Does Netflix use OKRs?

Does Netflix use OKRs

Does Netflix use OKRs? How did Netflix start with OKRs?

Yes, Netflix utilizes OKRs at the company and individual levels, ensuring everyone is aligned toward ambitious goals with measurable outcomes. The company’s implementation of OKRs started in the early 2000s, led by co-founder Reed Hastings. 

Hastings and his team of executives understood the importance of OKRs in promoting adaptability and creativity within the company. They acknowledged the importance of embracing a flexible method for establishing objectives and evaluating progress.

For example, at Netflix, the customer comes first. So when data revealed declining satisfaction scores, they jumped into action. Analyzing survey and interview feedback showed frustrations with slow complaint resolution.

To address this, Netflix set an objective to improve customer issue resolution within 48 hours. Key results focused on response time metrics and satisfaction rating targets. 

Similarly, Netflix realized engaged employees create happy customers. Exit surveys highlighted that long-tenured staff often quit due to limited growth opportunities and inadequate manager support. This led to additional OKRs aimed at enhancing the employee experience.

Where is Netflix now with the OKRs?

Netflix has embraced OKRs as a key strategy, but their approach has undergone changes in recent years. They now prioritize more targeted and short-term objectives, often quarterly or bi-weekly. 

This allows for faster adjustments and adaptability. Moreover, they have increased transparency by making company-wide OKRs accessible to all employees. This fosters a greater sense of engagement and ownership.

Nevertheless, there are still challenges to overcome. Concerns regarding excessive workloads and achieving ambitious goals are being tackled through improved goal-setting processes and initiatives to promote work-life balance.

Key takeaways for other companies from Netflix’s successful use of OKRs

  1. Targeted and short-term OKR cycles, often quarterly

Set aggressive OKRs in shorter cycles versus annual goal setting to drive urgency. Companies should match OKR cadence to the pace of change in their industry. Set quarterly or even monthly OKRs to keep teams agile yet not overwhelm them. 

  1. OKRs are communicated company-wide

Ensure all employees see top-level company OKRs. Make OKRs visible across the organization so everyone understands strategic priorities and how their work ladders up. Use OKR software or all-hands meetings to cascade objectives.

  1. Importance of leadership setting visionary OKRs

Leaders should set bold objectives like growing international streaming that shape company direction. Leadership OKRs signal priorities and where to focus innovation. Managers should shape OKRs to reposition the company for the future versus projecting the past.

  1. Focusing on customer-centric goals

OKRs should target improving customer experience, such as implementing personalized recommendations. Set OKRs that map to customer needs and desired outcomes to stay customer-focused in a rapidly evolving market.

  1. Encouraging ambition and intelligent failure 

You should set highly ambitious OKRs and encourage “stretch for success” goals. Leaders should push teams to set aspirational OKRs and not punish failure if it leads to learning. Reward intelligent risk-taking.  

  1. Adapting OKRs as the company evolves

Netflix evolved OKRs from DVD shipping to streaming. Reevaluate OKR relevance and focus areas as the business and market changes. Don’t stick to legacy OKRs that reflect past versus future strategy.


Netflix has embraced the use of OKRs as a strategic framework to drive performance and align organizational goals. While the company is known for its unique culture and management philosophy, it has incorporated OKRs to enhance team focus, transparency, and accountability. 

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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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