Adam Rogers – Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:11:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 New AI Tools Key to Improving Engagement https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ai-key-improving-employee-engagement/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ai-key-improving-employee-engagement/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 10:00:14 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1085 Employee engagement has been a hot topic for years, and its influence continues to make headlines. Gallup has been tracking U.S. engagement since 2000, and countless studies over the past 17 years have verified the tremendous impact engagement can have on corporate success. The most recent “State of the American Workplace” report found that high […]

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employee engagementEmployee engagement has been a hot topic for years, and its influence continues to make headlines. Gallup has been tracking U.S. engagement since 2000, and countless studies over the past 17 years have verified the tremendous impact engagement can have on corporate success. The most recent “State of the American Workplace” report found that high engagement levels are directly associated with lower turnover, absenteeism, and even workplace theft, as well as higher productivity, profitability, and sales. All these factors significantly impact the bottom line, so it’s no surprise that 85% of executives rated engagement as an important or very important priority for their companies.

What’s concerning, then, is the consistent lack of improvement in engagement statistics. In 2016, 34% of U.S. employees were engaged—compared with 31.7% in 2015, 29.3% in 2013, and 30.7% in 2011. In fact, Gallup’s U.S. employee engagement rate has remained relatively stagnant since it first began tracking these metrics, despite substantial corporate investment. Why the disconnect?

Unfortunately, many engagement initiatives have been unfocused and ineffective. It’s not uncommon for executives to roll out one-time surveys or a new workplace perk and feel like they’ve done their part for engagement that year. Even more thorough and thoughtful programs can focus merely on measuring engagement without offering tangible tactics to improve it, which provides insight but doesn’t enhance outcomes. In order for engagement programs to be truly productive, they need to be ongoing, data-driven, and capable of providing actionable feedback leading to lasting change.

For years, any attempts at developing this feedback loop were cumbersome and prohibitively time-intensive. But today’s new tech tools are changing that.

Through advances in artificial intelligence, HR leaders are now able to easily pinpoint their disengaged or flight-risk employees and leverage historical data to discern which leadership actions will have the greatest impact. The predictive and prescriptive functionalities of today’s leading HCM solutions have far-reaching implications for everything from performance to succession management, but the potential to improve engagement is particularly exciting simply because engagement influences so many other key HR metrics.

And since one of the most effective ways of tracking corporate engagement is through direct employee feedback, new developments in natural language processing (NLP) are game-changing, empowering leaders to easily deploy pulse surveys that can accurately and succinctly convey employee sentiment. These surveys can be scaled across entire organizations or targeted to specific workforce demographics, distributed at regular intervals, or triggered by certain events.

Armed with real-time data reflecting the most pressing issues for their people, executives can actively measure the impact of specific engagement initiatives and leverage predictive capabilities to decisively inform next steps. Essentially, today’s emerging AI tools enable leaders to have a powerful, strategic, and measurable impact on their engagement metrics—and nearly everything else in the process.

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Why “Best in Tech” Workplaces are Built on Innovation https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-place-to-work-in-it/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-place-to-work-in-it/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 09:04:29 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1022 Anyone familiar with Ultimate Software knows that our core mantra is “People First.” From our employees to our customers to their employees, everything we do is focused on caring for people. And it makes an impact. We’re honored to frequently rank on a variety of “best workplace” lists, including being named Fortune’s #7 Best Company […]

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Anyone familiar with Ultimate Software knows that our core mantra is “People First.” From our employees to our customers to their employees, everything we do is focused on caring for people. And it makes an impact. We’re honored to frequently rank on a variety of “best workplace” lists, including being named Fortune’s #7 Best Company to Work For in 2017, and the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology the past two years. Today, I’m proud to announce another accolade: Computerworld magazine has named us the #1 Best Place to Work in IT among midsize tech companies.

Computerworld Magazine Best Place to Work in ITThere are several fundamental beliefs that set US apart. We believe in helping our employees—and their families—stay healthy by covering 100% of their healthcare premiums, including medical, dental, and vision. We believe in nurturing our people’s futures by offering a 401(k) retirement plan with a 40% company match on every dollar, with no cap. And we believe in trust, communication, and flexibility to accommodate life. These core values enable our employees, our culture, and our company to thrive. I believe any company, in any industry, would benefit from taking care of people the way we do.

But as a technology company that specializes in human capital management (HCM), there are other unique factors to consider. Constant industry upheavals are standard, along with steep competition for top talent, constant innovation, and growing market share. Technological advances are occurring faster than ever, and companies must keep ahead to remain successful. Developments in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and an ever-growing gig workforce are forcing HCM software providers to grow and adapt. Fortunately, at Ultimate, we’ve learned that the same techniques that encourage our employees’ innovation also help foster an exciting and unique culture contributing to overall happiness and satisfaction.

Here are some ways we bolster creativity, driving the creation of our award-winning products, services, and culture.

48 Hours

We once asked, “What can be done in 48 hours?” and learned, with the right people, more than we could have imagined. Twice a year, we run a highly anticipated coding event called “48 Hours.” Developers spend two consecutive days brainstorming and actualizing ideas enhancing UltiPro’s features and functionality. Sometimes, they even work on ideas completely unrelated to their current projects and roadmaps. Fueled by copious amounts of coffee and energized by the exciting (and competitive!) atmosphere, our developers thrive on the challenge and complete freedom to invent new solutions. This is a great testing and proving ground for our development staff to showcase new technologies. Several times, these projects have enhanced our current roadmap or provided such an increase in value to our clients, we added it directly into the UltiPro solution.

Leverage Advanced Technology

We invest in our employees by providing the best technology possible. We even have our own in-house tech support team complete with onsite TechSpots, where employees can take their devices for tune-ups and troubleshooting. Our innovative UltiLab features a variety of the latest products and technologies for employees to program, test, and experiment with. By experimenting with the latest and greatest platforms and technologies, our people are continuously inspired to create innovative solutions that help people solve problems.

Continuing Knowledge Transfer

Another way Ultimate promotes innovation is by providing each department a budget for attending employees’ choice of learning workshops and conferences. Agile, ISSTA, Lean Kanban, SHRM, QCon, and others are all frequently attended by our employees—and it’s common to find our people leading conference sessions and workshops. Developers are highly encouraged to take development courses, and teams have even created customized learning paths specific to their needs on various platforms.

Professional Development

We continually invest in ongoing learning opportunities for our employees, a passion that is now being offered to our customers through UltiPro Learning. In addition to Ultimate offering tuition reimbursement and covering costs associated with certificate training, our internal learning portal encourages all employees to improve their current skill sets and potentially grow into new roles. The site offers videos, Web tours, and courses employees can select to achieve their personal goals. Employees are also encouraged to take ownership of their own learning and growth as they advance in their careers.

Developing Leaders

Our comprehensive LeadUS program was created to develop all managers and potential managers into world-class leaders. Drawing on Ultimate’s leadership principles, skill-, trust-, and team-building sessions prepare the next generation of Ultimate’s leaders for success, while cultivating creativity and innovation among our people. Three separate learning tracks are available, from aspiring managers to senior executives.

In my experience, one of the best aspects of working at a technology company is the camaraderie and hunger for continual improvement. By fostering a culture of innovation, we’re not only supporting our employees’ individual careers, but developing a workforce that runs on inspiration and ingenuity. We’ve built an environment where employees feel valued, supported, and challenged—a workplace that’s definitively the “best in tech.”

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Four Employee Training Trends to Keep on Your Radar https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-training-trends-2017/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-training-trends-2017/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 10:00:13 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1011 Technological innovation is occurring at breakneck speeds, and our world—and successful businesses—are transforming just as fast. Technical skills, such as computer literacy and basic coding, are often prerequisites even for service and administrative positions—and for good reason. Companies unable to keep pace with the digital revolution risk becoming obsolete, and employees must continue honing their […]

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Technological innovation is occurring at breakneck speeds, and our world—and successful businesses—are transforming just as fast. Technical skills, such as computer literacy and basic coding, are often prerequisites even for service and administrative positions—and for good reason. Companies unable to keep pace with the digital revolution risk becoming obsolete, and employees must continue honing their talents to remain competitive in their careers.

These realities have led to higher values being placed on professional development. In fact, seven out of 10 people surveyed said that employee training and learning opportunities had influenced their decision to either stay with or leave a company. Considering the growing costs attributed to lack of engagement and attrition, companies can certainly benefit from giving employees every reason to stay.

Employers are recognizing the importance of employee development as an investment both in their people and the organization. But it’s important to differentiate between training for training’s sake and providing thoughtful, essential learning and tools for development. Too often, organizations invest in sub-par solutions that prove neither productive nor interesting for employees. In fact, it’s estimated that ineffective training costs $13.5M per year, per 1,000 employees. Organizations can save a significant amount of time and money with a learning solution that incorporates modern employee training trends, resulting in a better supported, more satisfied workforce.

With a changing workforce comes evolving expectations about career development. Here are four employee training trends to keep on your radar:

    • employee training trendsEnsuring quality over quantity. Far too often, employee training courses are encumbered with unimportant information. In addition to simply frustrating your employees, this makes it less likely they’ll retain critical info. Establish the most important goals for each course, and limit any information that doesn’t directly support that goal. Configure your solution to meet your unique business needs and deploy a personalized training academy tailored to meet them.
    • Focusing on engagement. Developing interesting and engaging content is the best way to keep your employees’ attention and ensure content is fully retained. Some learning platforms even offer social and collaborative tools, including badges and gamification. Employees can follow their own progress and that of their teams through online leaderboards, communities, and newsfeeds.
    • Providing convenience and flexibility. Back in 2015, Microsoft made headlines with the proclamation that the average human’s attention span had become shorter than that of a goldfish. Today’s workers crave consumable, bite-sized, on-demand content, easily accessible through a variety of devices. Mobile app capabilities are ideal, providing immediate access to content whether an employee is on the road, in the field, or in their pajamas.
    • Tracking accountability and results. Strategic learning platforms seamlessly track and report employee progress through powerful reporting dashboards. Customizable quizzes can even be deployed at various stages with the click of a button. In addition to tracking engagement and progress, consider incorporating advanced organizational surveys to collect real-time data revealing how your employees feel about their professional development opportunities. With these results, and a better understanding of your people, you can take meaningful action to implement the most effective programs to help boost engagement and retention.

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Ask Adam: Creating a Positive Employee Experience https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/positive-employee-experience/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/positive-employee-experience/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:00:13 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=974 “Employee experience” has become a standard HR buzzword, and today’s executives are increasingly recognizing and prioritizing its influence. In January, Forbes published “The Employee Experience Is the Future of Work,” and we now know that “ee experience” is the #1 driver of employment outcomes. Unfortunately, measuring—even defining—the drivers of positive employee experience can be tumultuous, […]

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“Employee experience” has become a standard HR buzzword, and today’s executives are increasingly recognizing and prioritizing its influence. In January, Forbes published “The Employee Experience Is the Future of Work,” and we now know that “ee experience” is the #1 driver of employment outcomes. Unfortunately, measuring—even defining—the drivers of positive employee experience can be tumultuous, primarily driven by a lack of data outlining exactly what contributes to employee happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

As an HCM technology company defined by our “People First” philosophy, pinpointing the key factors facilitating a great employee experience was necessary both for our own development and to add value for our customers. We partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics to conduct a comprehensive study of U.S. working adults and found that two-way trust, nurtured through open and ongoing communication, was critical for a positive employee experience. Other important factors included organizational culture, professional development opportunities, innovative technology, promptly addressing concerns, and safety—both physical and emotional.

We recently presented these results in a webcast, and received so many great questions that I didn’t have time to answer them all. Here are a few of the most common questions, along with my suggestions. If you have any other questions about our research or the employee experience, please let me know in the comments below!

Q: How can I determine how employees feel?

A: Just ask them—and often. Today’s workforce values inclusion, coaching, and ongoing feedback. Instead of relying solely on formal performance management processes, which are certainly useful but have a slew of limitations, modern organizations are beginning to implement more frequent, informal positive employee experiencecheck-ins and pulse surveys. On-demand surveys allow you to gauge how your employees are actually feeling in real time, particularly when your solution uses advanced sentiment analysis technology to accurately dissect open-ended text. Armed with substantial data about the health of your organization, you’re empowered to quickly address areas of concern and dramatically increase positive employee experience.­

Q: How do you build trust?

A: At its core, trust is based around communication, transparency, and action. The goal is to develop managers into better people leaders who are in tune with their teams and empowered to take ownership of engagement. Technological solutions can provide structured and proactive coaching support, including practical suggestions for taking the most effective action.

Q: What investments should my company make to create a positive employee experience?

A: Fortunately, you don’t need to dismantle your entire organization to improve the employee experience for your people. Little things can make a big difference—but it’s crucial to invest in both career development and modern technology. Providing ongoing learning opportunities to your employees will challenge and motivate them while improving overall satisfaction. Employees are also heavily impacted by the tools they use to get their jobs done, as well as those they use to access their pay and benefits information. Even I was shocked by our research results regarding technology in the workplace—one in three employees said they would consider leaving their jobs because of outdated technology.

Implementing these strategies will help positively influence all manners of the employee experience, including fostering ongoing communication, providing career clarity, and—most important of all—building trust between your organization and your employees.

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How Big Data and Analytics are Shaping the Future of HCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-prescriptive-analytics/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data-prescriptive-analytics/#comments Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:00:56 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=945 We’re officially in Q2 of 2017, and it’s clear that some of the same industry-leading trends that having been influencing HR for years have continued to advance and will remain hot topics for the foreseeable future. Big Data and its natural counterpart, analytics, showed the potential to impact nearly every aspect of HCM–and recent advancements […]

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We’re officially in Q2 of 2017, and it’s clear that some of the same industry-leading trends that having been influencing HR for years have continued to advance and will remain hot topics for the foreseeable future. Big Data and its natural counterpart, analytics, showed the potential to impact nearly every aspect of HCM–and recent advancements have made them increasingly instrumental for today’s HR and business leaders.

Leveraging Yesterday’s Data to Change Tomorrow

Big Data provides a staggering wealth of quantitative information, often mined from millions of complex data points to shed light onto patterns, trends and outliers that can significantly affect organizations. Because of Big Data’s sheer enormity, advanced analytics are necessary to glean any usable insights from these massive collections, and current technology is capable of much more than simply detecting organizational trends (although this alone is quite valuable, too).

prescriptive analyticsToday’s analytical HCM solutions can predict everything from performance success to retention risk, using unbiased mathematical algorithms to forecast future scenarios with tremendous accuracy. What’s more, the development of prescriptive analytics takes predictive measures one step farther, offering fact-based, real-time suggestions at key decision points to assist employers in making their most crucial leadership decisions. These prescriptive analytics solutions are part of a new generation of insight-driven tools that enable organizations to easily harness the power of Big Data and gain a competitive edge for the future.

HR leaders and executives are empowered to proactively plan for and protect against obstacles, instead of responding retroactively. American Fidelity Assurance Company, for example, benefited significantly from implementing UltiPro’s data-driven predictive analytics, and an in-house curriculum that guides managers through step-by-step strategies to motivate high-risk, high-performing employees. In addition to improving retention, American Fidelity was able to concentrate on developing their high-potential and top-performing individuals and increase engagement among employees (and management) as a result.

The People Factor

As human resources professionals, it’s important not to forget the human aspect. Let’s face it: people can be complicated and unpredictable. While data analysis has come incredibly far in its evolution from real-time to predictive to prescriptive, a common criticism of Big Data is its inability to recognize the emotions and motivations behind why people acted the way that they did.

Understanding what inspires employees and what they care about most is a crucial aspect of building a workplace that values, engages, and retains its people. Annual performance reviews and exit/stay surveys simply aren’t effective enough at recognizing the actual employee experience. That’s why I’m extremely excited about new sentiment-analysis technology, which combines natural language processing (NLP) and machine-learning algorithms to interpret and analyze comprehensive open-ended surveys and reveal underlying employee emotions. These surveys, which can be sent out at regular intervals and completed on both desktop and mobile devices, reveal not only what your employees are saying, but also the underlying emotions they’re feeling. Here’s a glimpse of how it works:

Using prescriptive analytics and sentiment analysis means that today’s leaders can review both quantitative and qualitative data to understand past trends and future developments. Even better, they’re supported by real-time, actionable insights to improve every aspect of the employee experience while pinpointing future high performers and flight risks. Big Data and analytics may be the same buzzwords we’ve been using for years, but they’re anything but yesterday’s news.

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Expect an “Elevated” Experience at Connections 2017 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2017/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2017/#respond Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:00:50 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=911 Ultimate Software’s annual customer conference, Connections, is coming up soon. With more than 70 unique hands-on learning workshops and informative breakout sessions, a full lineup of inspiring keynote speakers, and a major concert by one of today’s most successful pop-rock bands, this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever. If you’re one of the […]

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Ultimate Software’s annual customer conference, Connections, is coming up soon. With more than 70 unique hands-on learning workshops and informative breakout sessions, a full lineup of inspiring keynote speakers, and a major concert by one of today’s most successful pop-rock bands, this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever.

If you’re one of the 2,000-plus HR, payroll, and talent management professionals and business leaders attending Connections 2017, here’s what you can expect to experience in Las Vegas, March 21–24.

Invaluable Breakout Sessions

connections 2017 crowdThis year’s Connections theme is “Elevate,” and the conference agenda is designed with that exact mission in mind. Connections 2017 aims to elevate your knowledge and use of UltiPro®, while increasing your overall engagement with the solution, and with us. At Ultimate, we view customers as our Partners for Life, and we want to ensure you continuously get the most out of UltiPro, our collaborative support, and our educational resources.

Throughout Connections 2017, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from and chat with Ultimate’s subject-matter experts about all facets of UltiPro. Our sessions focus on such topics as leading and developing your people, harnessing powerful reporting and HCM analytics, configuring and integrating UltiPro with additional solutions, and managing payroll and time more efficiently. There are even sessions tailored to Canada-based organizations and customers with global workforces. Plus, Connections includes speed-networking sessions, industry roundtable discussions, an UltiPro User Community open house, and a special group service project with nonprofit Clean the World to benefit USO Las Vegas.

Captivating Keynote Speakers
Besides the myriad of learning and networking opportunities available at Connections, the conference is also known for its thought-provoking and entertaining general sessions. Don’t be surprised if these talks inspire your mind, challenge your thinking, or even change your perspective.

On Wednesday, you’ll hear from Will Smith, the acclaimed actor, musician, producer, and philanthropist. A Grammy Award winner and two-time Oscar nominee, Smith has had a diverse, decades-long career spanning several industries, from television to film to music. In the community, Smith is dedicated to working toward the advancement of individuals through the areas of education, sustainability, empowerment, and health, having established the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation.

connections 2017 adamThursday includes back-to-back keynotes, featuring prolific writer Tim Urban and former U.S. Navy Lt. Carey Lohrenz. Urban is the creator of the popular blog, “Wait But Why,” which combines long-form articles and stick-figure illustrations for an impactful blend of humor and intrigue. Lohrenz was the U.S. Navy’s first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot, and now draws upon her experience and lessons learned to educate professionals about taking calculated risks, becoming better leaders, and achieving successful careers.

Awesome Code-a-Thon, Exclusive Concert
Back by popular demand, the Connections Code-a-Thon returns, giving attendees a chance to witness Ultimate’s skilled software engineers develop new UltiPro functionality in a matter of days. Before the nonstop coding session begins, Ultimate customers will have a chance to submit ideas for which features they’d most like to see in UltiPro. Functioning on little sleep—but much drive and caffeine—our developers will then get to work coding a prototype solution. The Code-a-Thon wraps up with a live unveiling and demo of the team’s creation. Don’t miss it!

Speaking of can’t-miss events, the only place to be in Vegas on Thursday night will be Ultimate’s exclusive Customer Appreciation Party, featuring a private performance by platinum-selling pop-rockers, Maroon 5. Bring your best voice and expect to move like Jagger as you enjoy all the hits from this Grammy Award-winning group.

“Mind-Blown Moments”
Connections always proves to be a meaningful, memorable event for Ultimate customers. But, don’t just listen to me. Here’s what some past attendees have said about their Connections experience:

“I gained so much knowledge about UltiPro that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been utilizing already!!! I had so many of those ‘MIND-BLOWN’ moments and got really excited about using my new skills when I got back to work, and getting my coworkers excited about it too! The speakers at the general session were so engaging and spoke directly to everyone in the room. My first Connections experience was beyond any expectation that I had, and I look so forward to next year!”

“This is the best conference I’ve been to and have been lucky enough to go four years in a row. We get to see our Ultimate partners face to face and hear about exciting new changes to the software.”

Whether this is your very first Connections, or you’ve been with us since the beginning, we look forward to welcoming you at the conference. See you soon!

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Want a visual preview of what to expect at Connections 2017? See below:

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How Unified Employee-Feedback Tools are Revolutionizing HR https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-perception/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-perception/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2017 19:30:05 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=864 Nearly all HR leaders agree that long-term organizational success is dependent upon building and retaining a happy, engaged workforce. While a litany of factors influence workplace satisfaction, the data on this are clear: three out of four employees say that the one thing employers can do to improve retention is to listen to and address […]

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Nearly all HR leaders agree that long-term organizational success is dependent upon building and retaining a happy, engaged workforce. While a litany of factors influence workplace satisfaction, the data on this are clear: three out of four employees say that the one thing employers can do to improve retention is to listen to and address their concerns. This deceptively simple concept, however, is easier said than done. Yearly reviews are invaluable snapshots of each employee’s experience and performance, but they’re limited in their ability to provide real-time feedback throughout the year.

It turns out that the best way to learn what motivates your employees and how they feel about work is to just ask them. Regularly. Some companies have begun investing in employee-feedback technology, but those that do usually struggle with time-consuming manual analysis, complex integration work, and far-too-simplistic surveys that fail to uncover any meaningful, actionable insights.

So, what’s the solution?

It’s HCM Software, Only Better

We’re thrilled to be unveiling UltiPro Perception this year, one of the newest features of Ultimate Software’s award-winning, cloud-based HCM solution. Developed by a team of statisticians, mathematicians, psychologists, and , this sophisticated sentiment-analysis technology uses customizable surveys to measure both quantitative, scalar data and unstructured, text-based data. It’s a statistical approach, but grounded in human psychology, and it’s capable of recognizing more than 100 emotions and over 70 themes, including workplace topics, values, and performance competencies.

The analysis of open-ended data supplies specific information about how employees are actually feeling—are they sad about lack of manager recognition? Worried about developmental opportunities? Grateful for benefits updates? Perception interprets their responses and understands data with upwards of 97% accuracy, compared with human-level accuracy of 65%–75%, and HR leaders enjoy a 99% reduction in expended time and effort. Instead of waiting weeks—or months—to go through a complex analysis process, results are delivered within seconds of survey completion. Instant insights mean you understand how your employees feel today, not how they felt three months ago, all with the click of a button.

unified technologyThe technology cuts through extraneous information to focus on the key insights that matter most to businesses, such as performance and attrition. These data-driven results leave no room for bias or favoritism and make decision-making easy. Finally, because Perception is part of our comprehensive HCM solution, employers can match scores with crucial employee metadata while incorporating UltiPro’s predictive and prescriptive analytics functions.

And this is where the magic happens.

The Power of One

As part of a unified HCM solution, sentiment analysis tools seamlessly integrate with existing employee data, with no down time and no room for user error. Perception’s survey- and result-distribution lists are automatically synced with information changes in UltiPro, so as people join, leave, or move around the organization, they’re guaranteed to receive only the most relevant material without any additional input from IT or HR. Data is further safeguarded using UltiPro’s enterprise-level security and role-based access.

Templates exist for every step of the employee journey, from new hire to exit, and automated surveys can be triggered by regular intervals or workplace events. Because UltiPro houses all employee data, it’s easy to select survey participants based on information such as location, department, or tenure. Any data element within the solution can be leveraged to fine-tune surveys, which means you can send a satisfaction survey to all California-based salespeople who’ve been with the company for less than a year—and then filter and compare their responses based on their supervisors or performance. Interested how a certain team’s engagement scores have changed over time, or whether Marketing’s average tenure is improving alongside engagement? Historical benchmarking is an absolute breeze.

Sentiment analysis uncovers people challenges, insight that is even more valuable when used alongside predictive and prescriptive analytics to forecast outcomes based on current feelings and recommend specific actions to mitigate risk. This enables leaders to respond with timely action that drives real change within an organization, improving morale alongside performance and retention. Managers can even link unsatisfied or under-performing individuals directly to UltiPro’s action planning and learning-development courses.

The seamless ease of use provided by a unified sentiment analysis solution is a game-changer for HR professionals and the industry at large. Today’s leaders can leverage massive amounts of unstructured data to receive instant analysis and insights, empowering the data-driven decisions central to every successful strategy.

It’s machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and HCM—all in one. Most importantly, it’s easy, so you spend less time analyzing and more time achieving.

It’s a revolution. And we’re paving the road.

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How Ultimate Software Cultivates the Best Workplace in Technology https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/#comments 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 […]

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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.

 

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Where to Catch Ultimate Software at #HRTechConf 2016 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-hrtechconf-2016-awesome-new-technology/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-hrtechconf-2016-awesome-new-technology/#respond Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:07:53 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=705 With every October comes the annual HR Technology Conference & Expo, held this year October 4–7 in Chicago. It’s a pivotal time across the HR tech space, and there’s no shortage of innovative and exciting developments ahead. Several of my colleagues and I will be at this year’s HR Tech conference, participating in many panels […]

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With every October comes the annual HR Technology Conference & Expo, held this year October 4–7 in Chicago. It’s a pivotal time across the HR tech space, and there’s no shortage of innovative and exciting developments ahead. Several of my colleagues and I will be at this year’s HR Tech conference, participating in many panels and sessions, discussing hot topics and trends, sharing current best practices, and previewing what’s in store when it comes to tech advances for HR professionals and organizations.

If you’re heading to HR Tech 2016, here’s where you can catch Ultimate Software:

Tuesday, October 4
On Tuesday, Cecile Alper-Leroux, Ultimate’s vice president of HCM innovation, will take part in a first-of-its-kind event. Women in HR Technology is designed to empower women in HR and in HR tech to grow as people and professionals. Join Cecile and other accomplished tech execs as they share their stories about rising to leadership roles and discuss how successful organizations create workplace cultures in which women thrive.

Wednesday, October 5
Wednesday is a full day with several Ultimate events, from conversations with our customers to special looks at the latest UltiPro® features. Learn How Armacell Inspires Engagement in a Global Workforce when Cecile sits down with Keith Norwood, Armacell’s chief human resources officer. Then, join Cecile for Payroll 2.0: Innovation in the First HR Technology Application, an expert panel with insights on how payroll helps provide increased value to organizations and improves employees’ access to important information.

Also on Wednesday, Awesome New Technologies for HR will feature UltiPro’s new Leadership Actions tool, which helps managers become better people leaders. Using machine learning-driven prescriptive analytics technology, UltiPro’s Leadership Actions offers managers a variety of actionable steps for engaging individual team members, with a focus on developing and retaining key talent—all while supporting cultural and management initiatives within the organization.

HR Tech also offers a first look at Ultimate’s latest solution, UltiPro Perception, in an exclusive demo titled To Improve the Employee Experience, You Must First Understand It. UltiPro Perception helps companies make employee-survey data actionable—by analyzing not just what people are saying about their work experience, but also how they feel about it. Don’t miss your chance to see UltiPro Perception in action. Space is limited and you must preregister to attend this session. Sign up now at www.ultimatesoftware.com/HRTech2016.

Thursday, October 6
On Thursday, see what’s ahead in the field of predictive and prescriptive analytics with The Evolution and Future of HR Analytics Technology, a panel featuring Brian Kelly, Ultimate’s senior director of strategy. Learn how HR analytics can provide the most value for organizations and where this game-changing technology is heading over the next few years.

 And back by popular demand, it’s the second annual HR Technology Conference Hackathon. If you attended HR Tech last year, or are familiar with other hackathons, you know this is a can’t-miss event. Teams of talented engineers and designers, including Ultimate’s UltiPro developers, will have just 48 hours to design, build, and demonstrate a brand-new solution that addresses real HR and business challenges. Be there for the big-reveal showcase on Thursday to see the creative concepts these teams come up with and to cast a vote for your favorite application.

Friday, October 7
Friday morning features an Ultimate double-header with back-to-back sessions to wrap up the conference. First, join me and Cecile for the Ideas and Innovators in HR panel, bringing together some of the most innovative minds in the industry. We’ll share cutting-edge ideas about HR, technology, and the workplace. Then, head over to Managing Workforce Retention and Identifying High Performers with Predictive Analytics to hear my conversation with Gregg Paulk, director of information technologies at Anderson Center for Autism. We’ll discuss best practices and daily uses for predictive analytics, and how organizations can best connect people and data for HR success.

HR Tech is jam-packed with useful information and networking opportunities for all members of the HCM industry. No matter which panels and events you attend, be sure to check out Ultimate Software at Booth #916 any time during the conference. You’ll also want to stop by our Relaxation and Recharge station just outside the exhibit hall, where you can enjoy a free massage and charge up your mobile devices—a must throughout the four-day conference.

If you can’t make the conference in person, or just want to keep up with all that’s happening, remember to follow @HRTechConf and @UltimateHCM on Twitter for real-time updates.

See you at HR Tech!

The HR Technology Conference is right around the corner. See what Ultimate Software is up to!

The HR Technology Conference is right around the corner. See what Ultimate Software is up to!

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Making a Lasting Impact in Just “48 Hours” https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/making-lasting-impact-just-48-hours/ https://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 […]

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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.

 

 

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