HR teams across the globe are under huge pressure to do more with less — as are the operational teams across the businesses they support. One way to support your team’s growth without a significant budget is the strategic use of HR tech, such as performance management systems and analytics.
Yes, it’s an investment, but it delivers value, helps boost employee performance, and gives you deep insights that can drive business success. Used strategically, HR tech is a powerful way to boost growth on both an individual and company-wide scale. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to assess your current systems and processes.
"We’ve encouraged all our companies to audit their processes and understand what low-value tasks HR and operational teams are doing on a regular basis,” said Jay Levy, Managing Partner at Zelkova Ventures. “This will determine where software could be leveraged, which will free up staff to work on more high-value objectives and enable the company to do more, with similar resources.”
If you’re ready for some ideas, here are six cost-effective ways to use tech to support your team’s growth.
1. Promote a Culture of Learning and Development
Learning and development programs help boost engagement, performance, and retention. And with skills predicted to be a key indicator of organisational success and resilience, investing in learning is a smart move. Focusing on the internal talent marketplace by upskilling and reskilling your current employees can also avoid the cost of attracting and hiring new talent.
The right employee development tool helps employees take charge of their career growth by understanding how new skills can help them progress to the next level. Another cost-effective option to combine with software is coaching and mentoring. You might find other HR leaders in your network who are interested in cross-collaboration, too.
“We are constantly offering continued education to our staff,” said Rudy Mawer, founder, and CEO of Mawer Capital. “Due to our industry, we collaborate with other similar entrepreneurs and oftentimes we exchange our coaching programs for theirs. We have been able to offer free training to our sales and PR teams specifically by doing this.”
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or affinity groups are also a powerful way to give underrepresented groups a voice and nurture emerging talent. Jill Hauwiller, founder and principal consultant at Leadership Refinery, explained how ERGs offer the perfect opportunity for action learning:
“Action learning is an intentional, project-based approach to building skills and expanding employees' experiences outside of their day-to-day roles. ERGs provide a natural opportunity for action learning because they typically exist outside employees’ regular responsibilities. Employees may have the opportunity to take on leadership roles and projects within the ERG that expand their skill sets and networks, preparing them for future advancement opportunities.”
2. Transition to a Pay-For-Performance Mindset
Linking compensation to performance is becoming a hallmark of high-performing HR teams. Our 2023 State of People Strategy report found that almost half of HR teams that exceed or meet their goals invest in pay-for-performance, compared to 22% of lower-performing teams. Better compensation is also one of the main reasons employees leave their jobs. By creating a strong link between pay and performance, you can boost retention and push your team to do their best work — for tangible rewards.
Before launching this initiative, make sure your pay-for-performance model is equitable. Using a compensation tool that includes benchmarking data can help you make strategic decisions based on market data while remaining aligned with your budget and your commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB).
3. Celebrate Wins With Employee Recognition
Recognizing employee accomplishments can help boost productivity and engagement, which can in turn increase performance. Yet employee engagement isn’t always prioritised, because it can be hard to show the value of your investment. But the ROI of employee engagement creates a compelling argument.
Without acknowledgement of their achievements, your people may start to look for work somewhere they feel more appreciated. The cost of turnover is typically far higher than investing in software that makes engagement simple and streamlined. If employees do stay but are left feeling disengaged, then performance and productivity can plummet, which trickles down to customer satisfaction, business revenue, and company reputation.
4. Develop Clear Career Tracks With Measurable Progress
The lack of career progression is one of the main reasons employees leave their jobs. By making career growth clear and accessible, it’s easier to identify top talent, encourage progression, and improve satisfaction. All of this relies on regular conversations around career tracks or paths, with structured goals along the way.
“Making development a part of regular conversations with employees keeps it in front of both leaders and employees,” said Hauwiller. “It’s not artificially contained as a special annual or quarterly topic. By discussing it regularly, leaders and employees will be tracking their progress toward goals and addressing emerging opportunities and interests as they arise. Employees will know that their manager is aware of their career aspirations and actively supports them in achieving them.”
5. Use Goals to Align Growth With Business Objectives
Objectives and key results (OKRs) are typically used for setting high-level business goals. But embedding these into your team’s daily routines is a powerful way to drive business results — because each employee is aligned with how their actions drive results. Since OKRs are often large, it’s a good idea to break them down into smaller, cascading goals.
These goals create strong personal connections to the overall mission of the business. They also model what success looks like by showing employees what they need to accomplish and how to get there. To be successful, these goals should be regularly revisited and revised. By integrating goal-tracking software like Lattice Goals with existing platforms like Slack, you can keep OKRs and goals front of mind while still meeting cost-efficiency targets.
6. Make Data-Driven Decisions Backed by Intelligent Analytics
Data can help HR teams make better decisions — but having access to the right data makes all the difference. Collecting and analysing your data can take a huge amount of time, effort, and money. And the results might not be all that robust. A more cost-effective decision is to invest in the right analytics platform.
Whether you’re looking to uncover the unconscious bias that stops some employees from progressing, or setting DEIB goals and tracking your progress, analytics are a powerful way to drive performance and progress while ensuring equality and engagement.
High-performing HR teams understand this connection, which is why they place a priority on analytics. Centralizing disparate data sources also allows for a far deeper understanding of company health, which can then be fed back into your people strategy. Choose an analytics platform that also offers benchmarking, and you can compare your progress with similar companies to see how you stack up.
Maximize Your ROI in 2023, With the Right Tech
When you’ve got a limited budget, knowing where to allocate it can feel like a challenge. That’s why it’s worth checking out the ROI of any tech you’re looking to use. The Total Economic Impact of Lattice report uncovered the impact Lattice can have, including:
- Total benefits of $3.5 million reached within 3 years
- 195% ROI in three years due to time saved and legacy software retirement
- Payback (the break-even point) reached in three months or less
- Improved employee engagement and collaboration
- Decreased attrition rates thanks to increased engagement
- Significant time savings for administrators and employees
Use our performance management platform ROI calculator to see the estimated savings your company could make, with Lattice. To discover even more ways performance management can be used to inspire and support your team’s growth, download our ebook, How to Use Performance Management to Inspire Employee Growth.
Online marketplace Faire wanted a consistent way to talk about learning and growth that could be rolled out across the entire company. Lattice Grow helped them develop individual development plans, where each employee can translate feedback into tangible learning goals to help them grow their career.
“As a company committed to empowering entrepreneurs around the world, one of our core values is Be an owner. So it’s exciting to have a scalable tool like Grow to enable employees to own their performance and career.” Andrew Baltes, Talent Development Lead, Faire.
Read the full story: How Faire Uses Lattice to Help Employees Grow Their Careers and Use Their Distinctive Strengths
A key part of the compensation strategy at mPulse Mobile is the annual and mid-year performance reviews used to determine each employee’s bonus. But current software solutions weren’t meeting the company’s needs. With Lattice, mPulse Mobile was able to create a structure that allowed them to connect the dots between performance and compensation. This was such a success that the sales team is now switching to a quarterly review cycle for even more detail.
“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.” Tiana Schisler, director of HR and talent acquisition, mPulseMobile.
Read the full story: Building a high-performance and high-engagement workplace with mPulse Mobile
After a merger, Onbe had to find ways to promote collaboration and drive growth. Lattice was instrumental in establishing a new company culture that promoted participation. After an initial engagement survey, Onbe used Employee Shout-Outs, manager feedback, and peer-to-peer recognition to boost engagement.
“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,” said Kate Ferry, senior director of people at Onbe. “Ultimately, Lattice provided everyone in the company with one engagement and performance management tool, enabling us to consolidate processes so all employees could participate.”
Read the full story: Onbe is Connecting People and Processes with Lattice
With a focus on developing education and upskilling opportunities for their clients, Guild Education wanted to ensure the same experience was possible for their people. Thanks to Lattice, they can deliver one-on-ones and performance reviews that lay out career next steps, set growth goals, and allow employees to easily visualise what their pathway to promotion looks like.
“We’re growing so much that we’re a different company every three to six months. We needed something scalable and, above all, easy to use — especially on the user end,” said Maureen “Mo” McGinnis, people business partner, Guild Education. “Lattice totally changed my mind about performance management software.”
Read the full story: How Guild Education Scaled Performance and Development in Hypergrowth
Construction technology business Sensat needed a better way to set employee goals and OKRs that offered continuous feedback, rather than relying on annual reviews. Employees can request feedback at a cadence that suits them, and see how they’re contributing to the strategic and operational goals of the company as a whole.
“OKRs have historically been a challenge for us. For a long time, we measured goals in Google Sheets, which was fine; however, the People team has really enjoyed using Lattice’s goals features as it combines reporting with communication,” said Sophie Martin, people and talent lead at Sensat. “Now, the whole company can view our progress, so it holds us accountable to them. Plus, it’s also easy to update, which is key.”
Read the full story: How Lattice Helped Sensat Build People Processes at Scale
Million Dollar Baby
When Million Dollar Baby needed to upgrade its employee engagement program, it turned to Lattice for help. In addition to being able to complete performance reviews and measure engagement, they also needed a platform that included data and analytic functionality, so they could accurately track company performance.
“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,” said Julia F. Yip, VP of talent management at Million Dollar Baby. “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.”
Read the full story: Million Dollar Baby Drives Performance With Lattice