3 Ways Lattice Transforms Compensation Cycles

March 21, 2023
March 8, 2024
Emma Stenhouse
Lattice Team

People teams are under pressure to do more with less. And high-performing HR teams know that the right HR tech can help streamline and automate their processes — freeing up valuable time to focus on strategic measures. With compensation transparency and pay-for-performance increasingly becoming priorities for HR teams, now’s the time to turn automation to your advantage.    

Our pay survey found that almost 60% of employees in the US and UK expect pay increases more often than just once a year. While regular review cycles are crucial for driving peak employee performance and boosting engagement, your team also wants to know how you’re assessing their abilities. 

Leveraging a platform like Lattice Compensation can help drive consistent and transparent pay decisions for companies of all sizes. 

1. Automating Manual Processes 

According to a 2021 report by Zapier, automation can help HR professionals save eight hours per week — a full work day that can better be spent strategizing how to boost productivity and motivation across the company. Automating tedious manual processes also reduces the risk of errors creeping into your HR data. 

When William ‘Bill’ Haig joined GoodUnited as their Vice President of Operations, he knew the organization needed to move away from labor intensive manual HR processes, and toward more consolidated, automated ones.

An overview of the Lattice compensation review dashboard, including raise guidance and administrative approval options.
Lattice Compensation offers stress-free collaboration and record-keeping. Our notes and review tools help managers, directors, and executives provide context about specific recommendations and actions.

“We manually updated compensation information for 50 employees,” Haig explained, referring to compensation reviews.“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.”

Employee information also needed to be triple-checked for accuracy across 50 different Google Sheets — a process that simply wasn’t sustainable as the company grew, especially because spreadsheets can be rife with error. Lattice Compensation offered GoodUnited a path forward and a quick return on investment. 

“It was two and a half months from signing the contract to running a full 360-degree and compensation review,” said Haig. “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.’” 

It’s a similar story for Forge Biologics: This rapidly growing startup almost tripled in size over the space of 12 months, which meant the people team was under pressure to keep pace. 

Liza Lewis, Director of HR at Forge, knew their laborious manual processes for managing compensation data needed to change: “We must be progressive with compensation or we risk losing employees over minor salary increases. We can’t do that.” 

2. Building Infrastructure for Transparency and Visibility 

Employees value compensation transparency — but many companies fall short of sharing information that matters to their workforce. For more than half of companies (54%), only HR and finance have full access to employee pay bands, and only 10% of companies openly publish pay bands for all job levels, according to our 2023 State of People Strategy report

But the 2022 Lattice Pay Survey found that just over 50% of employees believe that publishing these pay bands should be standard practice. And it’s not only employees who are driving increased transparency — government regulations are increasingly mandating that organizations must be more open about pay. And that means HR teams need to improve pay transparency and pay equity as a priority. 

a one-dimensional spectrum of transparency, with the lowest transparency being “pay is secretive and flexible,” and the highest transparency being “employees know exactly what everyone makes.”
The transparency is wider than you might think — most companies only allow HR and finance teams to have access to pay bands. 

Tech can help uncover the metrics that drive both transparency and visibility. Doing so helps reduce unconscious bias in compensation decisions, allowing for fair and equitable total rewards packages that are also competitive for your industry.  

Using compensation benchmarking to inform decisions, rather than relying on historical data or gut feelings, also drives fair pay. With internal and external benchmarking, employees have a clear roadmap for their earning potential and confidence in the company’s transparency.

Before Lattice, GoodUnited relied on manual reviews that took so much time there was never an opportunity to explain the rationale behind pay increases. Haig knew this was doing their employees a disservice — because there was no transparency. 

“Lattice’s Compensation tool just aligns with so much of what we are doing and where we want to go,” said Haig. “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.”

Lewis said Lattice has enabled the Forge Biologics team “to incorporate our company goals into the people system and it will really help us drive home a feedback-forward, feedback-first approach.” She also said increased transparency helps to bridge gaps between managers and employees. 

3. Integrating Pay with Performance  

The Harvard Business Review found that linking pay to performance not only boosts employee productivity, motivation, and satisfaction, but also improves trust. And, according to our survey on employee salaries, every generation in the workforce believes pay should be linked to performance.

Survey results from Baby Boomers and Gen Z employees who answered the question “what should employers consider when evaluating compensation?”
Baby Boomers and Gen Z workers agree: performance is the top factor when it comes to pay.

Given that retention of top talent is vital for business success, rewarding employees for their best work simply makes sense. But that requires having standardized performance benchmarks as a starting point for measuring employees’ contributions — which wasn’t the case when Lewis first started at Forge Biologics. 

“I had no idea who our top performers were when I joined,” Lewis said. “And I didn’t know how to go about figuring it out by myself.” Before using Lattice, Lewis said their annual review process wasn’t detailed enough to identify top performing employees. Now, their HR team is planning to launch “a more thorough performance review process to take into account what type of contributor each team member is,” she said.

The HR team at Forge isn’t alone. In our 2023 State of People Strategy report, 90% of high-performing HR teams said they’re investing in linking pay and performance, and 72% said they have room for improvement. While moving to this talent management model may seem daunting to do manually, compensation software can support your pay strategy by linking real-time performance and pay data in the same place.

With a platform like Lattice, HR teams can seamlessly connect their performance and pay data, meaning they spend less time in spreadsheets, and more time putting their data to work. 

Lattice Compensation dashboards also helped GoodUnited consolidate all of their people data while allowing for continuous performance management. “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,” said Haig. 

“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,” Haig added. “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.”

Lattice Compensation: Multiplying the People Power of HR 

The right HR tech isn’t meant to replace your people team — but helps them to do their jobs better and more efficiently. And Lattice enables people teams of all sizes to accomplish more. As Haig from GoodUnited said, “it’s a massive force multiplier for us.”  

During lean times, implementing the right compensation planning strategies like pay-for-performance are key for business success. The right HR solution can make a huge difference. Not all software solutions are created equal though — and it’s important to choose the right one in terms of both pricing and integrations with your existing software.

Looking for proven results is a great place to start, and can help secure executive buy-in and support. Research from Forrester found that the total economic impact of Lattice includes:

  • 40% decrease in attrition rates
  • 195% three-year return on investment 
  • Three month payback period 
  • Three-year total benefits of $3.5M

Intuitive design and an easy-to-use interface are also important aspects of any compensation software, as you’ll be able to get new programs and processes up and running in less time. Something that Haig, with a small people team of three, previously thought impossible.

“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,” Haig said. “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.’”

Ready to learn more about compensation packages like pay-for-performance? Download our ebook, How to Reward Top Talent with Pay for Performance, and discover how competitive compensation can help retain top talent and boost business performance at the same time.