Culture – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 23 May 2017 19:20:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Inspired By People http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/inspired-by-people/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/inspired-by-people/#comments Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:30:55 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=934 What inspires you? What wakes you up each morning and motivates you to face life’s challenges? At Ultimate Software, we’re inspired by people. It’s why we started our company more than 26 years ago, when we recognized an amazing opportunity to put people first: to provide the “ultimate” HR and payroll software that would inspire […]

The post Inspired By People appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
What inspires you? What wakes you up each morning and motivates you to face life’s challenges?

At Ultimate Software, we’re inspired by people. It’s why we started our company more than 26 years ago, when we recognized an amazing opportunity to put people first: to provide the “ultimate” HR and payroll software that would inspire people in the workplace and empower them to achieve more.

We’re humbled and honored to be named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For six years in a row, and the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology the past two years. We’re fortunate to be here, and we know we’re here because of people—our employees, our customers, and our communities. They continue to inspire us, to better ourselves and to always do the right thing. So we look to pay it forward and inspire others in return. We wake up every day thinking of new ways to care for our people and to make Ultimate not just a great place to work, but a second home.

Establishing an Inspiring Home Away From Home

First, we focus on fostering a supportive, family-like environment where colleagues listen to one another, feel comfortable sharing ideas and taking risks, and work together to achieve their goals as a team. This positive, productive atmosphere inspires our employees to create innovative products that help people work more efficiently and effectively. They’re also motivated to constantly do more for our customers, providing extraordinary service and personalized, proactive support.

Next, we ensure our employees have the tools, resources, and technology they need to thrive as professionals. We’ve implemented a companywide performance management program in which employees set goals, track their progress, and have ongoing conversations with team leaders rather than a quick, once-annual review. We also offer a variety of flexible opportunities for continuous learning, from on-demand online training courses to hands-on leadership development workshops, so our people can gain new skills and grow their careers. This in addition to internship programs providing real-life experience, assistance for tuition and certifications, and specialized training for those in customer-facing service roles.

Supporting Our People’s Whole Selves

We also realize the need to support our employees not only as professionals, but as people. Since 2014, we’ve formed three diverse Communities of Interest: PrideUS for our LGBTQIA community; Women in Leadership for employees at all job levels; and UltiVETS for veterans and active service members. Each hosts several networking and social events throughout the year, including organizing Ultimate’s Inter-Office Pride Days, sponsoring seminars for Girls Who Code, and hosting barbeques for veterans. These groups bring us together to share and celebrate our unique personal experiences, and everyone at Ultimate is invited to get involved in some way.

No matter how much we do for our people, though, we’re always most inspired by what they do for others. Near and dear to us are the heartfelt contributions our employees continue to make in the community. Over the past year, 93% of our employees have participated in charitable giving. They’ve utilized their company service days to volunteer at nonprofit organizations. They’ve donated to charitable causes and helped those impacted by natural disasters, terrorism, and other unexpected events. They’ve stepped up to support colleagues and families who’ve endured personal tragedies. We are genuinely moved by the unending selflessness of our people.

From day one, we set out to create more than a successful HR technology company. We wanted to build a workplace that inspires people to trust, respect, and care. A company that encourages employees to bring their best selves—their whole selves—to work each and every day. A family that always looks after its own, in good and bad times, and makes a meaningful difference by giving.

I am extremely proud to say, that’s US.

Through our employee-centric culture, HR cloud solutions, collaborative customer service, and charitable efforts in the community, we hope we inspire others to become “People First” companies, too. Because we believe that when people succeed, companies succeed.

So, what inspires you? For US, we’re inspired by people.

The post Inspired By People appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/inspired-by-people/feed/ 2
How Ultimate Software Cultivates the Best Workplace in Technology http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:42:27 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=840 I’m proud to announce that Fortune recently named Ultimate Software the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology-for the second year in a row. This significant honor adds to an extensive list of our recent awards (22 earned in 2016 alone), all stemming from one, founding principle: “People First.” This singular belief has impacted every part […]

The post How Ultimate Software Cultivates the Best Workplace in Technology appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
I’m proud to announce that Fortune recently named Ultimate Software the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology-for the second year in a row. This significant honor adds to an extensive list of our recent awards (22 earned in 2016 alone), all stemming from one, founding principle: “People First.”

best large workplace technology

This singular belief has impacted every part of our journey. It’s allowed us to create a culture where 99% of employees experience a “great atmosphere” and report having “great pride” in their company. It’s driven us to achieve continued success over our 26-year history. It’s enabled us to help thousands of companies put their own people first. Because we know that, when we take care of our employees, they’re empowered to take care of our customers. And when that happens, everybody wins.

Curious what putting people first means to US? Here are a few ways we’ve created the best large workplace in the industry.

Training and Development

Ultimate invests in our employees’ futures and supports them through each step of their careers. Our innovative TechSTARS internship program recruits promising college students and recent grads for a structured, year-long program where they’re assigned mentors, follow customized learning paths, and work on a peer-to-peer basis with our full-time software engineers. Currently, 95% of our interns who are offered full-time jobs with Ultimate accept, and at least a third of our product developers began as interns—including me!

The Rising Stars program is a similar development program for employees with full-time, customer-facing roles, spanning 14 weeks and encompassing one-on-one mentorship, group learning, individual job-path study, and team-building exercises. These programs not only help new employees adjust to their new roles, but are also extremely effective in instilling Ultimate’s “People First” values.

We also support our employees’ educational goals by fully funding professional training courses and offering tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year. Extensive leadership development courses are available for everyone from entry-level employees to top executives, setting the stage for future growth and promotions—because when our people thrive, Ultimate thrives.

Generous Benefits

Our total compensation package goes far beyond salary. All full-time employees receive 100% employer-paid healthcare for their entire families, including medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage—even IVF and IUI fertility treatments. I’m extremely proud of our 401(k) program, where we match 40% of our employees’ contributions dollar for dollar, up to the highest allowable federal limit. We also welcome new hires to the family by providing them with stock shares, fostering an immediate sense of pride and ownership in our company. Finally, we offer 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and four weeks of paid paternity/adoption leave, so our new parents have time to recuperate and bond with their growing families without worrying about any professional or financial hardships.

We also offer life insurance for both employees and their spouses, long-term disability, and wellness benefits such as on-site masseuses, acupuncturists, yoga, Pilates, stretching, and meditation classes. By taking care of our people physically, mentally, and financially, they’re able to focus their attention on developing industry-leading products and providing world-class, white-glove service.

Work-Life Balance

Workplace flexibility is another key component of putting people first. More than 40% of our employees telecommute, and another quarter utilize flexible schedules and compressed work weeks. The implementation of paid time off, instead of designated sick and vacation days, is another way we enable our employees to balance their careers with their daily responsibilities.

Giving Back

Making a difference in our local and global communities has been a cornerstone of our “People First” culture from the beginning, and it remains a great source of pride for all of us today. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer at least two days each year, receiving full pay and the flexibility to choose the causes they care most about. As we have grown, so has our ability to positively impact a variety of initiatives. Today, Ultimate and our employees donate time, money, and raise awareness for everything from natural disasters to our own employees in need – together, we make a meaningful difference in the world.

Cutting-Edge Workspace

Our innovative work stations are more than just open floorplans. Employees’ workspaces are completely catered to them, from the choice of a laptop to standing, cycling, and treadmill desk options. Every floor boasts at least one themed café, equipped with free beverages and comfortable seating to encourage interactions and caffeine consumption. There are multiple bookable conference rooms and even more informal group meeting spaces—including our golfer’s green, where employees can brainstorm and putt simultaneously. We have a private room to practice, record, and review presentations. We also have a game room, meditation space, and massive saltwater fish tank.

Everything we do focuses on our underlying commitment to put people first – and that’s what sets us apart.

That’s what makes us the best large workplace.

But also…the free ice cream.

 

The post How Ultimate Software Cultivates the Best Workplace in Technology appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/feed/ 0
Finding New Ways to Put #PeopleFirst http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/improve-company-culture-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/improve-company-culture-12daysofhcm/#respond Fri, 23 Dec 2016 13:00:54 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=787 Year-end marks the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months, and look to the many opportunities ahead. What goals have you accomplished this year, and what more will you set out to achieve next? At Ultimate Software, we’re committed to creating a company culture in which we put people first in all we […]

The post Finding New Ways to Put #PeopleFirst appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
improve company culture. There are countless ways to put people first and make a difference for others. Share your thoughts today using #PeopleFirst. See more by reading our #12DaysofHCM blog series.

Year-end marks the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months, and look to the many opportunities ahead. What goals have you accomplished this year, and what more will you set out to achieve next?

At Ultimate Software, we’re committed to creating a company culture in which we put people first in all we do, every day. That means we’re always considering how we can do more to help more people—from delivering hundreds of new UltiPro® features and updates each year to implementing a collaborative support model for our customers.

In 2016, we launched our #PeopleFirst social campaign so we could all share what “People First” means to each one of us, and show how we put others first in our daily lives.

What will you do in 2017 to positively impact people? How will you improve company culture to put #PeopleFirst?

The post Finding New Ways to Put #PeopleFirst appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/improve-company-culture-12daysofhcm/feed/ 0
Taking Time for Everyday Celebrations – #12DaysofHCM http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/celebrating-work-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/celebrating-work-12daysofhcm/#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:00:14 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=785 Though we often talk about the importance of recognizing the “big picture,” it’s also important to remember the “little things.” At Ultimate Software, we believe achievements take all forms, and we make it a point to celebrate our people’s accomplishments year-round, both in their professional and personal lives. We recognize and laud individual, team, and organizational […]

The post Taking Time for Everyday Celebrations – #12DaysofHCM appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
79% of the American workforce believes it's necessary to have fun at work. Learn more on the #12DaysofHCM series. celebrating at work.

Though we often talk about the importance of recognizing the “big picture,” it’s also important to remember the “little things.”

At Ultimate Software, we believe achievements take all forms, and we make it a point to celebrate our people’s accomplishments year-round, both in their professional and personal lives. We recognize and laud individual, team, and organizational successes such as meeting business and financial goals. We celebrate life events—birthdays, marriages, and new additions to our family. We celebrate holidays throughout the year. We celebrate everyday events, from a colleague’s return from vacation to the successful launch of a companywide initiative for employees. Most of all, we have fun celebrating together.

Throughout the coming year, take some time to have fun and celebrate the little things at your organization. It can have a big impact on your people.

The post Taking Time for Everyday Celebrations – #12DaysofHCM appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/celebrating-work-12daysofhcm/feed/ 0
Giving in the Community – #12DaysofHCM http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/socially-responsible-workplaces-12daysofhcm/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/socially-responsible-workplaces-12daysofhcm/#respond Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:00:00 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=782 Though we all may face unique challenges throughout the year, it’s important to remember all in life that we are fortunate to have—and especially how we can give to those who are less fortunate. There are countless ways to give back year-round, such as volunteering time in the community or donating to non-profit organizations and […]

The post Giving in the Community – #12DaysofHCM appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
socially responsible. 85% of employees are more likely to stay longer with an employer that shows a high level of social responsibility by supporting charitable causes, volunteering in the community, and/or taking a stand on social issues. Learn more on the #12DaysofHCM series.

Though we all may face unique challenges throughout the year, it’s important to remember all in life that we are fortunate to have—and especially how we can give to those who are less fortunate.

There are countless ways to give back year-round, such as volunteering time in the community or donating to non-profit organizations and causes.

Each year at Ultimate Software, for example, in lieu of a companywide gift exchange for the holidays, we partner with Kids In Distress to provide gifts to hundreds of children in our local communities. Ultimate employees have the opportunity to support each child by purchasing toys on his or her personal wish list. The gifts are then delivered to the children in time for the holidays.

The Angel Tree is an annual tradition our employees look forward to each year. As you plan for 2017, think of the ways in which you and your employees can give to others and be socially responsible.

The post Giving in the Community – #12DaysofHCM appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/socially-responsible-workplaces-12daysofhcm/feed/ 0
A Thriving Community Built on Collaboration http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/thriving-community-built-collaboration-customer-service-week/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/thriving-community-built-collaboration-customer-service-week/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 08:39:36 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=711 In celebration of Customer Service Week, October 3–7, we share the following post highlighting the importance of collaboration—a cornerstone component of Ultimate Software’s commitment to service and to ensuring our customers’ continued success. In our more than 25 years as a “People First” company, we’ve created a culture of collaboration throughout Ultimate Software. It’s an […]

The post A Thriving Community Built on Collaboration appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
In celebration of Customer Service Week, October 3–7, we share the following post highlighting the importance of collaboration—a cornerstone component of Ultimate Software’s commitment to service and to ensuring our customers’ continued success.

In our more than 25 years as a “People First” company, we’ve created a culture of collaboration throughout Ultimate Software. It’s an atmosphere that thrives on the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and experience among our employees—harnessed together through teamwork to spark innovation. Because we believe collaboration and innovation are key for continued success.

Likewise, we’ve established a collaborative environment for all of our customers: the UltiPro® User Communities. Part of our extensive Customer Success Portal, the UltiPro User Communities provide our customers with a virtual place to share best practices, to network, and to strengthen their knowledge of Ultimate’s products and services by learning from fellow UltiPro users, and from US.

UltiPro User CommunitiesThese communities offer the familiar feel and functionality we’ve all come to expect from social media, such as the ability to post fresh content (e.g., upload files, include hyperlinks), like and share others’ posts, and set up polls to learn users’ thoughts on specific topics.

Though Ultimate has provided this interactive space, the UltiPro User Communities are very much managed and sustained by our customers. There are dozens of diverse communities led by passionate UltiPro users, among more than 4,500 active community members, who contribute over 8,000 insightful posts annually. There are even community meetings held by and for members, so users can interact regularly and further discuss the latest UltiPro news and features.

“The User Communities are a valuable resource for idea sharing and practical advice from real-world users like myself, who work in UltiPro daily. More experienced users can offer insight to those new to UltiPro, while gaining even more expertise as we discuss our own creative solutions to day-to-day challenges and unique situations. I enjoy giving others the benefit of my experience and helping them learn the ropes, and will often stumble upon solutions to my own challenges in the process. No matter your experience level, there is always something new to learn in UltiPro, and the User Communities offer a collective wealth of  knowledge right at your fingertips!”—Teresa Hennessy, Pro Mach, Inc.

The UltiPro User Communities are another way we put our customers first, empower them, and—most importantly for effective collaboration—listen to them. Because it’s not just new ways for using UltiPro that’s being shared daily within the communities, it’s also great ideas for new UltiPro features. In fact, of the more than 360 UltiPro enhancements implemented in the past year, over 80 came from customer ideas.

And while our customers ultimately lead the communities, develop the content, and steer the conversations, our Subject Matter Experts remain close by and available to answer any special questions, and to contribute helpful and timely information.

“No matter what the question is, there is always someone there to answer it. A member will usually provide a solution or possibly come up with an alternative way of thinking about the problem. Not only are users involved in the User Communities, but Ultimate itself contributes by addressing questions unanswered or by being proactive, such as informing people of upcoming compliance issues. This partnership between all of the parties makes the User Communities an integral part of our HR solutions.”—Andrew Skolnick, March of Dimes

After all, Ultimate, UltiPro, and our User Communities were all built on collaboration. We all continue to thrive—together—because of it.

The post A Thriving Community Built on Collaboration appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/thriving-community-built-collaboration-customer-service-week/feed/ 0
Welcome to our #PeopleFirstPodcast – Culture Impacts Business http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hcm-podcast-peoplefirstpodcast-culture-impacts-business/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hcm-podcast-peoplefirstpodcast-culture-impacts-business/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 14:48:47 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=602 As a member of the HR community, we are always looking for opportunities to contribute to and improve human resources as a profession, increase HR’s business value, and elevate the workforce as a whole. To do this, we wanted to cover topics that keep HR professionals up at night — topics like business culture, compliance, […]

The post Welcome to our #PeopleFirstPodcast – Culture Impacts Business appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
As a member of the HR community, we are always looking for opportunities to contribute to and improve human resources as a profession, increase HR’s business value, and elevate the workforce as a whole. To do this, we wanted to cover topics that keep HR professionals up at night — topics like business culture, compliance, candidate experience, employee engagement, and HR’s role in helping managers become better leaders. Striving for an engaging and efficient way to openly collaborate on these topics, we created the #PeopleFirstPodcast series!

Ultimate HCM Podcast – Culture Impacts Business

During this series, we provide candid access to conversations that are normally private and  exclusive between HR technology leaders and industry influencers. With the unique combination of perspectives among Ultimate Software leaders and HR social media leaders like Steve Browne, Jennifer McClure, Sarah Brennan, Robin Schooling, and Janine Truitt, the value of this podcast series is priceless. That’s why we’re opening up the series to not just our customers, but to the world. Each of Season 1’s eight episodes will launch twice a month until the HR Tech conference, run about 20 minutes, and is perfect for any commute. With that said, here’s a preview of Episode 1:

Ultimate Software's #PeopleFirstPodcast covers a variety of human capital management topics like company culture, management development, predictive analytics, compliance, change management, and more.

Ultimate Software’s #PeopleFirstPodcast covers a variety of human capital management topics like company culture, management development, predictive analytics, compliance, change management, and more.

“People are squishy,” says Steve Browne, SHRM Board Member and Executive Director of HR at LaRosa’s, Inc., on our first #PeopleFirstPodcast as he shares the “secret sauce” to creating company culture that impacts business. The restaurant industry faces lots of challenges, as it hires 16-year-olds and faces high turnover rates. However, Steve says, by recognizing people as people, looking to play off their strengths and showing individuals how their work provides value, businesses around the world can build top-quality company cultures that attract and retain the best employees.

The conversation evolves into a high-level discussion on how organizations must update their idea of succession planning to not look at how one person can replace another, but how new employees can improve each role to provide more value to their organizations. “We let the software predict top performers,” says Viv Maza, Ultimate’s Chief People Officer, and then work with managers to develop top performers over time. Both Steve and Viv mention that development must occur in both high and low performers, and in both good and bad times.

The episode concludes with Ultimate’s recent ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of our new 100,000-square-foot facility—a building that includes meditation rooms, a putting green, a game room, and more. Viv explains how the building represents Ultimate’s “People First” core principle, shows we truly focus on employees, gives them purpose to come to work, and provides the tools for success. She also describes the tears of joy that streamed down employees’ faces as she cut the red ribbon. That’s because this building is more than an office: it’s our employees’ home, and they feel part of something big. As Viv says, “A house doesn’t make a home. It’s the people we bring in.”

Welcome to Ultimate’s new podcast series. Listen to the valuable conversation between Viv and Steve at www.ultimatesoftware.com/podcast, and share it with friends with the hashtag #PeopleFirstPodcast. Tell us what you think by tweeting @UltimateHCM with the hashtag #PeopleFirstPodcast or by emailing us at socialmedia@ultimatesoftware.com. And be sure to ask us about our VIP Podcast Community today.

 

Related Articles:

 

The post Welcome to our #PeopleFirstPodcast – Culture Impacts Business appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hcm-podcast-peoplefirstpodcast-culture-impacts-business/feed/ 0
A “People First” Approach to Customer Service http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-approach-customer-service/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-approach-customer-service/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2016 17:26:54 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=590 Most of us spend as much time with our co-workers as we do with our families. And just as family relationships influence our behavior, the values of our bosses make an enormous difference in our lives. My CEO, Ultimate’s Scott Scherr, was recently recognized by Glassdoor as one of the top CEOs in the country, […]

The post A “People First” Approach to Customer Service appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
Most of us spend as much time with our co-workers as we do with our families. And just as family relationships influence our behavior, the values of our bosses make an enormous difference in our lives. My CEO, Ultimate’s Scott Scherr, was recently recognized by Glassdoor as one of the top CEOs in the country, with Ultimate’s employees describing him as trusting, generous, and kind. This type of leadership defines a company’s culture, including the way an organization like Ultimate delivers its customer service.

scott-julie-1200x1200

When CEOs put their people first, employees put customers first. Read how customer satisfaction stems from the top at Ultimate Software.

The employee experience at Ultimate Software validates what researchers have learned about customer-obsessed cultures. A report this month from Forrester, titled the “Five Secrets of Customer-Obsessed Cultures,” found that companies with extraordinary customer service have leaders who teach employees about their personal values, and that these leaders live these values daily. “Teaching people to live the values takes regular reinforcement in different situations over a long period of time,” the report stated.

Employees everywhere know that when they feel part of a family at work, they bring more pride to their job and dedication to their company. When employees feel respected and appreciated, they try harder and give more in order to take care of their organization’s customers. At Ultimate, we believe that great leaders and cultures directly impact the service those businesses can provide, and when a business believes in its people, its extended family includes its customers.

Ultimate offers our customer family the most comprehensive set of services in the industry, at no extra charge, and a wide range of services that go beyond traditional support and activation.  We enter into a personal and proactive relationship with our customers, and believe in a lifelong commitment—the same way Ultimate treats its own employees.

In fact, Ultimate has a 97% customer retention rate and 95% customer satisfaction rate. These numbers are proof that our customers fully realize the advantages of working with a services and support organization whose culture values its employees. Ultimate’s role as a trusted business advisor also translates into industry recognition. This month, Ultimate was named a Gold Winner for “Best Customer Service Department of the Year” at Network Products Guide’s 11th Annual 2016 IT World Awards®, the world’s premier information technology awards recognizing achievements in every facet of the IT industry.

Customers, such as Texas Roadhouse, often speak about Ultimate’s exceptional service and their unique partnership with us. Patrick Sterling, director of people and risk administration at Texas Roadhouse, understands the impact of Ultimate’s “People First” approach:

“We have an excellent relationship with Ultimate Software, and it’s because the company treats us like strategic business partners. We love that our platform is backed by a customer service team that is truly exceptional in the HCM industry–everyone at Ultimate is uniformly responsive, knowledgeable, and conscientious.”

At Ultimate, our customers are our Partners for Life. And our guiding “People First” principles—mutual respect, honesty, and integrity—ensure that our employees are inspired and empowered to make good on this commitment.

The post A “People First” Approach to Customer Service appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-approach-customer-service/feed/ 0
Making a Lasting Impact in Just “48 Hours” http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/making-lasting-impact-just-48-hours/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/making-lasting-impact-just-48-hours/#respond Tue, 07 Jun 2016 08:47:45 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=584 Forty-eight hours. For many of us, in the context of our busy, nonstop lives, two days may seem like a minor blip on a much larger radar. For some, however, two days are enough to make a lasting impact. Twice a year at Ultimate Software, we host a special coding event called “48 Hours.” As […]

The post Making a Lasting Impact in Just “48 Hours” appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
Forty-eight hours.

For many of us, in the context of our busy, nonstop lives, two days may seem like a minor blip on a much larger radar. For some, however, two days are enough to make a lasting impact.

Twice a year at Ultimate Software, we host a special coding event called “48 Hours.” As the name suggests, our talented developers get two consecutive days to break from their current work and focus on projects outside the realm of our roadmap. There are very few rules, and the options are virtually endless. Teams can (and are encouraged to) think and go in any direction of their choosing, so long as it somehow relates to Ultimate’s products and/or services.

“It’s great that Ultimate fosters a culture of innovation. With ‘48 Hours,’ we have the opportunity to work with different team members, and seeing how our talents merge together is powerful during an innovation process.” —Marta Guerra, User Experience Designer, Ultimate Software

First comes the brainstorming. Then the marathon coding session. Finally, “48 Hours” wraps with a project showcase akin to a science fair, where the teams share their creations with colleagues and present their concepts to Ultimate’s executives. Awards are also given out for the best solutions across several categories, with results determined solely by peer voting.

But “48 Hours” isn’t just about winning trophies or earning bragging rights. It’s about innovation, collaboration, and camaraderie. Most importantly, it’s about people—great people working together, building great technology, helping people achieve greatness.

At Ultimate, we’re 100% committed to people, and we’re devoted to making UltiPro® the best human capital management (HCM) technology on the market. Every day, we’re thinking of new ways to put people first, and then designing and delivering the tools and resources to make it happen.

“It is always important to question the status quo and think of totally new approaches to problems we think are already solved.” —Baker Bokorney, Software Engineer, Ultimate Software

Challenging the norm and always striving for better. Those are two principles that define “48 Hours”—and US. Because, at Ultimate, though we’re proud of our award-winning HCM technology, we realize our work is never truly finished. The next great breakthrough is often just around the corner. Sometimes, it’s already in our minds. In the case of “48 Hours,” it’s a chance to further develop those ideas and bring them to life.

In fact, several concepts from “48 Hours” have led to new features and enhancements in UltiPro. Some examples include the option for administrators to configure field labels, the ability for employees to manage their 401(k) contributions from a mobile device, and functionality that enables users to set up rules that will auto-populate data in UltiPro based on the value of another field.

“‘48 Hours’ allows us to innovate and explore new ideas in ways that we can’t always do on a day-to-day basis. It gives us the freedom to do something new and crazy that may not work the same when it gets released, but will get people thinking about new ways we could enhance or expand UltiPro.” —Peter Faria, Software Engineer, Ultimate Software

So, what can be done in 48 hours?

A lot—when you really put your mind to it.

 

 

The post Making a Lasting Impact in Just “48 Hours” appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/making-lasting-impact-just-48-hours/feed/ 0
“People First” in Action http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-in-action/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-in-action/#respond Thu, 05 May 2016 10:09:28 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=568 By now, we understand that employee engagement gives way to the employee experience. Meaning, it’s time to focus on automatically creating an outstanding employee experience so engagement just happens. But, in order for that to happen, the employee experience cannot mimic the traditional employee lifecycle. It needs to focus on people. In a person-centered lifecycle, […]

The post “People First” in Action appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
By now, we understand that employee engagement gives way to the employee experience. Meaning, it’s time to focus on automatically creating an outstanding employee experience so engagement just happens. But, in order for that to happen, the employee experience cannot mimic the traditional employee lifecycle. It needs to focus on people.

In a person-centered lifecycle, HR professionals aren’t spending their time developing processes. They are identifying and developing talent. They are helping the business set the priorities when it comes to talent strategy. And they are designing work that is open and accessible in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Leadership Gaps Impact a “People First” Culture
Organizations looking to move toward a person-centered lifecycle must invest in their leadership teams. According to the Deloitte 2015 Global Human Capital Trends Report, 90 percent of respondents surveyed cite leadership as “important” or “very important.” However, the data also suggest that organizations have made little or no progress. The capability gap for building great leaders has widened in every region of the world, with only 6 percent of companies feeling fully ready to address their leadership issues.

Ultimate Software is so successful because the organization works with a great culture, creates award winning products, and delivers exceptional customer service. All three must be great in order for business to succeed. Putting People First
The key to a person-centered lifecycle is making people the center of organizational strategy. Think of it as a three-legged stool of sorts, with the legs being products, services, and culture. People touch each strategy, and without the right people…well, the strategy isn’t what we planned. Organizations need to align people with their products, services, and culture.

Make Great Products
Having the best talent and putting people first does not absolve a company from making good products. The best products come from the company’s efforts to find the best talent and treat them well. The challenge is syncing up business outcomes with talent strategy.

Organizations expect leaders to manage business outcomes through the performance management process. However, recent research has shown that performance management ratings are not accurate predictors of actual business performance—meaning, ratings have zero correlation with business unit performance.

A people-first product strategy embraces transparency and innovation. Work is open and collaborative. Employees feel connected to their work and understand its impact on the bottom line.

Deliver Excellent Service
This means not only deliver excellent service to customers, but also deliver excellent service to employees (who work with customers every day). Service needs to be extraordinary and efficient.

Today’s business leaders have to spend their time wisely. As reported in the Harvard Business Review article, “Reinventing Performance Management,” Deloitte tallied the number of hours it spent on performance management and found that completing the forms, holding the meetings, and creating the ratings consumed close to 2 million hours a year.

A people-first service strategy invests in development at every level of the organization. It supports employees becoming masterful in their roles, so employees can take care of customers.

Create a People-First Culture
A people-first company culture should support product innovation and respectful service. To make that happen, leaders need to be given the tools to properly hire, onboard, train, etc. It also means giving leaders performance management tools that add value. In addition to being a lengthy process, performance evaluations are also one of the costliest employee processes. The average organizational cost of a performance appraisal is $2,500 per employee, per year.

It’s time to give leadership a performance management process that puts people first. Leadership is ready to coach and mentor employees to do their best work.

The future of work is here. It’s centered around people who will take your business to the next level. It’s time to create a people-first culture by focusing on the future of people at work.

The post “People First” in Action appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-first-in-action/feed/ 0