Michigan-based Campspot is modernizing the camping industry with its two-sided marketplace. Campspot’s property management system helps campground owners digitize reservations, while the company’s website helps outdoor enthusiasts find and book campsites across North America. A silver lining of the pandemic is that it brought dramatically heightened demand for Campspot’s offerings. With more people getting outside and discovering a love of the outdoors, Campspot quickly scaled its team to keep up with demand.
In fact, when Campspots’ VP of People Kirsten Lickel joined the company, Campspot only had 80 employees. Today, it has more than 120. While rapidly growing the company’s size in under a year has been an exciting milestone, it’s certainly kept Kirsten and her team busy. “We believe our role is to enable and empower our employees to do their best work,” says Kirsten. “We’re focused on setting a scalable foundation for the future by creating policies and programs that can provide transparency and value to our employees.”
Today, the company is focused on building People practices that are clear, consistent, and scalable. But only a few years ago, Campspot had very different priorities. At that time, the company had no formalized way of collecting feedback from employees, and employees had no way of receiving feedback from the company. In fact, once Campspot introduced engagement surveys using Google Forms, leadership learned that employees were desperate for performance appraisals. “One thing that kept showing up was, ‘We want performance reviews.’ I’ve never worked at a company where everyone was begging for performance reviews,” shares Kirsten. “It got to the point where I thought some people were going to quit if we didn’t deliver on performance reviews pretty soon, so we kicked off the search for a system that does performance reviews really well.”
Kirsten’s search quickly led her to Lattice, whose people success platform not only offered the performance review functionality Campspot needed, but also so much more. “Obviously performance reviews were our top priority, but then we learned that Lattice could help us with engagement, one-on-ones, feedback, and more. Those extra tools really set Lattice apart,” she shares. “Plus, we appreciated how customizable these tools are. There are some HR systems that say, ‘We believe this is the best way to do performance reviews. This is the way you have to do it.’ But Lattice knows that every organization has its own needs and gives us the ability to make any tool fit our culture.”
Using Lattice at Campspot
While Kirsten and her team were excited about the company’s first performance review cycle using Lattice, Feedback was actually the first tool they launched. This gave employees time to give and receive feedback to and from peers ahead of the performance cycle, so managers could reference this praise in their reviews. For the first time ever, Campspot employees could receive on-demand feedback from their colleagues, peers, and managers.
The tool also helped during Campspot’s “Core Values Week,” a semi-annual celebration that encourages giving and receiving ongoing feedback. As part of the fanfare, Kirsten would manually scroll through the company’s #cheers Slack channel to select a few winners. Luckily for her, the winner selection process has become a bit easier with Lattice. “Lattice helps us keep feedback organized, top of mind, and reportable. Now, I can just run a quick report, see how many submissions we had and pick winners at random. That has been huge,” explains Kirsten.
Other than performance reviews, Campspot employees were also eager for more transparency and clarity around internal growth opportunities. Luckily, Lattice Grow was just what the company needed. With Grow, Campspot employees could easily create their own individual development plans and start working towards their professional goals. In fact, only a month after rolling out Grow, the company already had 15% of employees establish active growth areas.
“In today’s labor market, Grow can play a pivotal role in retaining and engaging employees. Our people want to understand their career progression and how this company is going to help them develop their careers. The Grow module is absolutely that,” says Kirsten. “Its individual development plans give employees a sense of career ownership, while Grow as a whole acts as a tangible reminder to employees that Campspot cares about their growth.”
For managers, Lattice has also been a welcome change. With feedback, one-on-ones, and growth plans all in one platform, Campspot managers can stay on top of their teams’ needs and be better coaches to their direct reports. “Our managers have given me a lot of positive feedback about how the whole Lattice platform has made their lives so much easier because they can see everything in one place,” adds Kirsten. “In my own experience as a manager, I can easily see when my direct reports’ growth areas haven’t been updated in a while, click on our one-on-one agenda, and add it as a talking point. I don’t even have to think about it because it’s all right at the tip of my fingertips.”
Impact of Lattice
First and foremost, Campspot went from having no formal review process and no streamlined way to collect employee feedback to running semi-annual performance reviews and quarterly engagement surveys — all within just a few months. Employees gained the ability to request feedback any time from peers and managers, take ownership of 1:1 agendas, and prioritize their career growth with individual development plans. Managers, on the other hand, have all the resources they need in one place to be better people leaders and career coaches to their teams.
“Before Lattice, we had a lot of pieced-together processes, best practices, and recommendations for managers,” explains Kirsten. “Now, Lattice provides seamless organization and coordination for so many aspects of the employee lifecycle. It’s truly become a one-stop shop for employees to check in with themselves, their peers, and their manager. I definitely get a lot of kudos from our managers for implementing Lattice!”
Of course, the Campspot HR team has benefitted from Lattice too. According to Kirsten, the biggest benefit of switching to Lattice has been getting unprecedented visibility into the company’s workforce and People data. “Just understanding how we are doing, how we are trending, and whether people are getting the things that we promise they’re going to get — like one-on-ones and feedback — has been amazing. For me, as an administrator, Lattice has given me newfound insight and visibility into my workforce so that I can ensure we’re realizing our potential as an employer for our employees,” shares Kirsten.
But Lattice’s impact doesn’t just stop there. Kirsten says that Lattice has become a tangible symbol of how much Campspot cares about its employees. “As an employee myself, it feels good to know that our company has invested in these tools to help me do my job better and to help facilitate connection with my boss, direct reports, and peers,” she explains. “Lattice is a system that gives me an opportunity to get feedback, give performance reviews, and create an individual development plan. It feels like an investment in my ability to successfully perform my job.”
While HR technology is typically an unsung workplace hero, Kirsten says she’s received nothing but positive feedback from employees since the company switched to Lattice. “It’s not often that employees openly express their appreciation for the work People teams do,” she shares. “Implementing Lattice prompted employees to go out of their way to say thanks.” In fact, Kirsten shared this real piece of feedback she received from an employee via Lattice: “Thank you for setting up Campspot with Lattice! As someone who is fueled by feedback and recognition, this is a great tool to keep me going, and I’m sure many others feel the same way.’” And to Kirsten, finding the right solution for her business and employees is what makes all her hard work worthwhile, especially since she’s found a partner that will only continue to empower Campspot to scale.
- Lattice helped Campspot build a culture of continuous feedback, allowing employees to give and receive feedback year-round.
- Lattice combines feedback, praise, one-on-ones, performance, and growth plans all in one system, making it easier for managers to become strong people leaders and coaches.
- Thanks to Grow, Campspot employees can take ownership of their independent development plans and have a clear understanding of how to grow their careers within the company.
- Campspot’s People team now has unprecedented visibility into its People data, empowering the company to make data-driven decisions that help improve the employee experience.