Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:32:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Helping End Hunger Nationwide with Feeding America https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/partnership-feeding-america/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/partnership-feeding-america/#respond Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:28:20 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1471 Giving has been a core part of Ultimate Software’s “People First” culture since our founding more than 25 years ago. Life can take many unexpected twists and turns, and we at Ultimate feel extremely fortunate to be where we are today. Serving our community is not only an ongoing opportunity to do the right thing […]

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Feeding AmericaGiving has been a core part of Ultimate Software’s “People First” culture since our founding more than 25 years ago. Life can take many unexpected twists and turns, and we at Ultimate feel extremely fortunate to be where we are today. Serving our community is not only an ongoing opportunity to do the right thing for others—we also consider it our greater purpose in life.

All this week, we’ve partnered with our customer Feeding America to help fight hunger across the country. Hundreds of Ultimate employees have volunteered at over 25 Feeding America-affiliated food banks near our offices in South Florida, Georgia, and California, as well as in several U.S. cities—from Orlando, Charlotte, and New York to Houston, Phoenix, and Los Angeles—to accommodate our many virtual employees. We also had a team of employees who served in Toronto, partnering with Daily Bread Food Bank.

Together, our people sorted more than 100,000 pounds of food and packaged nearly 75,000 meals to distribute to local families in need.

For many of us, food is an expected daily resource, with hundreds of tasty options available at a moment’s notice. We excitedly wonder, “What’s for lunch?” and joyfully share photos of our meals with friends on social media, as we prepare to indulge. Occasionally, we might even “overdo it” and throw away the leftovers without thinking twice.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone. Hunger is a real issue that still impacts one in eight Americans. Every day, millions of people across the country are forced to choose between buying food and other necessities, such as medication.

Even in the most challenging of times, it’s important to remember what you’re most grateful for, what you do have, and what more you can for others. Ultimate is proud to team with Feeding America to provide hope to thousands of families and help put an end to this epidemic.

For more information and to find out how you can help support this crucial mission in your own community, please visit www.feedingamerica.org.

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A Culture of Real Inclusion https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/diversity-inclusion-work/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/diversity-inclusion-work/#comments Thu, 21 Jun 2018 10:00:45 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1464 Diversity and inclusion (D&I) has hit the mainstream and moved beyond the realm of HR of late, in part due to many highly publicized cases highlighting the persistence of inequities in the workplace. In fact, D&I is increasingly becoming a component of companies’ employee-recruitment and customer-branding strategies. Businesses promote their D&I statistics to candidates in […]

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diversity & inclusionDiversity and inclusion (D&I) has hit the mainstream and moved beyond the realm of HR of late, in part due to many highly publicized cases highlighting the persistence of inequities in the workplace. In fact, D&I is increasingly becoming a component of companies’ employee-recruitment and customer-branding strategies. Businesses promote their D&I statistics to candidates in online recruiting solutions, noting the percentages of employed women, African-Americans, Hispanics, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented employee groups, while those organizations that do not must answer to candidates who want to know how diverse their potential workplaces are. Progress has been made.

The problem is that these statistics focus on diversity, which is fairly easy to tally up. Inclusion, on the other hand, is harder to measure and prove, yet is just as important a component of D&I. One without the other is only half-baked.

A workforce of diverse individuals can show that a company is committed to creating a well-balanced team or has an openness to people’s differences. Inclusion—the feeling of belonging that comes about when employees are treated equitably and are free to bring their authentic selves to work—indicates the company welcomes their ideas, perspectives, and opinions.

Tremendous business opportunities are available to companies that value the contributions of all employees, whether they’re gay or straight, black or white, American or foreign by birth. The more extensive the diversity of people in an organization, the greater the possibility of generating unique ideas and innovating.

While diversity is valuable to the business, due to government regulations and the social conscience of business leaders, many workforces have become diversified. Energy now must be put into creating cultures of inclusion.

These thoughts were top of mind during a recent lunch discussion I enjoyed with a colleague I deeply admire, Viv Maza, Ultimate’s chief people officer. Viv has been the heart of the company since its inception in 1990, when the workforce consisted of four people in two cubicles and not the 4,300+ employees we have today. While inclusion is a buzzword today, Viv has always been using the word—long before she was part of Ultimate’s founding team.

Viv agreed with me that diversity and inclusion are two different things, yet many companies tend to lump them together, believing a diverse workforce is an inclusive one.

“Inclusivity is one of our core principles at Ultimate,” said Viv. “Since day one, my job has been to take care of all our people, regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation. This is deeply embedded in my DNA and defines who I am.”

As the mother of two gay children, Viv has a personal connection to the need for all individuals, LGBTQ employees in particular, to be fully themselves at work as they are in life. “When someone comes out as gay, telling their parents or their employer, they’re so nervous,” she said. “I recall this one employee who came out to me. I told him that being openly gay didn’t change the dynamic of the special person he was. I wanted him to be as comfortable with himself as I was with him.”

Viv pointed out that the company has many other talented and gifted employees who are gay, but not all of them are out. “The decision to come out, of course, is up to them, but I can promise them that this is a safe place of belonging for all our amazing people,” she said. “We value each and every person’s contributions, regardless of their differences. In fact, we cherish their differences.”

Viv’s feelings about inclusion extend to other aspects of personal self-identification. She recalled a job interview with a young woman last year that mentioned her previous employer had fired her because she had purple-colored hair. “I told her purple hair looks amazing and if that is how she defines herself, bring it on,” said Viv. “Twenty years ago, we might have questioned her choice. But this is a new age in which things that weren’t acceptable at work are now seen as liberating. Work cultures used to be so conformist. Today, they’re dynamic, and that’s a good thing.”

Viv’s point resonated with me. I’ve come to see corporate culture not as a fixed set of standards, but as a living, breathing, and evolving entity. When a new person joins a team, the culture of the group changes and expands, enriched by the new person’s experiences and perspectives. If the individual feels he or she has to conform to the dynamics of the team, the group suffers the loss of the person’s unique viewpoint. The new employee might feel uncomfortable expressing a novel thought or a different opinion without fear of embarrassment or, worse, humiliation and eventual exclusion. Yet, all it takes is one extraordinary idea to upend the status quo and move the business forward.

We’ve always prioritized and valued our remarkable culture at Ultimate. We all know that an optimal culture reflects an organization’s strengths and reinforces its brand, reputation, and ability to attract the best people and deliver industry-leading solutions and support. But what exactly is an “optimal” culture?

One way to find out is by assessing the reality of an organization’s culture today, as well as where the organization’s culture might go in the future depending on key decisions and strategies. I refer to this as “Culture Casting,” and it has three components, the first of which is to take an honest appraisal of the current culture—casting a bright spotlight on it.

The second component is to identify the culture’s “cast of characters”—the different people within the organization—to understand what drives them and what impact they have on the culture. Are they detractors or promoters? And the third component is to project and communicate a vision of the ideal culture the organization wants to have in future. It is particularly important to include employees in the vision of the future to ensure the discussion is authentic and realistic, and addresses perception gaps between leaders and employees.

What does this have to do with inclusion? Certainly, by knowing each person, their perspectives, and their perceptions in a scalable fashion, the organization can ensure their contributions are accorded equitable weight and value, with respect to what is most important to the organization itself. Without this understanding, inequities and biases come into play and can erode inclusivity in a culture.

As we finished our lunch, Viv commented about a future in which every employee feels their unique selves are making a difference in their shared journey to designing innovative solutions and providing meaningful service. “Labels are meaningless,” said Viv. “What’s crucial is to create an environment where people feel safe and supported to be who they are.”

We are beyond fortunate to have her as our Chief People Officer!

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Rewriting the Gender Bias in Tech https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/rewriting-the-gender-bias-in-tech/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/rewriting-the-gender-bias-in-tech/#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 18:45:28 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1455 As a woman with a longstanding career in technology, I’ve had a front-row seat to the industry’s incredible innovations, but also to its unbalanced gender representation. This important issue has received significant media coverage in recent years, but it’s been a very real problem I encountered throughout my pre-Ultimate career. That’s one of the many […]

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gender bias in techAs a woman with a longstanding career in technology, I’ve had a front-row seat to the industry’s incredible innovations, but also to its unbalanced gender representation. This important issue has received significant media coverage in recent years, but it’s been a very real problem I encountered throughout my pre-Ultimate career. That’s one of the many reasons why, when we founded Ultimate Software more than 27 years ago, we were determined to take care of all of our people and foster a workplace based on equality, respect, and empowerment.

I’m extremely pleased to share that Ultimate was ranked the #1 Best Company for Women by Fairygodboss, a popular resource that provides women with honest answers to hard-to-ask questions and authentic insights into salary, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility at various companies. This recognition is particularly notable because the rankings are based entirely on anonymous reviews that female employees share with Fairygodboss. It’s an honor and a great source of pride to be recognized as a company that truly values and prioritizes the contributions of women, because that is 100% who we are as a company.

Our Women in Leadership (WIL) group is one of four companywide Communities of Interest that promote inclusivity and equality, perfectly aligning with our “People First” philosophy and culture. Open to women of all job levels, WIL hosts a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from keynote speakers and networking events to wellness retreats, book clubs, and community service projects. There’s even an online WIL community, where employees can discuss their goals, ask questions or receive feedback, and brainstorm opportunities to positively impact future women leaders at work, in schools, and in the community.

About half of our workforce is made up of women, and approximately 42% of our female employees hold leadership positions of managers or above. We truly walk the walk.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as a leading example that encourages companies, especially in the technology space, to witness the essential role women play as leaders and innovators. We put our people – all our people – first, and the results are indisputable.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all our people who gave Fairgodboss their feedback, and to all our people everywhere who continue to contribute to Ultimate’s award-winning culture and make US a great place to work. You inspire me each and every day.

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Equity at Work: “No Excuses,” Please https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/gender-equality-at-work/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/gender-equality-at-work/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:53:08 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1303 As a mother with a daughter entering the workforce, I wonder if, and hope that, she will receive career opportunities on par with what men in the same job will receive. I try to be optimistic, but the reality is that statistics on the inequitable income of women in the workplace are staggering. They also […]

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equity workplaceAs a mother with a daughter entering the workforce, I wonder if, and hope that, she will receive career opportunities on par with what men in the same job will receive. I try to be optimistic, but the reality is that statistics on the inequitable income of women in the workplace are staggering. They also strike to the heart of an issue that is much deeper than pay. Still today, in many organizations around the world, women are not treated equitably when it comes to promotions, access to leadership positions, and, worst of all in my opinion, having their voices heard. Their ideas and perspectives are all too often not given equal standing with the views of men, adversely affecting their career progress. Don’t get me wrong. There are companies that value people equally and serve as great role models for what can be. I’m fortunate to work for one!

According to a 2016 study from McKinsey & Co., more than 75% of CEOs list “gender equality” as one of their top 10 business priorities, yet women are less likely to receive a promotion or be on a path toward leadership. U.S. companies promote men at 30% higher rates than women during their early career stages, and entry-level women are significantly more likely than men to have spent five or more years in the same role, the study states. Take the practice of “skipping” giving women a merit increase when they are on maternity leave because they are “not present at work, so why give them an increase?” This is more common in countries with extended maternity leave benefits, but in happens in the United States as well. That practice alone can result in women being paid 10% less than men over time if they have two or more children!

There are other unsettling facts to consider. For example, women attend college at higher rates than men, yet they earn less. Men working in financial services firms receive double the bonuses received by women in the same businesses. And women account for two-thirds of all national student debt, in part because pay-equity gaps make it more difficult for women to pay off their loans.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Gender inequity is systemic, and although getting better in some sectors, remains a serious socio-economic issue. What’s truly disturbing is the message this sends to young women and girls—that no matter how hard they try, no matter how well they excel, they may never get their fair due in the workplace.

These thoughts were top of mind as I sat down to chat with Martin Paz, a respected HR leader in the healthcare field, about his daughter Dana, who is close to receiving her master’s in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. It’s a profession that requires topnotch mathematical skills and practical experience. It’s also a career heavily populated by men.

Through a colleague, I was introduced to Martin, who grew up in South Texas in the 1970s and witnessed the corrosive effects of racial discrimination firsthand. He used the experience as a form of fuel in a relentless drive to better himself.

“I was constantly reminded in middle school and high school that I was different,” said Martin. “I developed a very competitive attitude. To play and excel on the basketball team, I had to determine how to overcome a height disadvantage. I simply would not allow myself to make excuses. If you think you can’t achieve something, you won’t achieve it.”

Martin passed on his “no excuses” mantra to his three children. “If homework need to be done, or music practiced, we said ‘go get it done—no excuses,’” he said.

As the kids got older, he and his wife encouraged and supported them to push past their comfort zones and take on more challenging levels of achievement—academically, artistically, and physically. “Obviously, we loved them above all else, but we also had very clear expectations of their behavior and accountability,” he explained. Martin also shared a great story about when the family watched the Disney animated film Mulan. In the movie, Mulan’s father, a leader in the Chinese military, becomes ill. Mulan, the young protagonist, wants to fulfill her father’s obligations, but as a girl in the patriarchal regime, she is technically unqualified to serve. So, she impersonates a man.

The key word here is “impersonates.” “In saving China, Mulan does not use brute strength as a man might; rather, she deploys her cleverness,” said Martin. “In our discussion of the film afterward, I emphasized this feature to my children.”

Martin, as many of you do, strongly encouraged his children to explore their interests. Dana was creative, intensely curious, and very hands-on. She loved to make and do things that required organization and following detailed directions, such as craft, sew, woodwork, bake, and play sports. “Or do whatever her older brother Jordan was doing,” said Martin.

These skills extended to her aptitude in math. Martin was concerned that, in high school, teachers would not treat her math skills with the same attention they provided boys with the same skills. He instructed Dana to sit up front in class, ask questions, and express her opinions.

Ultimately, Dana caught the attention of a high-school physics teacher, Dr. Danielle Kayal, an industrial engineer and mentor, who recommended she consider a career in engineering. She took the advice, subsequently majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Last summer, she interned at SpaceX, one of the companies founded by Elon Musk. When Dana graduates from Stanford this year, she plans to land an engineering position at an advanced, cutting-edge tech company. “My hope is that they look at her broad practical experience and technical bona fides, not her gender,” Martin added.

I hope so, too, and I’m optimistic. The world needs people like Dana who don’t let the statistics on workplace inequities drag down her ambition. The world also needs companies that speak out on the issue of gender-based imbalances and then walk the walk, as does Ultimate. With close to half of our managers being women, it’s something we take very seriously.

There is simply no excuse—work performance and pay should be judged on how well we leverage our skills to the benefit of the organization, irrespective of our gender.

I hope this is an issue we continue to think about and tackle as a society, not only today on Equal Pay Day, but every day moving forward, until we’ve ended the pay gap for good.

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World Poetry Day the UltiWay https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/world-poetry-day/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/world-poetry-day/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2018 10:00:29 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1263 Today is World Poetry Day. To celebrate with a poem—why, there’s no better way! So in an effort to quench your poetic thirst, let Ultimate Software present: An Ode to Putting People First You’ve got a great product, an all-star team All’s well for a while, then you start to lose steam You check the […]

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world poetry dayToday is World Poetry Day. To celebrate with a poem—why, there’s no better way!

So in an effort to quench your poetic thirst, let Ultimate Software present:

An Ode to Putting People First

You’ve got a great product, an all-star team
All’s well for a while, then you start to lose steam
You check the numbers, there’s a problem with retention
Your most important asset, your people, need more attention

There’s trouble with your culture, frustration seems to brew
You sent an engagement survey last year, what more can you do?
To truly make a difference, take the path better traversed
Adopt Ultimate’s core principle. Put your people first.

You like how that sounds, onboard with the theme
But still a little unsure, “What does it all mean?”
It’s focusing on employees, far beyond the paycheck
It’s cultural transformation, with help from HR tech.

Sentiment analysis, BI, artificial intelligence
Our solutions are both innovative and elegant
Xander™ powers our platform, so the AI’s immersed
And it all comes together to put people first.

But did you know most people regret their HCM purchase?
It’s not product functionality; they’re disappointed with service.
That’s why we’re always available, meaning 24/7
To improve your experience and answer your questions.

Our personalized approach goes beyond software support
To help you optimize solutions and design your reports
We solve problems proactively, eliminate strife,
You’re more than a customer. You’re our “Partner for Life.”

It’s never too late to adopt a new perspective
Happier employees, better bottom lines, “Now that’s effective!”
For over 25 years, it’s been the Ultimate way
Respect and care for all; everyone, every day.

We’ve made the commitment, and so can you—
To achieve great success, put people first in all you do.

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Thanking All of the People Who Make Ultimate Great https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-make-ultimate-great/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/people-make-ultimate-great/#respond Fri, 02 Mar 2018 13:08:55 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1251 Maybe I’m biased, but I have the greatest job in the world. As Ultimate Software’s Chief People Officer, I have the daily privilege of caring for our employees, spending quality time with our teams, and ensuring our programs and companywide culture continue to serve our people. Ask any one of my colleagues on Ultimate’s leadership […]

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Maybe I’m biased, but I have the greatest job in the world. As Ultimate Software’s Chief People Officer, I have the daily privilege of caring for our employees, spending quality time with our teams, and ensuring our programs and companywide culture continue to serve our people.

Ask any one of my colleagues on Ultimate’s leadership team, and you’ll hear the same sentiments. We are incredibly grateful for the thoughtful notes, emails, and tweets we receive from our employees, each expressing their heartfelt thanks and appreciation for Ultimate.

But, we aren’t the ones who deserve the credit—it’s our people.

The more than 4,200 employees who work tirelessly every day to make Ultimate one of the Best Companies to Work For.

Who do whatever it takes to personally serve our customers, and who don’t quit until a question has been answered or a solution has been provided.

Who treat every coworker with the greatest respect, trust, and care, recognizing the critical role each person plays in Ultimate’s success, and appreciating the unique views and experiences every individual brings to our company.

Who believe in our “People First” mission, exemplify our core values, and protect our culture to see that everyone is supported, every day. That everyone has the resources they need to grow as professionals, and to thrive as people.

Who pay it forward by serving our 4,100-plus customers, and countless others in our local communities.

Who we never take for granted, and feel extremely proud and fortunate to call members of our Ultimate family.

For the past 28 years, no matter what challenge we’ve faced or what achievement we’ve celebrated, there’s been one constant at Ultimate: people.

We remain committed to providing the absolute best workplace for our employees—with 100%-paid healthcare premiums, unlimited PTO, and company equity.

We are 100% focused on delivering the most innovative HCM technology, and the industry’s most comprehensive support to our customers—from our portfolio of advanced AI technologies, Xander™, to our new UltiPro Connect integration hub.

It’s always been, and always will be, about people. And, at Ultimate, we have the greatest people in the world.

Below is a sampling of the amazing tweets we’ve recently received from our employees. On behalf of the entire Ultimate leadership team, we Thank YOU, our people. Not just on Employee Appreciation Day, but every day.

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Shattering Stereotypes and Ceilings Along the Way https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/shattering-stereotypes/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/shattering-stereotypes/#comments Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:03:31 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1232 Women in the world of business have long complained about barriers to their professional advancement. So have many minorities (and justly so). While there are laws that prevent discrimination with regard to job promotions, these career obstacles often are hard to prove, much less enforce. Many companies make it seem like the sky is the […]

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women glass ceilingWomen in the world of business have long complained about barriers to their professional advancement. So have many minorities (and justly so). While there are laws that prevent discrimination with regard to job promotions, these career obstacles often are hard to prove, much less enforce. Many companies make it seem like the sky is the limit for all smart, hard-working employees but instead some of us bump up against an invisible obstruction designed to preserve the generally male-dominated executive status quo.

I’m referring, of course, to the “glass ceiling.” Nearly 40 years after the metaphor was coined in a 1978 speech by Marilyn Loden, author of the book, “Feminine Leadership, or How to Succeed in Business Without Being One of the Boys,” the glass ceiling remains firmly in place, discrimination laws aside. A 2017 survey by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org of 30,000 men and women employees indicates that while both genders want to be promoted in approximate percentages, women are 18 percent less likely on average to actually receive one. This gap is even more pronounced for women of color.

“Women fall behind early and lose ground with every step they take (in the workplace),” the study states. Since women are underrepresented in line roles at every level of the corporate pipeline, by the time they reach the level of a senior vice president, they hold a measly 21 percent of these positions. “Since the vast majority of CEOs come from line roles, this dramatically hurts women’s odds of reaching the very top,” the researchers comment.

This lack of advancement is especially staggering for women in technical roles. According to AnitaB.org, the representation of women technologists declines by 50% from entry to mid to senior and executive levels. At this rate, researchers maintain that it will take 100 years for women in technical and non-technical roles combined to reach parity with men in the C-suite!

What is most bothersome to me is the message the study sends to young women and girls about their chances of becoming business leaders—not tomorrow or next year but in this century! So, I’d like to share a remarkable story of a customer I met who has blown up the glass ceiling with grace and aplomb! Few women have gone as far as Kim McWaters, who began her career more than 30 years ago as a temporary switchboard operator at Universal Technical Institute and has served as the company’s CEO and chairwoman since 2003, overseeing more than 1,880 employees today. Universal Technical Institute is a publicly traded nationwide provider of technical education for students seeking careers as automotive, motorcycle and marine technicians—what used to be euphemistically considered “guy jobs,” but now include many women.

Kim recently shared her remarkable journey with me. The irony, if that’s the right word, is that she had no big dreams of someday running a big company. As a favor to her uncle, she took a part-time summer job to operate the switchboard at Universal Technical Institute. She was 20 years old, a single mother needing the income to feed her one-year old son. “What I learned as a receptionist is that I liked helping people solve problems,” Kim said. “My job was essentially to coordinate someone’s needs with someone else who could assist them.”

Most of these needs came from students and their families. Gradually, Kim learned who in the organization could best handle each caller’s specific issue. “In a matter of weeks, I became very familiar with the entire organization; I got to know each person’s functional area of technical expertise,” she said. “More importantly, I learned that a business is like a village; to succeed there must be close interdependence. Every single person in a company is important.”

The summer she learned this, Kim also found meaning in Universal Technical Institute’s purpose. “Every three weeks a new group of students came in,” she said. “These were people who weren’t particularly successful in the traditional academic setting. Most lacked self-confidence, walking in with their heads down. By the time they graduated, the transformation in them was astonishing. The reason was our world-class facilities and equipment and especially our people. Everyone here is committed to changing people’s lives through education.”

I asked Kim what she thought about the fact that so many women eventually collide with their organization’s glass ceiling, knowing she had successfully worked her way up the ranks at Universal Technical Institute from the switchboard through admissions, customer service, marketing, and operations before blasting through the glass ceiling to become CEO. “Shortly after I became president, I launched an initiative called Breakthrough Performance, where we brought every one of our 900 employees at the time offsite for three days and nights, stripped them of their titles, and asked them to act like consultants in helping us make the company better,” she said. “We empowered them beyond their titles to provide constructive solutions.”

Kim learned that this was how the company should always be run. “Every employee must have a voice and every voice must have equal weight, irrespective of the person’s role, gender, nationality, and so on,” she explained.

I also chatted with Kim about the 2016 Gallup study stating that women leaders were better than men when it came to engaging employees, resulting in lower absenteeism and turnover, and higher productivity and profits. Was this consistent with Kim’s experience as a leader? “I generally believe that women are more nurturing and empathetic (than men) and are better able to tap into others’ talents,” she replied. “Women have a different way of motivating people to accomplish their goals. On the other hand, I also feel that some women can be very crippling to other women in the workplace because they’re trying to survive in a male-created business world. That’s changing now.”

I asked Kim to elaborate. “For one thing, many women now realize they don’t need to program themselves to act like men to become successful business leaders,” she said. “The extreme male traits that have made men successful don’t necessarily work for us because we’re different. Women also are learning that their feelings and emotions are positive characteristics in motivating others in the workforce. We’re able to be successful leaders because of our many dimensions.”

I couldn’t agree more. Female qualities are equally needed to manage today’s highly diverse workforce. Young people of myriad nationalities and cultures are self-defining their sexuality and gender. Women must simply refuse to believe it will take more than a century for women to match the number of men in the C-suite. We cannot wait. As Kim has proven in her life and work, everyone can have a chance, but we need to create more of them for women and minorities in order to level the playing field.

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Treating Every Day Like a Holiday – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/treating-every-day-like-holiday/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/treating-every-day-like-holiday/#respond Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:00:15 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1212 The holidays are often a time for reflection—what we’re grateful for, who we’re fortunate to have in our lives, and how we can make a greater difference in the lives of others. At Ultimate Software, we have our annual tradition of the Angel Tree, where we partner with Kids In Distress to help bring some […]

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2018 serviceThe holidays are often a time for reflection—what we’re grateful for, who we’re fortunate to have in our lives, and how we can make a greater difference in the lives of others.

At Ultimate Software, we have our annual tradition of the Angel Tree, where we partner with Kids In Distress to help bring some much-needed joy to hundreds of families. Instead of a companywide gift exchange, our employees buy toys on the children’s personal wish lists. It’s a program we love to support and look forward to participating in every year.

As you take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months, and the year ahead, consider treating every day like a holiday. Think about what you can do daily to have a positive impact on your community.

In reality, there are millions of people in need, and countless ways to help. Why limit ourselves to just one season of giving?

In 2018, I challenge all of us to make charity and community service a year-round commitment.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the past two weeks, we’ve recapped some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewed what’s ahead for 2018. We hope you’ve enjoyed the series, and have a wonderful holiday season!

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Partnering with the Miami HEAT to Make a Difference – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-miami-heat-partnership/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ultimate-software-miami-heat-partnership/#respond Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:00:35 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1206 In September, Ultimate Software announced a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association’s Miami HEAT that encompasses fan experience, joint community outreach, charitable giving, and the Ultimate logo on HEAT jerseys beginning this season. Teaming up with the HEAT is a true example of “People First” in action, as our organizations share a longstanding commitment […]

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ultimate software miami heatIn September, Ultimate Software announced a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association’s Miami HEAT that encompasses fan experience, joint community outreach, charitable giving, and the Ultimate logo on HEAT jerseys beginning this season.

Teaming up with the HEAT is a true example of “People First” in action, as our organizations share a longstanding commitment to making a difference in the community. Since announcing the partnership, we’ve pledged a combined $1 million in support of Hurricane Irma relief and recovery. In honor of Veterans Day last month, working alongside members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Ultimate and HEAT employees volunteered with Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade to help renovate the homes of two local veterans.

As the official HR/payroll provider of the Miami HEAT, Ultimate is proud to support the team in being champions on the court and game-changers in the community.

Ultimate Software’s #12DaysofHCM is back by popular demand! For the rest of this week, we’ll continue recapping some of the most talked about topics from 2017, and previewing what’s ahead for 2018.

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Does Employee Engagement Equal Customer Satisfaction? https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/does-employee-engagement-equal-customer-satisfaction/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/does-employee-engagement-equal-customer-satisfaction/#comments Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:00:26 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1164 “The true measure of a company is how they treat their lowest-paid employee.” At Ultimate Software, these words—immortalized by CEO Scott Scherr—are quoted and framed above the entryway in our South Florida headquarters. They serve as a reminder, for everyone from the C-suite to our newest hires, that “People First” is more than our motto. […]

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does employee engagement equal customer satisfaction“The true measure of a company is how they treat their lowest-paid employee.”

At Ultimate Software, these words—immortalized by CEO Scott Scherr—are quoted and framed above the entryway in our South Florida headquarters. They serve as a reminder, for everyone from the C-suite to our newest hires, that “People First” is more than our motto. It’s our lifeline.

With the help of Vivian Maza, Ultimate’s much-loved Chief People Officer, Scott built the company’s culture to put employees first, always. Scott often reiterates his conviction that, when you put your people first, they will take great care of your customers. And when you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of your bottom line.

It’s simple, it’s powerful, and it’s true.

By keeping our culture strong and placing people at the heart of all we do, we’ve received numerous Great Place to Work® recognitions over the years and enjoy an incredible 97% employee retention rate. Walk through our hallways and you’ll see smiling faces, homemade treats in the break rooms, and, more often than not, donation boxes filled with items for those in need. When “People First” is passed down from the top, it resonates with everyone.

The impact is significant.

High employee satisfaction and engagement are associated with lower turnover, improved productivity, increased sales, and better shareholder returns. Countless studies have also confirmed what Scott has believed from day one: employee engagement and customer satisfaction are directly correlated. Time and again, when organizations prioritize their people, their customers benefit in turn—so, too, do their profits.

In fact, one study calculated the relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction as r=.43, which is comparable to the relationship between sleeping pills and insomnia improvement (r=.3). Organizations reporting high engagement scores enjoy two times more customer loyalty than their counterparts with average engagement scores, and teams classified with higher levels of engagement increased their net promoter scores (NPS) by 27%.

It’s clear that customer satisfaction is also directly tied to profit. In 2012, Alex Edmans analyzed 28 years’ worth of stock market statistics and found that organizations that invested in employee satisfaction yielded up to 3.8% higher annual returns than their competitors. These findings are consistent with meta-analyses from Gallup, Washington State University, Bain & Company, and many others.

At Ultimate, we credit our “People First” culture with our industry-leading 95% customer satisfaction rate, rapid growth, and technological innovation. Twenty-seven years later, Scott’s advice continues to ring true: What’s good for your people is good for your customers and good for your organization.

So, does employee engagement equal customer satisfaction? Yes—and so much more. Leaders should take care to ensure they’re doing everything possible to keep their employees engaged and optimistic.

Care for your people, and they’ll care for you.

Sources:
http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/163130/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431908000790
http://www.bain.com/publications/articles/the-chemistry-of-enthusiasm.aspx

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