Shippo is a shipping platform helping e-commerce businesses with everything from creating shipping labels to sharing tracking updates with customers to streamlining returns. To keep up with growing demand for its services, Shippo has experienced hyper-growth in the last few years. In fact, when Gurbir Dhaliwal, the company’s People Operations Manager first joined Shippo in 2019, the company only had 58 employees. Today, that number has soared to over 250+. 

With that growth has come a lot of change for Shippo in the last few years. Before 2020, the majority of Shippo’s employee base worked from its San Francisco Bay Area office, that is until COVID-19 forced employees to work from home. Once Shippo realized the benefits of these new working arrangements, the company quickly shifted to remote-first. While the company still has an office in San Francisco,  Shippo’s workforce is quite distributed, with an employee presence in 30 different states. 

While most dispersed companies struggle with keeping employees feeling connected, this isn’t the case with Shippo. “The strong suit of our culture is our camaraderie and our ability to work together. That’s something we’ve been able to hold onto even as we’ve expanded nationally and even globally,” explains Gurbir. “We also have a team offsites program called Shippos Everywhere. This provides Shippos structured options to get together for team building activities. This also encompasses our Shippos In The Wild program, which gives our employees a budget to meet and spend time with their local coworkers for more ad hoc events. Both are great ways to connect employees with colleagues.”

Challenges at Shippo

In order to keep up with the growing demands of a rapidly expanding remote-first workforce, Gurbir knew the company’s current performance solution would have to go. When Gurbir joined, Shippo was administering performance reviews through its HRIS — a solution that was difficult to use and left much to be desired. While the tool had served the company well in the past, it lacked key functionality Shippo needed for its growing workforce, namely, the ability to run 360-degree reviews and give the HR team visibility into how far along people were in the review process.

“With our HRIS system, it was hard to see in a holistic view of where everyone was in the review process and track progression,” says Gurbir. “Even for me to go and view someone’s response, it would take me four clicks to get there. It wasn’t very easy to navigate and wasn’t very easy to find what you’re looking for.” 

The company also had an engagement survey solution that fit their needs at the time; however, the HR team wanted a way to consolidate their HR tech stack and have performance and engagement in one single platform. After evaluating a few different solutions, Gurbir stumbled across Lattice and was instantly impressed that the People Success platform could help with more than performance reviews. 

“We looked at a lot of different tools, but Lattice stood out because of all those additional features like one-on-ones, recognition and shoutouts, engagement surveys, and now onboarding and exit surveys, even though they were added after we implemented the platform,” shares Gurbir. “We wanted a tool that was able to provide us the same type of functionality on the engagement survey side and then a better robust system for the performance management side and Lattice delivered.”

Using Lattice at Shippo

The 360-degree feedback feature was one of the first the Shippo HR team introduced after implementing Lattice. Now, the company conducts two reviews a year; a light check-in during Q1 and a full-fledged 360-degree review in Q3. The Q3 review was the first time the company introduced upward feedback for employees to review their managers and peer feedback for employees to hear from their colleagues and cross-functional counterparts. This new style of reviews has helped Shippo employees receive more unbiased performance evaluations, as well as more holistic feedback they can use to grow their careers and improve working relationships. 

On the performance side, Gurbir and his team were a bit more hesitant to change anything too quickly, so they kept their usual review template and questions after switching to Lattice. “At first, all we did was switch systems. Everyone had a lot of great feedback saying, ‘This was so much easier, way more intuitive, and easier to complete.’ Overall, the feedback was very positive,” shares Gurbir.

Lattice also makes it easy for the Shippo HR team to share Engagement survey responses with leaders, managers, and employees. This helps improve accountability and ensures every level of the organization is kept up to date on engagement trends. “We have a Culture Committee made up of folks from different tenures and departments so we get diverse mindsets and experiences a seat at the table. Together, we take a deeper dive into our engagement data and ask people what jumps out to them and if there’s anything they think our team can address,” explains Gurbir. “That has helped us implement a number of overall workplace changes, like promoting more recognition and improving our communication.”

Over the last two years, Lattice has helped Shippo continue to scale its people programs and build a better remote workplace for its employees. In fact, Gurbir admits there’s no way the company could have pulled this off if they’d stuck with their old HRIS. “If I was still tracking reviews with our old HRIS system, it would be a nightmare. Even when we were only 100 employees, it was already very difficult to do what we wanted to do on the platform. If we didn’t make the switch to Lattice, who knows how much time I would be wasting.”

Impact of Lattice

The biggest change Shippo has seen since implementing Lattice is how quick and easy it is to administer and track the progress of performance reviews. “Lattice not only gave us access to the features we needed, but it also made it easier to track completion progress by reviewer and reviewee, which was a previous pain point of our HRIS,” says Gurbir. “We’ve undergone four review cycles since making the switch and overall feedback has been very positive. Employees who had been with Shippo for previous review cycles quickly recognized the ease of use Lattice provides.”

Shippo employees aren’t the only ones enjoying Lattice. Gurbir estimates switching to Lattice has saved him so many hours of administrative work. “Lattice has better functionality than our past solution and, more importantly, a way better interface that allows for quick and easy navigation. It no longer takes me multiple clicks to get to one place. By my estimation, Lattice has probably decreased how much time I spend tracking review status and progress by at least 50%,” he shares. “Plus, I can send reminders directly from the Lattice platform, which has saved me countless additional hours.”

While Shippo primarily partnered with Lattice for Performance, Lattice’s 1:1s tool quickly became an unexpected win — and a favorite feature of Gurbir’s. “Lattice’s 1:1 feature has been a huge benefit for our teams. We recently shifted to a remote-first mindset and having a live, shared document with action items and shared notes makes it so much easier to lead virtual conversations,” admits Gurbir. “Plus, you can go back in time and revisit all the different topics that you’ve discussed. It’s my favorite feature and I try to promote usage as much as possible.”  

The next step for Shippo and Lattice’s partnership? Implementing Lattice Grow. Gurbir and his team have already built out core competencies and company-wide job levels using the tool, but they want to add team-specific job levels before they officially launch Lattice Grow to the company. “The benefits of [Lattice Grow] are extraordinary. I think everyone wants to know what it’ll take to get to the next level of their career,” says Gurbir. “Our mindset is always that the company will grow just as much as the employees will, and you can’t have one without the other. We want to have our employees learn and grow in their roles, as that in turn will help the organization advance. Lattice has been a big help in this area.”

Takeaways

  • With Lattice, Shippo introduced 360-degree reviews, allowing employees to gain access to upward and peer feedback for the first time.
  • The Shippo HR team estimates Lattice’s easy-to-use interface has decreased the amount of time spent tracking review status and progress by 50%.
  • Lattice’s 1:1s tool helped Shippo more easily become a remote-first company and help  employees feel connected, regardless of where they work.
  • The company is launching Lattice Grow shortly to make employee development a top priority in 2023