Proper alignment is key. Making a presentation? Better line up your pictures and text. Putting together an Ikea table? Those pieces better be aligned just right. Trying to simultaneously reach goals for both your company and employees? Those goals better be well aligned, too. That’s where OKR software comes in.
OKRs, or objectives and key results, is a method of goal setting and progress tracking that helps align the goals of businesses and employees alike. Trello helps break it down: The objectives tend to be the desired outcomes that you want, and the key results are the measurable ways you know you’re on track to reach them. Put another way: An objective helps answer the question, “Where do I want to go?” A key result helps answer, “How will I know I’m getting there?”
As you can imagine, aligning objectives and key results for business and employee goals can get complicated. As such, you need a way to organize all of this. OKR software can do just that, bringing collaboration and some automation to the process. Sound useful? Many of today’s businesses think so. If you want to organize your company goals while reaching them quicker than ever, take a look at one of these five useful OKR software tools:
Wrike is a project management and work management solution that organizes teams and the goals they want to achieve. The system allows you to define and share multiple objectives for teams and individuals, in addition to creating specific key results under each objective. The key results include a progress percentage, so everyone can monitor their progress towards their goals.
One of the biggest reasons Wrike ended up on our list is its simple interface. The OKR system is simple to use and even easier on the eyes. In a specific folder, you can add all of your related OKRs (such as marketing, supply chain, etc.). In that folder, you can add your objectives, and under each objective you can add key results for each individual and/or group of people.
As you can guess by the name, PeopleFluent is, at its core, a performance management software vendor. So, no, it’s not specifically an OKR software, but it still provides plenty of OKR functionality. PeopleFluent allows you to customize your OKRs, so that they’re structured on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis — whichever is best for your employees.
PeopleFluent’s color-coded OKR interface makes it easy for both you and your employees to monitor their progress. In the system, your employees are listed out next to a color-coded status bar displaying their goal progress. That bar is divided into sections based on how many goals are in each state of progress. For example, let’s say you have an employee with four goals; they haven’t started one goal, two of them are on target and one of them is done. In this case, a quarter of the bar would be purple to signify that it hasn’t started, half would be blue to show they’re on target and the last quarter would be green so you know it’s complete.
Another performance management vendor with OKR functionality, Trakstar is an all-in-one talent and performance management system. Outside of its OKR features, it helps your workforce planning efforts with applicant tracking and succession planning. Additionally, performance reviews and 360-degree feedback help you monitor your employee performance.
When it comes to the OKR functionality, Trakstar stands toe-to-toe with Wrike and PeopleFluent. The system allows you to add all types of goals, from large to small, and organize them in order of importance. Employees can then add notes to these goals to update their progress. And if you want to keep everyone in the know, you can schedule automated, customized email reminders.
Workteam is one of the first vendors that come to mind for many people when you mention OKR software. Offering a plethora of performance management functionality, Workteam is an easy-to-use system that visualizes everything for you.
After creating objectives such as product launches or revenue increases within the system, Workteam creates a page just for that objective. This is where you define the key results. You can do so by adding lists and cards that look similar to Trello for each key result. You can then assign employees to each card, so each person knows which results they need to achieve. These cards are then updated by employees as they progress. As they do so, a color-coded label displays whether it’s on target, at risk or completed.
Similar to Trakstar software, BirdDogHR provides a plethora of talent management features. From recruiting and applicant tracking to onboarding and succession planning, you can manage just about everything related to your workforce in the system.
BirdDogHR’s OKR software creates a linear path to achieving your goals, clearly defining the steps and measurables for your employees. One of the most useful aspects of this system is that you can not only assign goals, but allow your employees to set their own goals that they’re more personally invested in. Like other systems, employees can record their progress and mark their objectives and key results as complete when they’re done. This information can then be pulled automatically into a performance report.
Which Should You Choose?
To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot that separates these five OKR software vendors. They all — for the most part — allow you to create an easy-to-follow path towards achieving your goals. What it comes down to, then, are two main factors: how does it organize your OKRs, and what additional features does the system offer you?
If your employees are more visually-oriented, you may want to go with a system that visualizes your OKRs, such as Workteam or PeopleFluent. But if you value performance metrics and reviews, you may want to choose Trakstar or BirdDogHR. In the end, it all comes down to what your business needs, and what helps your employees the most.