At Ultimate, we believe achievements take all forms and that it’s important to celebrate our accomplishments, both professional and personal. We recognize and laud individual, team, and organizational successes like meeting business and financial goals. We celebrate life events like birthdays, marriages, and new additions to the family. We celebrate holidays throughout the year. We celebrate everyday events, from a colleague’s return from vacation to a new companywide initiative for employees. Most of all, we have fun celebrating together.
Team Trips: Celebrating with Families
UltiPeeps often say that working at Ultimate is like belonging to a second family. When it comes to celebrating our achievements with trips, we like to include family members in on the fun. Our Customer Support team often visits Orlando to celebrate the end of tax season and enjoy family time at Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort. Our Sales people who make quota traditionally celebrate a successful sales year with a relaxing getaway to Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas or another exotic location. Our people in Services have an opportunity to celebrate success in similar fashion. Those who achieved their 2014 goals celebrated in February 2015 with a company-subsidized “Services Club” trip to Marco Island that included three nights at a hotel, a welcome reception, some spending money, and flight for one family member (mileage points used for our employees). Some UltiPeeps elect to pay for additional family members to attend as well, making it a larger family celebration. People on teams whose performance is measured by pre-set quotas or computative goals typically also have opportunities for family trips, which are closer to home and reachable by car.
Our teams enjoy many celebratory events together, and often these events serve multiple purposes. Sometimes teams celebrate shared achievements specific to their team. Other times the goal is improving physical fitness, bonding with one another, supporting a charity, or a mix of these. Our people have participated in outings like go-karting, pottery painting, bowling, and even a team-building event that brought the popular app Angry Birds to life. The common thread among all of these events is a spirit of generosity, fun, and genuine affection for one another.
We wholeheartedly believe in the mantra, “Work Hard, Play Hard,” and we always make it a point to celebrate being US and enjoy the random, everyday fun we have together. That can mean taking a moment out of a busy Friday to celebrate the week’s end with the “Wobble” dance. Or maybe it means enjoying a catered lunch to celebrate the launch of a new program or initiative for employees, such as our UltiHome online community. UltiPeeps even like to celebrate the return of beloved colleagues by decorating their cubicles with special mementos, messages, and treasures to welcome them back from a vacation or conference. At Ultimate, there’s always a reason to celebrate, and we like showing our people you can still have fun while working hard.
A Week of Celebration: Customer Service Week
All of our offices and our virtual employees participate in a five-day celebration of customer service. Each day features a different theme for costumes, competitions, free meals, and an online game to involve our virtual people who don’t live near one of our offices. Last year, the week kicked off with Favorite Era Day, where our people dressed in attire from their favorite decade. UltiPeeps also enjoyed a scavenger hunt, searching for era-related items scattered around the office, and an afternoon costume contest for those best representing a specific era’s trademark fashion. The themed week continued with: Twin Day, where UltiPeeps paired up with “doppelgängers,” dressed alike, and competed in a three-legged race; Disney & Marvel Comic Character Day, with a cast of character-inspired costumes and fun activities like musical chairs to timeless Disney music; and International Day, celebrating our heritages with a flag-creating contest and a diverse and delicious selection of international dishes. The week wrapped up with Ultimate Excellence Day, which included a round of UltiJeopardy, various picnic-style games, and a charity pie toss to raise money for Susan G. Komen® for the Cure.
Halloween: Costume and Talent Contests
Halloween is a time we celebrate with great abandon for the pure fun of it. We have individual and team competitions for best costumes, as well as a pumpkin-carving contest. Our competitions have evolved into elaborate talent contests with music, dancing, and full-on, choreographed skits. The children of UltiPeeps join us, and our top executives participate, too—wearing masks, judging the winners, and joining in the hilarity of it all. Of course, Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without lots of candy. We also enjoy baked goods like candy-corn cupcakes and creatively creepy treats, such as gummy worms in “dirt” cups and punch with floating “eyeballs.”
Adventures of UltiMatt, Our Mascot
UltiMatt is our official company mascot. He has crossed the globe right alongside our UltiPeeps, who love to send us photos and footage of his travels. Check out this short video capturing just a sample of UltiMatt’s many adventures.
At our Alpharetta office, they celebrate each season with a creatively decorated tree. The trees give a homey, relaxed feel to the office and balance out the work that dominates each day. Somehow the element of fun helps UltiPeeps to bond, and the levity makes our office seem to be more than a simple place of work.
Often our teams have picnics as a way to relax and bond. Our picnics take different forms—with families and without families; sometimes full day, sometimes half; sometimes one or two sporting competitions, sometimes several happening simultaneously; and always food, drinks, and high-fiving. At our Customer Services outings, people enjoy the dominoes competitions as much as ball games. Dominoes have become an UltiTradition, a fun alternative to sports for the more cerebral.
Smoke on the Water: New Hires Joining US
Each quarter, when our new hires come to our headquarters for training and orientation, we throw a celebratory event on the final day of their visit at the restaurant next door to Ultimate, Smoke on the Water. There, we get to know one another while enjoying a cocktail party, many appetizers, and much laughter. All UltiPeeps in town are invited to come celebrate with the new hires.
The holidays are a special time for celebration and reflection, and we enjoy many holiday seasons together at Ultimate, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. The focus of these holidays is charity, our Angel Tree giving for Kids In Distress. We also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Independence Day, and other holidays. We have food in the atrium, music, and decorations at headquarters, and our remote offices celebrate as well, in their own styles. We celebrate Memorial Day by thanking our people who have served and by donating to Wounded Warrior Project.
Each month, we celebrate with birthday cakes in a central location at each office, honoring all who have birthdays in a particular month. Our CPO posts a list with the names of everyone with a birthday that month in our employee portal and sends out an email with the name list, so that people across the company can send personalized birthday wishes, many electronic. Our individual teams also celebrate birthdays, each in their unique way.
Children at Work Day
In addition to including our children in several celebrations throughout the year, we also participate in the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Our CEO Scott makes this a special day, where our visiting children tour Ultimate’s offices, play educational games, and spend time chatting with him. He gives them a little talk about working hard that he has tailored to their age group, and then makes it very memorable with his story-oriented style of communicating. Just as he does with their parents, Scott hands out tangible mementoes that are emblematic of his messages. Each child receives the traditional, custom-minted silver dollar that he gives each new hire as a representation of our goals at Ultimate, emphasizing the importance of having goals in life, and he gives them each a small, inspirational book.