Before switching to OKR’s, every company has some sort of fear regarding the impact of this framework to their business.

The best way to help them overcome this fear is by letting them view the case studies of some companies who utilize this methodology in the past to get all the answers of the questions creating troubles in their mind concerning OKR’s.

OKR’s are becoming the most prevalent way for setting and tracking goals because they have the flexibility to implement easily on any team size, either big or small teams.

This methodology has successfully helped a larger number of businesses to become more focused and productive.

We have mentioned the OKR case studies of five different businesses who have improved the performance of their business using OKR’s to help you understand the significance of OKR’s.

Case Study of Sears Holding Company

As many successful organizations are making use of OKR’s. Sears holding company also implemented OKR’s to get the benefits from this excellent framework.

According to Chris Mason, Sr. Director, Strategic Talent Solutions at Sears Holding Company. The company started to use OKR’s in the fall of 2013 to roll out all the 20,000 salaried associates.

After using OKR’s for more than a year, they didn’t find any considerable impact which let them makes some necessary changes. They divide their outbound call center among teams of outbound call agents at different locations and put their focus on the add-on sales that were measured using a metrics which not only calculate the hourly calls but also hourly sales as well.

The problem with the OKR is that they only launched it for the salaried persons instead of both salaried persons and outbound sales agents.

After resetting their OKR’s, they saw some outstanding results. They acquire an increment of 8.5% to their sales. Previously, they were having average sales of $14.44 per hour, which were increased to $15.67 after using the OKR’s.

Case Study of Swipely

Swipely, which is now Upserve, also implements OKR’s to handle their workforce effectively. In 2013, when they increased their employees from 30 to 80. They have a lot of activities to do like assigning directives, setting the role of new employees, etc. To get things done without compromising productivity, they make a wise decision and use OKR’s.

The CEO of swipely, Angus Davis, knows that he has to do something special to ensure that he keeps everyone aligned together. That’s why he choose OKR’s because he recognizes that OKR’s are better than goal setting software’s.

They create OKR’s with high-level objectives that contain detailed description regarding the objective. They link these objectives with three to five key results to help them achieve these goals.

The best thing they do is they make these OKR’s public so that every employee can view what his co-worker is doing. Before implementing OKR’s, they give feedback to employees only on performance review. But after implementing OKR’s, they update feedbacks regularly, which boost the dialogue among employees and management.

The OKR framework helped them a lot, and they hit a record sales of $1 billion.

Case Study of Google

Successful company like Google also use OKR’s since 1999 because it helps them convert them from a company of 40 employees to 60,000 employees.

Google is using OKR’s framework for a long time because they get remarkable results from it. They set ambitious objectives and grade their key results on a scale with 0-1.0 by the end of each quarter.

Google strongly believes that OKR’s are transparent, and everyone has the right to view what other workers are doing. According to them, OKR’s that are between .6 to .7 are considered successful because if someone is continuously hitting 1.0, it shows that their goals are not that ambitious.

Google also doesn’t consider low grade OKR’s a bad thing because they believe that these OKR’s are used as data for the OKR’s of next quarter.

Case Study of LinkedIn

LinkedIn also makes use of OKR’s. This Outstand framework helps them become a $20 billion company in a limited time.

The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, believes that it is the responsibility of a business to provide clear directions to its leader because the best destinations need clear vision and mission.

According to Weiner, a good leader can lift the entire team using coaching, providing strategy, defining clear objectives, and measured results. He believes that OKR’s is something that should be achieved in a limited time and motivates the entire team to set goals that are challenging. He prefers that the quantity of OKR’s should be between 3 to 5 in a quarter.

To track the progress of OKR’s, Weiner set up a meeting with employees once a week that consist of three hours along with a full-day meeting that takes the entire day.

The idea of these meetings is to keep himself updated regarding how all the employees are working towards the objectives of the business. He involves his employees to share their views regarding the achievements that they have achieved in the previous week to help them stay focused and continue doing all the good work of LinkedIn.

Case Study of Huawei

Huawei, which is one of the largest telecoms companies in the world, gave the old school strategy of KPIs and moved to OKR’s to take their business success to the next level.

Huawei uses the KPI system for tracking the success of their business, but it was not that successful for them. The key reason for that is because in KPIs system they can set goal setting as the starting point and performance evaluation to the endpoint but don’t have the facility to let their employers clearly understand the value of goals.

In 2019, they decided to move on OKR’s because they realize that many organizations used OKR’s to accomplish the objectives of their organization successfully. Using this methodology, they were able to set attainable goals that they achieved in a specific time. It helps them boosts the performance of their business by aligning all the employees so that they can work together on business goals.

Final Thoughts

After going through the OKR case studies of these companies, it’s quite clear that OKR has the capability to drive clarity and accountability. It connects the objectives of the company and team to measurable results. But, relying completely on OKR’s and believing that it will do all the magic is like living in the haven of fools. These companies not only just put all the efforts creating OKR’s but also work hard to get the results associated with their objectives.

So, keep in mind that utilizing OKR software is only the first step towards the path of success. Rest will depend on how well your business implements the OKR’s strategy.