Goal-Setting, OKRs and Performance Management Glossary

Business Goal

The all-encompassing aspiration that the organization ultimately wants to accomplish.

Business Performance Management

The processes by which a company enables an organization’s predetermined goals to be completed.

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the active relationship that your employees have with your organization.

Engaged employees approach their responsibilities with enthusiasm and commitment. Through this commitment, they stay focused on their own objectives and the overarching goals and values of the company. They are driven by motivation in the pursuit of organizational success. Disengaged employees are apathetic towards their work and become distanced from the organization.

Employee Feedback

Employee feedback is the process of sharing of actionable insights with your team to steer them in the right direction, keep them goal-oriented, and to clarify expectations. Leaders who provide quality employee feedback are clear in their suggestions keep advice future-focused, not past-oriented.

On the other hand, employee feedback also encompasses the insights that employees provide for you. This involves anything from an anonymous team morale index to actionable feedback about what your team needs from management in order to do their job effectively.

Employee Goals

Aspirations that are to be accomplished on an individual level.

Goal Setting

The process by which aspirations are established and defined.

Goal Setting Software

The system within an organization that aligns, tracks, and provides data for objectives on the individual, team, and company level. How to Choose Company Goal Setting Software


A goal is what you are trying to accomplish. It is the outcome or the result and is typically longer and broader than an objective (i.e. and an objective’s timeline is shorter than a year, typically it is quarterly). We sometimes use goals as a synonym of objectives and use them interchangeably for the purpose of simplicity but a precise definition states that a goal is longer term and is broader.

Key Results

Part of an OKR; the steps required in order to accomplish the objective; must be quantifiable, specific, and time-bound.


“Key performance indicator;” a measurement used to determine the factors needed to achieve success within a company.

MBO (Management by Objectives)

“Management by Objectives” a business leadership approach first introduced by Peter Drucker in 1954 that encourages managers to collaborate with their teams to set and define short-term goals.


It’s the statement (the O in the OKR) that says WHAT you want to accomplish. It should be focused on an outcome or a result, not on activity. You can think of it as the headline of the group of KRs (Key Results) and it is the KRs that will be measurable stepping stones that will define how you will achieve this Objective.

OKR (Objectives and Key Results)

Objectives and key results;” a goal-setting process that enforces clarity, transparency, focus, engagement, and alignment through determining objectives and establishing specific steps that must be taken to achieve them.

One-on-One Meetings

Weekly meetings that take place between a manager and each of her direct reports to discuss progress and identify any current issues.

Organizational Culture

The set of behaviors that employees exhibit within a company, as well as the meanings they attach to those behaviors; a blend of the collective beliefs, values, and principles held by a company’s employees.

People Analytics

A management approach that uses data to oversee the people and processes of an organization.

Performance Goals

Objectives to be completed within a timeframe of less than one year which are targeted specifically to an employee’s job title.

Performance Management

The ways in which leaders and their employees collaborate to track an employee’s goal-achievement and continuous contribution to the company.

Performance Review

An evaluation by which managers assess the progress and contributions of an individual in relation to their role at the company.

Process Development

The formation of specific responsibilities and procedures within an organization.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Aspirations that meet the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Aligned (and/or Aggressive), Relevant, and Time-Bound.


A slang term used to describe owning or licensing software that you don’t actually need or use (e.g. it sits on a shelf).

Short-Term Goals

Aspirations that are expected to be accomplished within a period of one year or less.


A company in its youth that aspires to create an innovative impact within any given market or niche.


A plan set in place with the goal of achieving a specific target.

Stretch Goals

Ambitious and aggressive aspirations that require the extension of oneself (or the team or company) beyond a level that is comfortable to exceed expectations and drive stellar performance.


Specific actions that are used to accomplish a certain objective.

To Do

A set of responsibilities that must be completed in order to accomplish something.

Work Performance

The quality of an employee’s actions in his or her role; how well a person is meeting his or her manager’s expectations.

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