most popular goal management methodology.

This straightforward approach helps in achieving alignment and engagement around specific goals. It can help ensure that everyone in the organization is going in the same direction with clear priorities and a constant rhythm.

The OKRs can be annual, quarterly, or even monthly, depending on your organization’s objectives. However, for those new to OKRs, it can get overwhelming. That is why we have compiled here a list of the top 7 best tips on how to set your OKRs.

But before that, let’s understand what OKRs are.

What are OKRs?

Objectives and key results (OKRs) are critical thinking frameworks and goal-setting methodologies that help companies set goals and objectives to create alignment in achieving common targets.

In other words –

a. Objectives help figure out where the organization wants to go.

b. Key results help figure out whether the organization is getting there or not.

Since modern workplaces are quite complex and hierarchical with low employee engagement and a general disconnect between different teams, OKRs help fix these issues.

OKRs help achieve better performance management by tracking progress through goal-setting. It can be used with groups or teams and can be set over a specified amount of time to easily track progress.

Let’s now discuss the 7 best practices to set your OKRs.

7 tips to set your OKRs

To help you with setting appropriate OKRs, here we have the following 7 tips –

1. Start with a small number of clearly defined objectives

We suggest you to begin by identifying up to five company OKRs for the year. This would help focus on prioritization initially.

Draw inspiration from your mission and vision statement to identify these five OKRs. This might mean solely selling reusable products or tripling the company’s revenue.

Similarly, departments and individuals should concentrate on only three to five objectives initially. Having too many OKRs might result in delays and slower execution due to a lack of prioritization of a few key objectives that drive breakthrough performance.

2. Align OKRs within the company and the leadership team

Since OKRs are defined on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, it’s important to align everyone in the company towards the same goals. In many cases, organizations define OKRs and then spend a lot of time in endless discussions and post-adjustments.

It’s important to keep everyone in the company aligned with the overall strategic goals as well as the big picture. You should consider asking yourself the following questions –

a. What’s the overall vision of the company or product?

b. Where do we see the company in the next 2-3 years?

c. What steps can be undertaken to reach there?

d. What are the teams currently focusing on?

There are of course many other questions that you can consider. However, these would build a good foundation.

By focusing on aligning your OKRs within the teams and the leadership, you can save a lot of time and effort.

3. Regularly review OKRs

Following OKRs may require a cultural shift in your organization. So, the focus of teams should be on regularly tracking the progress of OKRs on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

You must focus on developing regular OKR reviewing habits in order to promote cross-functional discussions that are focused on achieving the intended results.

If a culture of regular OKR review is not adopted, you might find yourself way off track.

4. Prepare bold and aspirational OKRs

If you aim higher than you expect, you could reach higher than you dreamed.

– Richard Branson

While formulating OKRs, keep in mind that each OKR you commit to should be bigger than your existing day-to-day tasks. You must not shy away from preparing OKRs that are aggressive and bold.

OKRs are supposed to be aspirational so that you can try achieving a lot more than you are currently doing. Here’s an example to explain it further.

If you aim to produce 10% higher output then you may achieve that 10% or if not, then 8 or 9% increased output.

But if you aim to produce 100% more output then even if you achieve 50% or 70% increased output, that result would still be significantly higher than what you’d have achieved otherwise.

In terms of OKRs, not achieving 100% every time is not a failure.

5. Focus on outcomes over tasks and projects

Most organizations focus on project plans for deliverables. This might be important for execution but with OKRs, a shift is required to move from tasks and projects to outcomes.

You need to understand that OKRs are not exactly tasks. So, focus on outcomes that you want to achieve and that’ll lead to projects required to achieve those outcomes.

There’s no need to over-specify. A watertight plan at the start of the process might negatively affect creativity and innovation.

6. Communicate clearly and with transparency

Transparency is a vital aspect of OKRs. When creating OKRs, it’s important to properly communicate them to the rest of the company. Leaders often only share the OKRs with the Product and Engineering departments while forgetting about Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success departments.

But this approach is only a recipe for failure. Clear communication and transparency are key to the success of OKRs. All stakeholders must be made aware through regular status updates.

Communication also proves to be helpful when things don’t work as expected. If you realize that the goals you’ve set are not achievable then it must also be communicated to the rest of the organization. Delays are never pleasant, however, good transparency and communication are the factors that differentiate successful from non-successful organizations.

7. Break key results into smaller goals

When you have goals that are too broad, it can become difficult to maintain focus on achieving them. So, when dealing with large key results, it’s better to simply break those into smaller goals. Create mini-goals within those large key results. This makes the objectives more specific.

These smaller goals act as milestones to measure your progress while allowing you to stay on track.


If your goal is to achieve business objectives using OKRs, the entire company must be aligned and onboard. OKRs can help assign responsibility to each department and employee so that everyone is working toward the same goals.

Not just these seven but there are many more tips that can be used while creating OKRs. However, more than reading about it, the better approach is to learn by doing it. Try out OKRs in your organization and see how it helps you grow.

In case you are looking for top OKR software that you can use for your business then check out this page.


Shikhil Vyas is a technical content writer who is always working on honing his skills in writing B2B SaaS content. When not writing for SaaSworthy, you can find him sharing content on personal growth on his Instagram (@VyasSpeaks).

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