Simplifying Performance Reviews to Drive Participation with Monzo Bank
Known for its eye-catching hot coral bank cards, Monzo Bank’s mission is to make money work for everyone.
Since joining Monzo Bank in 2016, Tara’s HR career has grown with the business. While the company grew from 43 to 1,500 employees, Tara’s title has gone from Office Manager to People Experience Director. Today, she oversees Monzo’s people operations team and focuses on making the company a place where every employee wants to grow their career.
“We've seen completion rates for performance reviews increase over time — cycle upon cycle — because of Lattice."
When Tara Mansfield first joined Monzo Bank in 2016, she was an Office Manager and just one of 43 employees. But as the company grew, so did Tara’s role. Graduating from Office Manager to People Operations Manager to Head of People to her current title of People Experience Director, Tara has helped scale Monzo Bank to over 1,500 employees in just under five years.
In Tara’s words, her job is to make Monzo Bank employees’ lives better. That’s a steep challenge for any organization, so how has Monzo been able to prioritize the employee experience even as it scales? By focusing on efficiency, delighting their employees, and adding a little dash of “Monzo Magic,” as Tara calls it.
“As Monzo grows, our culture has to evolve with it,” she explains. “We want to keep the things that make us special but scale them. In time we could have 2,000 or 3,000 employees and [the Monzo Magic] will need to show up differently without losing sight of what's important to us: customer-centricity, hard work, and kindness.”
Clearly, Monzo has set the bar high — a fact that is true for both company culture and employee performance. As a result, the company takes performance reviews seriously. “We believe conversations with your manager about performance, development, and career opportunities are crucial to someone's engagement and how valued they feel at Monzo. Having engaged employees directly contributes to our high performing culture and, ultimately, leads to better results for our customers,” says Tara.
But like many growing companies, Monzo ran performance reviews manually when Tara first joined, using Google Forms and Google Sheets. “It was so time-consuming and just horrible,” she said. “It was a bit of a black box and I think people will always have a bit of mistrust of anything that they can't see and touch for themselves.” The manual system also made it nearly impossible to track down past reviews if an employee switched teams or changed managers as their performance information didn’t automatically transfer with them.
Having seen the organizational and administrative nightmare that comes with having a manual review process, the team knew it was time to invest in an HR solution that could streamline their performance management process and win over employees.
“Reviews are really important to us so we knew we had to make them as painless and useful as possible,” says Tara. “Having a product that is easy to use, enjoyable to look at, and customizable to what we want to do was really important to us because otherwise, people just aren't going to want to use it.”
With Lattice, the team was able to shift its performance approach to something that was efficient and polished, while simultaneously satisfying the company’s needs and protecting busy managers’ time. “At Monzo, we work in cross-functional teams, so people move around a lot. From an operational perspective, updating sheets every single time someone moved teams was time consuming,” explains Tara. “Now when we update something in our HRIS, it seamlessly flows through to Lattice, reducing the number of queries our people operations team receives and increasing employee confidence in the platform’s data accuracy. It makes everyone's lives easier.”
Monzo’s managers, in particular, have benefited since the adoption of Lattice. Now, people leaders have a birds-eye view of the performance process, allowing them to stay on top of peer reviews, view employee self-reviews, share constructive feedback with their direct reports, and ultimately have more meaningful performance conversations with their team. Plus, handy automated reminders help nudge managers and peer-reviewers to submit their feedback on time, helping everyone stay on schedule. “Having all that information there so people know who they’re reviewing and their deadline empowers individuals to take ownership and full personal accountability of the process,” said Tara.
Since implementing Lattice, Monzo Bank’s performance review participation rates have increased. “We've seen completion rates for performance reviews increase over time — cycle upon cycle — because of Lattice. The ability to see who hasn't completed a task and send them little nudges so that it happens has been great.”
The quality of reviews increased as well, with many employees sharing that they feel their performance conversations are more useful and tailored to their needs than in the past. “We are a company that gives feedback regularly, but people's feelings when they get it on Lattice is different,” Tara shares. “I think Lattice gives a greater shine to it and makes it seem that much more thoughtful. People value that.”
In their most recent review cycle, the Monzo team used Lattice for performance review calibration for the first time. A significant improvement from Google Sheets, Lattice helps them ensure employees are rated consistently and objectively while giving the team added visibility into whose ratings changed and why. It’s given them data that will be used to improve diversity, inclusion and belonging within Monzo.
“Our Director of Diversity and Inclusion can now use that data to track whose ratings increased or decreased and figure out how that relates to our D&I initiatives. Improving diversity and inclusion is a key company OKR, so having the data to show the progress that we're making and identify the areas where we still need to improve has been so important to us,” says Tara.
In addition to saving the team time, Lattice has given Monzo Bank the opportunity to invest in their people through performance reviews. As the company views this process as the basis for growth, development, and career progression, it has been able to create a culture that prioritizes reflection, celebrates successes, and identifies opportunities for improvement with the future at heart. As Tara puts it, “It’s important to take time to mark the progress you’ve made and recognize it fully.”