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Since 2004, ClearCompany’s end-to-end Talent Management platform has enabled thousands of companies to maximize talent by empowering people at every stage of the employee journey. ClearCompany integrates data-driven best practices...Read more about ClearCompany

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Performance Pro

Performance Pro by HR Performance Solutions is a cloud-based performance appraisal solution for HR professionals. Performance Pro is customizable and allows users to align the solution with company’s strategic goals. The system ca...Read more about Performance Pro

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PerformYard is your complete employee performance toolkit. Build your vision of performance management with an easy-to-use system your people will love. Get streamlined performance reviews, check-ins, goal management, continuous f...Read more about PerformYard

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Trakstar Perform

Learn how leading mid size companies use Trakstar to quantify the soft side of HR. Uncover better prospects, train top performers, reduce employee turnover. Connect hiring, performance and learning to develop an engaged and produc...Read more about Trakstar Perform

4.4 (285 reviews)

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Quantum Workplace

Quantum Workplace helps make work better every day. We empower organizations to improve the employee experience, inspire impact, and create a magnetic culture of employee success that attracts and retains top talent. Our all-in-o...Read more about Quantum Workplace

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Factorial is a cloud-based human resources (HR) solution that caters to small businesses across various industry verticals. Key features include a time-off manager, an organisational chart generator, a document manager and more. ...Read more about Factorial

4.5 (255 reviews)

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Darwinbox is a new-age and disruptive mobile-first, cloud-based HRMS platform built for large enterprises to attract, engage and nurture talent. It is an end-to-end integrated HR system consisting of modules like performance, leav...Read more about Darwinbox

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emPerform is a hybrid employee performance management solution that helps organizations to automate performance reviews and align, develop and retain talent. It can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud. emPerform helps ...Read more about emPerform

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Peoplebox is a new-age performance management platform that enables HR leaders to play strategic role by connecting people & business strategy. It provides a single platform where not only HR can run 360 degree reviews, track 1:1s...Read more about Peoplebox

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Mirro helps leaders better understand their teams and let colleagues grow alongside each other, building positive and ever-evolving team journeys. The platform comes with an activity feed, which allows users to view project update...Read more about Mirro

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Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 07, 2023

Small businesses in the U.S. are in great company! According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 30.2 million small businesses that represent 99.9 percent of all businesses in the country.

However, the agency has also reported that only 50 percent of small businesses survive the first five years. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that survive the initial, "volatile" years have a better chance of business continuity.

One of the reasons so many SMBs fail in the first few years is because they stray away from their primary goals. Small business entrepreneurs are prone to "shiny object syndrome," wasting money and resources chasing new ideas that don't align with the business's core offerings.

To maintain organizational focus, small businesses should adopt an objective and key results (OKR) program. They can implement this strategy using OKR software to manage, track and measure the program's success.

That said, small businesses should carefully consider their options when choosing OKR software, as there are many available on the market. For instance, you need to check whether the software integrates with your human resources solution, so your HR staff can automate the migration of employee details between the two systems.

In this buyer's guide, we'll look at many such considerations that OKR software buyers should keep in mind. We'll also go over the core capabilities and benefits of OKR software.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is OKR Software?

Benefits of OKR Software

Common Features of OKR Software

What Type of Buyer Are You?

[Key Considerations


What Is OKR Software?

OKR software helps businesses align and monitor their employees' efforts toward achieving the company's primary objectives. These tools offer capabilities such as dashboards to visualize organizational, team and individual goals; graphs and charts to track the progress on key results; and team communication features to conduct employee reviews and peer-to-peer feedback sessions.

Weekly OKR status report in Weekdone

Benefits of OKR Software

Using OKR software, small businesses can create a centralized repository for employees to understand their objectives (what is to be achieved) and simplify the monitoring of key results (specific and measurable tasks) that define how employees work toward their objectives.

Here are some of the key benefits of using OKR solutions:

  • Save time by automating manual tasks. Using the software, HR teams can save the time they typically waste on manually tracking team objectives and key results on spreadsheets.

  • Keep information centralized and accessible. Details about team/individual goals and key results are stored in a centralized location, making the information easy to find.

  • Improve team communication and collaboration. OKR software comes with team workspaces, which help employees discuss objectives, clarify questions and provide feedback.

Common Features of OKR Software

OKR software helps businesses manage organizational and team goals, store team conversations in a central place, monitor the performance of OKRs and do much more. Here's a look at some of the common features of these tools.

OKR management

Define employee OKRs and allow them to view how individual OKRs are aligned with team and company goals on centralized dashboards.

Feedback management

Allow employees to request, receive and share feedback with peers and managers via online workspaces.

Reporting and analytics

View and track metrics, such as OKRs that the team has achieved, any unaligned objectives, key results at risk and more.

Task management

Track the progress of employee initiatives that drive key results, for example, tasks that a marketing team might undertake to achieve the key result of doubling quarterly sales.

User management

Control which members can create, edit and assign objectives and key results.

Gamified scorecard

Motivate high-performing teams and employees with game mechanics such as leaderboards and recognition badges.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

OKR software helps small businesses maintain organizational focus. However, there are many OKR solutions on the market, and SMBs should carefully analyze their needs before purchasing a solution.

Below are the two most common types of OKR software buyers. Knowing the difference will give you a better understanding of your needs when purchasing an OKR solution:

Small business buyers: These buyers typically belong to organizations with fewer than 100 employees and want an OKR solution that is affordable and user-friendly. Let's see in detail why these are the top concerns:

  • Usability: Small business users can't invest a lot of time customizing and learning to use new software. They need tools with out-of-the-box features, whereas a larger enterprise go for solutions with more customization options. Small businesses want intuitive features, such as drag-and-drop interfaces, which minimize the number of clicks required to do a task. A key usability feature is centralization, which makes information readily searchable. For instance, the tool should allow users to receive and share feedback on their objectives in a central location. Also, visual dashboards should make it quick and easy to track performance reports.

  • Pricing: Affordability is a key factor. Small businesses don't want an OKR tool that boasts an extensive set of features. Instead, their main aim is to justify the ROI of the total costs of software ownership. So, they want vendors that don't charge extra for adding new users or for offering priority phone support.

Enterprise buyers: These buyers have specific requirements to manage the OKRs of a large workforce that's usually spread across different locations. They need a tool that offers a large set of features and allows third-party integrations so that all their business needs are met.

  • Functionality: A large list of features is one of the primary requirements of enterprise buyers. For instance, they look for detailed reporting capabilities that allow them to track and contrast employees' current and historical OKR performance. They want to easily download custom reports that offer insights into the ownership of objectives, time of completion and other such details in different formats such as PDF, XLS and HTML. These buyers also want features such as task allocation and tracking, visual organizational charts, white-label options and real-time push notifications for mobile applications.

  • Integrations: Enterprise users want a tool that is ready to fit into their existing infrastructure—like a puzzle piece. So, the OKR software must integrate, or facilitate integrations, with their existing software tools, such as project management softwaresocial collaboration solutions and HR software. Integrations should allow seamless transfer of data between the different systems. Users also need a single sign-on (SSO) integration that makes the tool easily accessible for distributed teams.

Key Considerations

Besides understanding the type of buyer you are, small businesses should also explore other aspects of OKR software to understand the total cost of ownership.

Here are some of the top considerations to keep in mind:

  • Level of support. Buyers should consider a number of factors related to the level of support offered. Check whether vendors offer dedicated consultants to set up the tool or a self-service platform that houses video tutorials and a knowledge base. Importantly, clarify with the vendor whether there are additional charges for software training or troubleshooting via phone support.

  • Scalability of the software. As your business grows, you want the OKR solution to be able to accommodate your different needs. But to understand the scalability of the tool, it's not enough to just look at the breadth of features or performance metrics such as uptime of the software. You should also check the frequency of software updates. If the vendor consistently releases new feature upgrades, that's a sign that the software will scale with your business.