Solera Health is a marketplace for non-medical prevention, coping, and programs that helps connect patients, physicians, and health plans with non-clinical healthcare providers. Solera’s technology helps match patients with programs based on their needs and preferences, paid through medical claims.
Amanda McNulty, Director of Human Resources, leads the HR team at Solera Health. Amanda has over 10 years of HR experience in advertising, computer software, and management consulting.
Healthcare startup Solera Health was facing a growth challenge. In 2017, the one-and-a-half-year-old company was growing quickly and needed a performance management process.
“We didn’t have a structured program in place,” explains Amanda McNulty. “We were a new startup that was growing quickly so getting an effective performance management tool implemented across the organization was really important for us. Linking performance management and corporate culture through goal setting and communication was critical.”
Employees were asking for feedback. The company could no longer rely on having all necessary growth discussions occur organically because the team was expanding so quickly.
Amanda adds that they needed a process that also met strict healthcare compliance requirements. “Our clients are health plans, and they want to make sure that we have a standard, documented performance review process for all employees.”
Amanda had several requirements for the performance management process. Number one was that it had to be a software platform. “I’ve done paper reviews before, which was terrible, so I knew I didn’t want to use paper.”
The tool also needed to be easy for a single person to set up and manage. “I’ve used tools that are super-complicated to use from an administrative point of view, in setting them up, so simplicity was really important to me as well.”
Amanda envisioned a tool that would allow for more frequent conversations and feedback along with annual or semi-annual performance reviews. The platform needed individual components and templates to be customizable “for how we’re structured right now and how we might be structured in the future.”
While surveying the market Amanda noticed that most of the newer solutions were inflexible. They all had nice-looking user interfaces but you had to follow their process with very little customization. “It felt like I had to subscribe to their default questions.”
“I liked that Lattice’s approach had a traditional feel to it but it’s driven by technology and the platform is flexible, so we could customize it to meet our needs.” With Lattice you can set up full 360-degree performance reviews or manager-employee reviews and combine it with optional tools such as goals, feedback, updates, and regular 1:1 meetings.
“It allows for a more traditional process which is what we need. It allows the flexibility to be traditional with 360-degree performance reviews and non-traditional with continuous performance management features like goals and feedback. Lattice works for Solera because it has a web-based, easy-to-use user interface, but we can customize the questions and process to meet our unique business needs.’”
Because Solera Health uses Zenefits as its HRIS, Amanda was able to use the Zenefits integration that makes it easy to import your organization into Lattice with a single click.
“The integration with Zenefits was a nice bonus. I don’t have to worry about entering employee information into another tool. I don’t have to worry about adding or removing people, and it keeps the company org structure.”
Amanda reports that the implementation went well and she enjoyed working with the Lattice support team. “I felt like it was really high-touch which was great. I probably drove Grant [Lattice’s customer success manager] crazy because I asked a million questions.”
Amanda also notes that the platform has improved significantly over the past year.
“The biggest thing for me was getting more visibility into what the tool looked like for other users.“ The platform now features more preview functions that let admins observe what employees will see before changes go live.
Lattice also improved on reporting for admins, giving them a dashboard for the whole review cycle to let them see how things are progressing and where people are stuck and in need of a nudge. “The whole admin dashboard has come a long way. It existed back when we first started but it was much more basic back then. The tool can now provide visibility into department-level insights as the organization has grown.”
There are also more safeguards in place to control peer review requests. “Some employees were getting 10-15 peer review requests and now I can limit that. That enhancement was really helpful.”
“Solera has grown quickly, and Lattice has also grown quickly by consistently adding new features to meet our needs. We’ve kind of grown together.”
Amanda reports that the team adopted the tool without a problem. “It was really easy to get our people to use the platform. I definitely had more problems getting people to use other performance management software in the past but Lattice is very intuitive and straightforward.”
Solera Health does performance reviews once a year but new hires get a 60-day manager-employee review, and employees and managers do their regular check-ins. “Moving from an ad-hoc process to a full performance management platform was great for us. It fostered that communication between manager and employees. Lattice helped us lay that foundation for our culture of continuous feedback and transparent communication.”
Amanda estimates that she had a 90-95% completion rate for her last review cycle.
“When I launch a review cycle, I do trainings with employees and managers, and I create a calendar timeline of when things are due. I communicate what the due dates are and then send a lot of reminders. You think that you’re annoying people, but people really do forget and get busy. I think the trainings reinforce [the importance], but use reminders because people get busy.”
Amanda also appreciates the time-savings. “Some performance review processes take a huge amount of time, aren’t intuitive to use, are complicated. Lattice isn’t. It’s easy for the admin to set up. It’s easy for the managers.”
“If you’re going to do performance reviews, why not have a tool that’s easy to use and easy for your employees to use? Unless you’re not doing performance reviews, I don’t think there’s an easier way to do performance management because it’s flexible, intuitive. It does not take a lot of time to set things up once you have your questions and your process ready to go.”