How to Track Goals and Know What Your Team is Doing

I hate micromanaging my team every week. I don’t think this is what a team leader should focus on. If, as a manager, you only handle your employees, you are not doing meaningful tasks yourself. You’ll be busy but not productive.

Here is how to avoid that and track employees’ goals smartly.

I have chosen to automate most of the reporting and goal tracking in my team using OKRs.

With the help of OKR software, I have built an environment where employees share their work progress willingly, align their team goals with the company objective, prioritize tasks and drive improvements without me being tightly involved.

How did I do it? Read on and you’ll see!

Millennials Setting Goals

Tracking team goals as a manager

As a manager, you need to understand how all your employees are doing. Both to anticipate upcoming problems, but also to fairly offer praise to employees who accomplish their tasks exceptionally.

You may think you have everything under control and that you know what’s going on. However, most managers spend way too much time on reporting. This might lead to you spending all of your time monitoring employees instead of doing the tasks that you need to do.

In order to be a great leader, you need to track employees’ goals without spending all your time micromanaging. So, how do you keep track of everything and still have enough time to do your work?

Tracking goals with Objectives and Key Results

To understand what is happening in your team, you need to keep your eyes on everything every week. This means you must know what tasks everyone in your team accomplishes and how these tasks help you move towards your long-term goals.

We use the Plans, Progress, and Problems method for weekly task management. Every employee in my team sets 3-5 important tasks (Plans) each week and aligns them to their quarterly goals. When a task gets done, everyone can see how their goals are progressing.

For quarterly goals, we use the Objectives and Key Result methodology.

The system starts with you and your team setting inspiring quarterly goals. From there you add Key Results to each goal and measure the progress of Key Results every week. 

Even when you have one Key Result per person, going over and updating all of them each week can become a bit time-consuming. As I don’t want to micromanage, I use Weekdone and have employees update their Key Results themselves. This way I get a report every Friday about how they’re doing. By going through Weekdone’s automated reports, I am fully briefed on our team’s work in 15 minutes.

Weekdone has an amazing OKR dashboard that lets you see the progress in real-time. You can log on once a day and immediately see who has updated their Key Results and how this affects all of the aligned goals. If there is a problem (e.g. some task lagging behind) you can tackle it before it drags everyone down.

As employees fill out the report themselves, they don’t feel micromanaged. To make sure they don’t feel ignored either, I always make sure to give positive feedback to those who go above and beyond – thanks to the leaderboard in Weekdone I can see stats like, someone’s most productive day, how many logins per user, and more!

How to track employee goals - Weekdone Blog

Team Goal Tracker Apps

If you’re seeking ways to take your team goals to the next level, consider using a team goal tracker – these SaaS tools help set, track and review goals. They are becoming more popular with features like:

  • Helpful in-product tips for writing OKRs or following the SMART goal criteria
  • Data visualization dashboards that keep your objectives and desired outcomes in front of you
  • Feeds and reporting – to share updates on progress, or even challenges you face while working toward a collective goal
  • Custom metric fields and various templates to tailor to your team needs

Sound like something you need? Each solution provides different user interfaces, pricing options, and key features that differentiate them from another. Therefore, it’s up to you as a leader to review your options and then invite your core team to trial it with you before committing. Most software have free versions (but be sure all the features are there) or even a limited time free trial which you can use all features during this time.

⭐️ Check out our growing list of 20 Team Goal Tracker Apps!

The difference between a busy and productive manager

Some managers feel that if they spend all their time micromanaging, reading reports, and goal tracking, they are valuable and get a lot done. After all, if you are working 12 hours a day, you must be good, right? Actually, there is a big difference between being busy at work and being productive. As Larry Kim, Founder of MobileMonkey says: “Busy people are hell-bent on fitting in more things into their day. Productive people cut their to-do list thoughtfully by 50 percent”.

If you spend all your time handling your team, you will be busy but not productive. This is micromanaging at its worst. You will get stuck in fake work and endless meetings and become the weakest link in your team. This will bring down productivity and reduce moral for everyone.

👉 Try Weekdone to easily manage and track all the OKRs you and your team have. Saving a lot of time and making it possible to always know what is going on in your team.