Updates help managers understand what their direct reports are doing and what issues are top-of-mind for their employees. They’re also very useful for keeping up to date with remote teams. 

Enable Updates

Follow these manager instructions to enable updates for your team. If your company does not have updates enabled for your company yet, ask your HR admin if they can enable the feature. 

Customize Update Questions & Update Frequency

If your organization has enabled the “manager override” function, you can follow these instructions to set your own update questions and update frequency for your team.

We advise keeping the question set short and easy to answer if you select a weekly cadence because writing updates should be simple for your direct reports to ensure high completion rates. 

  • If you would like to make updates more reflective, we suggest setting your cadence to Friday. That way, your direct reports can see if they have accomplished everything over the course of the week that they had hoped to. 
  • If you would like to make updates more directed on the week ahead, we suggest setting your weekly cadence to Monday. That way, your direct reports will focus more on what they want to work on for the coming week while still reflecting on the last week's Monday update to see what it is that they weren't able to accomplish. 

If you want longer updates with an employee development focus, consider switching to a monthly cadence and schedule follow-up meetings to review updates with employees.  

Here are some example of employee development questions that better fit in a monthly update:

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of this past month?
  2. What has been going well for you for your career development?
  3. What is your manager doing well? Where can they improve?

Introducing Updates to Your Team

Meet with your team to explain the updates tool and the benefits of writing updates. For weekly updates, they help keep you informed about what’s going on and gives your team the opportunity to reflect on what they accomplished that week and what they plan to do next week.  

Here are some best practices from managers that have the best employee update rates on Lattice.

Encourage Public Updates

Encourage everyone to write public updates regularly (or just department heads). You can then connect these to an org-wide Slack channel. It's a great way to keep track of what departments/individual employees are working towards!  

Keep Updates Short 

Employees should write updates quickly so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Encourage them to keep answers to one or two sentences and use bullet points. Employees should not spend more than 15-minutes on an update. 

Be careful if an employee starts writing long, detailed updates. Thank them for putting in the extra detail but encourage them to be more concise to keep them from burning out on the practice.  

Provide Guidance on the Early Updates

Help your direct reports as they learn where to go in the tool to write an update, and give them guidance on what kind of information you’re looking for because everyone will wonder “What should I write?” at first.  

When you first start, provide lots of feedback on how you’d like for them to structure answers and how much information to include.

Read, Respond, and Remind

Schedule time each week, preferably near the start of the week, to read over your team’s updates. Write comments to offer guidance, address concerns, or just to congratulate them on their wins. Show employees that you are getting value from reading their updates.

The most effective managers using the tool recommend following up with employees that miss an update. If your direct report forgets to submit an update and you fail to remind them, that tells the employee that updates aren’t important to you and it becomes much easier to skip the next update. 

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