Customer stories

How Faire Uses Lattice to Help Employees Grow Their Careers and Use Their Distinctive Strengths

Customer stories

How Faire Uses Lattice to Help Employees Grow Their Careers and Use Their Distinctive Strengths

Faire is an online marketplace that connects independent brands to independent retailers from all over the world. Listed as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, Faire helps local entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses to better compete with big-box and large e-commerce giants a million times their size.

Lattice Plan
Platform w/ Premium Support
Location
San Francisco, CA
Industry
Retail
Size
1000+
HR Team
22

Meet the People Team

Photo of the interviewee

Andrew Baltes

Talent Development Lead

Andrew Baltes is Faire’s Talent Development Lead on its People team. As Faire grows its geographic footprint and scales its operations to serve nearly half-a-million entrepreneurs, Andrew and the People team have the unique and important role of setting the cultural tone around how employees give feedback, training managers on how to coach their teams to learn and grow, and creating an environment of inclusion and belonging.

“As a company committed to empowering entrepreneurs around the world, one of our core values is 'Be an owner' and so it’s exciting to have a scalable tool like Lattice Grow to enable employees to own their performance and career.”

Faire’s vision for its employees is that the company is a place where they can:

  • Grow their careers and use their distinctive strengths
  • Be their authentic selves and feel a sense of belonging
  • Feel empowered to do their best work and have a direct impact on the communities Faire serves around the world.

This vision stems from the company’s five core values: We serve our community; We seek the truth; We are all owners; We embrace the adventure; We are kind.Performance management is a great chance to live those values and empower employees to seek the truth by identifying their and their teammates’ strengths and growth areas, and to show kindness by giving others candid feedback that helps them learn and grow

The Challenge

While Faire is only five-years old, the company started using Lattice in its third year, and had built out a fairly robust performance management process over the years. Given its growth, Faire wanted to bring more consistency, rigor, and clarity to its process so it could better help each employee learn and grow in their careers and use their distinctive strengths.  

Using Lattice Grow at Faire

Faire found its solution in Lattice Grow. After collecting feedback from and debating the topic with leaders across Faire, the People team decided to add ratings to its performance process. While many companies provide a final, numerical rating, Faire opted to pursue a more nuanced approach: each employee would receive a qualitative rating on each competency within their Career Framework. This approach enabled the team to focus calibrations on growth, rather than debating specific ratings, while giving each employee a clear picture of their performance and expectations for operating at the next level.

In the fall of 2021, Faire ran a pilot with 150 employees to test out the idea. Each employee would rate themselves and their managers. Managers would rate each direct report and during calibrations, managers would pressure test ratings while focusing the discussion on how that employee could build on their strengths and address their growth areas. 

In reviewing feedback from employees, Faire found that competency ratings had three key benefits:

  • Better describe the impact employees had and the strengths they used
  • Calibrate performance more consistently, rigorously, and fairly
  • Give employees a clearer idea of how to grow in their role and what it takes to operate at the next level

Following the pilot, Andrew and his team updated every Career Framework across the company, ultimately creating 79 unique tracks in Grow. With these frameworks loaded into Lattice, employees now have easy access to their expectations and can quickly and seamlessly provide feedback to each other without leaving Lattice. 

The People team rolled out this new approach for Faire’s Q2 2022 performance cycle.

Impact of Lattice Grow

It’s still early days at Faire using Grow, but there are already buds of progress.

In February, Faire ran its first-ever ‘Career Faire’ where everyone at the company completed a Personal Growth Plan, which documents someone’s career values, aspirations, strengths, energizers, and growth areas. Employees were able to upload that growth plan into Lattice. And following its performance cycle, employees can translate their feedback into growth goals that support high-performance today and that link up with their longer term career goals. “It’s been really helpful for us as a tool for company-wide consistency and individual ownership and growth,” said Andrew.

“As a company committed to empowering entrepreneurs around the world, one of our core values is Be an owner,” Andrew said, “and so it’s exciting to have a scalable tool like Grow to enable employees to own their performance and career.”

A key outcome of using Grow has been creating a consistent way to talk about learning and growth across the company. Prior to Lattice, every team handled performance reviews and career conversations slightly differently. With a growing company, having a consistent experience, said Andrew, is really important “so that everyone feels like it's a fair and equitable process and that everyone has a good opportunity to talk about the impact that they've had and how they can grow in their role.”

Andrew and his team are excited to measure the results in their employee surveys and continue to improve the experience so all Faire employees can grow their careers and use their distinctive strengths.

Takeaways

  • Faire’s strong company culture and values has helped drive their review cycle completion of 94%. 
  • Pairing Faire’s established career frameworks with Grow has allowed Faire to connect performance to competencies within those frameworks, ensuring better alignment.
  • Grow allows each employee to translate feedback into actionable growth goals and work with their manager to measure their success.

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