June 8, 2021

2021 Report: A New Perspective on Goal Management and Company Culture

Kevin Shively
Kevin Shively

This week we released the first annual 2021 Goal Management Report, a survey of over 4,500 workers in both North America and the UK. Our goal was to understand their thoughts and behavior when it comes to goal setting and achievement—especially as 66% of them make their way back to the office.  

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. 

I wanted to give you a first look at some of the key themes we discovered.

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

According to the results, a standardized 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.

Impact of Company Culture

We found that 88% of employees who say they believe in the company’s mission feel inspired by the work that they do and 72% of employees who believe in the company’s mission 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 underutilized

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.

Not only do individuals with no goal framework check in less frequently, but 33% of them also say they never check in on progress with their manager or team. Only 4.26% of OKR users say the same.

There is a disconnect between management and individual contributors

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.

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