The Challenge

For kidney care startup Strive Health, rapid growth meant realizing its mission to improve healthcare outcomes for more people living with kidney disease. But the rapid growth — much of which happened during the COVID pandemic — also created some growing pains. 

“We have had a distributed workforce since the company launched, but specifically when COVID hit, we shifted to focus on hiring the best talent, not necessarily just hiring people who would eventually migrate to the office. We have about 100 employees in the Denver area, but only about twelve actively go into the office regularly. We have clinicians spread all over the country, and we have fully remote and hybrid employees,” says Jane von Halle, Strive Health’s Senior Manager of Talent Development.

“We deployed Lattice when we had about 150 team members—we’re up to 480 now—because existing processes weren’t working. It was basically the Wild West before Lattice. There was no standardized process. Reviews were being done in Excel and then emailed to HR, so we couldn’t keep track of who did what. Individual Development Plans (IDPs) were in PowerPoint templates or Word docs. Many people didn’t have formal goals at all, and career development conversations weren’t happening.”

Using Lattice at Strive Health

Especially in a hybrid work environment, a single solution that enables employees to connect with their managers, give and receive feedback, and establish and track career goals is a powerful performance management tool. For Jane and her team, the first hurdle was to gain buy-in from staff. 

For Strive Health, that included a large number of clinical staff who didn’t work in traditional office settings and were often on the go caring for patients. “Lattice was new to many team members, especially employees on the clinical side. So, we educate them on the value of the solution. We introduce people to Lattice during onboarding, we offer walkthroughs and webinars on how to use it, and we host regular refresher trainings. We also send employees reminders and explain why they should be using the tool consistently,” says Jane.

Currently, Strive Health is using Lattice to conduct its year-end performance review, which is required by all staff, and includes the self-review, upward review, and peer review components. Jane’s team has also set up optional quarterly check-ins that encourage managers to have more frequent performance conversations with staff. They’ve also utilized Engagement surveys to keep a check of how things are going between reviews. “So far, we have also conducted two engagement survey, and what we discovered is that people now have a better sense of what’s expected of them in their roles, compared to last year, and I think we can attribute that to more people using Lattice,” says Jane. 

The 1:1 feature is a hit among users — specifically the Slack integration. “Sometimes, it can feel like a conversation is getting stale and you don’t know how to re-energize it. Lattice recommends questions you can shuffle through and offers templates. Plus, you can add 1:1 agenda items right from Slack and receive action item reminders in Slack, so we are reaching employees where they are,” she says. Managing people is hard, and Lattice makes it easier for our managers to do their jobs well.”

The team has started to roll out Grow and establish career tracks, and Jane is already seeing an uptick in usage. She is excited about leveraging the tool more to create development plans that focus on both long-term career goals and short-term growth areas. 

“It’s nice to have this one place where we can direct everyone for guidance on how to kick off and follow up on IDP conversations. Managers can access talking points, action items, even a companion guide to walk them through it. It’s all baked into the system, so it makes my job much easier because I don’t have to train every individual manager on the process. Before Lattice, these conversations weren’t really happening, and now we know they are and can actually track employees’ progress.”

The Results 

Strive Health is experiencing phenomenal usage rates, including a 91% completion rate on their year-end review, high survey participation, and increasing 1:1 usage. Jane credits proper training, establishing expectations for managers for their high usage and adoption.  

But, most of all, she says it’s the ease of use and convenience of Lattice that attracts employees. “Lattice provides a one-stop-shop for everything related to performance and development. You can plan and document a 1:1, set goals, track progress, and collect feedback that can be used for the year-end review,” says Jane. “It’s game-changing to have all these tools and resources in one place. Additionally, with Lattice’s reporting features, we can actually see which managers are meeting expectations around feedback, goals, and IDPs; and coach the ones who aren’t. It’s going to continue to support our mission to create a culture where employees feel like they can grow.”

Takeaways: 

  • 91% completion rate for Reviews on their End of Year
  • 50% 1:1 participation and 44.5% have 1:1s enabled between employees/managers
  • 81% participation rate and 80% response rate on their engagement surveys

mPulse Mobile offers engagement and education solutions that help healthcare providers communicate effectively with their customers. The company’s larger mission is to help everyone live their best, healthiest lives — a goal that includes both mPulse Mobile’s customers and employees. Tiana Schliser, the company’s Director of HR and Talent Acquisition, works to carry out this mission each and every day at mPulse Mobile. “I see myself as a social worker,” she says. “At the end of the day, my team helps people and supports our employees by creating a more humane workplace.”

Tiana manages a team of six, composed of three HR business partners and three recruiters. Together, they work to build an exceptional end-to-end experience for the company’s 230 employees. That employee number has grown considerably in the last few years thanks to steady hiring and a few acquisitions. And yet, even as the company has scaled and switched from an in-person to a hybrid-flexible workplace, Tiana says mPulse Mobile hasn’t lost its family feel and collaborative roots. 

“Even though we’ve expanded to three offices and now have employees all over the United States, we’ve still found ways to bring our team together,” says Tiana. “We always have cameras on in the virtual world, and we meet as an entire company on Wednesdays. Coming together as a team is something that has stayed with the culture since day one and will continue to be a part of our culture moving forwards.”

Today, mPulse Mobile looks much different than the company Tiana joined over three years ago. In 2019, the company used two separate HR software solutions for engagement surveys and performance reviews, but Tiana felt neither met the company’s needs. Tiana was hired to introduce new performance management and employee engagement programs, and she knew the first step would  required finding an effective and user-friendly HR solution to drive the success of those new initiatives. 

During the evaluation process, Tiana thought Lattice stood out thanks to its performance management tools, like reviews and feedback, and its employee engagement survey tools. “I really felt Lattice was a more robust option than the other vendors we considered. Lattice is focused on performance management in many different ways, and being able to leverage Lattice for our 30/60/90-day onboarding surveys and employee development plans was a big selling point for me,” shares Tiana.

For an additional layer of complexity, mPulse Mobile had acquired a few companies that lacked any formal goal setting or performance management processes. Tiana knew Lattice could give the entire company the structure and framework it needed and help every employee feel more connected to mPulse Mobile’s culture and mission. Luckily, Tiana already had the unwavering support of her executive team and board of directors, so making the business case for Lattice was simple.  

Using Lattice at mPulse Mobile

Tiana and her team started using Lattice right away to administer annual employee engagement surveys and monthly pulse surveys. In one such survey, the mPulse Mobile People team discovered employees had mixed reviews regarding their employee onboarding process. 

“The surveys basically told us that there was too much information. Employees couldn’t grasp it all in just two hours. They felt that wasn’t enough time to get through everything,” states Tiana. Using that feedback, Tiana created what the mPulse Mobile HR team now calls the “New Hire Orientation Journey.” This journey grouped onboarding topics into six different, bite-sized modules on topics like company history, employee benefits, and even how to use the Lattice platform. 

Tiana’s next order of business was improving the company’s performance management processes. The mPulse Mobile HR team rolled out Lattice Goals to give employees more visibility into organizational objectives and ensure the overall business strategy was crystal clear.

“Initially, we had company-wide strategic initiatives, but we lacked clear goals,” Tiana explains. “To help, we started using the cascading goals feature last year, and now we have true organizational objectives that our departments and employees can use to create their goals. That’s a big accomplishment for us because it’s finally connecting the dots and giving our employees a more cohesive, collective goal-setting framework,” she adds.

Getting goal-setting up and running quickly was a necessity for Tiana and her team since the company relies on goals heavily during annual and mid-year performance reviews to determine an employee’s bonus. Luckily, implementing Lattice was a breeze, and the company had no issues incorporating it into its existing employee evaluation schedule. Since it’s been such a success, Tiana wants to switch her sales team to a quarterly review cycle by the end of this year.

Impact of Lattice

Since implementing Lattice, the most noticeable change for Tiana and her team has been the ease of using one people success platform for all their HR needs, rather than two point solutions that claimed to do more than they could. The mPulse Mobile team also worked to combine their historical engagement survey data with the new data they’re collecting in Lattice to maintain a holistic view of the employee experience and continue to track changes in employee sentiment over time.

“We like to keep an eye out every month to see how we’re tracking on the pulse surveys so we can bump our annual engagement score up every year. In 2020, we had a score of 76. In 2021, it was 82, which is really high and way above the norm. We want to continue to keep those numbers high and our employees engaged, all while ensuring we’re listening to employee feedback,” says Tiana. 

She attributes these score increases to one key Lattice feature: survey comments. Previously, mPulse Mobile’s engagement surveys only included closed-answer questions. With Lattice, mPulse Mobile employees can share additional qualitative feedback around their responses, allowing Tiana and her team to gain deeper insights into what areas of the employee experience are working well and which could be improved.

“Now, our people have a forum to leave comments that we can then use to make an impact where we need to. The more we can address concerns and make things better, the better for us. We’re able to drive better outcomes and keep our employees engaged,” says Tiana.

One such improvement Tiana and her team made based on employee feedback was the revamped onboarding process. Since introducing the “New Hire Orientation Journey,” mPulse Mobile’s new hire engagement improved almost instantly. “Our content became more digestible, our onboarding survey satisfaction scores spiked, new hire engagement improved, and we received tons of great feedback about the updates,” states Tiana. “Now, our people are receiving, digesting, and understanding the information a lot better. That’s been a huge shift in the organization and has improved our onboarding program,” she adds.

And yet, Tiana says the best part of switching to Lattice is the sheer number of ways they’ve been able to use it so far. “We’ve been using Lattice in many different ways — like performance reviews, goals, 1:1s, and engagement surveys — and we also try to use it in ways that maybe we’re not necessarily supposed to,” Tiana jokes. “We try to be creative and maximize our use of Lattice as much as we can. Every time there’s a new feature, we’re like, ‘Can we add that? Can we do this?’” she adds.

While Lattice Grow isn’t a new feature, it’s the latest Lattice tool Tiana and her team have set their sights on. “We’re looking into adopting the Grow feature soon. We’ve gotten feedback from our pulse and engagement surveys that our development lacks a bit, so we’re planning to use Lattice and drive better training programs to help,” explains Tiana.

In addition to Lattice Grow, Tiana says she’s excited to eventually try everything the platform has to offer. According to Tiana, that’s what’s been so great about Lattice — there are always new products rolling out that  her team can leverage. “There are so many pieces of Lattice that we’re very excited about, and we really want to continue to invest in and do more things with the platform,” she says.

Takeaways

  • Lattice allowed mPulse Mobile to replace their existing point solutions with an one all-in-one people success platform.
  • Using Lattice’s engagement survey comments feature, mPulse Mobile surfaced onboarding issues and helped the People team improve new hire engagement.
  • Lattice’s annual engagement and pulse surveys have helped the company reach a record-breaking engagement score of 82%.
  • Lattice’s cascading goals feature has helped employees feel more connected to the overall business strategy and better understand how their work impacts the business.

Challenge

Healthcare startup Solera Health was facing a growth challenge. In 2017, the one-and-a-half-year-old company was growing quickly and needed a performance management process.  

“We didn’t have a structured program in place,” explains Amanda McNulty. “We were a new startup that was growing quickly so getting an effective performance management tool implemented across the organization was really important for us. Linking performance management and corporate culture through goal setting and communication was critical.”

Employees were asking for feedback. The company could no longer rely on having all necessary growth discussions occur organically because the team was expanding so quickly.

Amanda adds that they needed a process that also met strict healthcare compliance requirements. “Our clients are health plans, and they want to make sure that we have a standard, documented performance review process for all employees.”

Evaluation

Amanda had several requirements for the performance management process. Number one was that it had to be a software platform. “I’ve done paper reviews before, which was terrible, so I knew I didn’t want to use paper.”

The tool also needed to be easy for a single person to set up and manage. “I’ve used tools that are super-complicated to use from an administrative point of view, in setting them up, so simplicity was really important to me as well.”

Amanda envisioned a tool that would allow for more frequent conversations and feedback along with annual or semi-annual performance reviews. The platform needed individual components and templates to be customizable “for how we’re structured right now and how we might be structured in the future.”

While surveying the market Amanda noticed that most of the newer solutions were inflexible. They all had nice-looking user interfaces but you had to follow their process with very little customization. “It felt like I had to subscribe to their default questions.”  

“I liked that Lattice’s approach had a traditional feel to it but it’s driven by technology and the platform is flexible, so we could customize it to meet our needs.” With Lattice you can set up full 360-degree performance reviews or manager-employee reviews and combine it with optional tools such as goals, feedback, updates, and regular 1:1 meetings.

“It allows for a more traditional process which is what we need. It allows the flexibility to be traditional with 360-degree performance reviews and non-traditional with continuous performance management features like goals and feedback. Lattice works for Solera because it has a web-based, easy-to-use user interface, but we can customize the questions and process to meet our unique business needs.’”

Implementation

Because Solera Health uses Zenefits as its HRIS, Amanda was able to use the Zenefits integration that makes it easy to import your organization into Lattice with a single click.

“The integration with Zenefits was a nice bonus. I don’t have to worry about entering employee information into another tool. I don’t have to worry about adding or removing people, and it keeps the company org structure.”

Amanda reports that the implementation went well and she enjoyed working with the Lattice support team. “I felt like it was really high-touch which was great. I probably drove Grant [Lattice customer success manager] crazy because I asked a million questions.”

Amanda also notes that the platform has improved significantly over the past year.

“The biggest thing for me was getting more visibility into what the tool looked like for other users.“ The platform now features more preview functions that let admins observe what employees will see before changes go live.  

Lattice also improved on reporting for admins, giving them a dashboard for the whole review cycle to let them see how things are progressing and where people are stuck and in need of a nudge. “The whole admin dashboard has come a long way. It existed back when we first started but it was much more basic back then. The tool can now provide visibility into department-level insights as the organization has grown.”

There are also more safeguards in place to control peer review requests. “Some employees were getting 10-15 peer review requests and now I can limit that. That enhancement was really helpful.”

“Solera has grown quickly, and Lattice has also grown quickly by consistently adding new features to meet our needs. We’ve kind of grown together.”

Results

Amanda reports that the team adopted the tool without a problem. “It was really easy to get our people to use the platform. I definitely had more problems getting people to use other performance management software in the past but Lattice is very intuitive and straightforward.”

Solera Health does performance reviews once a year but new hires get a 60-day manager-employee review, and employees and managers do their regular check-ins. “Moving from an ad-hoc process to a full performance management platform was great for us. It fostered that communication between manager and employees. Lattice helped us lay that foundation for our culture of continuous feedback and transparent communication.”

Amanda estimates that she had a 90-95% completion rate for her last review cycle.

“When I launch a review cycle, I do trainings with employees and managers, and I create a calendar timeline of when things are due. I communicate what the due dates are and then send a lot of reminders. You think that you’re annoying people, but people really do forget and get busy. I think the trainings reinforce [the importance], but use reminders because people get busy.”

Amanda also appreciates the time-savings. “Some performance review processes take a huge amount of time, aren’t intuitive to use, are complicated. Lattice isn’t. It’s easy for the admin to set up. It’s easy for the managers.”  

“If you’re going to do performance reviews, why not have a tool that’s easy to use and easy for your employees to use? Unless you’re not doing performance reviews, I don’t think there’s an easier way to do performance management because it’s flexible, intuitive. It does not take a lot of time to set things up once you have your questions and your process ready to go.”

Takeaways

  • Easy setup and administration, excellent HRIS integration
  • Flexible performance reviews, templates, and feedback tools
  • Rapid product improvement
  • Intuitive & straightforward for managers and employees