What Makes Betterworks Different? Here are the Top 5 Reasons

By Michelle Gouldsberry
October 27, 2022
8 minute read

As companies get underway with their annual performance review cycles, tens of thousands of employees will once again be swept into a process that neither they nor their companies find much value in. 

Halted during the height of the pandemic, performance reviews are now returning to companies including giants Facebook and Google, although in very different ways. Many companies have transitioned (or are in the process of transitioning) to approaches that simplify performance review processes, separate performance and compensation, streamline rating processes, and focus on more frequent coaching conversations between managers and employees — all of which are positive developments. 

Other organizations continue to conduct performance appraisals the old way and may be skeptical of making changes. Some are handling performance management through their HRIS, but find that these systems of record suffer from low adoption because they are cumbersome and not built for modern performance management. And seared into the psyche of some HR leaders are bad experiences of performance management software deployments that didn’t deliver as envisioned or suffered from poor adoption.

Continuous performance management improves employee experience

Deploying an employee-friendly enterprise performance management (EPM) that looks forward — not backward — and emphasizes continuous performance management is essential if businesses wish to empower employees to perform better and remain engaged and productive. Such approaches rely on:

  • Goal clarity and agility
  • Ongoing check-in conversations with managers focused on coaching for performance and development 
  • Peer feedback
  • Recognition that gives employees a shared sense of purpose and helps them to feel that their efforts are valued

Betterworks Advisory Board Member and HR Analyst Josh Bersin outlines the seven steps of continuous performance management in his book, “Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World’s Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations.”

The transformation process takes time and must be customized for each organization. With the right partner and technology, an enterprise performance management system will yield a much improved employee experience, accomplishment of company and individual goals, and higher employee satisfaction that can lead to higher engagement and retention.

What distinguishes Betterworks?

Understanding the differences among providers in this space can be challenging — and it pays to look under the hood.

Betterworks began as a goal and OKRs (objectives and key results) provider in 2013. It has since developed an ecosystem of capabilities that cover the entire spectrum of modern enterprise performance management — transparent goal-setting, conversations, feedback, calibration, employee surveys, and recognition — and is continually adding to its suite of capabilities. These dedicated tools incorporate configurable templates, best practices, and AI that helps eliminate bias, assists employees with writing effective OKRs, and makes it easier for managers to provide feedback, among other things.  

If you’re considering moving from either traditional performance management practices or an HRIS or are not satisfied with your current system, there are five areas in which Betterworks distinguishes itself: modern, in the flow of work, interconnected, enterprise ready, and customized professional services. 

1  Modern performance management software empowers talent

A modern performance management approach reflects the way employees expect to work today. They want easy-to-use, fast, consumer-grade tools that mimic the simplicity and intuitiveness of the apps they use daily. 

Likewise, HR leaders seek forward-looking solutions that empower employees, rather than the command-and-control of the past. Companies are replacing rigid, point-in-time, and backward-looking performance reviews and rankings with an approach that Betterworks describes as “performance enablement.”

Agile goal setting

According to Betterworks 2022 State of Performance Enablement survey, 48% of employees feel trapped by out-of-date or irrelevant goals by the end of the quarter. Modern performance management software provides managers and employees with the tools to continually drive their own performance through the alignment of their work goals with their team’s goals and the organization’s strategic goals — cascading down from the top and adjusting as needed across the enterprise to reflect dynamic business changes.

Ongoing development

In our research, only 4 in 10 people told us they had the right tools to track their career growth, even though nearly 7 in 10 said they had access to software dedicated to documenting their career aspirations. A lack of career development opportunities is frequently the reason for an employee’s departure. Career development becomes a natural focus with modern performance management tools: Employees are encouraged to include measurable development activities as part of their goal-setting and are responsible for attaining these goals. 

Related content: How Goals and Conversations Empower Employee Performance

Career development becomes a natural focus with modern performance management tools: Employees are encouraged to include measurable development activities as part of their goal-setting and are responsible for attaining these goals.

Managers as coaches

The contemporary workforce doesn’t want to be rated and ranked, but instead, coached and enabled. This is especially important to younger generations. With a growing number of workers, and particularly managers, disengaged at work according to a recent Gallup survey, the need for the right technology to help them be more effective in their roles has never been more important.  

As Bersin cites in his book, the most critical ingredient of a high-performing culture is people helping each other; essentially the “boss becomes the coach.” Great managers aren’t born. They’re trained. What if there was a tool that could provide on-the-job tips, guidance, insights, and templates for managers to be the best versions of themselves every step of the way? What if all the things that one needs to be a great manager are weaved into the DNA of the tool?

This type of transformation is at your fingertips. Modern performance management software, such as Betterworks, enables managers to check-in with employees through both unstructured and structured conversations (with configurable question templates). Managers are better able to remove roadblocks, make connections to get work done, encourage their reports, and redirect them when necessary. In an era of remote and hybrid work, continual check-ins give managers greater visibility into their team’s progress and help everyone feel more connected and effective.

Related content: What Employees Want From Performance Management Technology

What if there was a tool that could provide on-the-job tips, guidance, insights, and templates for managers to be the best versions of themselves every step of the way?

2  Enabling performance in the flow of work

Performance management should be as frictionless as possible with tools that are easy to use, convenient, and efficient. That’s why Betterworks delivers performance management in the flow of work.

No one wants to spend time cutting and pasting data into a performance management system, whether that solution comprises a series of spreadsheets or is a performance management module within an HRIS system. Few want to take the time to log into an HRIS to update their goals, review progress, and schedule performance and development conversations. Poor adoption is often the result when companies use performance management software that is designed as a system of record, rather than purpose-built. Unfortunately, an infrequently used tool is about as effective to employees and your company as a torn safety net is to a trapeze artist. 

Betterworks offers a consumer-grade experience with more than two dozen integrations with the productivity, collaboration, learning and development, HRIS, and SSO tools companies use.

A lighter, more streamlined experience for employees and managers increases the likelihood that performance management tools will be used frequently, which also helps build good habits among your workforce.

Within communications tools, such as Microsoft Outlook, Teams, and Gmail, managers and employees can quickly view and update their goals, schedule conversations, give or receive feedback, and offer recognition directly in the flow of work — in the applications they use every day. Integrations with third-party applications, including Excel, Salesforce, Jira, and Asana, allow updates to goal progress to happen without any intervention. For example, employees can connect sales or project targets in Excel 365 or Google Sheets to their key results milestones in Betterworks to save time and eliminate redundancy. In addition, milestone progress becomes part of a holistic performance management solution.

Other core integrations incorporate skill-building into performance enablement. Integrations with LinkedIn Learning and Udemy connect upskilling and reskilling directly to employee development goals. Course catalogs for LinkedIn Learning and Udemy are available directly in the Betterworks platform. Course progress and completion are reflected automatically in an employee’s quarterly goals that are synced to the courses, and are visible to their manager. 

A lighter, more streamlined experience for employees and managers increases the likelihood that performance management tools will be used frequently, which also helps build good habits among your workforce. And the lift is light for HR as well. Real-time analytics enable HR to have both a broad view of productivity among teams and the capability to drill down for more detail. 

Related content: John Bersin webinar: Enabling Performance in the Flow of Work

3  Interconnected: everything you need in one place

Betterworks takes these third-party integrations to the next level by tying data from the applications into the Betterworks ecosystem to enrich conversations and feedback. This interconnectedness allows rich quantitative data and qualitative content to be pulled into a comprehensive view and displayed in a way that makes goals, conversations, feedback, and recognition easily accessed and viewed.

No more logins. No more cutting and pasting. No more needing to toggle back and forth between applications to find the data needed to create a holistic view of your progress. Managers, too, have a complete record and view of their direct reports’ and team’s progress at their fingertips, making it easy to take action in the moment. 

Real-time updates give everyone access to the latest data. For example, as soon as an employee updates their goal progress from the app they’re working in, it’s automatically reflected everywhere in the Betterworks ecosystem. Connections with learning and development systems promote upskilling and development by enabling training program and course progress and completions to seamlessly update goal achievement in the Betterworks platform. If an employee leaves recognition for a team member, it can be shared instantaneously with the entire company through communications tools such as Slack and Teams, as well as made available for their manager to see. 

The quality and consistency of data is also an important component of an interconnected enterprise performance management system. Employees and managers can easily request multiple types of conversations, whether for coaching, performance, or development using a variety of configurable question templates. These templates provide a meaningful way to connect and build trust. They also enable your workforce to capture and document discussions, progress, and outcomes in a consistent and measurable way that can be referenced in performance reviews. Employees can request, give, or view feedback in a similar way using configurable templates.

4  Enterprise grade: delivering performance at scale

Betterworks is a truly enterprise-ready solution with the capacity to scale efficiently on a single instance, whether a company has 15 employees or 150,000 or more employees, and whether your workforce is office-based or deskless. Lightweight and easy to use, yet with the flexibility to support complex and growing organizations, Betterworks performance management platform delivers high performance and responsiveness with localizations in over 25 languages. DEI features include AI that helps eliminate unconscious bias in performance evaluations, and accessibility features, such as closed captioning, screen readers, and contrast colors for hearing- and visually-impaired employees. 

Related content: Performance Enablement in Action: How Our Customers drive Business Results with Betterworks

Betterworks is a truly enterprise-ready solution with the capacity to scale efficiently on a single instance, whether a company has 15 employees or 150,000 or more employees.

5  Professional Services: driving adoption and ongoing success

Just as important as the technology itself is a carefully thought-out implementation process that is customized to the needs of the customer and leverages best practices — from design and training to communications and change management. Betterworks’ global implementation team uses a tried-and-true methodology that combines high-touch with tech to drive adoption within organizations of all sizes and capabilities. 

We work with customers to understand their goals and success metrics for the program, provide guidance for change management, and help develop champion programs to drive adoption. Organizational training is customized to our customers’ needs, and we partner alongside companies as they roll out their performance management tools, whether all at once or in phases. Customer success managers work with customers to promote the ongoing health of the program, make recommendations for evolving the performance management program, and drive desired business outcomes.

With close to 1,000 implementations for enterprise and mid-market companies, and a customer onboarding NPS of 85+, Betterworks is one of the few performance management software providers with the experience and scope needed by enterprises.

Interested in learning more about how Betterworks can help you empower and engage your employees and managers to yield superior business results? View a recorded demo or request a personalized demo.  

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