Building a people product - Lattice's growing community of HR professionals

Lattice has manifested what it wanted as a people management platform and is looking to do so as people find more value in the product and the community that comes with it.
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Priyanshu Anand
January 10, 2023

Making work meaningful

In a time when everything is handled by computers, there’s a lot more focus on the work and not so much on how we’re doing that work. Companies don’t inherently realize this but what work you do and how you do it is directly impacted by who you’re doing it with. Unfortunately, with the rise in technological innovations, there wasn’t much attention being paid to team and people management. In fact, in a report by Allegis Group, 77% of the 1000 HRs that were surveyed believe that their organization's use of technology in this space is outdated.

But not everyone has been oblivious to this dire need for better work management. Jack Altman, Sam Altman’s younger brother (apparently entrepreneurial blood runs in the family), saw this as an opportunity. He approached Eric Koslow with this idea - build a platform to help teams become more aligned and focused on their goals, both as a team and as individuals.

“We realized that with quarterly goal settings, OKRs, we would write them up and get the leadership together and then they would sit on a shelf and nothing would happen,” Altman told TechCrunch.

Both Jack and Eric had experienced this first-hand working together previously at Teesping (Now Spring) where Jack served as the Vice President. As a part of upper management, it’s very important to have a healthy, transparent working environment where people are not just motivated by off days and work parties. There should be more to it. A company’s goal settings and individual OKRs shouldn’t be on the back burner collecting dust but always be front and center for everyone to work towards.

And so, Lattice was born out of the idea that work should be more meaningful.

Founders Eric Koslow (left) and Jack Altman (right)

From an idea to a Unicorn

Lattice was officially founded in 2015 as a people management platform for better employee engagement. The product essentially makes it simple for employees and their managers to conduct engagement surveys, manage feedback, and organize and attend one-on-one meetings, with a comprehensive view of performance reviews and how they align with the company’s larger goals. Lattice wanted to completely do away with yearly reviews that hold no significance and make check-ins a weekly thing to make sure everything’s on track.

This was, at the time, quite an unexplored market so Lattice was able to help over 200 companies and their HR teams within a year including names like Reddit, Slack, Coinbase, and more. This momentum helped them raise $6.5 million as seed funding led by Thrive capital including a Seed round from YC. But Lattice was just getting started.

In early 2019, Lattice garnered over 1200 customers, 60 employees, and was cash-flow breakeven for the first time in the first quarter. They soon raised Series B for $15 million led by Shasta Ventures, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Thrive Capital.

The pandemic further accelerated Lattice’s growth as it really put to light the importance of people management and its effectiveness on overall growth metrics for a company. People took to their homes and the spirit of teamwork was further toppled when all you were doing was staring at a screen all day, without any real connections with the people you work with. Although remote work has become a recent norm, the need for better coordination and collaboration hasn’t changed. This is why a tool like Lattice becomes essential for teams globally.

It wasn’t long before Lattice raised 4 more rounds of funding with the latest Series F being for $175 million, bringing their valuation to $3 billion. It has upwards of 3,550 organizations as customers which plays a significant role in getting its value up threefold as compared to early 2020.

A multidimensional product

Performance management software is a very broad term. Lattice’s main goal is to help companies have better employee retention and empower winning cultures. It does that with 6 main features -

A still of Lattice's dashboard

  • Performance management - This streamlines the review process with solutions like structured performance reviews, 1:1s, feedback loops, praise, and updates.
  • Engagement - This helps HR teams understand and work with employees better through engagement surveys like NPS, and onboarding and exits.
  • Grow - This solution improves retention by making an employee’s career progression more transparent by helping them upskill through development plans.
  • OKR and Goals - This solution integrates the company’s objectives and key results into all employees’ daily routines as a measure to align business strategy to people strategy.
  • Analytics - Connects all the data sources of employees to the company and visualizes all modules in a way that’s easily comprehensible.
  • Compensation - This module integrates performance data to make employee compensation decisions more transparent and driven by data.

You need people to make a people product

Lattice found product-market fit by talking to customers and shaping the product accordingly. Not everything you do has to scale and therefore take away the cake when it comes to priority. Altman and the team spoke regularly with their customers and credit them for having uncovered a major pain point in people management: the cluster of too many management tools being used (PPT, spreadsheets, emails, portals, etc.) all at once. Finding product market fit means finding a market first and “talking to people like your life depended on it”, according to Altman. In other words, Lattice is where it is today because of growing a community of people whose problems they were solving for.

Resources for humans (RfH)

This is a closed Slack community for HR professionals. You can be a part of 18,000+ HR leaders and people management folks to connect, share advice, and ask questions. This community is a strong group of people who believe that the best way to build a business is through humans.

Lattice very brilliantly pre-empts onboarding even before someone requests access to the community by providing their guidelines, information on how they can get started, FAQs, channel information, and a quick intro to Ambassadors who’ve had significant contributions within the community.

Resources for humans Newsletter

This is a community-driven weekly newsletter for the Resources for Humans HR professionals’ community. Each week, you’ll get a dose of insightful People strategy content, helpful resources, new job opportunities, and people-driven events.

Resources for humans Perks Program

With the Resources for Humans Perks Program, community members have exclusive access to special offers from world-class companies like Deel, Bonusly, Lifelabs Learning, Confetti, and more!

Resource for Humans Magazine

The RfH magazine is a beautifully curated content magazine just for HR and People Leaders, featuring People-focused articles, stories for and about the RfH community, ideas for HR-focused events you’ll want to attend, info on the latest HR trends, and other resources. Get tech recommendations, check out on-demand webinars, and read articles on strategies, feedback, culture, and a lot more.

Lattice library

Get access to a world of HR and people management through an intricate library of invaluable resources. Learn how to become a better manager, employee, founder, and more through some of the best stack of resources around growth through human resources.

  • Articles

Read articles about people management in different categories like - strategy, tech, compensation, remote work, and more.

  • Podcasts and Interviews

Uniquely-led - A podcast series by Lattice

Lattice co-founder and CEO Jack Altman interviews industry leaders on their unique management styles — uncovering actionable insights around topics like championing low-ego leadership and creating a culture of extreme transparency.

All Hands - A podcast series by Lattice

Lattice has another podcast series hosted by Katelin Holloway who talks to CEOs, founders, and leaders about the importance of people management and how people's success is company success.

  • Webinars

Sign up for upcoming webinars and watch on-demand to get expert advice from some of the biggest names in the HR industry. Drive better strategies from the learnings of others.

  • eBooks

Take a deeper dive into the world of people management through carefully crafted ebooks, to help you make a better HR professional.

  • Templates

A great product is incomplete without templates and Lattice ensures that it offers the best possible curated templates built and used by successful people teams.

Being human is the essence of community

What do community builders and HR professionals have in common? They both put human relationships first and understand that successful businesses are built on people and not the other way around.

Lattice’s community reinforces the purpose of its existence every day. Lattice has manifested what it wanted to stand for as a people management platform and is looking to do so as people find more value not just in the product, but the community that comes with it. As Lattice continues to drive revenue through increased acquisitions and reduced churn, its initiatives to drive better product adoption and improve overall awareness of people management will grow sustainably.

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