Betterworks provides a solution for challenges that every company faces—including our own. As an organization ourselves, we utilize every single betterworks feature on our platform. This provides us with firsthand insights into the efficacy and implementation of our product as well as valuable, real-time feedback for our teams to implement, providing our clients with the best solutions possible.
In addition to feedback and testing, our use of our own platform allows us to reap the powerful benefits our solution provides. Here’s a summary of how we use our own product and how that drives company-wide commitment to product and service excellence.
Drinking our own Champagne
At betterworks, we’re certainly for drinking our own kool-aid, or more aptly, champagne. “Champagne” is the name of our internal betterworks instance. “Champagne” is deployed across our organization, allowing us to align, engage our team members, and run our business using exactly what we sell to our customers. We chose to name our internal platform “Champagne” because champagne marks moments of celebration and accomplishment.
Using betterworks ourselves is so important because our mission is threefold; we strive to: make sure we improve the product for our customers, drive our own business execution, and provide different use-cases and best practices, so everyone is an educated advocate of the betterworks solution.
Benefits of using betterworks
Every single person in our company—including designers and developers—gets the opportunity to walk in the shoes of our customers every day. Our engineers and designers get key, firsthand knowledge and experience with the tool they’re building. This indispensable point-of-view is so important in ensuring the understanding and usability of our platform.
Using betterworks improves the product for customers by:
- Better user experiences
- Better designed and implemented features
- Fewer bugs/defects/shortcomings
Betterworks is about driving business performance results, so of course we want outcomes, results, resilience, and agility like all of the customers we service. When an organization operates with transparency and employees are aligned with the most important objectives in the company, you get real results. Using betterworks allows us to stay true to our company values of people, customers, accomplishment, and passion.
Using betterworks drives business execution
- Clarity on business strategy
- Alignment on top company objectives
- Real time visibility
- Regular, in the flow of work conversations and feedback
- Employee listening
- Focus on achievement
- Ties to our company values
Our Champagne objectives
Utilizing Champagne means we’ve set objectives for ourselves in terms of product feedback, understanding how every solution works, and providing experienced guidance to onboarding and educating our customers. Here are our key objectives:
Be customer zero for all products and releases
Our product updates are implemented and tested within betterworks at least two weeks prior to release. This important testing period allows us to see and experience new features before customers, so we can better educate on what’s coming and how it affects them.
Drive product quality
We’re able to provide open feedback to product and engineering teams on what’s working and what we see as an opportunity for improvement. Betterworks’ customer success team works really closely with the product team for design reviews and sharing use cases. In other words, we introduce real customer input that directly informs how we design our product.
Deliver measurable business benefit
Champagne encourages transparency for goal setting. The platform shows us how we’re aligned to the most important things as a company and how we are doing from an execution standpoint.
100% employee participation
Our customer success team always highly recommends the best practice of encouraging all employees to contribute to the objective setting process. Objectives and key results are not designed to be a top down exercise. In addition to goal setting from a business perspective, we encourage all employees, regardless of level or role, to have at least one personal or professional development objective every quarter so individuals have the space to maximize their own potential.
Keys to a successful program
As part of our onboarding process, we help our customers understand the most critical success factors in launching and continuing to manage their program. We have identified 7 key areas of focus that get applied to the program:
- Program mission
- Executive sponsorship
- Program guidelines
- Change champions
- Embedding the process
Within betterworks, we onboard new employees to these key areas as well. We walk each employee through the solution, how we use it as a company, and how they can individually use them to grow their tenure in betterworks.
Within our platform, we have a program calendar broken down per quarter that we use for clarity and accountability. It’s a transparent guide to when and how often to implement each piece of the solution:
- OKR’s: quarterly top company OKRs; quarterly OKR monthly updates
- Conversations: anytime 1:1s, scheduled, quarterly check-ins
- Feedback: anytime feedback available; scheduled biannual cycles
- Recognition: anytime recognition; formal recognition campaigns
- Engage: annual eNPS survey; quarterly pulse
Specifics on the betterworks Champagne instance
The betterworks organization uses every feature of our platform. We start every quarter by setting top company Objectives and Key Results. From there, departments and employees add to and realign their own objectives according to the companywide OKRs. This is done every quarter to drive company results.
Our executive team finalizes the top company objectives at the very beginning of the quarter after completing the review and reflection process. Then, each functional team meets and defintes 3-6 department objectives. After that, individual contributors do the same. This is both a top down and bottom up exercise so that employees understand that they are contributing to the direction and execution of the company.
We also leverage Champagne to help drive regular conversations. While OKRs provide us with clarity on what to focus on, regular conversations about what’s working, what are the challenges, and what decisions need to be made are of utmost importance. Continual conversations and the ongoing viability about particular goals is what keeps the OKR process happening and within the regular flow of work.
The betterworks HR team, for example, received feedback from employees about the need for providing the space to update OKRs mid-quarter as priorities can shift at any time. HR scheduled a quick 3-question mid-quarter conversation for managers and employees to review OKR their progress. This process gave us the ability to implement best practices as well as an opportunity for us to address some of the pitfalls of management.
The cadence of a mid-quarter check-in we found to be timely, specific, and relevant. Approaching OKRs as editable helped to keep employees motivated and engaged. The check-in provided employees with the opportunity to talk about with their managed and make necessary adjustments to ensure they are successful in what they’re trying to achieve. It also was a good opportunity for managers to support employees and help them work through or roadblocks.
Ongoing insights from using betterworks
Drinking our own champagne is vital to the efficacy of our product and the success of not only our customers—but betterworks as a business. As a startup, we’re constantly iterating, moving quickly, responding to insights and trying to figure out what’s best or better within our solutions.
We’re able to act as ‘customer zero’, testing our newest features and educating our entire employee base on every corner of our product. We’re able to uplift our own company culture, execute on our business objectives, and feel confident that we’re providing the best product and the most knowledge customer success team to our customers.
This article is based on betterworks’ Goal Summit conversation: “Betterworks on Betterworks: Drinking Our Own Champagne,” which can be accessed on demand here.