Practice Ongoing Improvement: How CFRs Supercharge Your OKRs


Do you feel like you’re working hard but unsure if your efforts are truly making a difference? Many of us crave that sense of purpose and achievement at work.

But without clear direction and ongoing support, even the most dedicated efforts can feel scattered.

But here’s the good news: Combining OKRs with CFR creates a system for sustained execution. This ongoing support system includes regular check-ins, timely feedback, and well-deserved recognition.

This blog will explore the proven framework of OKRs and CFR working together. We’ll explore the benefits of this combo and equip you with best practices to link these two.


What is OKR and CFR?

OKR provides a structure for goal setting and measurement. CFR supports the team in creating a positive work culture and continuous improvement through open dialogue and recognition.

Together, OKRs and CFR create a comprehensive framework for driving people’s performance and engagement within organizations. So, how do you translate this framework into action? CFR comes into play throughout the OKR implementation process.

What are the main differences between OKRs and CFR?

Think of OKRs as the roadmap and CFR as the fuel for your success.




What is it?Goal-setting frameworkCommunication and support system for achieving goals
PurposeSet team-aligning, measurable, and ambitious goals and track progressEstablish ongoing communication, provide feedback, and recognize achievements
Time frameTypically quarterly or yearlyOngoing throughout the cycle (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.)
CadenceDefined check-ins at set intervals (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)Regular conversations, feedback loops, and recognition moments
StakeholdersDepartments, teams, entire organizationIndividuals, Managers, Team Leads
MeasurabilityOKRs are specific and quantifiableFeedback can be quantitative and qualitative
OutcomesAchieve ambitious goalsImproved engagement, development, and performance
Compatible withVarious goal-setting methodologies and any teamMost effective when used with OKRs
Training neededModerate – Understanding of goal-setting and metricsLow – Focuses on communication and interpersonal skills
ExampleObjective: Increase website traffic by 20%

With Key Results of “Improve SEO ranking” and “Launch social media campaign”

Manager provides feedback on progress towards website traffic goal and recognizes team’s effort on SEO improvements

By effectively implementing both OKRs and CFR, you’ll have a clear roadmap for success fueled by a motivated and engaged team. Remember, CFRs are there to support your OKRs, not replace them.

Let us consider a real-life example, The marketing crew wants to make their brand a household name (increase brand awareness).

They set an Objective: To familiarize 20% more people with their company in three months.

Key results to reach that goal:

  • Get 15% more people visiting their website (like their online store).
  • Grow their social media following by 10% on all platforms (think Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
  • Get mentioned in 3 articles by websites or magazines in their field.

CFR is like having awesome teammates who cheer you on:

  • They chat regularly (conversations) to see how things are going with the milestones. They brainstorm new ideas, solve any problems that pop up, and adjust their plans if needed.
  • They constantly give feedback, both high fives and pointers. For example, they might praise someone for a rocking social media campaign or offer tips on making their website more discoverable online.
  • They celebrate wins big time (recognition)! When the team hits a milestone, like getting featured in an article, they get a shout-out. This could be through a team email, a mention at a company meeting, or even a fun treat!

CFR keeps the team feeling supported and motivated. Chatting things out helps them stay focused and work together as a team. Feedback helps everyone improve, and recognition makes them feel good about their hard work.

How do OKRs and CFR work together?

Think of OKRs and CFR as two sides of the same coin. OKRs set the direction and provide a framework, while CFR fuels your efforts to achieve those goals.

Here’s how they work together in action

  • Setting OKRs: During the OKR setting process, involve your team in discussions. This promotes buy-in and clarifies expectations.
  • Tracking Progress: Regularly discuss progress on key results. Use these discussions as opportunities to provide feedback and identify areas where adjustments might be needed.
  • Recognition: When a key result is achieved, recognize and celebrate the team’s contribution. This reinforces the importance of the objective and motivates continued effort.

What are some benefits of combining OKRs and CFR?

Combining OKRs with CFR can be a game-changer for your organization. Let’s explore how each benefit translates into real-world improvements for you:

1. Improved Organizational Alignment

OKRs provide a clear roadmap of your company’s goals, while CFR ensures everyone understands the “why” behind them. Through regular conversations and feedback, individual efforts align with the bigger picture. 

Imagine your team rowing in unison towards a shared objective – that’s the power of alignment.

2. Better Focus on Critical Priorities

By nature, OKRs force you to prioritize a few ambitious goals. CFR adds another layer by promoting open discussions about roadblocks and adjustments needed. This ongoing dialogue keeps everyone focused on the most impactful tasks, eliminating distractions.

3. Positive Company Culture

Recognition, a key aspect of CFR, goes a long way. When employees feel appreciated for their contributions towards OKRs, it creates a sense of purpose and belonging. 

This promotes a positive and motivated work environment where people are genuinely invested in success.

4. Greater Engagement among Managers and Employees

CFR necessitates regular conversations between managers and employees. This two-way street allows for clear goal setting, progress updates, and timely feedback. 

Engaged employees are not just present, they’re actively involved and contributing their best work.

5. Healthier Employee-Manager Relationships

CFR creates a platform for open communication and mutual understanding. Managers can provide constructive feedback tailored to individual needs, while employees feel comfortable voicing concerns or seeking clarification on OKRs. 

This builds trust and encourages a collaborative work environment.

6. More Productivity with Continuous Performance Management

When everyone is clear on the goals (OKRs) and feels supported through CFR, it leads to a laser focus on what matters. This constant interaction becomes Continuous Performance Management.

Reduced confusion and clear expectations translate to less wasted time and effort, ultimately significantly boosting productivity.

7. More Profitable Business Results

Imagine a scenario where everyone in your organization is working towards the same ambitious goals (OKRs) with a clear focus and high productivity (thanks to CFR). This translates directly to achieving your business objectives, leading to increased revenue and profitability.

8. Enhanced Leadership Capabilities

By facilitating regular conversations and feedback (CFR), managers get valuable insights into their team’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows them to become better coaches, providing targeted support to help each team member excel in achieving OKRs. 

This, in turn, strengthens your overall leadership capabilities.

In essence, OKRs and CFR work hand-in-hand. OKRs provide the “what” and “how much,” while CFR ensures everyone understands the “why” and has the tools to succeed.

This combination creates a powerful framework for achieving ambitious goals, penetrating a positive work environment, and ultimately driving your business toward greater success.

What are the best practices for linking OKRs and CFR?

Linking OKRs and CFR is crucial for getting the most out of both frameworks. Here’s what I recommend to create a strong connection:

Tips for Conversations

  • Schedule Regular Meetings

You mentioned this, and it’s key. Block time in advance for check-ins, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. This creates a predictable rhythm for discussing progress and keeps OKRs from fading into the background.

  • Reiterate Priorities and Expectations

At the start of each meeting, take a few minutes to revisit the big picture. Remind everyone of the company’s strategic objectives and how your team’s OKRs contribute. This reinforces focus and ensures everyone’s rowing in the same direction.

  • Be an Active Listener

This is where the magic happens. Ask open-ended questions about progress on key results. What’s working? What roadblocks are there? Don’t just listen to hear. Listen to understand their challenges and identify areas where you can support them.

  • Co-create an Agenda

Instead of dictating the discussion, involve your team. Ask them what they want to discuss related to OKRs. This fosters ownership and encourages them to bring up issues proactively. It also allows you to tailor the conversation to their specific needs.

Tips for Feedback

  • Focus on the action, Not the actor

You mentioned keeping feedback impersonal, which is a great point. Instead of criticizing someone’s approach, focus on the specific action or behavior and how it impacts achieving the OKR.

  • Strike while the iron’s hot 

Timely feedback is essential. Don’t wait weeks to address a missed target or a great contribution. Addressing things in the moment allows for course correction and reinforces positive behaviors.

  • Two-way street 

Make feedback bi-directional. Encourage your employees to provide feedback on their OKRs, the resources available, and even your management style. This creates a collaborative environment and helps identify potential roadblocks.

  • Specificity is key 

Vague feedback like “good job” or “needs improvement” isn’t helpful. Be specific about what they did well and how they can improve on specific metrics tied to the OKRs. Actionable feedback should provide clear steps for moving forward.

Tips for Recognition

  • Peer-to-peer power

Create a platform like a dedicated OKR software or a section in your project management tool where employees can publicly recognize each other’s contributions towards OKRs. This fosters a sense of teamwork and motivates everyone to go the extra mile.

  • Specificity is key

Generic “good job” pats on the back don’t cut it. When offering recognition, highlight specific actions or achievements that directly impacted an OKR. This personalizes the praise and reinforces the link between effort and results.

  • Public wins, Public recognition

Documenting successes publicly, through company newsletters or internal social media platforms, amplifies the impact of recognition. It showcases high performers and inspires others to strive for excellence.

  • Alignment with bigger goals

Tie recognition to company goals. When recognizing someone for achieving a key result, explain how it contributed to the broader OKR and ultimately, the company’s strategic objectives. 

This reinforces the bigger picture and motivates employees to see their individual contributions as part of something significant.


Don’t be afraid to adapt OKRs and CFR to your specific needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment, find what works best for you and your team, and refine your process as you go.

Mastering OKRs and CFR can be a journey. But the rewards are substantial. If you want to unlock the full potential of this powerful framework, consider hiring an OKR Consultant

They can provide expert guidance, customized strategies, and ongoing support to ensure your OKRs and CFR work seamlessly for your team. Contact us here!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does CFR mean on LinkedIn?

In the context of OKRs, CFR stands for Conversations, Feedback, and Recognition. It emphasizes the importance of ongoing communication and support throughout the OKR Cycle.

2. What are the advantages of CFR?

CFR offers three main advantages to propel your OKRs forward:

  • Conversations: Regular check-ins ensure everyone’s aligned with goals and address roadblocks proactively.
  • Feedback: Timely and constructive feedback keeps you on track and facilitates course correction.
  • Recognition: Celebrating achievements, big or small, fuels motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

3. What are the CFR objectives?

CFR doesn’t have its own set of objectives. Instead, it serves as a framework to support your OKRs. CFR empowers you and your team to achieve your ambitious goals by facilitating open communication, providing guidance, and acknowledging progress.

4. How do OKRs and CFR complement each other in driving organizational performance?

OKRs provide a framework for setting clear goals and objectives, while CFR facilitate effective communication, feedback, and recognition. They ensure alignment and accountability, which drives organizational performance.

5. How can organizations ensure effective communication channels are established to support the implementation of OKRs and CFR?

Organizations can ensure effective communication channels by fostering an open and transparent culture, utilizing various communication platforms, providing regular updates on OKR progress, and encouraging feedback and recognition to support the implementation of OKRs and CFR.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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