HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

What Are OKRs?

Objectives and key results (OKRs) refer to software services designed to help organizations achieve goals more efficiently and effectively. OKRs can help you drive toward success by creating measurable objectives to accomplish. They also allow organizations to track deficiencies that need addressing. Once employers identify these problem areas, they can more easily tackle necessary objectives. 

Organizations will often set goals at the start of the business year—either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. In spite of best intentions, the organization, teams, and employees can lose sight of these goals in the daily grind of operations. OKRs offer daily, weekly, or monthly reminders of your goals and how much progress you’ve made so that you never lose track of them. 

How Do OKRs Work?

OKRs involve writing out objectives and including several key results that demonstrate your success. For example, if your objective is to increase website traffic, then key results might include a 20% increase in website traffic, a 5% increase in CTA click rate, and a 5% reduction in bounce rate.

Objectives are the goals you wish to achieve. They should be straightforward, actionable, and important. It is important to have tangible goals that reduce vague goal setting. A goal that is overly vague can be difficult to track and slow progress.

Key results are what we use to measure the success of our goals. If we can set a clear objective followed by key measurements, we can clearly see when a goal has been achieved. The best key results are time-sensitive, specific, and data-driven. When writing out key results you must avoid vaguely defined results. It needs to be apparent and clear when a goal is reached.

How Can Organizations Benefit from an OKR?

The primary benefit of an OKR is the simple and effective means of tracking goals, but OKRs can impact organizations in many ways beyond that:

  • They increase productivity by clarifying goals.
  • They allow organizations to distribute resources more effectively. 
  • They offer employers a greater understanding of how objectives affect strategies and company vision.
  • They help you to understand which objectives are practical and why.
  • They create a space for management to make more informed decisions.

It can also be rather tricky for managers and executives to understand where each team stands on achieving its goals. With an OKR’s tracking capabilities, management can spend less time worrying over how to accomplish their goals and more easily digest the progression of their company’s vision. 

Related Terms: SMART Goals

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