We all know the philosophical question, “if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, the same question could be asked for goal tracking within a company.
It’s an all too common practice that employees are mandated to set goals in some siloed and bureaucratic HR system that’s hard to use and takes up a bunch of everyone’s time. Then the goals go back on the shelf without anyone looking at them again until the end of the quarter, when the whole process repeats.
So if goals are set in a legacy HR system, and no one tracks their progress, did they even make a sound?
Goal tracking can be a powerful way to align, focus, and motivate an organization. However, when the process becomes so cumbersome that it distracts from getting work done, and the goals don’t guide week to week priorities, then what’s the point?
I’ve been there myself. The goal tracking product we brought into my last company was so complicated and cumbersome that it experienced near instant organ rejection with the team, so we just went back to using a spreadsheet to track goals.
As with many workflows shoehorned into a spreadsheet, this approach has problems. We had all sorts of edits with versions, different teams filling out different sheets that didn’t connect together, and of course the old problem that these spreadsheets didn’t fit into peoples’ day to day work, so they were basically forgotten until the end of the quarter.
Spreadsheets are a versatile and familiar environment, but for goal tracking, they run into a range of problems and frustrations so that people get worn down, stop maintaining the sheet, and the whole thing loses impact.
Our objective with WorkPatterns Goals is to build a product that’s lightweight, easy to use, and integrated into people's regular working cadences. Because if your team doesn’t use your goal tracker to drive real progress, then what’s the point?
For starters, the very act of creating a goal shouldn’t feel like taking off in an F-16 cockpit. For years, legacy systems have been adding drop downs, on top of buttons, on top of menus and the whole process needed to be brought back to basics. So we’ve made it quick and intuitive to create a goal.
Since teams already use WorkPatterns to manage their 1:1s and recurring meetings, it’s easy to tie your goals to your regular meeting cadence. Just select the workspace corresponding to the meeting where you want to check in on a goal, and WorkPatterns will automatically add a discussion topic to the agenda. Managers love how this relieves them of the mental energy required to keep track of every team member’s priorities.
Goals help to align priorities across an organization, but the reality isn’t always that goals cascade in a clean line from the CEO to the mail room. So we’ve made it easy to sort and filter goals by person, department, as well as the flexibility to add tags to give the added dimensions and granularity of a real-world company. Each goal also has a visibility setting so people can have personal goals that are only visible to them and their manager.
Instead of just having a goal siloed off in an HR system, WorkPatterns Goals allow you to connect Action Items to goals so that there are clear next steps with owners and due dates.
WorkPatterns Goals is flexible enough for you to run the goal setting framework of your choosing, whether you run OKRs, SMART goals or simple personal goals, WorkPatterns has you covered.
Every goal in WorkPatterns can be easily linked to a parent or sub-goal so that you can create cascading priorities through the organization.