Jack Altman is the CEO of Lattice. The latter is a platform for workforce management, which is something that has become more and more important in recent times. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that Lattice has managed to secure $175 million in a Series F funding round.
1. Went to Princeton University
For his education, Altman went to Princeton University. There, he studied economics, with the result that he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 2011.
2. Believes in the Value of Human Resources
Unsurprisingly, Altman believes in the value of human resources. Furthermore, he says that a business's employees will become more and more important in the times to come, both because businesses are becoming faster-paced and because businesses are becoming more tech-oriented. Of course, Lattice is well-positioned to benefit from the increased interest in such matters. Even so, that doesn't mean that Altman is wrong about the general trend of the times.
3. Believes that Companies Should Be Focusing More on Employee Retention
On a related note, Altman thinks that companies should be focusing more on employee retention, which can be summed up as minimizing the number of employees who choose to leave their positions by making them happier with their employment. It is important because every employee who leaves their position means a significant cost for the company. After all, they need to find a replacement. Furthermore, even once the company has managed to find a suitable replacement, there is still the matter of bringing said individual up to the same level as their predecessor in the position. Something that can take weeks, months, or even years if they are involved in something particularly complicated.
4. Believes that Companies Aren't Doing Enough in This Regard Because of a Lack of Measurement
It is interesting to note that Altman thinks that one of the main reasons that companies aren't doing enough in this regard is that they don't have an easy way to measure the quantitative impact of employee turnover. As a result, even if they have an intuitive sense that employee turnover is bad, they don't know important answers such as how bad it is as well as in what ways it is bad. In turn, that makes it difficult for companies to come up with solutions because they don't know the true nature of the problem in the first place.
5. Says that Market-Rate Compensation Should Be Considered Table Stakes
When talking about ways to reduce employee turnover, Altman says that market-rate compensation should be considered table stakes, meaning that it should be considered a mere starting point rather than something that will convince employees to stick around for the long run. This makes sense because there are clear limits to what people will put up with when their treatment is substandard. For proof, consider media companies, which often get away with poor treatment of their employees because of the latter's personal passion for their projects but often experiences high burnout rates because of that.
6. Says that Companies Should Rely on Growth, Impact, and Care for Employee Retention
Altman says that companies should rely on growth, impact, and care to minimize employee retention. Growth means providing employees with opportunities for their personal growth. Impact means considering chances for the employee to impact not just the company but also the world beyond the company. Care means, well, caring for the employee. If this sounds like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, well, suffice to say that Altman outright mentioned it. Market-rate compensation provides for the employee's basic needs. After which, growth, impact, and care are meant to satisfy their higher needs as well.
7. Believes that Entrepreneurs Need to Continue Communicating with Customers
One of Altman's recommendations for would-be entrepreneurs is to continue communicating with their customers. He says that this is easy in the early stages but can become more and more difficult as entrepreneurs are separated from the customers by more and more tiers on the company's organizational chart. Having said that, this doesn't mean that every topic of conversation will have the same usefulness. To name an example, learning about the customer's problems is much more useful than learning about the customer's solutions.
8. Believes that Entrepreneurs Need to Stay Focused
Moving on, Altman believes that entrepreneurs need to stay focused. As startups become more and more successful, entrepreneurs will have more and more opportunities to change things. However, if everything is already working out well for them, they shouldn't change things for no reason but should instead focus on the work that they are already doing.
9. Believes that Entrepreneurs Should Be Ready to Give Major Responsibilities to Deserving Employees
Naturally, Altman believes that entrepreneurs should be ready to give major responsibilities to employees who have shown that they are capable of handling those things. This makes intuitive sense because even the hardest-working individuals have limited time and attention, meaning that they need to delegate to some extent because they can't hope to handle everything on their own. It is interesting to note that Altman's idea of a deserving employee isn't quite the same as the conventional notion. For instance, he believes that the combination of ability plus the passion to make the most use of that ability is more important than just experience on its own.
10. Stresses Being Practical
Some of Altman's suggestions are very practical-minded. For example, he thinks that people need to develop a proper sense of prioritization so that they can focus on handling the most pressing issues while letting everything else sit for a while. Similarly, he thinks that while people should continue to work on improving their team, they should also be capable of working with the team that they actually have rather than the team that they would like to have. On top of this, Altman thinks that entrepreneurs should be willing to take a break while there are still issues that remain unaddressed. After all, running a startup should be about keeping everything running in the long term rather than making for a predetermined finish line as fast as possible.
Written by Allen Lee
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