The People Experience at Forge Biologics

While much of the world has embraced remote work, Forge Biologics needs most of its scientific staff onsite. There’s only so much lab work that can be done remotely, after all. And, even team members who aren’t part of the scientific team and work remotely often find a lot of value in collaborating in-person and most come onsite periodically. “I feel HR in particular needs to be visible to our employees,” says Liza Lewis, Forge’s Director of HR.

This level of face time is especially important for Forge because of the unique needs of the company, which include meeting with clients and required training for new hires on its detailed best practices for manufacturing. At the same time, Forge is a rapidly growing startup that has nearly tripled in size over the last year. It’s in this environment that Liza found herself working overtime to keep pace with its growth. “Not only did I need to learn what kind of immediate HR policies and practices were necessary when I started,” she says,“I also needed to better understand the company and the industry so that I could develop the appropriate people programs.”

Despite the growth rate, Liza raves about the culture at Forge Biologics, praising its collaborative nature and “regular cadence of communication” through town halls and other meetings and opportunities for engagement. Liza has also instituted more casual events built around pop culture, all designed to increase camaraderie and employee fulfillment. The company’s extracurricular “Houses of Forge” are built around the four houses of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts to mix a bit of fun with networking. It’s an optional activity and team members get to pick which house they want to be in. Houses manage their own game nights, charity events, and more and compete for points against other houses. The company even created house pins that proud members can wear on their ID badges.

Amidst all the fun, however, Liza is overseeing a company that’s expanding rapidly in size and has a large number of traditional HR needs, including additional work to be done around benefits, performance evaluations, and staying competitive in terms of compensation. Enter Lattice.

Challenges

For Liza, benefits management has long been the major focus for the HR team, ensuring that Forge’s benefits package remains best-in-class against rising competition. A companion piece to that is, of course, compensation, which Liza says is “of significant focus,” following in the wake of the salary increases that many industries have been facing for years. “Everyone’s challenged by this,” she says, “but at the same time, we must be progressive with compensation or we risk losing employees over minor salary increases. We can’t do that.” This is complicated further by the tedious, manual process that Forge had been using to manage compensation. “It’s very laborious,” she adds.

Establishing performance benchmarks at Forge has also been a unique challenge. “I had no idea who our top performers were when I joined,” says Liza. “And I didn’t know how to go about figuring it out by myself.” Its first year, Forge had a simple annual review process, and while Liza says it was “a good place to start,” it didn’t provide the necessary information to managers or employees on how to develop their skills.

“We’re also trying to incorporate learning and development opportunities,” she adds. “I just took over our training team and wanted to figure out how we can broaden the scope, so it’s not just focused on educating our scientific team members and everyone has a chance to grow and develop through their career. How can we differentiate outside of salary, in a market where promotion cycles have long been on the order of 10 years if you wanted to get anywhere? That kind of timing is not going to cut it anymore.”

Using Lattice at Forge Biologics

Liza had used Lattice previously at another employer and “went to bat” to bring it to Forge to help solve for some of its people needs. “It was an easy sell,” Liza says, “since Lattice offers one place to do everything and would help us capture performance information more easily.”

“One of the things I love about Lattice is there’s just so much functionality,” she says, “and not just from an admin perspective, but from a team member and manager perspective also. Everyone can go into Lattice and have transparency around performance.”

Liza also says the Updates tool is a valuable addition, helping managers to automate their check-ins with employees on a regular basis – and ensuring workers get regular, meaningful feedback. Forge is also poised to run its first compensation cycle with Lattice Compensation, and Liza says she is looking forward to having everything compensation-related in a single place.

 “Forge is also considering a more thorough performance review process to take into account what type of contributor each team member is,” she says. She goes on to say that “Lattice has allowed us to incorporate our company goals into the people system and it will really help us drive home a feedback-forward, feedback-first approach.”

On top of all that, the 1:1s feature has also been successful with the team, with adoption continuing to rise. A rollout of Lattice’s Grow module is also on the horizon.

The Impact of Lattice

When thinking about what’s been the most impactful part of Lattice, Liza points out that the feedback tool has made the biggest impression due to the collaborative nature of the team. She adds, “And I think they also really want to highlight the work that they do with their partners. Every week I go through and just do a quick audit to see what the feedback is looking like, and every single one is about how helpful someone was. ‘Thank you for doing this project.’ It’s just really nice to see that.”

In addition to getting useful, real-time feedback, Liza says that visibility into the company’s goals has been seriously enhanced, and it’s making a difference. “I really think it’s going to help connect our team to our company goals and mission better,” she says, noting that the transparency supplied by Lattice is helping to bridge the natural gap between employees and managers.

“I know that for some people, going to work often just feels like ‘a job.’ I want all our team members to feel passionate and engaged in the work that they’re doing,” says Liza earnestly. “Those are the things that I really want to work on going forward.”

Takeaways

  • Lattice Compensation helps Forge right-size total rewards so it can remain competitive in a competitive industry.
  • The Updates tool helps managers to automate employee check-ins and ensures workers get regular feedback they can use to advance their careers.
  • Lattice Goals helps bridge the gap between employees and managers by providing better visibility into company priorities.

The Challenge/Evaluation  

Million Dollar Baby, a family-run wholesale distributor of baby furniture and juvenile products, has been selling to retail giants like Target and Nordstrom for more than 30 years. The global organization — with offices in the US and China, distributors in Australia and New Zealand, and an agency that supports its call center in the Philippines — prides itself on its diversity and prioritizes staff engagement and satisfaction. 

For the last 25 years, the company has measured employee happiness, using a home-built software program that wasn’t able to scale with the rapidly growing organization and lacked some key features. “Anytime I wanted to do something with our system, I had to ask someone from IT to help. It wasn’t user-friendly,” says Julia Fong Yip, VP of Talent Management.

Most missing from the existing system, however, was data and analytics functionality. “We had zero data or benchmarking capabilities, which made it difficult to understand how we were doing against our own goals and other companies.”

Choosing Lattice over competitors 

Shifting from a home-grown system the company had used for more than two decades was a big step and a decision the organization didn’t take lightly. They chose Lattice because it offered a comprehensive platform that met all their needs. 

“When we were shopping and comparing, we didn’t find a single solution that offered everything we needed, including 1:1s and weekly updates, sentiment measurement, performance reviews, and engagement surveys; so Lattice was a no-brainer for me,” says Julia. “But the biggest differentiator was the analytical capabilities.”

Using Lattice at Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby is making the most of its Lattice investment, using a variety of tools and testing new features on the platform. 

“We currently use the 1:1s, weekly update, and sentiment score. We also conduct two engagement surveys per year. On the performance management side, we hold 30-day and 90-day new-hire check-ins and two performance reviews per year,” says Julia. 

“We also use every single feature of Grow because it is such a cutting-edge employee development software. We set quarterly OKRs that we tie to Performance Management because managers will talk about the Grow tracks during performance reviews,” she adds. “Our warehouse employees are active on Lattice, using both the performance review and engagement survey features.

“And we even deployed Lattice at the agency we use in the Philippines,” adds Julia. “The agents are not our employees, but because we believe Lattice is a great people management tool, we have them using the weekly Update, 1:1s, and engagement surveys. Lattice helps to make them feel like part of our team, which is important for our culture.” 

The Results so Far 

Million Dollar Baby is seeing high engagement with the Lattice platform, largely because they’ve done an excellent job at showing its value to employees. 

“We conduct Lattice training during onboarding, and go over each feature, why it’s important, and how it benefits our workplace culture, employees’ professional growth, and their compensation, so they understand the value of engaging with the platform,” says Julia. “But the fact everything is in one place and the user-friendliness of the system helps. It’s so much easier to manage.”

Lattice also helps the company streamline processes. “We hold quarterly meetings where every team completes a presentation of what they did in the past quarter, what they learned, what mistakes were made, and their goals and plans for the next 30, 60, 90 days. Before Lattice, the preparation could take a week. Now, we enter the quarterly objectives and OKRs in the system, employees update their progress, and we can monitor everything. Everyone knows what everyone is doing and how they are tracking toward their goals. The transparency is working beautifully for us.” 

Additionally, Lattice, and specifically Grow, is enabling Million Dollar baby to reinforce its core values across the organization. “We have established individual tracks for each team and set up job-specific competencies that align with our core values. For example, one of them is ‘Treat your team like family.’ We want our employees to know what we expect of them in their existing roles and what it takes for them to advance,” says Julia. “I’ve only heard good things from employees, most notably how clear everything is. Every performance review, every growth conversation is crystal clear, so they can evaluate their performance and know exactly what they need to do to improve.”

Julia is also realizing the benefits from an administrator’s point of view. “Benchmarking against other Lattice users is extremely valuable. Being able to present the comparison to other companies to leadership is much more impactful than just telling them how great we are doing,” she says. “I can show my CEO we have a 90% completion rate, when 5,000 other customers are at 82%, so the data speaks for itself.” 

Julia also appreciates how collaborative the Lattice team has been on needs. “On a more personal level, I appreciate the Lattice team’s willingness to check in with me — and listen to my suggestions on product enhancements. Those suggestions actually get taken to the product team. Even though Lattice is growing so quickly, the company still cares about my opinion as a user.” 

Takeaways:

Million Dollar Baby has seen incredible key results so far: 
  • 92% engagement survey completion
  • 65% of employees have goals
  • 40% of employees have growth areas
  • 90% of employees in Lattice have received feedback 
  • The company has completed 500 1:1s in the past 90 days

The Challenge/Evaluation  

When industry leaders daVinci Payments and North Lane Technologies merged to form Onbe, a digital payment solutions provider, the leadership team had a lofty goal: unite two disparate companies into one well-oiled machine. 

As with most mergers or acquisitions, Onbe faced some growing pains. Each organization had its own processes and tools. Some groups were using HR or performance management software, while others were still relying on manual processes. Most challenging was the Onbe HR and leadership teams didn’t have a single source of truth. They were still pulling data from multiple places for insights they could use to drive goal setting and action planning. 

Developing a fully integrated, high-performing organization required transparency and communication from the top down and bottom up.

To establish and foster a new Onbe culture and set the company up for even more growth, the organization began evaluating people management tools that would promote collaboration and speed consensus. Lattice fit the bill. The Onbe team was immediately impressed with how Lattice offered one platform that combined surveys, performance reviews, goals, action plans, and clear communication channels for employees at all levels in the organization.

“Lattice offers many more features than we had seen with other solutions. It was one of the few where we didn’t have to do add-ons to roll out the different processes we were planning in 2022,” says Kate Ferry, Onbe’s Senior Director of People. “Ultimately, Lattice provided everyone in the company with one engagement and performance management tool, enabling us to consolidate processes so all employees could participate. It is helping us to create one Onbe.”

Using Lattice at Onbe

No matter how good the solution, if people aren’t using it, it’s not going to get positive results, so Onbe’s first hurdle was to ensure people would participate and engage.  

“Before we implemented anything, we knew we had to create processes that were easy and meaningful for employees,” says Kate. “We trained them on how to use Lattice, but we also communicated the reason we’re switching to this new platform. We have been transparent and open throughout the whole process, and that has helped us gain buy-in because people know why we were doing it and what to expect. It has set us up for success.” 

The team started right away with an engagement survey to take the pulse of the organization. 

“We launched our first survey in February, and we uncovered 10 themes or areas of focus for the company, which became the foundation for creating our action plan in Lattice and setting company, team, and individual goals,” says Kate. “For example, one of the biggest themes that came out of our first survey was employees were concerned about a lack of career planning. They were vocal about not knowing how to grow their careers at Onbe.

“We’ve turned that into a directive to educate staff more thoroughly on career opportunities,” explains Kate. “We want to make sure that employees have a clear path to develop — whether that’s across the company or upwards into management. Communicating that to our staff is important to us, and Lattice will empower managers and employees to have stronger conversations around career growth.”

Another theme that surfaced was Onbe employees felt they weren’t getting enough touchpoints with managers, so the company will roll out the one-on-one feature to boost communication and interactions among management and staff. They will also use Lattice to bolster management and peer-to-peer recognition. 

 “We give Employee Shout-Outs during our monthly All Hands meetings. The current process of gathering them worked, but by moving them into Lattice, employees can see their Shout-Out as soon as it is submitted, and read all the other Shout-Outs all in one place.  Additionally, we’ll use the private manager feedback component, and the ongoing feedback is going to be powerful coupled with Lattice’s performance review features we’re using.”

The Results so Far 

While Onbe is still early in the migration to Lattice, the solution is helping to enhance the company’s goals of transparency, communication, and collaboration. Engagement is high for the performance reviews and engagement surveys, and Kate credits the software’s ease of use for that. 

“Lattice’s fully integrated suite is doing much of the work for us and allowing us to streamline processes. We didn’t want performance reviews and collecting feedback to be this big heavy lift for managers and employees. Lattice has given us the ability to be efficient but effective. Now, we can focus on the bigger goals and track everyone’s progress.”

Kate is excited to add more features to Onbe’s processes, including the onboarding and offboarding surveys. And she looks forward to the next round of performance reviews and engagement surveys to gain insights she and her team can use to continue to strengthen both employees and the organization.

“The employees and teams see the value of the platform,” she adds. Now, it’s up to us to act on it and make the right changes.”

Takeaways 

  • Onbe chose Lattice because it offered an all-in-one people management software with the features they needed without add-ons.
  • Onbe achieved effective buy-in with its employees by introducing Lattice with small groups and keeping surveys simple and punchy.
  • Thanks to Lattice, Onbe created an action plan that formalized career planning processes at the company and increased employee engagement.

Charleston-based GoodUnited offers social media fundraising tools that help nonprofits raise money on social media. While the company is very customer-driven, doing everything in its power to help nonprofits connect with donors and raise the awareness and funds they need to further their causes, GoodUnited also knows the importance of investing in its own employees, too. In fact, one of the business’ values is, “Fiercely take care of each other and our families.”

That’s why it’s no surprise that the business hired William “Bill” Haig to be the company’s Vice President of Operations. Upon starting his new role at GoodUnited, Bill got right to work expanding his team and building out new People processes. “My team’s role is to make sure that GoodUnited remains one of the best places to work so that our people can go out and help our nonprofit clients accomplish their missions and change the world for the better,” explains Bill. 

But, the company’s size quickly outpaced the scale of its people management practices when it jumped from 30 employees to 55 in just a year. “At the time, we were decent at OKRs and we were attempting, but not excelling at, having regular 1:1s. We didn’t have the right channels for open feedback, engagement and pulse surveys, or 360-degree reviews,” says Bill. “A lot of these factors were manager dependent because we didn’t have a documented system or processes in place.” 

To help, Bill and his team started brainstorming ways to add more structure and scalability to the company’s People processes. They decided they needed a new HR software platform that could help the company build a culture of ongoing feedback while embracing continuous performance management. Per a colleague’s recommendation, Bill found Lattice and was immediately wowed by its employee 1:1s tool and 360-degree review features. “Lattice was just so dead-on to what we were looking for that it felt like we built it ourselves,” admits Bill. “We tore through the People Strategy book written by one of Lattice’s Founders and we were sold.” 

One of the leading reasons they chose Lattice? “We got the sense Lattice would grow with us and was committed to our future,” says Bill. “We haven’t been disappointed. Lattice continues to add features that are exactly what we need.” So, when Lattice unveiled Lattice Compensation, Bill and his team knew it was just the tool they needed in their HR tech stack. 

Just a few months before, Bill and his team ran their first compensation review for the company’s 50+ employees — manually. “We didn’t realize what an animal compensation was until we really dove into it. It was organized chaos,” Bill says. “We manually updated compensation information for 50 employees. We had to verify that compensation and performance information was up to date while ensuring the wrong sheet or email wasn’t shared with the wrong person.” 

Aside from ensuring the process was private and secure, Bill also had to triple-check the accuracy of all employee information in 50 separate Google Sheets and ensure all pay adjustments were fair.​ “When you’re dealing with someone’s pay, messing up a number here or a digit there can be catastrophic — and that’s on top of the already complex piece of making sure someone had a fair review, determining their compensation increase, and making sure it correlates with performance,” he says. 

While the People Ops team successfully completed the review, they knew running it manually again was out of the question — both for their sanity and the fact that it would be impractical as the company continues to grow. Not to mention, the review took up so much of the team’s time that they didn’t have the opportunity to explain the rationale behind compensation increases and give employees the transparency and clarity around the pay they deserved.

Since GoodUnited was already using Lattice for engagement surveys, career growth, people analytics, and performance reviews, it only made sense to add Lattice Compensation into the mix as well. “Basically, we knew where we wanted our People processes to be, but we didn’t fully know how to get there, states Bill. “That is until we found Lattice.” 

Using Lattice at GoodUnited

When Bill and his team started implementing Lattice, GoodUnited’s next performance review was only a few months away — far too soon to onboard a new platform, train employees on how to use it, and successfully administer both performance and compensation reviews. But the Lattice team assured him it was more than possible. 

The thought of never having to manually run a compensation review again was too enticing for Bill and his team, who took Lattice up on the challenge. “It was two and a half months from signing the contract to running a full 360-degree and compensation review. It’s something that was very well received by our organization and that our team was proud to put our name on.  Had you told me in November that we were going to complete a full 360-degree review with almost no hiccups by February, I would’ve told you ‘there’s no way,’” exclaims Bill.

While Bill was worried about whether employees would take to the new system, he had nothing to fear. Lattice’s team and its robust resource library gave him all the support he needed to train employees on the platform and win their buy-in ahead of reviews. “The biggest thing for us was getting our team members bought-in and trained. Lattice was phenomenal with this,” says Bill. “First and foremost, its prebuilt decks designed for every stakeholder made it easy to brief our employees. Plus, the Lattice team was so willing to hop on any calls and demos we hosted to get our organization trained up.”

The quick onboarding and employee training paid off, since GoodUnited employees loved how easy the Lattice platform is to use. Aside from usability, Bill says the platform’s biggest benefit is its ability to bring together all of their People data in one place and help prioritize continuous performance management for the entire company. “Lattice connects all our feedback, 360-degree reviews, and one-on-one data so our people can see the big picture of their overall performance — like how they’re being measured and how it ties back to their compensation,” shares Bill. “The benefits of this functionality are for our employees first and foremost, not the organization, which isn’t always the case with HR software.” 

To further benefit employees, the company also rolled out Lattice Grow to help add transparency and clarity around career and growth opportunities within the organization — an addition that was highly sought after by employees. “We didn’t have anything in place before Grow, which was one of the biggest pain points of our team members. We had high performers who didn’t know where they were going in the organization, how to get there, or even how they were being evaluated,” says Bill. “Team members had to take the company’s word that as they grew roles would be created or opened up within the organization. It made it hard for team members to visualize how to grow within the company.”

While Bill and his team are still building out competencies and career tracks within the tool, they’re aiming to launch a full rollout in just a few months. This tool, alongside Lattice 1:1s, Feedback, Reviews, Compensation, and Goals, will ensure every GoodUnited employee has the resources they need to take ownership of their careers and prioritize their professional growth.

Impact of Lattice

Thanks to Lattice, GoodUnited employees now have a holistic view of not only their individual performance, but also the career opportunities available to them within the organization. “Lattice has done a phenomenal job of helping us create clarity and transparency in team members’ lives. Our employees now have a way to see where they stand and how they can grow within the organization,” says Bill. “They also have multiple channels they can use to give feedback to other team members and the organization as a whole, so we can all continue to get better together,” he adds.

While Lattice has clearly made an impact on GoodUnited employees, Bill and his team have also benefited immensely from the platform. To start, they love that all of their People tools live in one place. “Each Lattice tool is capable of being its own standalone product, so you’re not sacrificing quality to consolidate. Instead, you’re taking the best solutions possible and bringing them together in one place. That’s been a home run for us,” shares Bill. “We’re not having people bounce from solution to solution and asking them to retrain and learn new processes. It all just lives in Lattice.”

The beauty of a people success platform means all of their People data lives in one place too. “We love the data Lattice gives us. It helps our team really show the value of some of these solutions,” says Bill. “Plus, it allows us to tie things like employee Net Promoter Score, sentiment, or survey results back to specific employee characteristics, like compensation and tenure. That helps us find unique insights we can use to make the organization better. That was just too powerful of a resource to pass up,” he adds.

Plus, Bill and his team have been able to save their time and sanity by putting manual compensation review processes on autopilot. With Lattice Compensation, the team has been able to ditch Google Sheets and seamlessly incorporate performance data in their compensation review process. “Lattice’s Compensation tool just aligns with so much of what we are doing and where we want to go. It takes everything we were doing in spreadsheets across multiple platforms and consolidates it to one easy-to-use location,” Bill shares. “It also creates more clarity and transparency around the process for our employees and managers, helping my team tell a cleaner story by linking aspects of compensation back to performance.” 

Plus, the tool has helped the company get closer to achieving its goal of fair and transparent compensation increases. “This last performance cycle, Lattice Compensation helped us award pay adjustments in a fair way to make sure that someone was getting the increase or movement that they deserved. That was really, really hard to do when we were running reviews manually.  It’s helped us make those big changes and recommendations in a fair, easier, more reliable, and consistent way,” says Bill.

Lattice hasn’t only helped Bill automate compensation reviews, but it’s also helped him scale programs and processes at a rate he previously thought was impossible with only three People professionals on his team. When Bill tells other industry professionals about the work they’ve done, he’s often met with disbelief. “I have a business coach who has 35+ years of HR experience at a major corporation and some of the things we roll out she just cannot believe,” shares Bill. “She says things like ‘Bill that would take a large team an entire year to roll out!’ While I’ll just respond ‘We’ve got Lattice.’ It’s a massive force multiplier for us.” 

But the Lattice platform can’t take all the credit. Lattice’s team have immensely helped the GoodUnited team setup, manage, and scale their People processes from day one. Bill says he’s been blown away with how friendly and helpful the entire Lattice staff are. “Every single person we’ve worked with from Lattice has been phenomenal. Throughout the sales and onboarding processes to now working with our customer success manager, it literally felt like we’ve got people who care just as much about our team members as we do. It’s honestly like having an additional person on our team who 100% has our back,” he says. 

Still, Bill shares Lattice’s biggest win has been allowing his team to measure and quantify the impact of their new programs and policies. “People operations can often be a very hard-to-measure concept,” Bill admits. “With the Lattice Analytics, we can not only put measurable business metrics around the changes we’re making, but we can also ensure every voice is being heard — not just the extroverts or the loudest people in the room.” He adds, “Together, all of the Lattice tools create a world-class solution for helping us to keep our culture a competitive advantage.”

Takeaways

  • Lattice has been a “force multiplier” for the GoodUnited team, allowing them to scale their People programs and achieve more than they thought possible with a three-person team.
  • Lattice Compensation has allowed the GoodUnited team to tie compensation to performance and improve transparency and clarity around pay increases. 
  • Lattice has given GoodUnited’s employees greater visibility into their individual performance and growth opportunities within the organization.
  • With the company’s People data in one central spot, the People Ops team can measure the impact of their initiatives and take action to ensure the company remains a great place to work.
  • Lattice had GoodUnited running their first review cycle within the platform after only three weeks.

The Challenge

Balbina Knight was employee number 13 at Thrive Digital, which means she’s had the chance to personally witness just about every step of the company’s growth. “When I started at Thrive, there wasn’t even a People department,” she says. “I was hired to work on the marketing team as at that time I was in the marketing professional chapter of my career.” That really meant there was nothing in the way of people ops: No performance reviews, no feedback system, no career guidance, and no real management of the workforce at all outside of a Google Sheets page used to keep track of basic HR information and additionally facilitate light-weight career growth conversations.

In time, the company took the unusual step of developing its People software from scratch, building a proprietary solution for managing employee feedback — which it promptly outgrew. “We had a very sobering moment where we really reached our limitations and realizations around product development,” says Balbina. And the company recognized those limitations were impacting its People operations. Thrive realized it was time to raise the stakes and pursue an alternative that was purpose-built for managing the success of its talented people.

Evaluation

“We did a lot of flirting with Lattice before we finally decided to go on our first date and really see where this could go,” says Balbina. Around 2018, Thrive Digital began exploring Lattice in earnest, and the company quickly saw that the Lattice platform was a great fit for the company. “When we started looking into Lattice we said, ‘How did you get in our brain and take everything from our proprietary software and build it out in Lattice?’” she adds.  “It was beautiful.”

Lattice Grow was what ultimately convinced Thrive Digital that it had found the right match. “The day that Grow was activated, I said, ‘When can I sign?’” says Balbina. “I couldn’t sign fast enough.” She notes that the tool was so intuitive and clearly valuable that she knew Thrive managers would need no special onboarding to understand it. “Grow is such an essential tool in helping give that extra depth and texture to skills and experience development for our employees. I can’t live without it. We can’t live without it.”

Using Lattice at Thrive Digital

Clearly, Grow has had a massive impact at Thrive. Even before using Lattice, the company placed a strong emphasis on skills development, alignment between managers and direct reports, and building transparent career journeys. “We have always wanted to be able to showcase to employees what they need to work on to continue to unlock further career growth – and what that kind of growth looks like,” says Balbina. “People have really loved Grow’s ability to do this. It’s really helped show them that they’re making progression in their role. Being able to highlight that within Grow has been truly meaningful.”

Today, every department and every division within each department at Thrive Digital has a career track published via Lattice Grow – 17 of them in total. “We have really comprehensive tracks for our more mature departments and then additionally we have tracks that we are building for newer roles,” says Balbina, “We’ve really been able to fill in the details of what success looks like through these different levels within Grow.”

Balbina notes especially that Lattice’s included templates helped get the process started with people who are new to the system — and she notes that open-source content is available for professionals who want to get their hands a bit dirtier. “People can take what they need and mold it into what works best for their organization,” she says.

Conversely, Balbina notes that having access to this much content can feel daunting, where professionals may feel initially lost. But, she adds, “I don’t think that’s a problem because there’s just such a terrific support system from the Lattice team if help is needed. Everyone truly feels like they want to support everyone.”

The Impact of Lattice

The response to Lattice has been extremely positive at Thrive Digital. “When we launched Grow,” says Balbina, “our people said, ‘This is awesome. We love it.’ It’s so comprehensive and so well organized. The way that it’s structured within Lattice makes it very easy to access.”

Next up: “figure out how to leverage the opportunity that we have with Grow and connect it to the rest of Lattice’s career growth tools,” says Balbina. “For example, I discovered I can create a growth area off of one track and then use that area as a follow-up during conversations with my manager. Understanding all these really impactful features and functionalities and how they work together is a huge opportunity for us, front and center.”

In addition to Grow, Thrive management relies on the 1:1 feature heavily – in fact, Balbina says it’s one of its most vital tools in its People program. “We’ve really focused on the narrative that 1:1s are intended to be a magic space between a manager and direct report, not just a place for status updates. We use them to encourage managers to talk about a person’s career growth, removing roadblocks and making progression. Is there anything they can do to get them more motivated and engaged? We’re able to capture each person’s sentiment for the week while seeing how they’re progressing in their growth areas as well as seeing any recent feedback.”

To Balbina, one of the most best parts of the relationship she’s built with Lattice is how Thrive’s feedback has been incorporated directly into Lattice product development. “It’s really cool that Lattice actively listens to their customers to better their product for them, not just for the marketplace or for themselves,” she says. “It’s such a simple concept, but I think a lot of vendors miss it completely.”

Takeaways

  • Thrive Digital has published 17 Grow career tracks for every department in the organization, improving transparency and employee satisfaction.
  • Outstanding support and access to community resources keep the Lattice learning curve easy to climb.
  • 88% of Thrive Digital is utilizing the 1:1 tool leading to more impactful employee and manager relationships
  • Lattice works closely with its customers to incorporate Thrive Digital’s feedback on features they need into its products.