How Superside Prioritizes Career Growth for its Globally Remote Team
A conversation with:
We've gotten to the stage where we have 700 people across the globe that have never met each other, but still care about each other and work with each other in spite of that, for us, that is the meaning of culture.
Head of People Care
Trusted by 450+ ambitious brands, Superside is the #1 creative -as-a-subscription service designed with Marketers and Creatives in mind. By combining the top 1% of creative talent from around the world with purpose-built Design Ops technology, Superside helps companies grow faster.
Their growth has been extensive and while it primarily services American companies, Superside has been a fully remote company since inception, with 700 team members working across 63 countries and 17 timezones.
As the company continues to grow, the aptly named People Care team is focused on the retention of Superside’s all-star talent. The team’s mission? As Miguel puts it, the team’s goal is to “preserve Superside's ability to provide the ideal conditions for our people to thrive and succeed with us. We are our own internal success team.”
Since the company is fully distributed, the People Care team works extra hard to ensure the Superside experience and people connection can span borders and timezones. That means prioritizing culture, community, well-being, diversity, equity and inclusion, and, most importantly, professional development at every stage of the employee lifecycle.
But as Superside has grown, so too has the company’s approach to professional development. As new departments are created and job leveling begins, Superside wants to ensure new and existing people know exactly what they need to do and achieve in order to grow their careers with the company. To improve that transparency, Superside wanted to focus on three key areas of professional development: one-on-ones, performance reviews, and career paths.
Unfortunately, the company had little visibility into one-on-ones and performance reviews and lacked formal career matrices and competencies. Miguel explained that before Lattice, Superside’s strategy and approach to professional development included regular one-on-ones conducted by managers with their direct reports, but they had no visibility into the frequency and quality of these conversations. “One-on-ones are the foundation of the whole Superside approach to professional development. It's incredibly important that they happen,” explains Miguel. “And yet, we had no idea if they were.”
With the team’s top priorities in mind —improving one-on-ones and performance reviews and introducing career plans— and with more ambitious hiring plans on the horizon, the Superside team knew it was time to invest in a people success platform. Lattice quickly rose to the top of the list with its Grow and Performance tools. Superside leaders across the business were excited to start improving job growth transparency and ensuring their direct reports were set up for successful career conversations.
Lattice 1:1s was the first tool Superside rolled out. Using the tool, managers and their direct reports can easily create shared meeting agendas, take notes, and reference past discussions, so nothing falls through the cracks. It quickly became the company’s single source of truth for all its people leaders.
Plus, adoption was a breeze. “The feedback has been amazing. People are using it. I mean, of course, they are. [Lattice] is user-friendly, convenient, and easy to adopt. That was by far the most impactful thing we got from Lattice,” shares Miguel. Besides Lattice’s ease of use, the direct sponsorship from Superside’s CEO Fredrik Thomassen, COO Håkon Heir and VP Talent Marta Bisisi, as well as the support from all the senior leadership were instrumental to make professional development a top priority in the company, “we had all the ingredients we could wish for, the leadership sponsorship and the right tool to succeed”. Miguel also added that people managers weren’t just using the tool to tick a box; they were using it in a meaningful way that made a difference in the support they were giving their team members, enabling deeper collaboration, performance development and career talks.
Lattice 1:1s didn’t just win over employees; it also wowed the leadership team. In addition to loving how easy it was for people to embrace the tool, the senior leadership team also loved how they can receive real-time insights on the conversations that actually take place. “Now, we have the level of visibility we wanted. So, for example, I can tell you that, at this moment, we have about 90% of 1:1s enabled in Lattice. I can tell you that because Lattice tells me that,” explains Miguel.
Before Lattice, Superside relied on Google Docs to administer and collect performance reviews. While the process worked well enough for Superside when it was less than 200 people, it isn’t sustainable as the company continues to grow — especially with certain teams running performance reviews every two to three months and the whole organization doing a full 360-degree review cycle every six months.
Now, the team is thankful for the hours of admin work Lattice saves them — and the additional flexibility to create more people-centric programs. “When it comes to all the admin work, we know we don't have to worry about that because Lattice covers it,” shared Miguel. “Everything that we're currently doing would otherwise be impossible without Lattice. We just wouldn’t be able to track and execute these programs. Our team’s additional capacity exists because of Lattice.”
The team’s biggest endeavor with Lattice to date is the rollout of Lattice Grow. During the solution evaluation process, Superside knew that having career plans wasn’t enough; people had to access and use them in order for them to create an impact. “People need to know what they're working towards; they need to know what they can aspire to and achieve. That’s why it’s incredibly important and vital for any organization, and especially for us, to have both career plans in place and a tool like Lattice to drive adoption,” states Miguel.
Superside’s commitment to transparency pushed them to go even further. They ensured that all people would have access to all of the company’s career plans, not just the ones for their department or discipline. This way, people can not only understand how they can grow laterally on their current team but also linearly to a different team or role.
Since introducing Lattice, Superside has seen record-high adoption levels across multiple areas of the platform. As stated earlier, 90% of people use Lattice 1:1s, while 90% participate in the company’s biannual engagement surveys, and an even more impressive 97.7% completed their performance reviews in 2021.
While these impressive results attest to the company’s deliberate and thoughtful approach to rolling these features out, the People Care team attributes the merit of this success to all Supersiders. “All of this is people-centered; that’s how we get this level of adoption. It's not a magic formula,” offers Miguel. “It's very, very simple. We make it very, very clear for everyone what's in it for them. That’s what makes them want to be part of this process.”
While Superside has only just begun to roll out Lattice Grow, the company has big expectations for the tool. Today, Superside has built out eight career paths in the tool, which covers 81% of the company’s people. They aspire for that to be 100% by the end of the year.
Superside also wants to formally introduce Lattice Goals and Individual Development Plans in 2022, which they expect will have strong adoption as many managers are already using Lattice Growth Areas to define the skills their team members must develop to reach the next step in their careers.
While streamlining 1:1s, performance reviews, and career plans helped Superside make professional development a top priority, Miguel admitted that hasn’t been the biggest benefit of partnering with Lattice. Instead, he says it’s the way Lattice has interconnected all of their People data. “For example, now when we submit a performance review in a review cycle, I see the expectations from the appropriate career track and level that the person is. That allows us to write more context-based reviews and include feedback that is even more relevant for the reviewee,” shares Miguel.
This interconnectivity and historical data have become even more valuable as new managers continue to join the company and people transfer internally. “Now, whenever there is a change – whether you change managers, teams, or departments – all of that goes with you. Your new manager has access to that information, so they can give you a level of support that is customized to your needs and your journey, not ignoring your past, but adding value on top of it,” shares Miguel.
Thanks to Lattice, Superside can show its people they have the support they need to grow from the company, their team leaders, and the People Care team. That helps bring Superside one step closer to their goal to ensure all Supersiders have the conditions they need to thrive and succeed.