Key insights for managing goals in the post-pandemic workplace

Kevin Shively, September 8, 2021 2 min read

This article was sponsored by

As 66% of employees make their way back to the office, Ally – which provides OKR software – wanted to understand their thoughts and behaviour when it comes to goal setting and achievement.

In our newly released 2021 Goal Management Report, a survey of over 4,500 workers in both the UK and North America. we dove into what employees and leaders predict for the future of work, how they set and manage goals across the company, and how goal management and business performance can affect company culture and employee engagement.

Here is a first look at some of the key themes we discovered.

  • Employees ranked their company culture higher when they had a standardised goal framework in place

According to the results, a standardised goal framework can impact trust, understanding, and innovation within a company’s culture. Additionally, when employees have clear visibility and communication around the company’s goals and mission there is an increase in performance and engagement.

Among employees who say they believe in the company’s mission, 88% feel inspired by the work that they do and 72% feel empowered to take risks knowing they could fail.

Not only does a company’s mission help create a culture of employees who are “bought-in”, but it also has a positive impact on innovation and ROI.

  • OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) outperform as a goal management tool but are under-utilised

Over the past few years, OKRs have become a popular choice for companies that want to align departmental and individual goals. 

In fact, 60% of OKR users say they adopted the methodology to create alignment, while only 37% of those who use other methodologies say the same.

In addition, companies that are using OKRs have noticed employees achieve their goals more frequently, feel more inspired doing their job, and rate their company culture higher than users from other goal frameworks.

Without a goal framework, employees check in less frequently for progress updates, and 33% of individuals with no goal structure say they never check in on progress with their manager or team. Only 4% of OKR users say the same.

  • There is a disconnect between management and employees on the company mission

Company executives and individual contributors seem to have different views when it comes to the performance of their business. As a manager becomes more and more removed from the day-to-day of their employees, a disconnect typically occurs.

According to the study, 86% of managers and executives believe in the company’s mission while only 77% of individual contributors do. 

Introducing a goal management strategy can help solve this divide by bringing clarity and alignment to different levels of the business. 

  • The future of work is hybrid

After the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees believed that remote work would be the new normal. Our findings say that’s not the case—at least not completely.

More than half of the population surveyed said the pandemic forced them to work from home, but of the employees who were forced to go remote, 66% will return to in-person work; 23% will have a flexible model; and 10% will stay remote. 

With the world adapting to a new future of work, it’s more important than ever that companies have a goal management strategy in place to create alignment among leaders, teams and individual contributors. 

As the world of work continues to change, we hope the insights from this year’s Goal Management Report will provide you with the tools needed to plan your goal management strategy for the future.

For more report details, get your hands on the full 2021 Goal Management Report.