We’re always looking to innovate and improve here at Zensai. Supporting that ongoing desire to always be better, we’re super excited to announce the launch of our latest feature; hybrid goals. This exciting addition will be available to all users in the coming months. Here’s a quick rundown on what they are and why we’re adding them to the platform.

It’s no secret, at Zensai we’re big champions of OKRs. In fact, a few years back we moved from being a company that used SMART goals and became OKR disciples.

The benefits of SMART goals are long-established, but we found that OKRs just worked better for us. They provided more alignment and organisational direction as well as gave everyone working at Zensai more visibility on the impact they were having.

Yet, spending some time listening to not only our own users but other voices from across the world of work, it became clear that while OKRs are often a brilliant tool, they don’t work for every organisation or every role.

We saw a lot of commentary on how OKRs were excellent for organisation-wide performance, but were far too output-based at a personal level. While setting an OKR for a colleague in a metrics-driven role like sales may be easy, setting one for a colleague, say in payroll, was much trickier.

Historically, Zensai users had to choose between SMART and OKR frameworks for their employee check-ins. But being tied into just one framework meant things weren’t as flexible as they ideally would be. So we set about looking at the latest thinking and approaches to goal-setting.

Enter, hybrid goals.

What are hybrid goals?

Put simply, hybrid goals are the combination of SMART and OKR goal-setting frameworks within the same organisation.

Typically, this is split out at the business level, with the most common use case being OKRs being deployed for organisation and department-wide level goals, and SMART being used at team and personal levels.

Hybrid goals allow more flexibility without impacting the effectiveness of either framework. SMART goals are aligned to OKRs and vice-versa. So, everything stays aligned and employees can still have the same options when it comes to visibility.

They are a perfect goal-setting solution for any organisation with multi-disciplinary teams where one framework doesn’t quite work for all.

Moving from SMART to Hybrid Goals

If you’re already using SMART goals then you know they are a simple and straightforward way of managing performance. Setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely helps improve the likelihood of success.

SMART goals help give you direction, focus, and clarity. They help you better understand your current performance level and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

SMART are good for personal objectives

But, they tend to be more descriptive than tactical. They can often lack detail when it comes to the ‘how’ your going to achieve the goal. And they don’t offer up a great level of goal alignment, which can be an issue when it comes to keeping people motivated in their work.

By moving to hybrid goals, you introduce some of the elements that make OKRs the fastest-growing goal-setting framework in the world of work. You get more tactical guidance on achieving goals. And you get bottom-up alignment on goals so everyone understands how their efforts are impacting business. You also get a slightly more detailed, maturer framework that puts employees at the center of your goal-setting processes.

Moving from OKRs to Hybrid Goals

If you’re already using OKRs then you know the benefits of having more accountability, more visibility and more focus when it comes to goals. You understand that objectives are the high-level ideal and your key results are your map on how to get there.

OKRs are good for team and company objectives

OKRs are an excellent way to set, manage and review goals and performance more generally. But they aren’t perfect. And they might not suit every business, or everybody in that business. They rely on setting numerical targets, and that’s not always possible in every role.

So by moving to hybrid goals, you’re giving your people more scope, more flexibility, more choice in how they manage their own goals. By offering a choice, particularly at a personal level, you’re giving all of your people a way to manage goals that then feed into higher-level OKRs.

Accessing Hybrid Goals in Zensai

Once activated in your account, admin users can access and control hybrid goals from the Organisational Settings screen. Head to our support site to learn more. Find them under the Goals and OKRs section of this screen. You can control which goal framework you use at each level within your organisation.

However, if you’d like access sooner then please speak to your Zensai customer success manager.