Founded in 2013, Caravan Health helps hospitals and physician practices transition from the traditional fee-for-service healthcare payment model to modern value-based payments tied to patient health outcomes and quality of care.
Brad Holliday, Chief People Officer at Caravan Health, leads the HR team serving over 130 employees responsible for helping over 14,000 healthcare providers make the switch to value-based care. Brad was previously the CHRO at AxelaCare Health Solutions where he oversaw HR operations as the organization grew from 100 employees to over 1,600. Prior to AxelaCare, Brad served in HR VP roles at Caremark and an Aetna subsidiary.
Caravan Health had 80 employees when Brad joined in the summer of 2016, but the company was growing quickly and he needed to create the processes that could support the company through its next stage of growth.
The performance management process immediately came up as an area in need of an upgrade after Brad ran one performance review cycle using the company’s existing system.
Caravan Health’s HR team was using the performance management module included in their HRIS and payroll software. The built-in review form didn’t work as expected which required Brad’s team to put together a workaround that forced employees to fill out their self-reviews manually, while managers used the HRIS review tool. However, this solution created hundreds of hours of extra work by forcing managers to toggle between manually-created PDFs and their own manager reviews in their HRIS software.
“It was really broken,” says Brad. “People got more tied up in the process instead of the product, the critical feedback and information we needed to give to employees.”
The process also made it difficult to build a complete picture of the organization. Managers submitted spreadsheets with their merit increase recommendations for their teams, leaving Brad to sift through the data. “The data that I had available was fragmented across different locations,” he explains. There was no easy way for Brad and the rest of the executive leadership team to efficiently review the data to validate the merit recommendations.
The tipping point came when the management team ran a post-mortem on the year-end performance review cycle and the company board asked to see an employee ranking list and bell curve that showed how the merit budget was distributed to high-performers. It was a reasonable request, but pulling that data together from all of the different sources would prove to be a nightmare task. That’s when Brad knew that he had to make a change.
Brad had several requirements in mind when he started the search--but, he says, “The user interface was number one.” Having used several performance management systems at different organizations over the years, Brad learned early on that having a tool that’s easy for employees to use is the most important factor when it comes to adoption.
Not all employees are quick to ask for help if they encounter a roadblock in the technology, so it’s best to have a well-designed tool that’s easy to understand. “Give me something right out of box that’s not going to require a lot of training and that people are going to adapt to pretty quickly,” he says, adding, “Lattice absolutely fit that requirement.”
Ease of access was another must-have. Employees needed to be able to access the tool from wherever they were, whether they were working from the office or from a laptop at the airport.
Brad also had to be mindful of cost. He didn’t have the same budget as he used to when he was leading HR at prior organizations, but he was confident that he could find an affordable solution. “I knew that there had to be something that would give me the functionality that I was accustomed to with SuccessFactors.”
Caravan Health ultimately picked Lattice. Why? Brad recalls a recommendation that he received from another executive that selected the platform: ”Because of its ease of implementation, user-friendliness, I wouldn’t have considered anything else. Once we lined things up, the cream rose to the top.”
The company adopted the goals tool first. Leadership set corporate goals, which helped managers set department goals, which in turn helped individual contributors create their goals while keeping department and company objectives in mind.
The user-interface was clear and easy to understand. “I don’t think it would have been easier if you had a real-life person there talking to each manager, holding their hand through the experience.”
One of the biggest surprises for Brad was how quickly managers in the company organically adopted the Lattice check-ins feature, without needing a formal push from the HR team.
“It’s amazing to me how many VPs, directors, managers, on their own, started driving the use of the check-in feature on Lattice to help ensure that they were getting a touchpoint with each employee around their goals and objectives.” Check-ins gave managers a weekly opportunity to focus on goals and get updates from employees on progress against those goals.
The goal tracking and check-in history also made it easier for managers to write reviews because they could see exactly what people did months prior without having to try and remember it themselves.
“I can go back and look at their check-ins and see the important milestone events that the employee has accomplished,” says Brad. “Then I can copy and paste and drop it into the review or it can spark thought and make it easier for me to summarize performance.”
Brad has seen significant time savings in the review process. “The VPs, directors, and managers that I’ve spoken to have indicated that they’re taking a quarter to half of the time that they spent last year to do the same thing. And the bonus is that it is richer feedback.” Managers can now cite specific examples of performance or behaviors that led to goal achievements, and managers can relate to the employee how the completion of those goals contributed to the organization’s success.
Earlier this year Brad was configuring the settings for a new review cycle, and he sensed that something wasn’t quite right with the review participant list. He reached out to the Lattice support team and got a response the same day confirming that his suspicions were correct along with instructions on how to include the exact participant pool that he wanted.
“The customer service has been exceptional. For a lot of vendors, their version of customer service is they send you an FAQ or they direct you to a website.”
How would Brad describe his experience transitioning to Lattice? “You can look at all of those mid-market players where the performance management is embedded in the HRIS but it’s not going to be as robust a tool.”
“If what you really want to do is bring the employee and the manager into a process where you’re aligning goals and objectives … and have a two-way dialogue where they can tell each other how they’re doing, this is the tool that you need to buy.”