1% Better With Kris: How BetterWorks Uses BetterWorks

1% Better With Kris is a blog/video series with the CEO of BetterWorks, Kris Duggan. The title references one of BetterWorks’ core values to strive to be “1% Better everyday.” In each post, Kris tackles a common question or theme that customers have and demonstrates how he and the employees at BetterWorks addresses them.


One of our values at BetterWorks is “drinking our own champagne.” Which means that day in and day out, we use BetterWorks to create, manage, and better align on our goals. In this week's post, I'm going to give you an inside look on how BetterWorks uses BetterWorks.


Let me start from the beginning. When a person joins our organization, they are taken through our new employee orientation. Here we walk them through how they are going to be using BetterWorks to be successful.

Some of the guidelines we prescribe for our employees include:

  • 4-6 active goals per quarter and use metrics when possible.
  • Align goals to your team lead or peers. This allows you to connect to other work that's happening within the company.
  • Leverage the "Additional details" section to clearly explain and define your goals. Anyone should be able to read the description and understand what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Check in at least once per month (the more frequent, the better). Checking in can be anything from updating the progress of your goal or leaving a comment.
  • Support each other. Use the Cheering and Nudging functions to engage with one another.
  • We promote aspirational thinking, however, financial goals are expected to be accomplished 100%+.

Along with the above guidelines, every new employee, from an individual contributor to a member of my leadership team, creates a 30-day ramp up goal. We've found this to be a very effective at integrating BetterWorks into each employee’s workflow, encouraging stretch thinking from the beginning, and having everyone engage in meaningful conversations with their managers from the very start.

How do we actually implement this?

We follow a disciplined cadence. We spend the first two weeks of the quarter assessing and scoring the prior quarter’s goals. Afterwards, the leadership team meets to draft and finalize the goals for the upcoming quarter. By the end of the 2nd week, all prior quarter’s assessments are completed and all new quarter goals are due for the entire company.  Throughout the quarter, we review goals monthly either during 1:1s or during team meetings. Along with those check ins, we have what we call "BetterWorks Conversations." This is an opportunity for manager and employee to connect and make sure they have everything they need to be successful.

As we've continued to use the platform, I've noticed some pretty remarkable things. There has been an increase in alignment around strategy and cross-functional coordination. I can see who’s viewed a goal (and it's not just my leadership team!). Folks from across the company -  Product, Engineering, Marketing, Sales - are all viewing the company’s important goals. People from other departments care about and is aware of what's going on. This in turn has helped my team become more agile and respond to the changing demands of our business. All of this didn't happen overnight, it was a journey.

With a new quarter right around the corner, I challenge you to embark on this journey following some of the lessons we learned along the way. Cheers!

Check out previous 1% Better With Kris articles!


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