Now that most teams across the globe have started working remotely, owing to the global COVID-19 panic, it is time for organizations to find a way to keep their teams functioning normally and drive engagement and productivity.
Setting employee goals is the first step to managing your remote team. While goal-setting seems like a huge task when you’re working with a team, there are many easier ways to do it. One of such ways is using an employee goal setting software.
The next step is to find the best-fitting goal setting software for your organization. Depending on the type of your organization and the industry, the type of goal-setting software required also differs. However, Engagedly is designed in a way to suit almost every organization’s goal-setting needs.
Engagedly For Employee Goal Management
Engagedly’s simple yet effective goal-setting tool provides you transparency by allowing you to
Add key results
Add start date and end date
Align individual goals with company goals
You can easily keep track of your goal progress as well as your team’s progress with Engagedly. Aligning your goals with organizational goals allows you to gain an understanding of how you are contributing to your organization’s success.
Like I said above, flexibility in goal-setting is important because goals differ from person to person. Engagedly’s goal-setting tool supports various tracking methods.
There are two different kinds of goal check-in in Engagedly
1. Percentage check-in (When you want to keep track of the progress by percentage)
Example: Increase leads by 15% in 2019
2. Quantitative check-in (When you want to keep track of the progress by whole numbers)
Example: Close 100 tickets a day
The start date and end date also allow you to track your goals based on deadlines.
Engagedly’s goal-setting tool is easy to understand and acts like a task management system. It is easier to shift from paper-based goals to Engagedly’s goal-setting tool; one reason for this is the compelling graphical representation of goal dashboards (My dashboard, Team dashboard, Org dashboard).
Another reason is that Engagedly supports multiple users for one goal and allows you to think and plan hierarchically.
The tool also allows you to have discussions on goal check-ins and encourages collaboration.
Easily Usable Interface
Engagedly is designed to be simple and easily understandable to its users. All you need to do is go to the goal-setting tool and explore it. It is plain and has no hidden functionality. It helps you understand the goals better by allowing you to add resources in the form of attachments and reminds you to complete your goals by notifying you based on the frequency selected by you.
Engagedly And OKRs
Engagedly uses one of the most universally popular methodology for goal setting : Objectives And Key Results (OKRs)
This approach allows you to set goals to your remote employees and track them continuously. Using OKRs without realizing their purpose or objective, makes them feel complex or unusable. However, it is possible for organizations to use OKRs, just like Google and also achieve some measure of success if you break down the process of goal setting and understand every aspect of it.
OKRs stand for ‘Objectives And Key Results’. OKRs are a popular approach for goal-setting which allows employees to execute individual and organizational goals.
OBJECTIVES are something that you want to achieve, and KEY RESULTS are a measurable way to keep track of how close you are to achieve your objective.
Many employers confuse OKRs with KPI (Key Performance Indicators). Key Performance Indicators are a typical performance metric that was popular during the 1900s. While KPI (Key Performance Indicators) help you gain an accurate idea of how well your organization is doing, they do not help you understand how far you are from achieving your objective.
KPIs help you measure the process and not the outcome of the process. OKRs on the other hand, help you set objectives and key results which keep track of the progress on the process as well as the outcome.
OKRs should answer these two questions:
Objectives – What Do You Desire To Achieve?
Key Results – How To Know If You Are Getting Closer To Achieving It?
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OKRs work on all levels, be it corporate, departmental or individual goals. Using OKRs promotes collaboration and helps you drive employee engagement in your organization. Here are a few more benefits of using OKRs for goal-setting in your organization.
Lack of transparency is one of the most common reasons for employees to leave an organization. Most employees do not know the mission and vision of the company they work for. OKRs let you define objectives and keep track of the progress on the key results (Outcome).
They help every employee understand what the mission and vision of their company is and what they can do to achieve it. In short, OKRs help employees understand what’s expected of them.
OKRs help you prioritize your goals and define a clear set of key results which should be fulfilled to achieve those goals. Studies say that employees are more focused and motivated to complete their tasks when they clearly know what needs to be done and how it affects the organization.
OKRs bring focus and clarity to what needs to be achieved and motivate employees to revisit and check-in on their goals more frequently.
Engaging employees is not just about keeping them happy and satisfied, it is about making employees contribute to the company. Disengagement is a common problem in many organizations and yet it is left unaddressed. Disengaged employees can be dangerous to the rest of the workforce.
Having clear goals and regular check-ins helps employees stay focused and hence increases their contribution to the company.
When employees physically write their own OKRs, they tend to be more committed to their work and be engaged at their workplace. OKRs give them a purpose to work towards.
Setting OKRs is just the first step. For employees to take them seriously and work on them, they should understand the importance of their individual OKRs. Aligning individual OKRs to departmental or organizational goals allows employees to understand how they contribute to the big picture.
These OKRs can be cascaded to other team members where they work towards achieving the objective collectively by sharing the key results. In this way OKRs not only help individual development but also help employees see how their teamwork can help the organization grow.
The trick is to have the right amount of objectives. Too many objectives dilute the positive effects of OKRs.
Introducing OKRs To Your Team
OKRs might seem like a very complex management tactic, but the truth is that they are simple and easy to apply. Not only do they help organizations set clear goals, but they also help organizations measure those goals.
OKRs are a really great way of getting your team on track and aligning the work that they do with the organization’s overall objectives. Here’s how to introduce OKRs to your team in 4 simple steps.
Introduce them to the concept
Much like John Doerr was introduced to the concept of OKRs by Andy Grovel, your team needs an introduction to OKRs as well. If you want them to utilize it to its fullest potential, then it is important they know how it works. While there are a number of OKR guides out there, why not go to the one that is synonymous with the term OKRs.
Google has an OKR guide that will take users through history and set up and even teach them how to write actionable OKRs. Once they are familiar with the concept of OKRs, you can move onto the next step.
Establish the company’s objectives and your department goals
All goals need to be aligned with an organization’s goals. That is the true purpose of achievable goals and objectives. However, if your organization does not have its objectives visibly spelled out somewhere, how can you expect your team to have aligned goals? It is not a manager’s job to decide upon the organization’s objectives. But you can be sure that your senior leaders already have something in mind.
An organization’s objectives are usually similar to an organization’s vision and mission. But before you ask your team to start preparing their OKRs, establish your organization’s objectives and even more important, establish your team’s overall objectives!
It’s time for individual OKRs!
When your team is using OKRs for the first time, help them draft their OKRs. It would be good to have individual one on one meetings with them where you and your direct report can hash out their goals for the quarter, decide upon a goal setting software should they want to use one, decide upon targets, and set the cadence for how often they want to check-in on their goals, and most importantly how you want to track the OKR’s progress.
Additionally, OKRs should never be static. A static OKR is good for jobs which involve a great deal of routine. But for jobs that are dynamic, OKRs need to be fluid. Fluid OKRs give employees the freedom to course correct, to make use of new tools and opportunities and they allow managers the flexibility to shift targets as well.
Schedule Weekly/Bi-Weekly One on One Meetings
In addition to however your direct reports choose to check in on their OKRs, it is important to schedule short weekly or bi-weekly one on one meeting with them. This is not to just keep track of their progress. It is to also see how you can help them achieve their goals.
Maybe they are falling behind because they have other pressing projects to deal with. Or maybe they have already completed their goals and need more of a challenge? Either way, there is no way for a manager to know all of this only by looking at a goal, its description, and the progress bar.
Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.