1% Better With Kris: Increasing Goal Quality

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.

The great Muhammad Ali once said, “What keeps me going is goals.” Many of us would agree, but getting started with writing goals can be a daunting task. In this post and video, I’m going to share with you 3 tips to help increase your goal’s quality.


Tip 1: Language is important

Ask yourself, “What will success look like?” or “How will I deliver value?” This will help you set the framework around what you want to achieve. Next, make it actionable.  Use action verbs such as deliver, implement, achieve, or drive to express what you are looking to accomplish. If you’re  struggling to come up with the right action verb, check out The Longest Action Verb List in the Universe. At BetterWorks, we follow a framework of “Action Verb + Outcome + Due Date” when structuring our goals. Also, stay away from acronyms or abbreviations, you want to make sure that any colleague that comes across your goal will understand what you are talking about and why it is important. Pro tip, leverage the Description field to add additional details to you goal.

Once your Objective is set, define your Key Results. This leads us to our next tip.

Tip 2: Use Metrics to be Specific and Measurable (when possible)

This is probably the hardest part of the goal setting process. I see a lot of objectives with key results that are very abstract and qualitative. In some cases, this makes sense, but try to frame your objectives with 2 questions: 1) “how can I demonstrate progress throughout the quarter?” (and not just at the very end); and 2) “how will I know I’ve been successful at the end of the quarter?” (in other words, be specific).  For example, let’s say we have an objective to “Get Healthy.” I could set up key results like “Lose weight” or “Eat more veggies” but those 2 Key Results are fairly qualitative and difficult to measure. How can we make this more specific and more metric-based? In this case, I’d change the Key Results to be “Lower weight to my target of 200lbs” and “Cook at home 2 times per week.” Check out my video to see what that would actually look like in BetterWorks.

Tip 3: Have multiple contributors on a goal

Now that we’ve set up our objectives and key results, let’s talk about collaboration. Make sure to involve teammates and contributors to maximize your goal execution. Clone milestones and invite others to collaborate on your goals by reassigning those milestones to them. This not only encourages collaboration, but also provides additional transparency and alignment around your goals.

Have your own best practice tip to share? Please add them in the comments section below.

Check out other 1% Better With Kris videos.


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