How CoEnterprise Improved Manager Accountability to Drive Engagement
A conversation with:
We love the ability to quantify where our employees stand in terms of themes in pulse and eNPS surveys. Data gives us the ability to have clear insight into our employee base and empowers us to create solutions to address challenges.
Vice President of People
While Lucy Maresco has been CoEnterprise’s VP of People for over a year, she’s only spent six weeks in the company’s office – courtesy of a worldwide pandemic. Those six weeks were luckily all she needed to get a feel for the fast-paced, growing culture of supply chain and business analytics solutions company, CoEnterprise. “CoEnterprise is very people-focused. One of our core values is collaboration and people really take that to heart. Our people work well together, they help each other, and they look out for each other,” said Lucy.
CoEnterprise understands how pivotal every employee is to overall business success, which is why the company’s leadership team hired Lucy to help scale HR and talent practices. “It's fairly obvious to us that happy, engaged, and productive employees are what will really help us grow and fuel the business,” explained Lucy. “The past few years, we’ve been focused on investing in our people. All of our initiatives this year are focused on career development, making sure we bring in the right talent, and getting a formalized structure in place for how we manage, connect, motivate, acknowledge, and ultimately retain our people.”
Another area the small HR team wanted to invest in? Managers. With over 30 new and seasoned people leaders across the organization, Lucy and Corinna needed a way to engage their managers, provide them with helpful resources, and ensure they were regularly meeting with their teams. “I was getting a bit frustrated because the managers weren't reading our emails,” said Corinna, who would spend a few hours a month amassing an HR newsletter for managers to stay up-to-date on the latest company news, HR initiatives, and manager resources. “We knew there must be a better way to communicate with our managers that's not just via email.”
The CoEnterprise team also had no way of knowing if managers were having weekly one-on-one meetings with their direct reports. “We’d always wished we had an area where our managers could capture interactions with their direct reports,” explained Corinna. “We were seeking a robust solution that would help empower our managers with easy-to-use tools that provide a consistent structure for employee connection, communication, feedback, and performance management. We wanted to be more aware of where we were lacking so we could improve.”
Just a few years ago, the company tried using Microsoft Word and its HRIS to execute employee performance reviews to no avail. Leveraging multiple makeshift systems proved to be an unstructured administrative headache for the company’s employees, managers, and HR team, who couldn’t even reliably track if performance conversations were taking place. The team’s accountability strategy usually involved Corinna having to persistently check in with, ‘Where's your performance review?’ to drive Managers to completion.
What was it that sold Lucy and Corinna on Lattice? After an in-depth analysis of employee engagement solutions available in the market, Lattice’s robust functionality, ease of use and intuitive employee experience positioned Lattice as an immediate contender for CoEnterprise. During their search, Lucy and Corinna realized they both recognized Lattice from two promotional mugs they’d coincidentally acquired from separate events. Considering the matching swag a promising sign, Lucy and Corinna dived deeper into their evaluation of Lattice which included a multi-day trial, only to find it was the sole solution that could solve every one of their challenges and then some!
For Corinna, Lattice’s intuitive UI is what initially stood out to her. She knew it was a system her employees could quickly and easily adopt and she had a hunch the user-centric design would win a few brownie points with her SaaS-tech workforce. But, what really sold her was the amount of data and insights her team could access on the platform. “We're a data company and I've never seen so much data in my life,” swooned Corinna. “Now, we can make informed decisions or tailor certain processes based on what the data tells us.” Finally, her team could have visibility into employee engagement, performance reviews, and management practices.
Lucy, on the other hand, was struck by Lattice’s ability to serve up “management in a box.” Lattice’s Performance tool has a comprehensive digital toolkit for engaging, developing, managing and retaining employees. “It gives them all the tools they need to be effective and manage their teams proactively as opposed to reactively. It allows for that two-way relationship between manager and direct report to happen more naturally and more consistently,” explained Lucy.
But, Lattice not only helped strengthen manager-employee relationships, but it also helped improve the HR team’s rapport with managers. In the past, only a few people leaders took advantage of the team’s open office hours, and even fewer read or clicked Corinna’s thoughtful, detailed newsletters. After implementing Lattice, the team introduced a monthly “Manager Corner” meeting to communicate better with people leaders across the organization.
“Most often I start with Lattice and we'll cover our updates and one-on-one participation and leaderboards. I figure out the percentage of participation for a quarter to date and our managers can see where they stand to hold them accountable,” said Corinna. The team also uses meeting time to share basic tips and best practices and carves out discussion time so managers can share what's working well for them or where they need help. Overall, Corinna said the meeting has not only helped increase the adoption of Lattice’s one-on-ones tool but it’s also helped create a community for their people leaders.
The CoEnterprise team also fell in love with Lattice’s employee development tool Grow which allowed them to create career tracks to share with managers and employees. “Corinna can tell you how many cartwheels I did because the career development framework I rolled out prior to onboarding Lattice perfectly mirrors the framework used in Grow. I was laying out competencies and career tracks in Excel and Word with my managers and now it's all in Lattice,” said Lucy. “I still get excited about Grow because I feel like it was just made for us.”
While the CoEnterprise team has only used Lattice for less than a year, they were surprised by the substantial impact it’s had on their organization in such a short time. Lucy and Corinna were shocked to learn that even with their small HR team, CoEnterprise outperformed most engagement and performance benchmarks for their industry. “We love the ability to quantify where our employees stand in terms of themes in pulse and eNPS surveys. Data gives us the ability to have clear insight into our employee base and empowers us to create solutions to address challenges,” stated Lucy.
The biggest win for Lucy and Corinna since implementing Lattice? Organization-wide behavior change. “We’ve seen steady one-on-one participation among our managers. That was a challenge for us as a company and I feel like we're becoming more consistent,” explained Lucy. “If we have a consistent approach to how we interact with and manage our employees and actually hold our managers accountable, we can build on that.” With over 1,800 one-on-ones completed in under a year and a review cycle completion rate of 95%, it’s clear the CoEnterprise team has a strong foundation on which to build an even stronger management team.
Lucy has also made progress against the team’s 2021 goal of “ensuring every employee has an individual development plan.” Using Growth Areas in Lattice, Lucy and Corinna have started to populate and publish career tracks for specific departments across the organization. They were even able to customize the framework to add in an additional step that incorporates using the Lattice performance review module for a manager assessment, as well as the employee’s self-assessment of current competencies within the position level that becomes the basis for discussion in creating the employee’s Growth Plan.
While the CoEnterprise team is happy with their results so far, they are optimistic Lattice can continue to empower their people initiatives in the future. “I'm excited to see the longer-term impact and understand how our work is affecting turnover, retention, and internal mobility. That's what I want to get to and be able to measure and I believe Lattice will help us have a direct impact on those things,” said Lucy.
As for what comes next, Lucy added, “We’re excited to use Lattice data to draw conclusions we can use to help us decide on future initiatives and identify areas for improvement. We're still fine-tuning and figuring out what is the right recipe for us, but growth is definitely in our future in a big way.”