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Performance Enablement in Action: How Our Customers Drive Business Results with Betterworks

By Michelle Gouldsberry
June 1, 2022
3 minute read

Achieving your desired business outcomes depends not only on how well-aligned individual employees’ work is to those outcomes, but also on how frequently progress and performance is discussed with managers, and the quality and depth of those conversations. To manage this kind of performance management model effectively, you need a flexible framework.

Betterworks’ performance enablement solution serves as that framework for hundreds of companies to move away from antiquated, backward-looking annual review processes and toward a model that puts ongoing achievement and recognition at the center. 

Recently, we had the honor to hear directly from a few of our most innovative customers at our annual revenue team kickoff. During their conversation, moderated by our COO, Andrea Lagan, we learned how each is leveraging a continuous performance model to drive employee engagement. Most importantly, we got to hear how they use our solution each day as a part of the way they work, and the best practices they recommend for managing change and introducing new processes within organizations.

A Solution That Scales

When managing an OKR or goal-setting program, spreadsheets can only go so far. Companies experiencing growth need goal alignment solutions that can grow along with them — and that’s what brought many customers to Betterworks.

Matt Hollensworth, director of change management at Austin Bridge and Road, wanted to implement OKRs across the company and wanted to find a simple platform for employees to use. Hollensworth tried using Excel first, but the file grew and became impractical to manage as more people got involved. 

Hollensworth searched every quarter for a better solution, with one catch—it had to be easy to use. “Because we’re in the construction industry, we’ve already experienced so much change,” he said. “We have change fatigue, so it had to be super simple.”

Shane Collier, senior IT manager at Best Western, needed a solution for his team that employees could incorporate into the flow of work. Only discussing company KPIs once every six months wasn’t comprehensive or valuable, and he couldn’t get into the specifics needed at the individual level. 

“It was typically the top company KPI goals,” Collier said. “It’s just not at the layer that you need to be able to manage your employees.” The company needed a platform that supported ongoing conversations at the level of daily work.

For both of these business leaders, the solution was Betterworks.

Unleash the Power of Conversations

Changes to the performance management process have to start simple. Collier’s team at Best Western wanted to get the most value out of the Betterworks and the OKR methodology, and that required having intentional conversations about what their goals really were. “The discussion around how are we providing value was amazing,” Collier said. “We were able to really look at the specific tasks that we do on a regular basis, and really analyze whether they actually drive the company objectives and KRs at the highest level.”

They started with an objective of driving down the time spent on open tickets, but then distilled their goal to simply making it faster for members to have their problems solved. That sparked further conversation about what really had to happen to achieve that goal.

Use Data to Refine Your Program

Track the OKR program itself to determine if your processes are doing what you intend.

Hollensworth’s team at Austin Bridge and Road reviewed companywide OKR data and made a crucial discovery: The primary differentiator between goals that employees achieved and those they didn’t was the author.

Employees achieved all of the goals they wrote themselves, but not those that managers or leadership had crafted for them. Armed with this knowledge, Hollensworth refined the goal-setting process to produce the best results. “We readjusted, and we just set a hard, fast rule: We will not write your goals for you. We just will not do it,” he said. “And it forces us to have those conversations.”

How are you using Betterworks to align, motivate, retain and develop your people? Share your story with us!