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How Twill uses Lattice to Integrate Culture into Strategic Goals

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Twill Main Photo Twill Icon
We can actually see trends over time and see what people are thinking and feeling and have hard numbers and data behind it, in addition to the qualitative pieces, too

The Twill People team connects the people strategy to the business strategy so that the work the employees do ladders up to the business objectives.

Twill has five values that define their culture: courage to redefine, ownership mindset, empathy, collaboration, and purpose-driven. Culture starts with hiring the right people—Twill uses a specific cultural interview facet and a standardized scorecard to ensure they’re hiring people who align with their values. Then those values continue to be integrated throughout the full employee cycle, from onboarding, day-to-day career planning, and performance reviews. “Our goal is just not to complicate things. The culture’s very clear to understand if we hire to it and also align our performance to it,” said Kemp.

The Challenge

As a rapidly growing company, Twill didn’t have a centralized performance management platform. The values were known and communicated during onboarding, but they weren’t documented anywhere for employees to refer back to. In addition, there was no organized and central place for learning and development, feedback, or 1:1s. As a result, each team had different processes, and there wasn’t much transparency or visibility, nor were there performance reviews being done throughout the organization. Due to a lack of structure, there were conversations around performance, but they weren’t consistent, intentional, or designed to optimize for employee growth.

Tracking goals was also a challenge. Employees knew their responsibilities based on their job description, but they didn’t align or ladder up to company goals.

Using Lattice at Twill

Lattice has enabled Twill to have a centralized people management space and add additional solutions like Grow or 1:1s as the company grows.

Having one tool has enabled Twill to operationalize its core values and tie them into business strategy. Using their five values, the People team has created core competencies based on behaviors and embedded those into recognition. “When we use Lattice for praise or for feedback, we make sure that that’s tied to our values. We use our competencies in our performance reviews and really have fleshed those out so that everyone can see what’s expected and can model the behaviors. So the values don’t just live in a silo,” said Farago Morris. “They really do come out, and they showcase who we are as a company and who we want to be.”

Prior to launching Lattice, employees at Twill only inputted their individual goals. But in 2022, Twill developed company-wide OKRs for the first time and developed a plan on how to cascade and align down to departments, teams, and individuals. Twill reports results on company-wide OKRs in all-hands meetings, so everyone at the company is clear on how the company is tracking towards goals, and then at the end of the month, managers and employees also update their individual OKRs, creating accountability and focus across the organization.

Twill started with creating one job track for all employees, and it’s broken out into expertise, scope, and influence. Then there are eight defined Twill leadership competencies based on the company’s core values. “We say OKRs are what you have to do, but our competencies are how we do it, and that matters too,” said Farago Morris. Any employee growth and achievement with the company still has to be in line with the organizational culture.

The People team is working to break out the job tracks to align competencies to job levels, and to make sure every team has a career path for roles within their team. This was something that came out of direct employee feedback from engagement and pulse surveys. Employees expressed they liked working at the company but didn’t know where they wanted to go, so the People team made career pathing a high priority initiative. Twill also has a professional development fund that provides stipends to employees so they can invest in skills they find valuable or interesting for their growth.

The team also plans on pairing OKRs, which has widespread adoption in the company, with Individual Development Plans next year to boost adoption of Grow and show employees that development matters just as much as setting and achieving goals.

When employees don’t have clarity around career pathing within the organization, that leads to attrition. “We keep our compensation exercise separate from performance because we really want to focus on development and performance and growing people. But most importantly, what we’re going to be doing from a performance exercise perspective is really dealing with the ambiguities,” said Kemp. Twill’s performance strategy is designed to empower employees to think about what they want in their careers through self reviews and enabling managers to help support those plans.

Impact of Lattice

Lattice has helped Twill build a high-performing team by setting up a framework that allows everyone in the organization to have connection points to the business strategy. This common language creates clarity at all levels and drives greater efficiency.

Being able to see how individual goals ladder up to the team and ultimately company level ones creates a more meaningful connection between the employees work and the impact on the bottom line. The transparency Lattice created decreased biases in the review process.“And it, to our value of ownership mindset, really helped everyone be able to see their contribution and also track their contributions, so that our evaluations and reviews at the end of the year could be fair and people would know that there isn’t a bias there. We can see what everyone’s OKRs were and the progress that tracked towards completing them,” said Farago Morris.

Using Lattice has helped Twill create more structure and process around performance reviews. There is one place to capture notes and use prompted templates, and there’s a Slack integration for recurring reminders. “ I think it makes our 1:1s more intentional, being able to utilize the resources and tools within Lattice to facilitate those conversations,” said Habtay.

Using survey tools has given the People team feedback that they’ve been able to leverage into actions. “I love hearing what’s going on, but the Pulse survey gave a number and tracked it and showed what happened over time, which I thought was really, really cool. So the comments that people wrote in were the best pieces of data. We created and thought of a ton of new programs and ideas and scrapped some programs that we realized wouldn’t work because people’s comments were thoughtful. And we could actually see trends over time and see what people were thinking and feeling and actually have hard numbers and data behind it, in addition to the qualitative pieces, too,” said Farago Morris.

Based on the results of the Pulse survey, the People team prioritized career pathing and the importance of having and talking about diversity within the organization. For the latter, they are creating dashboards for every department to showcase their diversity statistics.

Takeaways

  • Lattice provided a centralized solution for performance management tools to house company values, goals.
  • Lattice helped Twill operationalize core values into measurable competencies.
  • Twill can now connect employee’s goals to larger company goals, providing transparency and structure around growth and development.
  • The Twill People team was able to gather valuable feedback from Pulse surveys, which led to important initiatives like career pathing at all levels within the organization.