How Policygenius Streamlined Performance Management
Policygenius is a NYC-based tech startup that makes it easy to compare and buy insurance online. Since 2014, Policygenius has helped more than 4.5 million people get coverage for their families.
Cindy started her HR career at McKinsey where she focused on benefits, recruiting, and professional development. She served as the Head of People at Oscar, a health insurance startup, prior to joining Policygenius in 2016.
“Everyone that we’ve interacted with at Lattice has gone above and beyond to seek answers for us. From implementation to project execution to ad hoc requests, we feel like we have a genuine partnership with Lattice.”
Cindy Gordon, VP of People at Policygenius, needed a new employee performance management platform.
Like many growing companies, the team used Google’s G Suite business applications for DIY performance management. As they continued to grow, they transitioned to a dedicated software tool that offered more functionality and better reporting.
The new tool was better than their former DIY solution but, according to Cindy, had one major flaw. “One pain point with our previous platform was its user interface wasn’t intuitive enough.” After using the tool as an admin and getting feedback from managers and employees, it was clear to her that the team needed a platform that was easier for everyone to use.
Cindy tapped into her network of HR leaders at other companies in New York to get their tool recommendations. “We narrowed it down to three platforms. Then we conducted demo calls, weighed the pros and cons based on the needs of our company, and decided on Lattice.”
“What we liked about Lattice, in addition to the excellent user interface, was the capability for real-time feedback, company OKRs and goals, and, as a bonus, it could also work as our company directory.”
Cindy’s goal was to create a performance management program for the company––a complete system to give people a pulse on how they’re doing and how to develop and improve.
Developing our talent has been a priority since the early days of Policygenius, explained Cindy. “[The founders] invested in the people function early. I was the 20th hire here which is ahead of where companies usually hire for people operations.”
The founders strive to lead by example. They take the time to provide thoughtful feedback and meet with direct reports for 1:1s. This habit shows the rest of the leadership team and managers how to develop their people.
“For the last round of performance reviews, we worked closely with Laura at Lattice to create step-by-step instructions for managers, employees, and admins. Then she created a 90-second demo video for us to send out to managers and employees––she was incredibly helpful.”
Cindy adds, “everyone that we’ve interacted with at Lattice has gone above and beyond to seek answers for us. From implementation to project execution to ad hoc requests, we feel like we have a genuine partnership with Lattice.”
And that last round of performance reviews? The team closed the cycle with an outstanding 99.2% completion rate. Out of 597 individual review components (self, peer, upward, and manager reviews) they had 592 submitted. The People team did a tremendous job of communicating with the company, sharing deadlines, and following up with late reviews.
Cindy shares another tip that helped drive completion rates: “We had an OKR for the whole company to reach 100% participation in reviews which held the entire company accountable for hitting that goal.”
“We’re a metrics-driven company, so we’d share daily updates on our participation rate via Slack to help build fire in the belly and build some friendly competition for the team to get it done.”