The Challenge

Iowa’s GreenState Credit Union prides itself on being a great place to do your banking as well as a great place for employees to work. “We operate very differently from banks,” says Engagement and Culture Director, Pam Peters. “Here we encourage you to make mistakes and learn from them, because we want to encourage the innovation and mindset to think outside the box, to make things better.”

Like many financial institutions, GreenState has grown largely through acquisition of smaller competitors. “We’re a credit union, and we’re making lots of waves, because we’re buying a bunch of banks,” says Sarah Farnsworth, Human Resource manager. “And there’s this ‘bank vs. credit union’ dynamic that doesn’t make some people happy.” 

While GreenState, like all credit unions, is a nonprofit organization, the impact of entering a new market can lead to some level of natural stress – particularly for the staff that comes with an acquisition. At the end of 2022, GreenState will add another 250 employees to its current roster of 850 (with no additional HR personnel planned to support them). Maintaining GreenState’s culture amidst this level of acquisition activity isn’t easy, and Sarah says that Covid-19 has made holding on to people more difficult. The credit union’s biggest problem, however, is recruiting new hires in our new markets due to our lack of brand recognition. She says, “We are so established in most of the markets we serve that our ability to find top talent is getting harder and harder, because we feel like we’ve found a lot of them already.”

Additional challenges include ensuring a snug job fit, says Sarah. “A lot of times people are on the right bus and just not in the right seat,” she says. “Sometimes they need guidance to find that right seat. Our job is to make sure that folks are engaged in what they’re doing, understand the purpose of what they do, and are supported through life changes.”

Evaluation

Like many organizations, GreenState had long been mired in manual people processes. “We’re lean and fast, but we just didn’t have the opportunity to look at what we could be doing differently,” says Sarah. That included employee survey and performance management systems that didn’t talk to each other, all built largely on Word and Excel documents. “It was very archaic considering how progressive a company we are,” she says.

When Covid-19 hit, GreenState’s people team found it had more bandwidth to think about how it was working and the systems it was using. “I just started researching options, and frankly, it was a Google search that brought me to Lattice,” says Sarah. “I also saw it on a comparison site looking at various performance management systems. We ended up evaluating four or five options.”

“Throughout the process, what sold me on Lattice was that engagement and performance were in one suite,” Sarah says. “Also it was really user-friendly. Just from the demo I had, I could confidently navigate and explain the system to somebody else. The sales process was also great: Our rep took the time to understand our needs and that we were incredibly frustrated with our last system.”

The conversion to Lattice played out over mid-2020, says Pam. “We used a lot of Lattice tutorials and sent them to the staff, then allowed them to view those on their own. After a second day of onboarding, they were ready to go. There wasn’t any pushback.”

Using Lattice at GreenState

“One of the features we introduced right away was feedback,” says Pam. “We have an award called Living Your Values. For Valentine’s Day we launched a Love award, where we encouraged everybody to give feedback and did a little bit of a competition to get them active in Lattice.”

GreenState also runs larger engagement surveys twice a year, plus small, three-question polls in the off months. “We use eNPS as our benchmark. We set our goal to be at 50, and currently, we’re running at 78,” says Pam.

Pam notes that survey response rates are excellent at GreenState, with an average 90 percent completion rate. Because of the surveys, she says, “I’m finding that I’m actually getting into dialogue with employees, and we’re taking action on their feedback.” GreenState also uses onboarding surveys for new employees, re-surveying new hires after 1 month, 3 months, and 9 months on the job to ensure workers are happy – a critical consideration in the aftermath of a stressful acquisition.

“We set goals annually and have midyear reviews and a year-end review,” says Sarah. “Midyear cycles consist of a self and a downward evaluation, which allows a supervisor and employee to make sure they’re on the same page, get any unspoken feedback out of the way, and then truly set the stage for the remainder of the year. This year, we launched our first 360-degree review and it went incredibly well. Our goal is to create a culture of continuous feedback where staff are giving and receiving feedback all throughout the year.”

The Impact of Lattice

GreenState’s People Ops team is busy, “but Lattice allows us to do it all efficiently,” says Sarah. For example, Lattice’s new hire onboarding surveys allow GreenState to save 300 hours each year that would normally be spent by its HR recruiters on scheduling, conducting feedback calls, and compiling information. “That’s 300 hours that [we] get to put back into supporting staff and recruiting for new positions.”

Adoption of various Lattice tools is high across the board. 80 percent of staffers have participated in 1:1 conversations with their manager, and 50 percent of employees have received feedback in the last three months. 

Sarah says GreenState is fortunate to have executive support for all of these initiatives, which is part of the reason why adoption is so high. “Our executive team understands why these programs are important,” she says, “especially with Covid and folks being displaced. Most teams are hybrid, so with the exception of our brick and mortar branches, most people are not working alongside one another.”

“It was really important that we had a platform that allowed us to not only capture dialogue,” she adds, “but to have a funnel for feedback where managers and employees could connect when they don’t see each other on a regular basis.” With Lattice, everyone is finally on the same page.

Takeaways

  • Lattice allows GreenState to support hundreds of new hires without adding People Ops staff.
  • Lattice’s onboarding surveys for new hires save HR recruiters 300 hours of time each year.
  • Engagement survey completion rate at GreenState has been 90 percent since Lattice was adopted.

The Challenge

Due to the nature of the work, FDG is very people-focused. In line with that, the company’s goals are focused on hiring people who are motivated by a desire to help people, and also to help those people achieve great outcomes, both professionally and personally. Finally, DIG wants to empower “people to co-create a remarkable workplace community and workplace experience,” Ryan says. 

One of the core operating principles of FDG is “To Grow the Company,”  which it does by constantly investing in people, and reinforcing company values of love, growth, and community. While these values were organically integrated throughout the company prior to Lattice, they weren’t formally published for everyone to see, so it was difficult, at times, to reinforce and tie employee feedback directly to those values. 

Evaluation

Ryan discovered Lattice by Googling “OKR software” because their executives wanted to implement OKRs across the entire company. But after seeing the platform, Ryan and their internal Lattice implementation team realized that “Lattice had a lot of potential to help reshape the way that we think of all of our people management things at our company in a much clearer and more comprehensive way.” FDG was looking for not only a consistent, standardized way to write and pursue business goals, but wanted to focus on measuring how people delivered impact and value as well as how they could grow in the future.

Using Lattice at Funeral Directors Life

While FDG was originally looking for software to help with goals, the company realized a majority of the team was not familiar with OKRs just yet. There was still some work to do before rolling it out to their entire organization. To get started with Lattice, they implemented 1:1s and Update tools to streamline their internal communications.

These tools allow FDG to do more consistent one-on-one meetings by establishing a cadence and structure for everyone to follow. Prior to Lattice, for the one-on-ones that were happening, many were basically status check-ins. Now the two are split out, so meetings can be focused on the needs and wants of their employees.  “I’m pretty consistently hearing people say that now our one-on-ones are only taking 10 or 15 minutes and we’re getting way more done in 15 minutes than we did in the 30 or 45 minutes that we were previously using.”

The Impact of Lattice

While Lattice has helped FDG improve one-on-ones, the impact has been beyond those individual conversations. “Lattice gave us a framework but also a sense of urgency to more clearly define that collective heartbeat of our organization,” says Ryan. “It also gave us tools to reinforce those values in a way that we didn’t have previously.”

Amazingly, about 91 percent of employees are currently participating in one-on-ones. And by providing the framework, Lattice has also helped FDG employees have more connective coaching conversations, which is in line with one of the company’s principles of growing people. “I think the biggest success was really trying to find what we thought would be maybe the easiest win at first that kind of aligned with the things that we already say we really care about like investing in people,” says Ryan. “You want to have these really meaningful, impactful conversations. How we’re going to make these even better than they already are is we’re going to use this tool. I think that that really helped us.” 

In addition to enabling more effective 1:1s, FDG has used the performance management tool to reinforce more constant communication and feedback, a direction in which the company was already moving. “We want to empower every employee in the company to provide real-time constant feedback and praise.” Part of this process has been to make sure people know where they can see public praise with the system, and while they’re there to encourage them to leave feedback for others. FDG already has three or four teams where every employee has been actively using the tool. 

The feedback tool has also helped employees see what’s going on outside of their teams. “Having this public tool has encouraged people to think beyond their little spheres of influence. It actually has provided tools where we’re also seeing the things sales managers out in the field are experiencing and praising each other for. It’s building some connection between in-house and field as well in a way that maybe we didn’t expect. I think it’s made feedback with, or maybe connectivity with remote employees just a little better, too.” says Ryan.

Most of all, Lattice has allowed FDG to be true to its values as it continues to grow as a company and a community. “We’ve realized that Lattice can help us scale both our business and our culture as we continue to grow rapidly. Because 30 or so percent of our employees have been here less than two years and most of those are new positions and so we’re growing really quickly, it’s paramount that we continue to preserve that identity and carry it forward in a new way.”

Takeaways

  • Lattice provides FDG a framework to allow the company to more clearly articulate core values as well as reinforce and tie feedback directly back to them
  • DIG uses the tool to enable consistent and more effective 1:1s across the company
  • The feedback tool encourages more frequent communication and helps break down silos within the company 

As the company hit its fifth birthday in 2020, Tide found itself in the same situation as most organizations — thrown into lockdown and trying to figure out how to keep the business moving forward despite the significant challenges presented by the pandemic. Keeping employees happy and motivated was a critical task, but as Liza Haskell, Chief Administrative Officer, notes, at the time Tide didn’t have an effective performance review process in place, much less the tools it needed to understand its workforce. The company knew it needed to play catch-up to get its people management processes up to speed and would have to do so without the comfort that an office-based community provides.

Lattice had been installed by a predecessor, but it wasn’t really being used at the company. Otherwise, Haskell didn’t have much to run with, largely some documents she inherited from her predecessor which gave vague clues about employee satisfaction. “I think they just had a spreadsheet where they went through each line and talked to the employee’s manager about the score,” she says. “I don’t know how they kept track of everything, and I definitely know that most people did not have access to it.”

Haskell quickly saw that implementing a modern system for people management was essential to keep the company’s momentum headed in the right direction, and she knew Tide needed a platform that would allow it to manage everything in one place: performance reviews, engagement surveys, probationary reviews and objectives and key results (OKRs).

“We want the employee to have a clear view of the things they’ve done well, the next steps we can take together, and how they can move forward,” she says. “It’s hard to do that when it’s not clear what the next steps are.”

Evaluation

Haskell knew Tide needed to reach its employee engagement and development goals, so she took a deeper look at the company’s Lattice system that had largely gone unused to date. Tide wanted the ability to set goals for employees and perform OKR planning, the ability to generate and track performance reviews, to conduct probationary reviews and to send and manage engagement surveys. “If you look around, most of the systems on the market have one of those things or maybe two,” she says.

Consolidating as much of this work into a single tool was paramount for Haskell, she says, “because that means more people are actually going to use it.” Giving harried workers a single new tool to engage with is difficult enough; try to implement three new systems and they’ll probably revolt.

Haskell says that the more she worked with it, the more Tide fell in love with Lattice — not just because it wrapped all those functions under one umbrella, but also because the UI is so easy to use. “When you log in,” she says, “it’s very easy to see what’s going on.” Integration with Slack was the icing on the cake, helping workers to engage with Lattice without having to launch the application at all.

Using Lattice at Tide

Tide implemented Lattice in April 2019 and ramped up over the course of the next 12 months, starting with its first employee engagement survey, a wide-ranging questionnaire about various topics involving learning & development, management, transparency, and more. “The survey clearly said we need to have a better performance review process,” says Haskell, which became an immediate focus for the company. Lattice Performance, a unified tool for employee evaluation and goal setting, is now being leveraged to improve the way Tide’s performance reviews are done. Since the implementation of the new performance review process, Tide has seen a 20% increase in the number of employees who agree with the statement “My performance is evaluated fairly”. Thinking ahead of their next review cycle, Tide is focusing on creating growth frameworks for every team in Lattice Grow so employees are able to come out of their reviews with clear paths to advance within their careers.  

Today, Tide sends a pulse survey to workers every week in order to track how people, who are largely still working remotely, are doing. Participation rates are high, and that’s key for Haskell. “We keep an eye on the participation rate,” she says, “because people get exhausted answering a survey every single week. That’s why we keep it spicy and add additional questions so people pay attention.”

In these surveys, learning development kept coming up as a key pain point, and Tide used that information to quickly roll out a new upskilling program. “With our new learning development system, people can access their learning development budgets and spend them much easier,” Haskell says. 

In the next month, Tide is planning on launching an automated probationary review process through Lattice, whereby new joiners will be able to complete a self-review, and receive feedback from peers and their manager.

The Impact of Lattice

“The people team has a huge impact on the lives of employees in a very tangible way,” says Haskell, and she is excited that with Lattice that impact is more positive than ever. For Haskell, it’s all about having vital information about how workers are doing. “We can see on a weekly basis how happy our employees are and which teams are unhappy. We can then work with the team managers or team leaders on improving the life of anyone that’s having trouble.” With Lattice, these kinds of insights, previously completely hidden to Tide’s management, are no more than a mouse-click away. “With Lattice, we can understand what our employees need and then create an action plan to fill gaps,” she says.

More importantly, Haskell says that Lattice is helping to improve morale because employees see that their voices matter. “When people see over and over again that their feedback leads to action, they are much more likely to provide their feedback the next time.” It’s a virtuous cycle where Tide receives honest commentary and can then use that to improve the working life of its staff.

And even the C-suite is seeing the value of Lattice. “When the CEO of the company can see an anonymous comment talking about a specific issue, he pays attention,” says Haskell. “I think Lattice has really allowed us to have a much closer tie-in with what’s going on in the company, especially as people continue to work remotely. Not many people have returned to the office yet. I’m in my living room right now.”

Takeaways

  • Lattice lets Tide consolidate people functions into a single tool, including OKR planning, performance reviews, probationary reviews and engagement surveys.
  • Tide earns high levels of participation in engagement surveys by keeping questionnaires short and interesting – and by acting on employee feedback.
  • Lattice gives Tide one-click access into employee sentiments, letting them act quickly to resolve issues.

Like many organizations, OppFi made the decision to embrace a remote flexible workforce model as the realities of the pandemic became clear, allowing employees to relocate as they saw fit. Maintaining a connection among its virtual employee base is critical to a meaningful employee experience. “Our goals have revolved around ensuring employees are engaging in meaningful work, that they feel connected to our mission, and that they have growth and development opportunities within the company regardless of location,” says Witmer.

But also like many organizations, OppFi’s growth has been rapid and, at times, breakneck, with critical people processes like performance reviews and upskilling remaining underdeveloped. “When I first started at the company,” says Saunders, “we didn’t have a formalized performance review process.” Employees naturally wanted a consistent way to measure themselves against expectations, encourage conversations between employees and their manager, and set goals. Meanwhile, the company wanted a way to better communicate with employees to measure and understand their needs for career growth.

Evaluation

Lattice was used by OppFi’s Chief People Officer previously at another organization; she had made the decision to implement the system, knowing that the ability to build out a formal performance review process was a key opportunity that Lattice could easily solve. The company knew that Lattice had additional capabilities to measure employees’ sentiment and the pulse of the teams. “We also wanted to get an accurate picture of how our employees were feeling,” says Saunders. Since it was building an employee experience strategy from scratch, OppFi took the opportunity to roll out employee engagement features, like feedback and one-on-ones, alongside performance reviews. Employee goal-setting features were introduced later down the road.

Overall, the implementation process was built around listening to employees. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t going off of our own assumptions of how people were feeling about the company,” says Saunders. “We were looking to get real concrete feedback.”

Using Lattice at OppFi

Today, OppFi has implemented a variety of Lattice features. In addition to performance management, the company sends engagement surveys to employees three times per year. Following each survey, OppFi teams do a deep dive into results to measure engagement and implement action plans that address feedback given by employees. For example, one change that OppFi is implementing this quarter in response to feedback is a bi-weekly all company meeting to enhance their transparent communication practices. 

“This is helping us to understand what our employees really qualify as inspiring,” says Witmer. “Lattice helps us share and distribute that information with our leaders, but also hold them accountable. It’s been an extremely powerful listening mechanism for us and our employee experience strategy .”

Some departments also use Lattice’s OKR feature, which Saunders says helps with visibility and alignment within the organization. “Our five core pillars are available through the company goals tab,” she says, enabling everyone in the company access to information about big projects that are underway. “Lattice also helps managers create their team goals, and that helps their employees create their individual OKRs.”

The Impact of Lattice

Adoption of Lattice at OppFi has been high. The feedback system has collected 769 pieces of feedback from 185 employees, with 163 percent more feedback given in 2020 vs. the prior year. The system continues to grow in use today, with August 2021 setting a record as the all-time busiest month for feedback.

“The feedback tool has been really helpful for us,” says Saunders, “because it gives people an opportunity not just to give critical feedback but to request feedback as well. This helps our managers get the opportunity to receive a full picture of how team members are working with others around the company. It creates valuable conversations and even some new opportunities for growth.”

Turning that feedback into action is a key goal for OppFi. “People don’t want to complete surveys if they don’t think that action is going to be taken based on that feedback,” says Witmer. “We are really intentional about the questions we ask because we know we have to be ready to take action.” OppFi began piloting an action planning process in January 2021 and is now in the first steps of distributing that action plan to the entire company for the first time.

Saunders adds that Lattice has also given OppFi a much-needed way to track and document employee goals and accomplishments year over year. “Now we have a way to look back,” she says. “Lattice has made a huge impact for us from a performance management standpoint.” That impact enables employees and managers to see progress over time and identify growth opportunities along the way.

Takeaways

  • Lattice gives OppFi the ability to collect performance history over time and tie performance reviews to business results. Employee pulse surveys are used to gauge the performance across the company and within specific departments.
  • OppFi’s strategy of turning feedback into action has been instrumental in keeping engagement in surveys participation high.
  • Lattice helps OppFi generate a virtuous cycle: Better engagement leads to better employee performance, and better performance leads to better engagement.

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. 

Using Lattice at Monzo Bank

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.

Impact of Lattice

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.”

Takeaways

  • The company’s performance review completion rates have increased with each review cycle since implementing Lattice
  • Goodbye local drive storage — Lattice allows every manager and employee to access and reference past reviews and feedback whenever they need
  • Lattice’s calibration feature saves the Monzo team the administrative headache and time-suck of manually running alignment conversations
  • Tracking post-calibration rating changes in Lattice gives the Monzo Bank team new insights into the effectiveness of their diversity and inclusion initiatives