2022 KP People Report
2022 KP People Report

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Workplace Culture


Top insights in this section are:
Communication is crucial to employee engagement. CEOs must be clear in company direction, and leaders should ensure employees understand how their individual and team work impacts the business.
Workplace/Office culture matters. It is not just a buzzword. While the best workplace model is company dependent, all leaders need to be intentional about the company culture they want to develop and why. Remote / hybrid work cultures offer wider flexibility but are the hardest to get right. Office centric cultures may limit your candidate pool based on region, but are easier to build trust, mentor younger talent, and provide real-time feedback. Recognize that when it comes to any of the workplace models, there will be some level of compromise.
Consistent performance management is critical to the success of the business as it results in effective and engaged teams.
Invest in proper onboarding — 79% of survey participants in a survey by Rippling “believe they can predict whether they’ll like a new job based solely on the onboarding process”.

Office Culture

As we transition during this post-COVID environment, close to 50% of companies surveyed have decided to remain 100% remote. There is a fairly even split across companies that describe themselves as fully flex (optional # of days in the office), and hybrid (a small % of fully remote employees with majority of employees near a hub and required to be in the office a minimum # of days). Within the hybrid work environment, there are companies that consider themselves office centric. Prior to COVID, majority of companies were 100% in-office. Fast forward 2.5 years later, <10% of companies surveyed are 100% in-office.
The companies that mandate in-office culture tend to be very early stage startups who are still finding product market fit, have a young employee base that requires more mentorship, or are companies in the hardware, manufacturing and life sciences sectors. The latter category however, has started to shift to a hybrid model for roles that don’t require physical R&D. This transition is driven by the competitive candidate markets and existing employees. Some founders believe this pendulum will swing back to more days in-office.
Office Culture

The ‘best’ workplace model is company dependent and there is no ‘wrong’ model. Leaders need to be intentional about the company culture they want to develop and articulate why. Below are two CEOs who are very intentional with their different workplace cultures but both believe that there needs to be some cadence of in-person collaboration.

“With the economy the way it is and layoffs happening, people need to rally together to solve their company's problems. You don't do that in isolation. Many companies have hired thousands of people who have never set foot in their ‘office.’ The level of work companies need to do to get workers back into the physical workplace will take time. Companies need to earn people back by creating thoughtful workplaces that help us connect face-to-face and collaborate in-person.
It's small-minded to think this is about butts-in-seats. I’ve learned that a lot of folks want to connect with their co-workers face-to-face, and collaborate in-person, or just get out of the house. We know that when people are consistently together in-person, we're more engaged in the work we do - and with each other. Companies that can bring people together, even if it's a couple of days a week, will have the competitive advantage.”

- Larry Gadea, Founder / CEO of Envoy, a workplace platform

“90%+ of workers never want to go back to an office again full-time. Companies that try to force people back will force workers out. The future workspace will be outcome focussed instead of time spent sat in an office chair. It will be remote first - but that doesn't mean teams will never come together physically.
Offices will evolve to become experiential centers like gyms that enable you to work out and build the skills of communication and collaboration. Time together will come with purpose - like onboarding new workers and immersing them in how to operate professionally. Great writers will replace the loudest person in a meeting room as influential figures in companies. And async work will flourish, while the best companies will leverage sync time to crush execution.”

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- Chris Herd, Founder / CEO of Firstbase, employee equipment lifecycle management

⭐️ Case study: Office-centric Work Culture at Scale ⭐️
One SaaS company with 600+ employees has found success in their office-centric work culture approach - higher employee engagement and stronger performance. Post extending an offer to join the company, they set extremely clear expectations about their culture. If the candidate self-selects out of the company’s office-centric culture, that is OK. They also acknowledged that for many employees who are individual contributors, they may not see the impacts of being in the office. Collectively, however, teams experience productivity gains (collaboration, real-time feedback cycles, etc) resulting in hitting milestones faster.

An example of an office-centric work culture that is starting to shift towards some hybrid or even remote employees is Dexterity:
“At Dexterity we focus on creating a work space where all Dexers can thrive while developing our robotic technology platform. We focus on empowering all Dexers to understand the benefits of working together in person and across teams to solve challenging problems on a global scale.”
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- Diane Sheldahl, VP People at Dexterity, robotic systems solutions for logistics, warehouses, and supply chain
Employee vs Manager Perception
According to Envoy’s 2022 Workplace Trends Report, leaders and employees have highly different views on the impacts of workplaces.
Despite greater awareness, proximity bias persists. An astounding 96% of leaders take notice of employees' work contributions more often when employees come into the office versus when they work from home.
Yet 42% of employees disagree. They don’t believe that their contributions are recognized more when they work from the office.

In another survey, one to 1,000+ technical talent from the , the majority of respondents prefer a hybrid work culture (some days in office, some day WFH) with 2-3 days in office. As years of experience increase, the number of preferred days in office decreases. Those that prefer 100% in office are primarily early stage founders, and interns / new grads. Primary motivations cited include: collaboration, social, mentorship, and space. For those that chose 100% remote, primary motivations include: flexibility, productivity, and saving time on the commute.

Preferred Number of Days in Office

Performance Management

One theme we’ve seen this year and expect to continue in 2023, is the emphasis on individual performance and how it ties to company performance and culture. We are seeing companies around 50-100 employees creating more discipline around employee leveling (tying level to scope of the role, responsibilities and outcomes) and investing in performance management programs.

“High-performance cultures needs three things:
1. A leader worth following - people will follow your soul before your role
2. Work worth doing - everyone needs to understand that what they do these matters. They want meaningful work
3. A culture worth contributing to - When you believe in the culture, you are more likely to give and not just take from it.”

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- Ben Anderson, founder of Propel Performance Group & New Zealand All Blacks Performance Labs

There has been an ongoing debate around linking Pay to Performance. In this current environment, we are seeing a trend leaning towards linking pay to performance. Please note that it is not typical of companies with <$50M in ARR (or in some cases until cash flow positive) to offer a companywide cash bonus program with the exception of executive talent (where pay should be tied to both individual and company performance), and Sales talent (equity grants are generally lower but higher earning opportunity on the cash front). For early to mid stage companies, the ways to link performance and pay are:
Equity program (can be differentiated value for refresh grants; in some cases also additional grants for key talent)
Promotions (for strong performers in a fast growing company can be very rapid)
Structured compensation review process (we see a lot of companies under $50M still lacking a structured approach to reviewing compensation annually with a strong link to performance; without that they wind up doing a lot of one by one comp changes driven more by fear of attrition)
Good performance management for lower performers
Even once a company adds in a general bonus program (which won't be the right answer for every company) all the above would still be really important
In the upcoming 2023 People Strategy Report from Lattice, 90% of respondents are investing in strengthening the pay-performance connection, including formalizing compensation structures, setting promotion guidelines, and implementing compensation management software. For some, those efforts are likely more aspirational than tactical — they know they need to do something but don’t know where to start. Additional insights from the Lattice team below:
Those debating whether to implement pay-for-performance could take a cue from high-performing HR teams, who not only place more importance on linking the two, but do a better job at it, too. And that starts with collecting the right data. It’s hard to link compensation and performance meaningfully unless you have a tangible way to measure that performance.
That means more reviews, more reviewers, and more quantitative ratings. With that in mind, high-performing HR teams:
- Conduct performance reviews more frequently (33% review quarterly vs. 20% less frequently)
- Include more people in those reviews (4.5 participants vs. 2.9 participants)
- Focus more on quantitative ratings in their performance reviews (48% vs. 30%)
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Remote / Hybrid Learnings

Leaders need to be intentional about the company culture they want to develop. Remote / hybrid work cultures are the hardest to get right, and come with their own set of challenges. Below are a few examples. Managers need to be very involved in making sure employees are successful in these remote / hybrid environments. One example of how to set managers and employees up for success in this ‘new’ work environment is Dashlane’s Guide to Hybrid Work.

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- Courtesy of Ciara Lakhani, Chief People Officer at Dashlane which has offices in NYC, Paris and Lisbon.

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Additional learnings are categorized into 4 major categories: 1. Communication, 2. Collaboration, 3. Employee Programs (Onboarding, L&D, Engagement), 4. Performance Management. They each have their own subcategories. Please see below and tap on the ▶️ to expand additional insights.

1. Communication

68% of companies surveyed selected: “yes - we need to update employees more frequently.”

Best Practices

Many employees are feeling uncertain in this current environment. It is critical for the CEO to have clarity in the company direction and the rest of the leadership team to ensure employees understand how their work and team goals impact the overall business. “We have been very transparent about the current environment and the effect this is having on our sector. We try to be as open as possible about what our plans are.
Clarifying position on hybrid model / days expected in office.
Provide visibility across the organization.
Encourage managers to provide regular feedback.
Founder AMAs and office hours with Exec/SLT team + People/HR team.
Cross-functional checkins / communications .
Stronger company communications; streamlining comms tools; sharing personal updates during meetings; providing clearer guidelines.
“Goals that may seem clear to those in office may not be 100% clear to external team as it’s not constantly reemphasized or discussed offline with them.”
“It requires significant work and planning. We have to bring the team together virtually in team bonding events that don't always feel natural. Lead with authenticity, keep it engaging, small groups help.
“Keep people updated. Give freedom and authority to the edges of the company.”
"Get feedback from employees about what works well and what does not. Transparency. Continuous communication."
“Be empathetic.”
“Fireside chats with leadership have been helpful in ‘humanizing’ leaders or making them feel more approachable."


Increasing cadence (typical ranges: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly).
Speak to business opportunities, new customer acquisitions, show connection with what we are building - real world applications and use cases.
Customer updates.
Communicating transparently about the business, economy and how companies are managing; Increased information sharing.
Welcoming new hires.
More engagement / interaction with employees.
Injecting fun.
Tools: Welcome, Loom, Zoom, Synthesia.

Community & Social

Two different views on the role of social interactions:
“The deepest connections seem to come from partnering closely on work, rather than any social events.”
“Having some personal or water-cooler time is a must to develop those relationships with co-workers and become more invested in the company.”
It is difficult to replace in-person interactions and bonding.
“In addition we're starting to plan a semi-regular event where we bring all workers to the HQ for 1 week collaboration weeks.”
“We are working to bring employees together in-person much more often. Kicking off in office lunches, all hands meetings in-person, monthly meet-ups and other experiences. Continue to provide lunch and learns, wellness workshops, etc. In addition, we are adding Culture Amp to our tools this year to help us drive engagement.”
Fostering deeper connections in a fully remote environment:
One of the hardest things about working in a fully remote environment is finding ways to connect with our teammates in deep and meaningful ways. It's far too easy to limit our interactions to tightly scheduled meetings and quick slack exchanges. Two years ago, in our earliest pandemic day, Brittan Berry conceived of the ‘FullStory Voices’ program. FS Voices allows FullStorians to get to know the totality, and the humanity, of their teammates. We get to learn about things that might not ever come up in our day-to-day exchanges. It's by far one of my favorite things about working at FullStory, and I'm delighted she's open sourced her ‘how to’ guide.”
Large remote social events rarely work without structure.
Depending on life circumstances and personality [parents vs single, new grads vs established in their careers, engineering vs sales], everyone is looking for something different. It's led to us offering more options, but still looking for better ways to connect outside of just all-hands and company wide DEI trainings.”
Fully-remote or remote first companies host monthly virtual events.
Gatherings 👬
Social 🎉
Celebrations / Recognition 🙌
Culture ⛵️
Creating cohorts for bonding
Employee anniversary presents and celebrations. Small gifts throughout the year.
Opportunities for employees to showcase non-work related talent or skillset.
Quarterly/bi-annual team gatherings. Usually mixing teams that either work closely together, then next round bringing teams together that typically do not interact regularly.
Team dinners, colocation weeks, and team-wide challenges to boost engagement and morale. Virtual lunches
Recognition and celebration budgets for team managers.
Connections forge through common values, shared experiences, etc.. so intentionally creating environments where that happens is key.”
All-Hands: Seeing increase in cadence of every 2 - 4 weeks Offsites:
Focus offsites/gatherings around team bonding vs tactical/work related.
For companies that are hybrid or fully-remote, most plan to host company-wide* gatherings anywhere from 1-3 times a year depending on the company size, and department off-sites quarterly.
Monthly events: get to know you / coffee chats; happy hours; shared activities (ex. cooking/painting class, exercise challenges, online escape games)

Mixture of optional in-person, hybrid, and virtual events to cater to all employees. Carving space to bring the company together more often virtually = All Hands, Virtual HH's, Game hours, etc Social/fun committee | Establishing culture stewards.
Increased acknowledgement for employees (ex. recognition slack channel, shoutouts during all-hands, etc)

For companies that have returned to the office: in-office lunches, end of quarter events and celebrations. Amplifying wins & product releases as a business, as teams and individuals through various events and programs and celebrating achievements.
Shared culture calendar with local and global cultural events.
One culture event a week that ranges from learning to mental health to games & fun.
Building more remote communities across the company
Develop Micro Communities: Building internal groups that can be useful for employees to form social relationships (location based, affinity groups/ERGs, interests)
Gather: virtual meeting spaces Welcome: webinar platform
Spatial: metaverse spaces
Cameo: personalized videos for milestones / celebrations
Wonder: virtual workspace for team collabs Kona (KP Fellow): slack-based employee well-being tool
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*Companies with 1500+ employees have gathering by regions instead of companywide (similar to pre-COVID).

2. Collaboration

Culture & Employee Engagement

“I always think of the root of the word 'culture,' which comes from the Latin verb that means 'to tend.' A company's culture is very much like a garden, in that it requires both some overall planning as well as an openness to ‘bottoms up’ organic growth —and most importantly, it requires a consistent practice of watering, care, and weeding to stay healthy. And this ongoing ‘gardening’ responsibility sits with literally everyone in the company, but most especially with leaders. Even when it gets boring, even when you don't want to get your hands dirty, even when some big bug comes and destroys a seedling. You have to keep showing up and doing the work.“
Employers should provide clarity on what their expectations are in terms of return to office, and put resources in place to support initiatives that align with their workplace culture. A number of companies acknowledge that they have struggled with Zoom events, and in some cases are putting more upfront work to encourage employees in the office.
Effective use of in-office time
One company with 500+ employees has been able to successfully bring their employees together daily. They are upfront with candidates about their workplace culture and as a result, employees opt-in to the office centric workplace culture and are highly engaged.
Designated in-office collaboration days.
“The less often meetings happen the more employees are encouraged to attend. The more frequent they are, the more they dismiss as BAU and are less likely to attend.”
“Folks don't love another meeting unless it's really meaningful, so creating 1-1 or small groups has worked best.”
Time-bound events and activities with in-person and remote joining options: hackathons, ideation challenges, etc.
Ensuring closer cross team collaboration (Ex: sales & product).
Team-building activities to develop trust and rapport with colleagues.
Better defined working norms- including meeting expectations.


Coming out of a 2 year social distancing world, companies were eager to connect their employees together on a more social level through off-sites. The largest company that hosted a companywide off-site was one that had around 1,000 employees. Due to cost, companies with 1,500+ employees offer regional off-sites instead of companywide (similar practice to pre-COVID).
In 2023, we predict it will be the exception, not the norm, to have an annual companywide off-site past 500 employees. We anticipate more companies may reassess their off-site spend, and reinvest savings back to the business or back to their employees via L&D and benefits.
Coursera developed “Off-site in a box” where any manager can leverage the Off-site playbook (includes sample agenda + resources/ideas for off-site). This removes the burden from the HR team and allows any manager to self-serve.
Companywide off-sites: In 2022, we saw companywide off-sites ranges from quarterly, bi-annually and annually depending on the company size. We expect to see a decrease in dollars spent on off-sites and frequency.
Team off-sites: Companies are seeing significant value in getting teams together (leadership team, functional teams). Typically team off-sites are quarterly or bi-annually.

Remote Employees

Check-ins / team stand-ups: seeing a range of daily team stand-ups (10-15 mins) to weekly (15-30 mins).
Being remote doesn't mean we never see our team in person, only that we are more purposeful about the reason for coming together.
Create the time and space for in-person meetups. Be deliberate about curating in-person team connections on a recurring basis.
Zoom Tips:
Prioritize good lighting. Position your desk so you are facing a window and avoid backlighting. You can also invest in a lamp or ring light to brighten your face.
Look into the camera. It helps to drag your visual focus to the top center of your screen so it aligns with your camera, whether that’s your presenter notes or the video screens of your colleagues.
Acknowledge Zoom fatigue is real! Not every meeting has to be a video call - consider using the phone for some of your internal syncs.
In person team events should have a clear agenda both for professional purposes as well as social, to be make the best use of time together.
Have monthly local in person meetups for employees located in that region for social connection.
Testing new tools for various kinds of meetings: not using Zoom for everything. “We already had a good ecosystem of remote tools since we've always been a globally distributed team. For us, it's managing our tools and how people use them correctly, so we get the right value from them.
Virtual pair working (vs pair programming).
Co-working spaces
For fully-remote companies or those with employees concentrated in areas without an office, some companies offer employees the ability to work from a co-working space. Frequency ranges from option to access coworking space a fe times a week to a few times a month (4-5x/month).

Collaboration Tools

In today’s increasingly complex and distributed workplace, the importance of driving both productivity and employee happiness has dramatically risen. Investing in the right tools will help ensure the success of your employees. A recent study (see addendum) from Glean revealed that employed Americans on average spend 25% of their work week looking for the documents, information, or people they need to do their jobs. This is so draining that 43% say they’d consider leaving their jobs if their employer didn’t provide them with an easy/efficient way to access the information and people they need to get their jobs done.

Other tools include: Slack, MS Teams, and G-Chat.

3. Employee Programs (Onboarding, L&D, Engagement)

Investing in Pre-boarding and Onboarding

Rise of the Remote Experience Manager. Have a dedicated person/team to focus on virtual employee experiences.
Ensure your teams have all the tools and equipment they need to do great work from anywhere by leveraging platforms such as:
Firstbase - remote work equipment setup (hybrid / fully remote teams).
Glean - search across all your company’s apps to find exactly what you need.
Creating new hire cohorts with standardized start dates, programming, and onboarding.
Pair the new hire with someone who can support them throughout their onboarding process.
Shorter more focused onboarding time.
79% of survey participants in a survey by Rippling (see Addendum) “believe they can predict whether they’ll like a new job based solely on the onboarding process.”

L&D and Employee Engagement

Quick tips on improving L&D and Employee Engagement:
📈 Learning & Development
🙏 Engagement
Strengthen feedback culture.
Mentorship programs.
L&D budget.
Tighten career / growth loops.
Employee development sessions.
Executive coaching.
Increased manager training / development for more effective and connected 1:1s and team meetings.

Focus / no meeting days.
Mindfulness zoom calls.
Employee Surveys
Employee surveys around culture, and follow-up actions on the survey results → quarterly to bi-annual pulse survey + annual engagement survey.
6 months pulse survey and annual engagement surveys. Results are discussed with the entire org and action items are shared.
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Return to Office

If you are still deciding on your return to office strategy (when/how), take a look at for some data on what other companies are doing.
Office Space ​Out of the companies surveyed, approximately 20% have transitioned to fully distributed and have either closed down their offices or plan to. There are a handful of companies that plan to keep their HQ but have transitioned to fully distributed and intend for the office to be used as collaboration space.
The option to work from an office will be a competitive advantage. For companies that are either 100% fully remote or do not have office in locations with a large concentration of employees, many are planning to offer the option for employees to gather at a collaboration space.

Return to Work Tools


Density builds technology that helps companies understand how people use workspaces. Its software unlocks comprehensive insights into how workspace is used, based on data collected through its privacy-first sensors.
Envoy is transforming workplaces for flexible work. Envoy helps employees collaborate with teammates by coordinating on-site schedules. Employees can reserve a desk for days they're in the office, or easily book meeting rooms.

Asset & Equipment Management

Some insights from a March 2022 survey to our community:
31% of companies manage their assets & equipment via a third party platform. 39% via Excel.
79% have a member of the IT or HR team that handles the assets + equipment management. At the earliest stages, HR or likely founders playing HR roles have to handle delivering IT assets to employees because there is no formal IT role established. As startups grow, IT takes on this an increasingly heavy burden falls on IT teams to handle IT assets for employees.
IT teams struggle with managing their employee equipment in a responsive and efficient way for remote and distributed teams. Firstbase estimates that for every 100 employees, customer IT teams alone spend 500+ hours per year just on end user computing logistics for remote workers. Yet many organizations report challenges in reliably delivering positive onboarding, timely repairs and replacements, and effective device retrievals at offboarding time.
Majority of companies allow their employees to keep their equipment upon departure. On average, <10% of companies surveyed give their employees the option to purchase their assets from the company at a discount

Top Platforms for Asset & Managing Equipment

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