Lattice Strategy

How Lattice Built Its Continuous Performance Model (Using Lattice, of Course)

April 2, 2024
April 2, 2024
Jaclyn Lewin
Lattice Team

Is your performance review process cumbersome and unproductive? Is it a source of dread for employees and managers alike? Maybe it’s time to reinvent.

That’s exactly what Lattice did in 2023 when it shifted from a traditional biannual review cycle to a continuous performance and engagement model. One year into the project, feedback is no longer something that simply happens to employees — it’s now an integral part of the company’s daily workflow.

Senior Director of Talent Development Mia Remar and Senior Director of People Partnering Sophie Hurcombe shared how Lattice managed the transition and promising early results in an episode of the People Strategy at Lattice webinar series with Senior Content Marketing Manager Andy Przystanski.

They provided an invaluable behind-the-scenes look at how the Lattice team uses the Lattice platform. They also shared tips for driving alignment among employees and leadership, strategies for measuring success, and best practices for using data to iterate and improve.

Time for a Revamp: Listening to the People

Lattice conducted an internal survey in 2022 to understand what was and wasn’t working in its performance and engagement process. The feedback was clear: Efficiency was a problem. 

“To no surprise, our biannual review cycles were too heavy and time-consuming for both the company and our people team to manage. And they weren’t enabling that rich feedback people were really craving,” Remar explained.

Meanwhile, Lattice’s 2023 State of People Strategy Report revealed that more frequent development conversations led to more engaged and higher-performing employees. “Lattice was at a stage where employees really needed a performance process that was flexible and lightweight, but robust enough to provide more opportunities for feedback,” Remar added.

Remar recalled that it felt like the stars were aligning. Lattice employees were looking for something different, and Lattice was exactly the right product to bring it to life. “It was a great time to strike while the iron was hot,” she said.

The result was a continuous model based on ongoing feedback cycles through one-on-one meetings focused on company goal-setting, talent reviews, and growth and performance check-ins — all integrated into Lattice’s regular workflow. 

A Successful Transition: Anchoring in the “Why”

Remar described how designing and implementing Lattice’s continuous performance model was a team effort. Her department sought feedback from employees, consulted the latest research, and partnered with the internal customer insights and product marketing teams.

Throughout the process, Remar stayed closely connected to her people and leadership colleagues to ensure the project remained tethered to the needs of the business. Most importantly, she defined and kept the project aligned with its guiding principles and goals. 

“Change is hard for humans,” she said, adding that it’s easy for employees to get off track when priorities are unclear or shifting. “But if you can anchor back to the North Star — those guiding principles — you’re going to be able to get back on track much more quickly.”

Hurcombe noted that going into the transition, employees were already facing a lot of change. The North Star met them where they were by providing a variety of resources using Lattice’s existing communication channels. “We were pretty lucky because our employees use Lattice regularly, and it is fairly intuitive, which really freed us up to focus the training on the why of the program versus the how,” she explained.

In the process, Remar learned to be patient — she noted that it takes time for changes to land, so it’s important not to get disheartened if people don’t adapt immediately. She recalled some initial pushback from employees who were feeling overwhelmed by the idea of more changes. “We found we needed to acknowledge the amount of change people were feeling while also helping them understand the why behind the changes,” she said.

One year into the cycle, Remar started to see things click as everyone settled into the program. “People were able to see firsthand that why [coming] to life that we communicated right at the start,” she explained. By anchoring in the why, Lattice drove program adoption through the transition while maintaining strong alignment with the project’s guiding principles.

Measuring Success: Using Data to Maintain Alignment

To ensure Lattice’s continuous performance model was meeting its objectives, it was essential to create metrics to measure its success and detect opportunities for improvement. The company used the Lattice tool to implement a test-and-learn approach, Remar said. 

The first-year priorities for the new model were:

  • Was it lightweight?
  • Did it drive clarity on priorities?
  • Did it enable continuous, meaningful, and impactful feedback?
  • Were people having regular development-focused conversations?

Remar’s team used Lattice Pulse surveys to measure progress on these areas of concern, then adjusted the program based on the real-time data received.

For instance, asking people whether they were on track with their goals and how to achieve them was a great way to measure the impact of the cycle and whether there was clarity surrounding personal expectations. Likewise, when a Pulse survey revealed employees felt their performance wasn’t evaluated fairly, the team realized there was a need for more education about the new model.

“Lattice makes it really easy to measure adoption,” Remar noted, adding that the Pulse surveys have been invaluable for gleaning meaningful insights for a real-time approach. Using data to inform its strategy was another way Lattice anchored to its North Star of meeting people where they are.

“It takes time and intentionality to build ongoing feedback muscles,” Remar pointed out. “It doesn’t happen overnight.” With the first year established as a benchmark, the Lattice team can now improve how they measure the success of the program and better test its quality. 

Continuous Improvement for Continuous Performance

So what’s next? Hurcombe listed these priorities for year two:

  • Are meaningful growth conversations occurring?
  • Are people clear on how to achieve their goals?
  • Is the model impacting the company's performance? 

As Lattice continues to iterate and improve its continuous review model, it will do so in alignment with its guiding principles and with the help of the real-time data insights provided by its platform. 

This article is based on an episode of the People Strategy at Lattice webinar series, in which host Andy Przystanski gives you a front-row seat to how Lattice approaches performance management, engagement, and other HR strategy hot topics from the perspective of its own people team. You can find the full episode here.