Are you seeking goal setting software for your company? Or, you are a specialist looking for a goal setting tool for your customers?
For companies with more than 10 employees or more, misalignment and poor goal execution are significant problems. While company goals are clear for CEOs, they aren’t always easy for department managers to identify, and as a result, employees certainly can’t understand corporate goals, either.
Luckily, goal setting software can give ALL teams a direct line of sight into top company goals. This creates company-wide alignment so everyone stays focused on top-level priorities and can execute goals effectively.
Yet, when it comes to selecting the best goal setting software, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” option designed to suit every company equally. That’s because each organization has countless factors that separate it from the rest, such as company size, strategy, and values. Yet, many companies are now aware that using OKR goal setting (Objectives and Key Results) is the best way to keep everyone aligned and focused on priorities, drive high performance, and achieve powerful results. If you’re searching for software to help you use OKR goals in your company, you can use the list below as a guide to help you determine which option will best suit your organizational needs.
7 Tips for Choosing the Best Goal Setting Software:
- Consider Your NeedsTo select the best goal setting software best fit for your company, your needs have to come first. Before you even start searching for options, ask yourself questions such as: How many people will be using the software? Will the software be used by select teams, or will the entire organization have access to it? What are your biggest concerns and priorities right now, and which key features should the OKR software have to accommodate those needs? (Also, keep in mind that no matter what your unique needs are, the goal software you ultimately decide on should feature the three key components described in points #3, 4, and 5 in this list.)
- Secure ResourcesWithout executive and managerial buy-in, implementing new goal setting software will be difficult at best. In addition to securing funding, you should also have support from the necessary stakeholders in advance to make the rollout as seamless as possible. Additionally, you may want to designate one individual or team to oversee the implementation on your end, since the vendor will also have a designated individual to handle the rollout on their side.
Another resource to consider is time. How will you schedule the rollout? Consider designating one team as your phase one group, and then come up with a strategy for introducing the goal setting software to the rest of your organization. Your chosen vendor may have tips on how to best navigate the roll-out process, but no matter which strategy you choose, be sure to develop a realistic timeline and aim to follow it as closely as possible.
- Look For 2-Way AlignmentWhen narrowing down your software choices, consider one that offers two-way alignment, versus simply cascading goals down. Many types of OKR software have cascading goals, but not all of them offer the option to align goals from the bottom up. This is essential in creating a sense of ownership at the ground level.
If all goals are cascaded top-down, employees may begin to lose their sense of autonomy, which can impact engagement. Yet, when goals are both cascaded down AND contributed up, individuals and teams can develop a stronger sense of ownership over their Objectives and begin to understand the meaningful role they play in supporting company priorities.
- Make Sure It’s Real-TimeAnother key feature for goal-setting software is real-time functionality. In order to give managers true insight as to how employees are performing in achieving their goals, real-time visibility is a must. Ideally, the software should be able to give teams instant access into the progress of one another’s goals, and it should even allow managers to communicate with their direct reports.
Additionally, real-time insights give managers the access they need to look out for bottlenecks. When an upcoming obstacle is spotted, managers can act quickly and in advance, instead of taking reactionary measures, to course-correct. Ultimately, real-time capabilities could wind up saving your company a significant amount of time and money by keeping you future-focused.
- Seek Out Feedback ToolsOngoing, two-way feedback is one of the most critical elements in effective performance management. Because much of the feedback exchange with your employees will be centered on goals, your goal software should have the ability to support ongoing feedback between managers and their direct reports. For instance, if a manager sees that one of their employees is consistently performing well and wants to send a quick message to congratulate them on a small win, your tool should have the capability for them to communicate using a light check-in. This will keep employees motivated and driven to continue performing well while pushing to achieve aggressive goals.
- Use Decision Drivers to Weigh OptionsWhen selecting any type of enterprise software, there are a few drivers organizations must use to guide their final decision. While functionality, usability, and return on investment are among the most important, you’ll also need to consider ease of integration and configurability. Large-scale organizations may need to seek out specific HRIS integration options. Additionally, if you’re a growing company, scalability may be another factor to consider. For instance, you can look at software vendors who offer different levels according to the prospective number of users. That way, if you start with a basic package and eventually need to upgrade to a more robust tool as your organization continues to grow, you won’t have to go back and start from scratch – you can simply move up to your vendor’s next level.
- Test Drive the Goal Setting SoftwareLastly, but perhaps most importantly, the true final test will come down to the goal tracking software demo. Make sure the vendor you select is able to answer any of your questions, and if needed, request a demo for various parties within your organization so that critical parties can all get a glimpse as to how the product functions. You should also be able to request follow-up sessions if you need a refresher on a specific dashboard, functionality, or other component of the system.
Choosing the right goal settings software may require an investment of time up front, but it’s certainly one worth making. Once you have the right tool to meet your needs, you’ll be able to achieve company-wide goal alignment, accelerate performance, maintain an ongoing feedback loop, and keep your teams focused on your organization’s topmost priorities at all times.