September 17, 2020

New data shows the future of work is goal-oriented

Marilyn Napier
Marilyn Napier

As businesses continue to struggle to realign their goals and support remote employees in the months since COVID began disrupting lives and the workplace, focusing on goals and OKRs has never been more vital.

71% of people are working harder than before the pandemic, yet seeing fewer results, according to a study where we surveyed 1,500 Americans.

Addressing burnout when we’re seeing employees working longer hours, with more outside stressors involved, is extremely important to the long-term success and health of a company.

The key to reducing burnout and increasing efficiency is more emphasis on goal management.

Our study found that employees and managers aligned through the OKR goal-setting framework feel more connected to business goals and the company’s broader mission.

Of the US adults who use OKRs, 95% believe they have an understanding of how their work ties into the company’s larger business goals.

Only 79% of individuals who do not use OKRs believe they have that same understanding, according to our study.

When employees can see how their work is contributing to the company’s overall mission, they are more invested and engaged.

Not only do individuals feel like they have more purpose at work, but focusing on the company’s most important goals allows employees to have the ability to say no to work that is not moving the business forward.

When employees know what they should be focused on doing, they can reprioritize their work to help eliminate potential burnout.

Here’s what else we found from our study:

  • Only 29% of US adults in the workforce are familiar with OKRs.
  • Of that 29% (1,500 respondents) who are familiar, 81% currently use OKRs.
  • 83% of Americans have seen their individual goals change since January.
  • 58% of non-OKR users either do not track their individual goals, or they track via written notes.
  • 90% of OKR users that utilize goal-management software check in or update progress on their goals at least once a month. Only 65% of non-OKR users check in or update progress on goals once a month.
  • Only 53% of non-OKR users reevaluate or realign their goals monthly. 81% of OKR users with goal-management software reevaluate and realign goals on a monthly basis.

Remote work is not “the future of work.” It’s here, and it’s not going anywhere.

Companies must now shift from focusing on how to work remotely, and instead focus on how they will grow remotely. OKR goal management is the foundation for organizations and employees to do just this.

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