People Strategy

4 Takeaways From Resources for Humans Virtual 2022

October 14, 2022
February 22, 2024
Lattice Team

On September 21, Lattice drew over 30,000 HR professionals for our fourth annual Resources for Humans Virtual Conference. The event featured insights from over 50 thought leaders and innovators across the HR landscape. Speakers addressed topics ranging from hybrid culture and retention to compensation and equity — all within the context of a shifting global economy.

Want to relive the event? You can rewatch the sessions on demand. Plus, we’ve pulled together our own set of highlights and memorable moments.

1. People success is the key to navigating uncertainty.

Jack Altman, Lattice’s CEO and co-founder, opened the day with a keynote address highlighting the undeniable link between people success and business success.

“The fact remains: People are the heart and soul of your organization,” Altman said. He added that economic uncertainty only further underscores the importance of putting people first — not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it gives your business a competitive edge.

“Great people are critical to the success of any company, particularly in uncertain times. It’s your people that will adapt and innovate — that will find new ways of working together effectively to move your organization forward.”

Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, conveyed a similarly powerful message. According to Parker, the simple but profound act of acknowledging the difficulty of the moment equips leaders and their teams to better confront it.

“One of the loneliest experiences is to go through a transition and not name that you're going through a transition...Trying to make people feel safer by not talking about anything that's happening, [is] actually scarier,” Parker said.

“When we understand not just what someone's role or title is [but] who the person actually is, we can be more intentional.”

2. When growth slows, make retention your differentiator.

Last year, HR teams were focused on meeting ambitious headcount goals and talent acquisition ranked as a top priority. This year, fears of a recession stopped that trend in its tracks — leaving teams thinking about how to do more with less. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that retention was top of mind during the conference.

“It's really important to think critically about what type of retention is going to serve the company's needs both now and in the future, and make that particular experience as good as possible,” said Emily Mikailli, SVP, People Operations of Signifyd. Mikailli, who spoke in Future-Proofing Your Retention Strategy, emphasized that retention isn’t just about keeping turnover metrics down but making sure employees continue to grow and deliver results.

“Focus on challenging people, giving them ownership, authority, and the ability to do cool stuff. But [don't think] about retention as the be-all, end-all, without considering the quality measures within that,” she said.

Others emphasized the importance of making career growth the centerpiece of your retention strategy. It’s easy to see why, considering that surveys find that over 90% of employees say they’d stay at their companies longer if they invested in their careers. J.D. Slaughter, Group Vice President of Organizational Development at Huge, offered his take on successful career pathing.

“When we understand not just what someone's role or title is or the expectations of that role, but who the person actually is, we can be more intentional,” said Slaughter, who was recognized by Lattice as a People Success Visionary of the Year. He stressed the importance of providing high-potential talent with stretch opportunities even amid uncertainty when the natural tendency is to ease or lower expectations. “[It’s] about aligning them to those career-defining experiences that high performers thrive on, and then differentiate those experiences.”

3. Process and systems drive DEIB results.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) aren’t just parts of your retention strategy — they’re foundational. And when you don’t invest in them early on, you can sabotage your overall HR strategy moving forward. Still, no matter your company’s stage, it’s never too late to make DEIB a priority. Speakers shared that complex issues like equity can be partly addressed through thoughtful workplace structures and processes — two areas well within HR’s influence.

“Equity is specifically focused on addressing structures, systems, and historical legacies, to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources,” said Daisy Auger-Dominguez, Chief People Officer at Vice Media. For example, most companies have a decision-making framework in place for promotions and hiring decisions. Equity should be a part of that framework, too.

“Any organization can achieve equity because any organization can create the ensure that everyone in it is set up to thrive, to succeed, to have their unique needs met,” Auger-Dominguez said.

In addition to the above, others discussed how teams can effect change by using analytics. Krista White, co-author of Anti-Racist Leadership: How to Transform Corporate Culture in a Race-Conscious World, discussed the importance of looking at cross-sections of data in your reporting.

“There's a lot of amazing technology out there that can help you do that, like Lattice. And one of the things that's very important to me is looking at that intersectional data. A lot of times when we talk about diversity, we talk about women and people of color,” White said. Still, she encouraged attendees to go a step deeper with their demographics reporting.

“And even that language can erase women of color, it can erase queer people of all genders and all races. So the more you can drill down on the specific experiences of people based on these cross-sectional identities, the more you're going to really understand what kind of employee experiences are happening.” 

“People are also demanding to know the details of compensation information and absolutely deserve to know that, and they're holding organizations accountable to it.”

4. Compensation is core to your people strategy.

Pay transparency legislation, cost-of-living expenses, and greater employee awareness have only elevated the importance of compensation management. You can’t build an engaged, high-performing team without getting the fundamentals right — and few things are more fundamental than employee pay.

“If you don't have compensation [and] your total rewards right, that's always going to be weighing on the employee and it's going to be hard for them to think about the other aspects of the job,” said Aleksandra Peters, Head of People at Brightline in Future-Proofing Your Retention Strategy. Others echoed that sentiment.

“[Pay] is a critical part of someone's livelihood and it's a really critical way to recognize and reward people as they're progressing within the organization, getting promoted, taking on more responsibility,” said Balbina Knight, VP of People and Culture at Thrive Digital. Knight’s panel,Taking a People-First Approach to Compensation, delved into the ways Lattice Compensation delivers a more transparent, equitable approach to employee pay.

Another reason why compensation is fundamental today? Look no further than the headlines.“There's more accountability coming into play around compensation now,” Knight said, referring to waves of new pay equity laws. “People are also demanding to know the details of compensation information and absolutely deserve to know that, and they're holding organizations accountable to it.”

Those were just some of the highlights from this year’s virtual conference —rewatch the sessions on demand.

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