With Lattice, our performance reviews are no longer just ‘ticking the box.’ They’ve become pivotal, important, and meaningful conversations that help employees figure out their careers in the organization and beyond. That's allowed us to make a commitment to our people and their experience.
Melbourne-based Linktree was founded in 2016 as a way to help content creators share more than one link in their social media bio. Using the company’s solution, social media users can create a personalized and customizable page that houses all of their important links, like an online store or recent blog post, to help creators better connect with their followers.
Much like the diverse users it serves, Linktree is a human-first global organization with 200 employees spread across Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Even with the time differences and physical distance, Linktree succeeds in building connection and belonging between all of its people. As Felicity Davis, Head of People Operations for the company, puts it, “We have a team of passionate and driven folks that love to collaborate, lift each other up, and share feedback with one another. There’s a real sense of camaraderie here. Everyone is always cheering on their colleagues and trying to help them improve because we all want to see our teammates and Linktree thrive.”
For Linktree’s HR team, their primary aim is to create a culture that prioritizes three things: inclusion, high performance, and employee development. Impressively the company already has a strong start toward the priority of inclusion. “Linktree employees are truly supported and celebrated for who they are,” says Beverley Simpson, a Lead HR Consultant for the company. “The company offers parental, pregnancy loss, and miscarriage leave, as well as a Transpositive Inclusion Policy — that includes gender inclusion training for all Linktree employees, a mental health support stipend, financial support, and leave for consultations and procedures.”
That said, the company wanted to continue working towards a culture that promotes high performance and employee development. While every company defines “high performance” differently, for Linktree, this term means having transparent performance expectations and building a work environment that sets up every employee for success. “For us, a high-performance culture measures more than just past performance. It means motivating and engaging our people and building the environmental conditions that make it possible for employees to perform at their best here,” says Beverley. “Employees need to know what to expect and how their performance is being measured, so they can contribute to conversations about their own career and development.”
In order to achieve this level of transparency, the Linktree team needed a way to establish consistency and equity across the entire employee experience. “One of our biggest challenges was consistency. We didn’t have a tech platform in place to manage performance reviews, feedback, and goal setting,” states Beverley. “We knew that some — not all — managers were having conversations with their employees, but we had no idea how often they were having them and how they were structured. How meaningful and useful these conversations were to employees really came down to their manager.”
The Linktree HR team started its search for a solution that could help streamline and standardize 360-degree performance reviews, employee feedback, one-on-ones, and career tracks to improve consistency and equity across the organization. Lattice immediately rose to the top of their list, as it not only met all of these needs but could also give the company unprecedented access to its People data.
Using Lattice at Linktree
With Lattice, Linktree immediately got to work “finding a rhythm” for their people initiatives, as Beverley says. The company introduced biannual 360-degree reviews, quarterly career and growth conversations, and biweekly one-on-ones — all via the Lattice platform. Not only did that establish expectations around performance and development for employees and managers, but it also allowed the HR team to gain visibility into how these conversations are conducted.
Now, they could track whether these discussions were actually taking place, their frequency, as well as what was discussed. “It’s simple but Lattice makes our lives so much easier to see who hasn’t completed their review yet so we can follow up and make sure these important conversations take place,” says Felicity. “Performance reviews are our key way of retaining talent, so it’s important everyone gets the same opportunity to receive feedback and grow.”
Overall, Lattice Performance helped bring them one step closer to their goal of building a culture that prioritizes both high performance and employee development. “With Lattice, our performance reviews are no longer just ‘ticking the box.’ They’ve become pivotal, important, and meaningful conversations that help employees figure out their careers in the organization and beyond. That’s allowed us to make a commitment to our people and their experience,” says Beverley.
The Lattice platform has also given the team greater insight into their People data. Now, the Linktree team has quantitative data for performance, engagement, feedback, and development, allowing the company to make more informed decisions that drive smart decisions, like investing in career development for example.
That data helped the Linktree HR team learn that employees wanted transparent and clear career paths to better understand available growth opportunities within the organization. “As an organization, we needed more alignment and clarity on how our employees could grow internally,” shares Felicity. “With Lattice Grow, our passionate and driven employees can easily understand what experience and competencies they need to achieve to reach the next level of their career with Linktree.”
In response, Beverley and Felicity’s team got to work building out growth tracks for every department using Lattice Grow, focusing on three competency areas: role, company, and leadership competencies. Once these growth tracks were complete, the Linktree team launched a training program to ensure every manager knows how to hold effective development conversations with their teams.
“Our managers are the ones who use Lattice the most, so actually getting them to practice leading development conversations was really important,” says Beverley. “In order to make our growth tracks sustainable and scalable, we kept them broad, but our conversation framework specific. We believe that giving managers contextual information around employee development is a more sustainable way of building leadership capability and creating an organization where feedback is given and received openly and frequently.”
Of course, Linktree employees can also access and reference growth tracks whenever they want. This allows them to understand the internal opportunities available to them, identify their personal development areas, and take ownership of their career growth. “We made sure that we were really transparent with our ICs, since we wanted them to feel connected to this,” says Beverley. “This is their growth and development experience, so it’s really important for them not to feel like this is just something that’s happening to them, but that this is happening with and for them.”
Impact of Lattice
Right from the start, Lattice helped the company adopt a more targeted and personalized approach to performance and development. Linktree saw an immediate spike in performance review and development conversation participation — all of which Felicity attributes to the Lattice platform’s ease of use. “Lattice helped us build meaningful performance review processes that our people actually participate in. Its review tools are intuitive, thorough, and effective. Overall, we’ve seen strong participation rates thanks to the simplicity of the process from the user perspective,” she explains.
Manager enablement was one of the other most noticeable improvements Beverley noticed after implementing Lattice. Lattice Grow, Praise, Feedback, 1:1s, and 360-degree reviews all helped turn Linktree managers into career coaches who are empowered to more-intentionally lead their teams. “Sure, Lattice is a tool that enables measurement of performance and engagement, but its real power has been helping our managers think about and commit to talking about growth and development,” says Beverley. “It’s created a simple way for our managers to check in with their people, track feedback, have agenda-based meetings, and give their direct reports praise and feedback consistently. Managers now have the ability to pull a growth area from a growth track, add it to their 1:1 agenda to discuss it with an employee, and then set mini goals to work towards honing a new or existing skill — all within Lattice.”
Lattice also helped the company create the clarity and consistency employees and managers craved. “I think the biggest benefit of Lattice is the structure and consistency it gives our managers. We have managers with varying levels of expertise and backgrounds which naturally creates inconsistencies in terms of how they define what success looks like, their performance expectations of employees, etc. While we encourage our leaders to be authentic and unique, we still need an underlying baseline that everyone agrees are the expectations of a role,” shares Felicity. “With Lattice, we now have confidence that performance expectations and measurement are consistent across the business while maintaining a layer of objectivity.”
Lattice also helped the company follow through on employees’ requests for transparency around internal career growth and development opportunities. Using Lattice Grow, Linktree was able to build distinct career paths and competencies, so employees know exactly what career options they have and what they need to do to progress through the business.
Plus, Lattice helped the Linktree HR team define more inclusive career paths across the organization — specifically for employees with no interest in people management. “We don’t like to assume that everybody wants to lead people one day,” admits Beverley. “Having both individual contributor and manager growth tracks gives employees a clear vision of what their career could look like to enable choice and personalization in career development. We’re really trying to challenge the hierarchical view of what career success is.”
At the company level, Lattice helped Linktree achieve its goal of building a culture of inclusion, high performance, and development. And the best part is these newfound people practices can evolve and scale alongside the business, allowing Linktree to remain a competitive employer that always puts its people first. As Beverley puts it, “Any organization that wants to attract, retain, and grow top talent needs to create an environment where people can be their best because where people can be their best, they’re going to perform their best. Anytime we can put processes and platforms in place that allow our managers to lead in a way that enables our people to be their best is what helps our organization grow and improve.”
- Using Lattice Grow, Linktree created growth tracks and competencies, fulfilling on an employee request to improve transparency around internal promotion opportunities for both manager and IC tracks.
- Lattice 1:1s, Growth Plans, Feedback, Praise, and 360-degree reviews helped turn Linktree managers into career coaches and empowered them to more-intentionally lead their teams.
- These same tools also helped the company take a more targeted, personalized, and consistent approach to employee development.
- Lattice gave the company’s HR team unprecedented access to all of their People data in one place, allowing them to make more informed workplace decisions.