Inviting opinions as we are brewing this year’s State of HR Tech Report  Take the Survey Now

OKR vs EFQM: Understanding the Differences and Choosing the Right Framework for Your Organisation?

March 23, 2023
By Ganesh Ram
OKR vs EFQM: Understanding the Differences and Choosing the Right Framework for Your Organisation?

Are you finding it challenging to choose between OKR vs EFQM when it comes to measuring the success of your organisation? Both frameworks are popular and aim to improve organisational performance, but they have different approaches.

OKRs are a goal-setting system that focuses on achieving specific objectives with measurable results, whereas EFQM is a comprehensive management model that assesses the entire organisation’s quality and effectiveness. OKR vs EFQM debate is ongoing and requires understanding your organisation’s goals, values, and priorities to make the right decision.

While OKRs offer a clear target and focus, EFQM emphasises continuous improvement and stakeholder satisfaction. The choice between OKR vs EFQM depends on your organisation’s goals, values, and priorities. Let’s discuss the crucial aspects of both these frameworks and identify the most suitable option for your enterprise.

Interesting Fact Alert!

Since its inception in October 1989, EFQM has leveraged the EFQM Model and Technology along with impressive methodologies to assist over 50,000 entities in enhancing their performance.

What do OKRs do?

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal-setting process that enables enterprises to achieve their objectives by fostering greater transparency, improving focus, and optimising resource allocation. The framework offers several advantages, including better strategic alignment, increased transparency, and a stronger emphasis on actual results. A large number of companies now have dedicated OKR masters to guide the entity through the process.

The OKR framework achieves these benefits by aligning employees’ tasks and responsibilities around common objectives. Each OKR consists of an Objective, which outlines the desired outcome, and several Key Results, which are the outcomes necessary to achieve the Objective. Initiatives are activities undertaken to move closer to achieving Key Results. With the help of this framework, employees can prioritise, align, and analyse their work results, guided by a set of guidelines.

Here is an example to help you understand the crucial aspects of OKRs:

One example of OKR is a digital marketing agency setting a goal to increase website traffic by 60% within six months. The Objective would be to “Boost Inbound Traffic,” and the Key Results would be measurable outcomes necessary to achieve this objective.

  • Objective:
    • Increase website traffic by 60% within six months.
  • Key Results:
    • Increase organic traffic by 35% through SEO.
    • Increase paid traffic by 30% through targeted ads.
    • Improve website loading speed by 20%.
    • Increase backlinks by 25%.
  • Initiatives:
    • Conduct a thorough SEO audit.
    • Create and implement targeted ad campaigns.
    • Optimise website images and code for faster loading.
    • Actively seek backlinks through outreach campaigns.

By using OKRs, the agency can track progress, focus efforts, and ensure alignment of objectives.

Implementation of OKR

To ensure a seamless implementation of OKRs, you must follow a series of defined steps. Here are the key steps that will help you achieve the target: –

  • Communicate

Set up a meeting with everyone involved in the OKR implementation phase to get things started. As only some employees will be familiar with OKRs, inform everyone participating in the process of the advantages and the procedures.

  • Adapt a Tool

The secret is to have a top-notch OKR tool at your disposal. A platform that is not in sync with your requirements could be more detrimental than beneficial. Many tools are on the market, so make sure you pick one that’s user-friendly and has the necessary functionality.

  • Identifying Goals

Find all of your goals and enter them into the OKR platform. First, specifying your goals and the significant outcomes you anticipate is critical. Next, scale your goals over time by beginning with simpler initial goals and then maturing into complex specific goals.

  • Review Findings

Once you receive the findings, it is time to assess them using the platform’s data. These results will assist you in making informed decisions regarding future strategies.

Do You Know!

The credit for transforming the Management By Objective (MBO) framework to OKRs in 1968 goes to Andrew Grove, the CEO of Intel then!

Types of OKRs

Here are the three types of OKRs crucial for ensuring growth and success within the organisation:

  • Committed OKRs: Committed OKRs are objectives and key results that have been agreed upon by all team members and are considered to be a high priority. They require a significant level of commitment from the team and are typically used for long-term goals that require a sustained effort to achieve.


  • Aspirational OKRs: Aspirational OKRs are objectives and key results that are more challenging and ambitious than Committed OKRs. They are designed to push teams to surpass their capabilities and strive for significant growth and progress. If successfully executed, aspirational OKRs are often riskier but can lead to greater innovation, creativity, and achievement.


  • Learning OKRs: Learning OKRs are objectives and key results focusing on personal and professional development. They are designed to encourage employees to learn new skills, expand their knowledge, and gain valuable experience. Learning OKRs are typically used with other types of OKRs to support overall growth and development within the organisation.
Understand OKRs in 60 seconds!

●  OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal-setting process that helps enterprises achieve their objectives by improving focus, transparency, and resource allocation.

●  OKRs align employees’ tasks and responsibilities around common objectives and consist of an Objective, Key Results, and Initiatives.

●  Implementing OKRs requires communication, adapting a suitable tool, identifying goals, and reviewing findings to assess future strategies.

●  There are three types of OKRs: Committed OKRs, Aspirational OKRs, and Learning OKRs, each with different objectives and outcomes.

●  Committed OKRs require a significant level of commitment from the team and are used for long-term goals, while Aspirational OKRs are more challenging and designed to push teams to achieve significant growth. Learning OKRs focus on personal and professional development.

What is EFQM?

In 1989, just before the Berlin Wall fell, a group of prominent European businessmen established EFQM. The EFQM aimed to enhance the competitiveness of the European economy by creating a standardised management framework that would help firms become more effective. The EFQM Excellence Model acts as a roadmap to excellence by assisting businesses in determining their current position and providing the necessary tools to monitor progress over time. Measuring the cause-and-effect relationship is critical because it allows companies to evaluate the results of their actions against their desired outcomes.

An example of its implementation can be a healthcare organisation that uses the model to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to address them. The organisation assesses its current processes, identifies areas of inefficiency, and implements changes to streamline operations. This will reduce patient wait times, improve staff and patients’ communication, and increase patient satisfaction. The EFQM model’s focus on continuous improvement helped the organisation establish a culture of excellence and sustained growth.

The EFQM Excellence Model divides cause and effect, or “enablers” and “results,” into various categories that can be thought of as inputs on one side and outputs on the other.


  • Strategies
  • Leadership
  • People
  • Partnerships and Resources
  • Services, Goods, and Processes

The actions of any one of these facilitators can alter any of the outcomes listed below:


  • Results for Customers and People.
  • Business and Society Results.

The model’s final suggested modification is a persistent emphasis on reaching “Excellence” in each ” enabler ” area.


  • Increasing value for the client.
  • Establishing a sustainable future.
  • Increasing organisational capacity.
  • Using innovation and creativity.
  • Leading to inspiration and integrity for the future.
  • Using agility.
  • Achieving success based on people’s talent.
  • Maintaining excellent outcomes.

Finally, although the Excellence Model tool differs considerably from OKR, the framework moves closer to OKRs capabilities when it uses a tool for managing performance.

Using the EFQM Model & RADAR for Self-Assessment

The RADAR logic framework is used to manage performance and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy developed using the EFQM Excellence Model. It begins by identifying the anticipated outcomes of the plan, similar to how OKRs start with goals. There is no distinction between objectives and key results or who owns the results in the organisational structure.

After defining the results, the framework requires the planning and creation of approaches to achieve them. The Deploy stage aims to establish how, where, and when initiatives are implemented. Finally, the Assess & Refine stage ensures that outcomes are regularly evaluated, insights are recorded, and agreement is reached on the practicality of the approaches used to achieve the desired results.

Understand EQFM in 60 seconds!

●  The EFQM Excellence Model acts as a roadmap to excellence by assisting businesses in determining their current position and providing the necessary tools to monitor progress over time.

●  The EFQM model divides cause and effect, or “enablers” and “results,” into categories that can be thought of as inputs on one side and outputs on the other.

●  The RADAR logic framework is used to manage performance and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy developed using the EFQM Excellence Model.

●  The EFQM model’s focus on continuous improvement helps organisations establish a culture of excellence and sustained growth.

EFQM vs OKR: Comparative Analysis

EFQM and OKR are popular frameworks organisations use to improve performance and achieve strategic objectives. However, EFQM and OKR share some similarities but differ significantly in their focus, structure, implementation, and flexibility. Therefore, you should consider their goals and needs carefully before deciding which framework to adopt.

Here is a comparative EFQM vs OKR analysis for your perusal:

  • Focus: EFQM focuses on organisational excellence and overall improvement, while OKR focuses on goal setting and achievement.
  • Structure: EFQM provides a holistic approach to organisational management, while OKR provides a specific goal-setting and tracking framework.
  • Metrics: EFQM uses a range of metrics to assess organisational performance, while OKR primarily focuses on tracking progress towards specific goals.
  • Implementation: EFQM is more complex to implement and requires significant organisational buy-in, while OKR is relatively straightforward and can be implemented quickly.
  • Flexibility: OKR is more flexible, allowing for adjustments and revisions to goals as needed, while EFQM is more rigid in its approach.
  • Alignment: EFQM focuses on aligning organisational goals with stakeholder needs and expectations, while OKR focuses on aligning individual and team goals with organisational objectives.
Interesting OKR Fact

Some of the leading companies using OKR are Intel, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Oracle!

Final Take!

EFQM and OKR are distinct frameworks that serve unique purposes but can be used in tandem. While EFQM offers comprehensive coverage of organisational management strategy, its emphasis on input/output may create barriers to accessibility for some employees, potentially impeding the implementation of the management plan.

In contrast, OKR is straightforward, narrow in focus, and dedicated exclusively to translating strategy into clear business goals and monitoring outcomes. OKR relies on four key principles, including Goals, Key Results, Initiatives, and Cadences, making it easy for all members of an organisation to comprehend. However, the drawback of OKR is that it only provides a means to execute company strategy, as additional tools or structures are necessary. As a result, OKR works better for setting goals than developing strategies.

Hence, you must select either of the two options for your enterprises only after developing a thorough understanding of their features and limitations.

Check out PeopleStrong to make better talent decisions

We are in an era of accelerated digitization and for companies to build a workforce for the future – there are a slew of factors that companies need to execute with various stakeholders including people leaders, management, and employees.

PeopleStrong’s AI-powered, comprehensive, integrated Talent Operating System could be just the solution that you are looking for to win this talent war.

An Integrated Talent Management Suite can help you:

  • Create a seamless hiring experience that both your recruiters and candidates will love and results in 50% higher offer acceptance than industry standards
  • Create a fully automated, hyper-personalized onboarding experience that reduces 50% joining time
  • Build an efficient and high-performance culture to unleash the true potential of your workforce
  • Craft personalized career and skill advancement paths for employees
  • Leverage powerful insights from real-time talent analytics towards better talent decisions with agility, and at scale
Related blogs
July 26, 2023

Clear your calendars and make room for an event that is more than just a...

April 28, 2023

The quality and skills of employees is a major factor affecting the success of a...

With the rapid pace at which the modern workforce is evolving, companies need to revamp...

Thoughts, insights, and more…