Million Dollar Baby Drives Performance With Lattice

A conversation with:

I have deployed a ton of software throughout my years at Million Dollar Baby, and Lattice is the most highly adopted tool for our company. It's truly the most impactful tool we have ever used here.

The Challenge/Evaluation  

Million Dollar Baby, a family-run wholesale distributor of baby furniture and juvenile products, has been selling to retail giants like Target and Nordstrom for more than 30 years. The global organization — with offices in the US and China, distributors in Australia and New Zealand, and an agency that supports its call center in the Philippines — prides itself on its diversity and prioritizes staff engagement and satisfaction. 

For the last 25 years, the company has measured employee happiness, using a home-built software program that wasn’t able to scale with the rapidly growing organization and lacked some key features. “Anytime I wanted to do something with our system, I had to ask someone from IT to help. It wasn’t user-friendly,” says Julia Fong Yip, VP of Talent Management.

Most missing from the existing system, however, was data and analytics functionality. “We had zero data or benchmarking capabilities, which made it difficult to understand how we were doing against our own goals and other companies.”

Choosing Lattice over competitors 

Shifting from a home-grown system the company had used for more than two decades was a big step and a decision the organization didn’t take lightly. They chose Lattice because it offered a comprehensive platform that met all their needs. 

“When we were shopping and comparing, we didn’t find a single solution that offered everything we needed, including 1:1s and weekly updates, sentiment measurement, performance reviews, and engagement surveys; so Lattice was a no-brainer for me,” says Julia. “But the biggest differentiator was the analytical capabilities.”

Using Lattice at Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby is making the most of its Lattice investment, using a variety of tools and testing new features on the platform. 

“We currently use the 1:1s, weekly update, and sentiment score. We also conduct two engagement surveys per year. On the performance management side, we hold 30-day and 90-day new-hire check-ins and two performance reviews per year,” says Julia. 

“We also use every single feature of Grow because it is such a cutting-edge employee development software. We set quarterly OKRs that we tie to Performance Management because managers will talk about the Grow tracks during performance reviews,” she adds. “Our warehouse employees are active on Lattice, using both the performance review and engagement survey features.

“And we even deployed Lattice at the agency we use in the Philippines,” adds Julia. “The agents are not our employees, but because we believe Lattice is a great people management tool, we have them using the weekly Update, 1:1s, and engagement surveys. Lattice helps to make them feel like part of our team, which is important for our culture.” 

The Results so Far 

Million Dollar Baby is seeing high engagement with the Lattice platform, largely because they’ve done an excellent job at showing its value to employees. 

“We conduct Lattice training during onboarding, and go over each feature, why it’s important, and how it benefits our workplace culture, employees’ professional growth, and their compensation, so they understand the value of engaging with the platform,” says Julia. “But the fact everything is in one place and the user-friendliness of the system helps. It’s so much easier to manage.”

Lattice also helps the company streamline processes. “We hold quarterly meetings where every team completes a presentation of what they did in the past quarter, what they learned, what mistakes were made, and their goals and plans for the next 30, 60, 90 days. Before Lattice, the preparation could take a week. Now, we enter the quarterly objectives and OKRs in the system, employees update their progress, and we can monitor everything. Everyone knows what everyone is doing and how they are tracking toward their goals. The transparency is working beautifully for us.” 

Additionally, Lattice, and specifically Grow, is enabling Million Dollar baby to reinforce its core values across the organization. “We have established individual tracks for each team and set up job-specific competencies that align with our core values. For example, one of them is ‘Treat your team like family.’ We want our employees to know what we expect of them in their existing roles and what it takes for them to advance,” says Julia. “I’ve only heard good things from employees, most notably how clear everything is. Every performance review, every growth conversation is crystal clear, so they can evaluate their performance and know exactly what they need to do to improve.”

Julia is also realizing the benefits from an administrator’s point of view. “Benchmarking against other Lattice users is extremely valuable. Being able to present the comparison to other companies to leadership is much more impactful than just telling them how great we are doing,” she says. “I can show my CEO we have a 90% completion rate, when 5,000 other customers are at 82%, so the data speaks for itself.” 

Julia also appreciates how collaborative the Lattice team has been on needs. “On a more personal level, I appreciate the Lattice team’s willingness to check in with me — and listen to my suggestions on product enhancements. Those suggestions actually get taken to the product team. Even though Lattice is growing so quickly, the company still cares about my opinion as a user.” 

Takeaways:

Million Dollar Baby has seen incredible key results so far: 
  • 92% engagement survey completion
  • 65% of employees have goals
  • 40% of employees have growth areas
  • 90% of employees in Lattice have received feedback 
  • The company has completed 500 1:1s in the past 90 days