HR Tech

How HR Tech Helps Professional Services Companies Thrive

April 4, 2023
November 7, 2023
  —  
By 
Emma Stenhouse
Lattice Team

In a relatively short space of time, the world of work has moved from manual processes and in-office work to digitization, AI, and automation. In response to these shifts, companies are under pressure to operate with more efficiency and resilience. A 2023 report by Gartner revealed 53% of HR leaders are now prioritizing organizational design and change management, while 42% are focused on the future of work.  For professional services companies rooted in more traditional ways of working, this pivot is challenging, especially while facing serious competition for talent with industries like tech, that have already embraced and adapted to many of these challenges.     When combined with innovative people strategies, leveraging HR tech can help organizations stay relevant, adapt to the current pace of change, and transform their people processes in line with the evolving world of work.

Join the Upskilling Revolution

According to a 2023 survey from Gartner, more than 40% of finance roles will either be reshaped into new positions or lost entirely due to technology by 2025. For the professional services industry, the skills needed to meet its biggest future challenges are changing at speed. But significant workplace shifts like these can leave employees feeling concerned about what their role might look like in the future — or even if their skills will be completely replaced by automation.  A solid upskilling and reskilling strategy can help employees grow as many of their traditional skills get digitized, become obsolete, or require modernization. But, rather than relying on spreadsheets to manage this complex transition, a centralized and secure platform is a more effective way to build clear career paths that empower employees to embrace how their roles may be changing.

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How other companies are making it work:

  • Berlin-based consultancy management firm T.A. Cook uses Lattice Grow to empower employees to reach their professional goals. By combining engagement, growth, and feedback into one intuitive platform, T.A. Cook has developed new career paths divided by functional skills and knowledge. This helps retain top talent by promoting internal awareness of potential career development opportunities.
  • Professional services organization JustAnswer uses HR software to support the setting and tracking of objectives and key results (OKRs). By embedding this goal-setting framework through every level of the organization, JustAnswer makes it easy for their employees to see exactly how their role and performance impact the success of the organization as a whole.
  • With a headcount of 400+ employees spread across 50 offices on five continents, digital agency firm Valtech needed a streamlined solution to help promote employee growth and development across the entire organization. With Lattice Grow, Valtech can offer employees a clear career path, and show them which specific actions they need to complete to accelerate their careers.  

Legitimize Employee Feedback With Real-Time Data

There’s no getting around it — employee engagement is vital for both organizational success and your bottom line. Engaged employees are more likely to be motivated, productive, and genuinely care about the work they do. Even though the arguments for measuring employee engagement are strong, many organizations still only use occasional surveys that provide a small snapshot of sentiment at one specific moment in time. Others may place too much focus on quantitative data, which doesn’t allow employees to share their true feelings. And if you rely on clunky, time-consuming surveys, expect completion rates to be low.  Successful professional services companies turn these traditional strategies on their heads by switching to HR tech that allows them to collect real-time data on how their workforce is feeling. This can increase participation in employee surveys and help gain a deeper understanding of the employee experience, whether they’re working remotely or in the office. Once the data is collected, HR analytics can help identify patterns and next steps — rather than leaving your employees wondering why no changes have been made.

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How other companies are making it work:

  • Melisa Guerbi, Director of People and Culture for Valtech, knew the organization needed a way to formalize its feedback processes while retaining the personal touch that helped drive its success. “Becoming a feedback-driven organization is an ongoing process,” said Guerbi. “That means we must have a continuous cycle of data to drive action plans for improvement." Using Lattice Engagement, Valtech developed an employee survey which helped them set a new completion record. Then, they created an action plan to turn potential changes into reality.  
  • At JustAnswer, HR tech empowers the management team to drill down into the metrics that relate specifically to their team’s performance over time. Thanks to Lattice, their engagement surveys are now completed by a staggering 93% of employees. “That’s the highest participation rate of any global engagement survey I’ve ever done, and I’ve done this for 20 years,” said their Vice President of Talent Acquisition and People Ops, Kimberly Nerpouni.
  • Before working with Lattice Engagement, international management consultancy firm Nous Group relied on outdated and fragmented feedback systems that left their employees feeling frustrated. “We wanted to be less reliant on a twice-a-year feedback cycle and move to an integrated system that supported real-time and continuous feedback,” said Tanya Day, Nous Group’s Learning & Performance Manager. To achieve this goal, Nous Group created a centralized feedback system that makes it easier for employees to leave feedback at any time, which can then be fed into strategies for enacting change.

Build a Continuous Feedback Loop

When the annual performance review season rolls around, a huge amount of work hours can be lost to endless discussions, which may not even yield accurate or useful results. And rather than boosting performance, they can even lead to your people looking for another role elsewhere if the outcome of the review feels negative. As a result, forward-thinking HR teams are starting to move towards a more holistic feedback culture that offers more than just annual reviews and instead embeds feedback into the everyday fabric of an organization. And this makes sense — especially as we know that more frequent performance reviews help to boost engagement. Moving towards a continuous feedback model doesn’t have to feel formal, either. The goal is to enable open and honest communication on a continuous loop, based on impactful feedback that’s specific, timely, and regular.

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How other companies are making it work:

  • At T.A. Cook, the goal was to scale from one annual performance review to bi-annual reviews that allowed for more meaningful conversations around employee growth. Using Lattice Performance also helped the leadership team improve their own transparency, which ultimately made it easier for individual employees to tie their personal goals to the performance of the organization as a whole.  
  • To drive a high-performing culture, the HR team at JustAnswer knew they needed a performance management solution that could help identify where their talent is, and which gaps need to be filled. By switching to Lattice Performance, JustAnswer created a 360-degree review process which has a completion rate of 90%. This strategy has also helped improve their offer acceptance rate, as potential new hires can see that their professional development is a top priority.  
  • The unique structure of the Nous Group means they don’t have a traditional management hierarchy and instead needed a flexible product that each team’s performance coach could use to help promote employee growth. Now, employee onboarding is combined with scheduled check-ins designed to offer consistent support while also setting a positive tone for employee growth and performance.  

Professional services organizations no longer need to think about adapting to the future of work — they need to adapt to the world of work right now. That's why companies like JustAnswer, the Nous Group, T.A.Cook, and Valtech are using Lattice to drive their people strategy and business forward at the same time. Schedule a demo today and see how Lattice can transform your people strategy, too.

Pro tip: Create an upskilling strategy and leverage HR tech to show employees their potential career paths — plus the skills they need to build on to get there.

Pro tip: Create user-friendly surveys that are easy to complete, and enable you to collect real-time feedback from all employees. Then, use analytics to provide the insights you need to spot areas for improvement, drive change, and boost engagement.

Pro tip: For maximum impact, combine your annual or bi-annual performance reviews with regular one-on-ones, plus ongoing feedback from tools like pulse surveys, peer recognition, and praise walls.