Betterworks – Managing Objectives & Key Results


Betterworks seeks to change the way employees and managers interact on a team. The goal of their proven technology is to help employees feel connected to their work and understand how that work impacts the top goals of the company. The Betterworks platform helps employers give regular feedback, support employees’ professional development, and aid goal achievement.

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) programs are one way that you can set your workplace apart, and Betterworks can help. While there are many different training programs and tips to help you achieve success, initiating an OKR program is one of the most effective methods for  setting, managing and achieving individual and company objectives. In most organizations, there are essentially three different kinds of objectives that you can put into place. The Betterworks platform can also help you put these programs into action.

What Is Betterworks?

Ultimately, Betterworks’ platform works to align everyone on the team through cross-functional programs and transparent communication. Instead of just offering annual reviews, employers can take advantage of a Continuous Performance Management process that enables them to easily adjust to the changing needs of the company. Because the system makes performance conversations frequent and simple, team members get the feedback they need to stay motivated and become better at their jobs. Plus, well-designed templates nudge managers and encourage them to ask the right questions.

From employee recognition to coaching tools, Betterworks makes managing and motivating a team of employees easier than ever before. Employers can essentially create a company-wide feedback culture. As a result of this kind of culture, it is easier than ever before to retain top talent and attract new employees.

Departmental Objectives

Departmental OKRs are normally used by companies that already have a general idea of the direction the company wants to go. They have tested out their OKR program for a few quarters, so they know that they want to keep using them. At this point, their main focus is making sure that the departmental OKRs are visible between different departments.


This kind of OKR is useful during the planning stage because you know how other department heads will respond. The other department heads each have an objective to meet, and you can count on them to achieve it. In most cases, this kind of OKR is used by companies that are already disciplined and successful. Since they already put thought into carefully creating their OKRs, they only have to put it into action each quarter.

In a single company, these departmental objectives will vary between different departments. The product department may have a goal of improving the company’s market offering through the launch of new products or services. Meanwhile, the human resources officer must focus on building a career development program for better employee experiences. While the sales department might have a goal to increase sales, the customer services department may be expected to create a new system to objectively measure customer satisfaction.

The One-Vision-One-Focus Objective

This OKR is used by companies who have one clear goal to achieve. Often, companies will use this OKR because they recognize a clear threat or opportunity before them. This threat is so apparent that the entire organization must rally together to execute a plan and handle the strategic opportunity.

The one-vision-one-focus objective is common among smaller companies, but it can also be used by larger businesses. Smaller startups use this objective a lot because they can face major threats each day. Every employee has to rally against this existential threat for the business to stay afloat.

Intel is one common example of a company that used a one-vision-one-focus OKR. Years ago, the Motorola microprocessor posed a threat to Intel’s ability to stay afloat. As a result, Intel decided that it needed to create a 16-bit microprocessor that performed better than any on the market. The result was the 8086.

In this example, the marketing department might work on repackaging and advertising the 8086 line of products. The engineering department might be in charge of building a prototype and getting the product onto the production line. Each department takes charge of one part of the overarching objective. As a result of this plan, Intel continued to grow and thrive.

Thematic Objectives

With this kind of objective, the organization chooses an inspiring theme to motivate different departments. This is especially common at organizations that really need to work on cross-functional collaboration between different departments. You do not need to make a different goal or key result for each department, but you will probably need to choose four to six functions for departments to collaborate on.

Some organizations also create thematic objectives driven by company values. Company leaders often do this when they want to change the organization’s culture into a healthier, more agile environment. Cultural changes are difficult goals to track, but they are necessary for a company to thrive.

Businesses can choose from many different kinds of thematic objectives. They might want to have a company that is the most innovative, modern, or agile in their industry. Some businesses, on the other hand, prefer to focus on customer service. Whatever the case, the ultimate objective is to achieve the OKR by holding every stakeholder accountable to it.

A thematic objective might involve something like controlling expenses at a low-cost manufacturing company. To achieve this goal, the organization may set measurable objectives like reducing overhead by two percent over the long run and limiting overtime hours. Thematic goals can also be things like boosting market awareness, improving customer satisfaction, or launching a new line of products.

Putting OKRs into Action

Deciding on the best objectives and key results is only one part of the process. For these OKRs to make a difference in your organization, you have to execute them successfully. Motivating your team involves sharing goals and constantly adjusting your team’s plans to meet those objectives. To achieve your OKRs, you will also need to provide ongoing feedback and coaching for your employees. Otherwise, your employees will never develop the capacity to achieve the right results on their own.


To give your employees the coaching they need, start by encouraging conversations beyond mere performance reviews. The manager or human resources team needs to have productive conversations with each employee. These continuous discussions help employees learn where they need to improve and how they are doing on their current objectives. If you have not already been having regular conversations about business objectives, set a target of having quarterly, end-of-quarter, and bi-weekly discussions with your employees.

The most frequent discussions should take place every other week or once a month. These bi-weekly conversations are a chance for team members to tell you about their progress. If team members are falling behind, managers have a chance to realign the team and make adjustments. Employees should discuss the achievements and obstacles they have had along the way. They should evaluate how their current work functions in line with their OKRs and what their manager can do to help.

Quarterly conversations should be incorporated into the planning process for the next 90 days. During these discussions, employees should first answer questions about what they are going to focus on and how they currently spend their time. The employee should consider the outcomes they want to achieve, objective measurements for those goals, and the kind of support they need. Managers should decide if the employee is focusing on the right outcome. If there are other projects that the employee should focus on this quarter, now is a chance for managers to discuss them.

The quarterly discussion should always happen at the start of the quarter. Meanwhile, the end-of-quarter conversation should take place at the end. While this is a chance to look back at everything that has already happened, employees should be focused primarily on the future and how they can continue to develop. This discussion should cover all of the things that the employee has achieved and the obstacles they encountered along the way. Employees should also discuss the ways that their priorities have changed and how managers can help them reach those objectives. In general, this discussion should occur within a week after the quarter has officially ended.

Remembering to have these conversations can be a struggle for managers. In general, OKR planning works best when yoxfu reevaluate and realign your goals frequently. Other than making a memo on your agenda, you can also use solutions like Betterworks to plan out your company’s OKRs and check up with employees about the status of their progress. With the right planning, tools, and support, you can help your business achieve its OKRs for the year.

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