Sharlyn Lauby – Ultimate Software's Blog http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:58:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Implementing Social Collaboration Tools in Your Organization http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/implementing-social-collaboration-tools-in-your-organization/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/implementing-social-collaboration-tools-in-your-organization/#respond Mon, 14 May 2012 10:00:13 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=118 A key component to developing a high-performing workplace is sharing. Being able to share information in an effortless way builds strong teams and enhances the team performance. Social media creates opportunities for people to use a medium that is very natural and comfortable to communicate. But over the relatively short period in time corporations have […]

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A key component to developing a high-performing workplace is sharing. Being able to share information in an effortless way builds strong teams and enhances the team performance. Social media creates opportunities for people to use a medium that is very natural and comfortable to communicate.

But over the relatively short period in time corporations have been using social media, something has happened. We’ve created silos. There are networks for social goals and social projects. Even more for social tracking. The key to breaking down these silos is integration.

Ultimate Software and Yammer, an enterprise social network, have recently announced a partnership to create that integration. The vision is to use Yammer’s collaborative tools to connect employees with the organization in a social way, for the benefit of everyone involved.

Here’s an example: let’s say the company’s sales team is working on a presentation for a major prospective client. In preparing for the meeting, they’ve run into a challenge. Sitting around the conference room table, someone says “Gosh, we can’t be the only team who has faced this challenge before. It would be great to know what other teams have done.”

Instead of calling around hoping to find an answer, organizations can now use social collaboration tools to pose their questions and get answers. Maria Ogneva, director of community for Yammer, explains how social collaboration benefits the business. “The possibilities are endless, and the most important thing is to understand what business problem you are trying to solve. As today’s rapid pace of change increases, companies must adapt faster and faster just to remain in the same place, let alone get ahead of the competition. Adapting to the speed with which you need to move to stay ahead of the competition is simply not possible when the people who need to execute on the vision aren’t on the same page and are hindered by archaic processes. Besides, you often don’t know where the best answer lives; you may be surprised.”

Not only do social collaboration tools help solve business problems, but they contribute to employee satisfaction and engagement. Ogneva says sharing information leads to less frustration and allows employees to easily get their work done.  “Social collaboration helps employees feel like they are part of a larger goal, like everyone is marching to the beat of the same drum. It also reduces the barriers created by hierarchies and flattens the organization, providing insight into what other teams (and management) are doing and thinking. When the leadership team is able to be more open and honest not simply about what’s happening, but why – employees are more compelled to support the overarching business problems and execute on the vision.”

Implementing a social collaboration tool reaps many benefits. Before introducing social tools within an organization, here are some points to consider.

  • Understand your corporate culture.
  • Look at current processes: how information is obtained and shared within the organization.
  • Define what success will look like using social collaboration tools.
  • Get support from senior leadership and key stakeholders.
  • Create an implementation and communication strategy for the roll-out. Be sure to include employee training on the social collaboration tools!
  • Establish a schedule to evaluate and monitor progress.

Social collaboration tools can bring a tremendous amount of information and knowledge to an organization. The key is harnessing it to solve business issues. Ogneva reminds us to focus on the success metric. “For any business social effort to be successful, it has to tie to a business objective. You know it’s bringing positive results when you are getting closer to meeting these objectives.  What do you want to enable with this collaboration? If your goal is to increase customer satisfaction, perhaps the business impact metric you are looking for is the increase of speed of a response to a customer, and how collaboration helps you do that.”

To learn more about social collaboration tools and how they can benefit your company, check out the Yammer blog and talk with your Ultimate Software representative.

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Big Data and Predicting Turnover http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-and-predicting-turnover/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-and-predicting-turnover/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2012 10:13:21 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=111 I learned a lot about data during this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference. Which is totally cool with me; I’m not afraid of numbers. One specific term was “big data.” Now, I admit that I had heard the term but didn’t really have my arms around what it meant or what it means for business. […]

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I learned a lot about data during this year’s Ultimate Software Connections conference. Which is totally cool with me; I’m not afraid of numbers. One specific term was “big data.” Now, I admit that I had heard the term but didn’t really have my arms around what it meant or what it means for business.

Chris McLatcher, director of business intelligence and analytics for Ultimate Software, really gave a great overview of big data during his session, “What’s Coming in the Area of Reporting, Metrics, Analytics & Predictive Analysis.” In case you’re wondering, the term “big data” refers to groups of data so large that they become challenging to work with. But we do it anyway, because of the trend data that we can pull from it. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a video that can help.

 

Data has always been important to our organizations. Now that lots of it exists and more is generated every second, data is even more important. But not just getting the data. It’s equally key that we can read, process, and make decisions based upon it.

This is where predictive analytics takes over. We can use these techniques to leverage the data. Because what our organizations are able to do as a result of the data will help them achieve success. Having data just for the sake of data isn’t achieving success. Ultimate Software talked about one of the ways they are able to use big data for their clients. Think about this scenario:

Your company is getting ready for their annual strategy session. Part of that session is setting business goals for the next operational year. During the conversation, someone mentions that they are concerned about achieving the goals being discussed because of the current talent situation in the company. “There are lots of reports in the media about people looking for new jobs. If we lose a couple key players, we won’t have the bench strength to make these goals a reality.”

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put the senior leadership team’s fears to rest? The question is: what could possibly be said? Ultimate Software has been successfully testing the use of predictive analytics to not only determine how much turnover an organization might expect but the likelihood of an individual to leave the organization. This is pretty powerful stuff!

If businesses had more accurate data regarding potential turnover, there would be opportunities to potentially change the outcome. Again, what our companies can do with data becomes incredibly valuable and has the potential to impact the bottom line. It all comes down to knowing and understanding the business data we have available.

If you want to stay on top of business analytics and how they can help your organization, consider joining the UltiPro Business Intelligence SIG on LinkedIn. Chris also mentioned two books: Investing in People by Wayne F. Cascio and John W. Boudreau and HR Analytics Handbook by Laurie McBassi. Neither are reads for sipping a pina colada by the pool, but when you need them, they will be very useful.

There’s an old cliché about knowledge being power. In today’s world, having access to the data you need, at the moment you need it, will create powerful opportunities for your company.

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Have you Future Proofed your Company? http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/have-you-future-proofed-your-company/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/have-you-future-proofed-your-company/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2012 13:58:37 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=108 According to Gartner Research, succession planning in the C-Suite is a significant concern. I’d argue it’s a concern at every level in an organization. When 61% of employed workers are open to or looking for a new job, companies need to allocate resources toward attracting and retaining their future talent. But the question is…what does […]

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According to Gartner Research, succession planning in the C-Suite is a significant concern. I’d argue it’s a concern at every level in an organization. When 61% of employed workers are open to or looking for a new job, companies need to allocate resources toward attracting and retaining their future talent.

But the question is…what does our future talent look like?

That was the focus of Cale Hammer’s session during Ultimate Software’s Connections 2012: Future Proofing Your Business. While we all realize succession planning is important for business success, nearly one-third of companies don’t have succession plans and over 50% of individuals in VP-Level positions have no successors.

It made me wonder if one of the reasons so few organizations have succession plans in place, is because the process is perceived as down-right painful. As HR pros, we know the keys to success with any program implementation are:

  1. Aligns with business needs
  2. Has top leadership support
  3. Receives regular attention
  4. Gets dedicated resources
  5. Is both manageable and effective

And in the case of succession planning, #6 – Provides a commitment to talent development. Cale shared a client quote during the session that really struck me about the significant need for companies to spend resources on their current talent.

“We lack investment in training and development and do not provide enough opportunities for employees to learn beyond their own roles.”

If organizations plan to remain competitive and grow or even just retain market share, they have to figure out how today’s employees fit tomorrow’s business needs. Cale provided an overview of Ultimate Software’s Succession Planning solution for companies that are trying to figure this out.

There were a couple of things that really stood out for me.

The flexible Talent Assessment Box. With the Ultimate Software Succession Planning solution, you can create a 4-box, 9-box or larger with custom axis to monitor employee status. Imagine one axis as current performance rating and the other as potential for promotability. Each employee is noted on the report. It’s a clean, easy way to monitor and present to leadership where individuals are in relation to your succession planning efforts.

A Succession Readiness Report. This report allows an organization to view the percentage of candidates by division or region and their readiness level in terms of months. So if senior leadership wants to know the number of people who will be ready in the next two years, it’s just a report away. And the report can provide details on who those individuals are.

Those are just highlights, the solution does so much more. If you haven’t already seen a demo of the succession planning module and how it can help future-proof your business, click here to sign up. Succession planning does not have to be long, drawn-out and painful. But it does need to be done for the success of the business.

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Wrap Up from #UltiConnect 2012 – Talent Management is a Journey not a Destination http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/wrap-up-from-ulticonnect-2012-talent-management-is-a-journey-not-a-destination/ http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/wrap-up-from-ulticonnect-2012-talent-management-is-a-journey-not-a-destination/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2012 05:32:29 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=106 One of the definitions that has always perplexed me is talent management. If I talk to a dozen people, I’ll get several different answers about what talent management is and its individual components. Lisa Sterling, director of people engagement at Ultimate Software, brought the concept of talent management into focus for me during last week’s […]

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One of the definitions that has always perplexed me is talent management. If I talk to a dozen people, I’ll get several different answers about what talent management is and its individual components.

Lisa Sterling, director of people engagement at Ultimate Software, brought the concept of talent management into focus for me during last week’s Connections 2012 conference. She defined talent management as the umbrella covering talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, compensation, succession planning and career development. More importantly, she defined it as a business process not an HR process.

Now some of you might be saying, “I already knew that.” But this is where Sterling shook up conventional wisdom by adding the workforce business data we’re hearing about. For example, thousands of employees are reaching retirement age every day. And the Millennial population will outnumber Boomers in the workplace by 2015. Voluntary resignations have reached their highest point since 2008.

It’s this kind of business data that is impacting the definition of talent management.

While the components of talent management might remain the same, as business pros we must change our approach to stay current with the times. Sterling cited three well-known examples of how current trends are changing the face of talent management:

  1. Technology – It was only a couple of years ago when we were introduced to tablet computers. And now they are a staple in our work lives. Mobile technology is creating opportunities for employees to stay engaged at different levels than before.
  1. Social Collaboration – Tools like Yammer allow employees to exchange ideas, solve problems and stay connected no matter where they are. Companies are able to leverage these tools to create a more informed and productive workforce.
  1. Social Media – Communication has become individualized. Employees are able to have valuable conversations on a variety of social networks. And we all know the company benefit of good communication.

What I found exciting is that Ultimate Software recognizes these business trends and is enhancing their solutions to meet the changing face of talent management. Sterling said it best when she talked about talent management being a journey not a destination. There will always be new business insights we have to consider. They will always cause us to redefine talent management. The real question we have to keep asking ourselves is “Are we ready for the future of talent management?” Because that’s what will keep our business ahead of the curve.

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