Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:28:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 It’s Everyone’s Job to Care About Job Descriptions https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/its-everyones-job-to-care-about-job-descriptions/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/its-everyones-job-to-care-about-job-descriptions/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 10:00:54 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1440 by Kate Bischoff From time to time, we invite guest contributors to provide their personal perspectives about trending HCM topics. The views, opinions, and comments expressed below are solely those of the author and do not represent Ultimate Software. This post was commissioned by Ultimate Software and the author has or will receive compensation for […]

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by Kate Bischoff

From time to time, we invite guest contributors to provide their personal perspectives about trending HCM topics. The views, opinions, and comments expressed below are solely those of the author and do not represent Ultimate Software. This post was commissioned by Ultimate Software and the author has or will receive compensation for their work.

job description“That’s not in my job description.”

It’s the response that irks almost every every manager on the planet. The manager then goes to her HR business partner, engages in a whole-body eye roll, and then complains about the employee’s lack of team spirit. While we’ll empathize with the manager about the employee, we may mumble to ourselves about how long it has been since the manager has actually updated the employee’s job description. Then, we get pulled in 100 other directions—all fires demanding more of our attention than job descriptions.

The job description (JD) may be the most out-of-date and inaccurate document in all of human resources. The problem is, we know it. We know that JDs are on the bottom of our priority list and only come up when we need to recruit for the position. We know that JDs help us determine market salary comparisons. We know that employees look at their JDs. We know that candidates look at JDs. We know that JDs can protect us in a disability-discrimination case.  We know that JDs provide the basis for classification analysis under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

So, why don’t we update JDs regularly? Here are four reasons we should.

JDs outline responsibilities and expectations. It’s not rocket science, but employees want to know their responsibilities and what’s expected of them. From its engagement survey from 2016, Gallup discovered that the failure to set clear responsibilities and expectations is a foundational element to employee engagement. A job description, paired with expectations, can give employees the clear direction they want and help increase their engagement.

JDs repeat what you say. Psychologists (and advertisers) tell us that something needs to be repeated seven times before the human brain acknowledges it was said. This means that telling the employee once at the beginning of her employment isn’t going to cut it. A JD offers another way to repeat what you’ve said during onboarding. As a bonus, the employee can refer to the JD without fear of asking a seemingly embarrassing question. While an employee might already be trained in XYZ job, she may not know how your company operates specifically and might have questions. A job description offers guidance, and maybe even the answer. If it’s outdated or inaccurate, she won’t get help there.

JDs fascinate candidates. While I agree with many employment-branding experts that a vacancy announcement should not be your JD, candidates want to see the JD eventually. Having a JD that is both accurate and exciting can help seal the deal with candidates. So, have updated job descriptions for candidates to review once they progress beyond the initial screen.

JDs provide protection. Courts and jurors know to look at a JD for a list of essential functions of a job. If a JD doesn’t have accurate essential functions because the job has changed over time, there may be no proof backing a manager’s claims. This puts the employer in danger of losing a disability-discrimination case. Moreover, when the U.S. Department of Labor questions whether an employee is really exempt under the FLSA, it asks for the JD. When the JD isn’t accurate, the exemption could be at risk. When a race-discrimination plaintiff alleges his co-worker is similarly situated, the court will use a comparison of the two JDs to determine whether that’s the case. If the JD isn’t accurate, the employer could be liable.

Reviewing (and adjusting) job descriptions should be an annual practice. Though, when asked by HR for updates, many managers grumble, not at all concerned about JDs and even less concerned about why potential compliance issues stemming from the document itself.

If you’re reading this now, maybe you can be the one to suggest a companywide JD review. Even if that’s not in your job description.

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New HR Spark Episodes: Hitting the Road, Honoring Payroll Professionals https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/new-hr-spark-episodes-3-and-4/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/new-hr-spark-episodes-3-and-4/#respond Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:00:01 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1131 Ultimate Software’s new video series, HR Spark, welcomes a bevy of industry experts for in-depth conversations on some of today’s hottest HCM topics and tomorrow’s most promising innovations. The underlying goal? To ignite ideas for your people and your business. In case you missed it: First, the series talked hearing the “Voice of the Employee” […]

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hr sparkUltimate Software’s new video series, HR Spark, welcomes a bevy of industry experts for in-depth conversations on some of today’s hottest HCM topics and tomorrow’s most promising innovations. The underlying goal? To ignite ideas for your people and your business.

In case you missed it: First, the series talked hearing the “Voice of the Employee” and using advanced survey solutions to better understand how people truly feel about work. The next episode covered fostering an employee-centric “Workplace Culture” and the importance of putting people first.

Going Remote

Fittingly, the third episode of HR Spark hits the road to explore “Working on the Go” and the rising number of remote employees comprising today’s workforce. Reporting seaside from beautiful West Palm Beach, HR Spark host Matt Mullan sits down with Ryan Bergstrom, vice president of product management at Ultimate, and Ben Eubanks, principal analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, who joins the show via Skype.

The discussion hits on a variety of tools and technologies available to help remote workers remain productive, even if they’re hundreds of miles from the office. Ryan provides key insight into how advances like Ultimate’s new UltiPro® mobile app are helping companies deliver the same, engaging workplace experience employees expect when they’re working from home or in the field.

“When you’re on the go, and being able to work in the app now, it gives you a wholly different world of just ease of use,” explains Ryan. “The systems are much simpler to use. You can take and do what seems like maybe a really complex task and you can go into a more mobile experience and do it in a really simple way, and get your job done.”

Building on Ryan’s point, analyst Ben reminded viewers that, sometimes, people just want to be able complete routine tasks, such as updating their contact information or viewing pay history, without having to lean on HR. This is especially crucial for employees who are away from the office—and today’s HCM tech is giving them the power to do so, while further freeing HR to focus on more strategic initiatives. “Being able to make those changes remotely means one less hassle for HR, and a little less trouble for [employees], too,” says Ben.

“That concept of viewing your paycheck, it seems like an easy enough thing … but, in reality, that paycheck’s different every single week,” adds Ryan. “And that generates a lot of questions [from employees]: ‘Why is this earning different? Why is this deduction different?’ … Being able to access that [pay] information on the go really adds a lot of efficiency.”

Prioritizing Payroll
Whether you manage a remote workforce or a traditional office, running payroll is perhaps the most important component of your business. To that end, the fourth episode of HR Spark focuses on payroll. More specifically, it celebrates National Payroll Week and honors the hardworking professionals who help ensure all employees get paid accurately and on time, every time.

Joining Matt for an oceanfront chat this time were Andie Heffernan, manager of business analysis at Ultimate; Kate Bischoff, employment attorney and consultant at tHRive Law & Consulting LLC; and Justine Belt, payroll manager at RMH Franchise Corporation, the second-largest franchisee of Applebee’s restaurants in the United States.

In a one-on-one interview to kick off the episode, Andie and Matt point out some of the biggest challenges facing HR’s “unsung heroes” in payroll: from computing complex calculations to remaining compliant at the local, state, federal, and provincial levels.

“Most employees take for granted the amount of effort required to get payroll correct,” says Andie, though “technology has simplified the processes that feed into payroll, making it seamless to pay employees more accurately.”

But, getting payroll right isn’t just about ensuring employees get paid. When payroll goes wrong, there can be major legal ramifications for an organization—as discussed among the episode’s expert panel.

“There are so many [potential issues],” adds employment attorney Kate. “Imagine what the U.S. Department of Labor is going to say about failure to pay overtime and minimum wage? … When there is a payroll issue, that not only starts some litigation and agency action, but then it also can ripple into some of the big compliance areas.”

Fortunately, for Justine and her colleagues at RMH Franchise Corporation, powerful payroll software has provided much relief for administrators and peace of mind for employees by simplifying processes and enabling role-based access to essential pay information.

“RMH grows very rapidly, and, in the past, our providers could not keep up with us,” explains the payroll manager. “Switching to Ultimate, we no longer have those worries. We know we’re compliant with all our state and local payroll taxes. And to give our employees a self-service payroll module, where they can go in and see their paychecks and their W-2s—that was the deciding factor for us.”

There’s plenty more to learn in the latest episodes of HR Spark. Check them out today, and stay tuned for the recap of our October and November episodes.

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What is the Best Way to Lead? https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/great-leadership/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/great-leadership/#comments Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:48:40 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1126 What are the traits of great leadership for the future of work? It’s a question I am often asked by audience members during my varied speaking engagements. It’s a great question, since leadership—like everything else in today’s blistering pace of change—must be dynamic. Leaders must evolve as employees do, to direct organizations that operate and […]

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leadershipWhat are the traits of great leadership for the future of work? It’s a question I am often asked by audience members during my varied speaking engagements. It’s a great question, since leadership—like everything else in today’s blistering pace of change—must be dynamic.

Leaders must evolve as employees do, to direct organizations that operate and are managed differently. I’m referring to the movement in many companies toward project-based teamwork involving both full-time and non-permanent employees, tasks performed on a mobile “anywhere” basis, and the positive trend toward employee inclusiveness, in which each person’s self-defined uniqueness is seen as the asset it is. (See my related post, Are You Ready for True Workforce Fluidity?) Certainly, this is not your grandfather’s business to lead.

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, companies were often run with military precision. During World War II, 10 high-ranking management theorists were recruited by the U.S. Air Force to enhance operations. When the war ended, Ford Motor Company snapped them up. They inserted the military’s “org charts” into Ford’s structure, creating divisions, departments, and jobs based on a person’s specific expertise. This ensured work was appropriately doled out, supervised, and completed. Other companies soon incorporated similar structures across the industrialized world.

As one might imagine, leaders of these businesses were akin to military generals. They commanded the organization from the boardroom, rather than the war room. This structure was right (for the times) and proved its merit. American companies quickly became the best in the world. And then the Internet, smartphones, the cloud, cognitive computing, and the Internet of Things burgeoned to seriously change things—democratizing decision-making and communications.

So what is today’s definition of “great leadership”? To draw a clearer picture, I turned to the source of the last century’s business leadership model—the military. I asked Lieutenant General George Flynn, now retired, for his perspective on the subject.

Lt. Gen. Flynn enjoyed a distinguished career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration and the Commanding General of the Combat Development Command in Quantico, Virginia. He is an advisor to Ultimate Software and many other corporations, and is a brilliant resource on leadership strategy.

You may know Lt. Gen. Flynn as the inspiration for a book by the best-selling author Simon Sinek. Sinek had interviewed him to learn more about the Marine Corps’ style of leadership. He boiled it down to these three words—“Officers eat last.” Sinek was so taken with the response he named his book after it (Leaders Eat Last). I recently sat down with George to ask what he meant by his comment.

“It’s really pretty simple,” he said. “If you treat your team as the most important resource in your organization, they become committed to you and the purpose of the organization. It shows your respect and the fact that you care so much about them that they deserve only the best. And that includes eating first, beginning with the most junior officer and ending with the most senior officer.”

He added, “That’s the ‘cost of leadership,’ as I explained it to Simon.”

This leadership philosophy seems at odds with today’s corporate guidance. Few CEOs know the names of employees other than their direct reports. Many of them eat with other senior executives in a separate part of the company cafeteria and have large offices away from the rest of their employees. Certainly, this is not an “officers eat last” approach. Rather, it suggests rank—people separated based on their perceived value and contributions to the success of the organization. There is a shift happening in some companies where CEOs are forgoing offices for shared office space, and the impact is significant for employees. As George put it, “Whoever is leading must form trusted relationships with those being led.”

Our discussion moved on to today’s millennial workers. George commented that this generation of employees tends to demand more from its leaders. “They want to know the ‘why’ before they buy into the project,” he explained. “When they believe in the value of what needs to be done, they’re very giving of their time and effort. They’ll go the extra mile if they understand the purpose behind the tasks and believe in that purpose.”

Without this understanding, millennials (really all employees) are more likely to search for new employment. To keep them, leaders must ensure they have meaningful work that leads to the development of new skills. “Millennials need to be trained and empowered to take risks on behalf of the organization, to progress in their careers,” George said. How can today’s business leaders, particularly those at the helm of large, far-flung organizations, ensure full buy-in from the “troops”? George responded that there are specific times on any given day when a leader can demonstrate valued leadership. “We call them ‘defining moments,’” he said. “The moments differ, but examples include how the person makes a difficult decision or handles a mistake. Word of mouth quickly spreads to form an opinion about the leader.”

These opinions are the basis for following the leader. “In my experience, I’ve come across three levels of leadership,” said George. “The first is when people follow you because you’ve been given the authority to control them. The second is they follow you because they trust you and will, therefore, take risks for you. The third level is they follow you because they believe in you and your mission. At that level, they’ll make personal sacrifices for you. Down deep, all people want to be part of something bigger than themselves.”

I couldn’t agree more. When we feel we are part of something important led by a leader we believe in, work becomes much more than just work. It becomes part of our purpose and identity.

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The Ultimate HR Tech 2017 Preview https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-tech-2017-preview/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-tech-2017-preview/#comments Fri, 06 Oct 2017 21:35:15 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1115 The 20th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition (HR Tech 2017) is just days away, and Ultimate Software will be joining the thousands of HR professionals, tech innovators, and industry experts convening in Las Vegas to explore the latest advancements in HCM and preview what’s to come. If you’re heading to HR Tech this year, […]

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hr tech 2017The 20th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition (HR Tech 2017) is just days away, and Ultimate Software will be joining the thousands of HR professionals, tech innovators, and industry experts convening in Las Vegas to explore the latest advancements in HCM and preview what’s to come. If you’re heading to HR Tech this year, here’s where you can expect to find Ultimate on each day of the premier conference.

Tuesday, October 10 | Women in Tech
Highlighting the first day of HR Tech are two discussions sure to engage attendees, and inspire the industry at large. Join Ultimate’s Vice President of HCM Innovation, Cecile Alper-Leroux, and a panel of executives for “Women Leaders in Technology.” They’ll share personal stories of trials and triumphs in tech, and provide insight into how companies can create workplace cultures that empower women and organizations to succeed.

Also on Tuesday is the panel “Finding, Supporting, and Developing the Next Generation of Women Technology Leaders,” featuring Ultimate’s Chief People Officer, Vivian Maza, and Yasmary Diaz, an engineering team owner at Ultimate. Viv and Yasmary will join other industry experts to talk about the impactful practices leading HR tech companies have implemented to recruit, develop, and retain women in a variety of roles.

Wednesday, October 11 | Data-Driven HCM
On a jam-packed day two, you’ll find Ultimate’s Chief Technology Officer, Adam Rogers, and Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of The Center for Generational Kinetics, presenting “Multi-Year Study Results Revealed: Surprising Drivers of the Employee Experience.” Discover new, enlightening research on what really drives employee engagement.

Also, Armen Berjikly, senior director of workforce intelligence at Ultimate, and a panel of experts will dive into a discussion on data and HCM analytics, attempting to answer the all-important “What do we do now?” question once an organization has access to millions of insightful data points. Don’t miss “Take That for Data! Reflections on Analytics, AI, and the Devaluing of HR Pros.”

Then, join Armen and Ultimate’s Principal Data Scientist, Moritz Sudhof, as they demonstrate Ultimate’s “People First” artificial intelligence platform, Xander™. This exclusive demo will showcase how Xander powers UltiPro®’s solutions to automatically understand, predict, and prescribe personalized actions from all relevant HCM data—from text to demographics.

Finally, on Wednesday, catch Cecile Alper-Leroux and Mark Simpson, vice president of human resources at Texas Roadhouse, as they discuss “Quantifying the Financial Value of HR Transformation: Speaking C-Suite and Business Leaders’ Language.” Hear strategies on how HR can become catalysts for organizational change and earn executive “buy-in” for technology-purchase decisions.

Thursday, October 12 | HR Tech Hackathon
Experience the exciting results of the Third Annual HR Tech Hackathon, one of the conference’s can’t-miss events. Teams of skilled engineers and developers will have only 48 hours to design and build a brand-new solution to help solve some of HR’s greatest challenges. Be there Thursday to see the created solutions and applications in action. You can even cast a vote for your favorite.

Friday, October 13 | Ideas from Innovators

The final day of HR Tech 2017, Ultimate’s Senior Director of HCM Innovation, Jarik Conrad, and a group of “Ideas and Innovators in HR” will share their cutting-edge concepts for companies of all sizes. Leave HR Tech with a new outlook and an inspirational list of initiatives you can start implementing to support your people and your business.

All Week | Relax, Recharge, Stay Connected

With HR Tech 2017’s wall-to-wall agenda, you’ll probably want to take a few minutes throughout the week just to rejuvenate. Be sure to visit Ultimate’s Relaxation & Recharge station located right outside the exhibition hall, where you can enjoy a free massage and charge up your mobile devices. And remember to visit Ultimate at Booth #1619 to say hello, learn more about our solutions, and enter to win some great giveaways.

If you can’t attend HR Tech 2017, or just want to stay connected during the conference, remember to follow Ultimate on social media—including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter—for live updates and continuous coverage.

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We’ll See You at SHRM 2017! https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/shrm-2017/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/shrm-2017/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:00:21 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1019 In just a few days, thousands of HR professionals, analysts, and influencers will gather in “The Big Easy” for easily one of the biggest events in our space, the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition. More than 200 concurrent sessions covering industry hot topics, a marquee lineup of keynote speakers, countless networking opportunities, and an […]

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SHRM 2017In just a few days, thousands of HR professionals, analysts, and influencers will gather in “The Big Easy” for easily one of the biggest events in our space, the SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition. More than 200 concurrent sessions covering industry hot topics, a marquee lineup of keynote speakers, countless networking opportunities, and an exciting night of entertainment all combine to make SHRM a must-attend event every year.

As you prepare for your trip to New Orleans, here’s where you can plan to find Ultimate Software at SHRM 2017.

A Firsthand Look

Join us on Monday, June 19, from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., for a special demo of Ultimate’s employee survey and sentiment analysis solution, UltiPro Perception™. To create a great workplace culture and employee experience, organizations must understand both what employees are saying and how they feel. Discover how UltiPro Perception helps you better collect, understand, and act on real-time employee feedback through advanced natural language processing (NLP) technology. Seating is limited for this exclusive event—titled, “Do You REALLY Understand the Voice of Your Employees?”—so be sure to register in advance to secure your spot.

A Virtual Tour

Once you’ve experienced UltiPro Perception, visit Ultimate at Booth #2333 in the SHRM exposition hall for a unique virtual-reality (VR) tour. Grab a pair of our stylish VR goggles and see just what Ultimate’s cloud HCM solution can do. From core HR, benefits, and payroll to talent management, learning, and advanced analytics, UltiPro provides the tools, resources, and technology to help develop your people and grow your business.

And, after your virtual test drive, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a special premiere. Hint: We’re building on the success of Ultimate’s #PeopleFirstPodcast, which launched at SHRM last year, to bring you a brand-new series that’s sure to spark some great ideas for your organization.

A Quick Refresher

While you’re taking in all SHRM 2017 has to offer throughout the week, whenever you need a few minutes to recharge your batteries, stop by Ultimate’s Relax & Recharge station, also located in the expo hall. Enjoy a free massage and power up your mobile devices, so you’ll always be ready to go.

Whether you’re heading to New Orleans, or you’re attending SHRM in spirit, stay connected with Ultimate throughout the conference by following @UltimateHCM and #SHRM17 on Twitter, and by visiting Ultimate’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

We’ll see you at SHRM!

 

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More Employees are Voluntarily Leaving Jobs – What it Means for HR https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-retention/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-retention/#respond Wed, 08 Mar 2017 11:00:31 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=882 The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for December 2016, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in February, reported there were 1.4 million more quits than layoffs and discharges for the month. These numbers mirror the November 2016 report, which also determined that the difference in number of quits—defined by the BLS […]

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The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for December 2016, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in February, reported there were 1.4 million more quits than layoffs and discharges for the month. These numbers mirror the November 2016 report, which also determined that the difference in number of quits—defined by the BLS as “generally voluntary separations initiated by employees”—and number of layoffs and discharges has increased since April 2010.

employee feedback Said another way: more and more people are feeling more and more comfortable about voluntarily leaving their jobs. While this development shows signs of a strengthening economy, it also spells fresh challenges for HR professionals and business leaders.

Fortunately, the number of technological tools and resources available for preventing turnover—that is, forecasting flight risk, measuring workplace happiness, and taking meaningful action to enhance the employee experience—also has increased in recent years.

Advances in predictive and prescriptive analytics have given HR the ability to easily analyze millions of data points to uncover workforce trends and, even more importantly, act upon the results. Assisted by unbiased metrics, today’s managers have increased insight into their teams’ performance and can better determine which individuals might be thinking about leaving. Maybe one employee feels undervalued, and another overworked. A third, meanwhile, craves more responsibility. All three employees could benefit from leadership stepping in and having that all-important, two-way conversation—before it’s too late.

But, as with any productive conversation, the key is to listen.

New employee feedback software is empowering organizations to do just that. These solutions not only help managers collect valuable employee feedback, they also measure how people truly feel about their jobs, teams, leaders, and organization as a whole. The latest offering in this realm revolutionizes the staff-engagement survey, drawing upon machine learning and natural language processing to analyze open-ended responses and gauge individuals’ perception of the organization.

Survey results are even delivered in real time. Because time is of the essence.

These new numbers from the BLS suggest it’s perhaps now more important than ever for organizations to renew their focus on the employee. After all, people drive business, and retaining top talent is crucial for continued success.

A recent study by The Center for Generational Kinetics found that three-quarters of American workers reported they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed. By listening to and acting upon employee feedback, companies of all sizes can help ensure their people choose to grow their careers with their organization, instead of deciding to develop their skills elsewhere.

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HR Compliance in a Legal Whiplash World https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-compliance-predictions/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-compliance-predictions/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:00:45 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=873 From time to time, we invite guest contributors to provide their personal perspectives about trending HCM topics. The views, opinions, and comments expressed below are solely those of the author and do not represent Ultimate Software. This post was commissioned by Ultimate Software and the author has or will receive compensation for their work. Guest […]

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From time to time, we invite guest contributors to provide their personal perspectives about trending HCM topics. The views, opinions, and comments expressed below are solely those of the author and do not represent Ultimate Software. This post was commissioned by Ultimate Software and the author has or will receive compensation for their work.

Guest post by Kate Bischoff, Employment Lawyer & HR Consultant

HR compliance is hard. Employers are subject to so many different laws that even the most seasoned HR practitioners can innocently overlook legal changes. Last year was a particularly fast-paced year for employment law changes. We saw so many different laws and minor tweaks that one would hope 2017 would slow this down just a smidge. Don’t hold your breath, HR, because 2017 promises to be just as fast and maybe even more confusing.

Watch the Locals

With the federal government in conflict over nominees, travel bans, and religious policies, state legislatures, county commissions, and city councils are busy bees. Sick and parenting leave, minimum wages, and scheduling rules are all under consideration by local lawmakers. Even Linn County, Iowa with just over 210,000 residents upped its minimum wage and continues to study whether it’ll increase wages even further.

Employers need to know what their local lawmakers are doing. The laws being made on local levels always differ from the eventual state or federal laws that follow. We may be forced to doing some fancy HR yoga to comply with both. If you want a voice, get involved through industry-specific organizations or local chambers of commerce, or by contacting lawmakers directly. Trust me, when HR has a say in making the law, compliance is easier.

Ice Your Legal Whiplash

HR complianceLast year was a whirlwind year for employment law at the federal level. The U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the “blacklisting” rule, and new overtime regulations among others had employers confused and working diligently to find ways to comply. Yet, it appears that only a few of the new federal laws will actually come to fruition. The fiduciary rule is now under review. The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to repeal the “blacklisting rule.” And, the last-minute injunction imposed by a Texas federal judge remains in place on the overtime regulations. While we don’t know how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will decide whether the salary-basis part of the new regulations is within the DOL’s discretion, it’s only natural that employers feel like they’re suffering from legal whiplash.

This feeling will likely continue. We’re almost a year away from filing a new EEO-1 pay report that the new Acting Chair of the EEOC dislikes. So, could this change? Maybe. The makeup of the ever-controversial National Labor Relations Board will change and, with it, the Board’s decisions on social media and respectful workplace policies will likely swing the other way too.  Get out your icepacks. We are likely in for a bumpy ride for awhile.

Count Your Sick Leave

For the last decade, employers have known that they need to provide some sort of paid time off (PTO) for employees. This PTO has included sick leave, vacation, and even time off to attend school conferences. But, PTO has not been a legal requirement for many employers until now. Chicago, Minneapolis, Trenton, and many others have all enacted new sick-leave ordinances with other localities considering enacting such ordinances soon. Employers have to ask themselves, Got sick leave?

The challenge with the new sick-leave laws is how to calculate the PTO. For example, in St. Paul, Minnesota, employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. This calculation may be very different than the years-of-service method that determines the amount of PTO a full-time employee accrues under an employer’s policy. For HR, this means we have to be careful calculating earned PTO, and even reverse-engineer the amount of time offered to employees. Remember, employers can always pay more—even in sick leave—just never below.

Befriend an Employment Attorney

The only guarantee I can make for 2017 is that you’re going to need to know an employment law attorney. Employment attorneys are required to know the laws in their jurisdiction. The need to pay attention at city council meetings, attend hearings at state legislatures, or at the very least follow the #emplaw hashtag on Twitter to keep up are essential functions listed in our job descriptions. Meet us, let us buy you a donut or lunch, and ask us lots of questions to help keep you in compliance.

Kate Bischoff is an energetic and enthusiastic human resources professional, employment/labor law attorney, and technology aficionado. She loves HR and wants to make companies better – not just compliant. To read more from Kate, find her HR-related posts here: http://www.ultimatesoftware.com/blog/author/katebischoff/

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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/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:42:27 +0000 https://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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The Future of Employee Feedback – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/get-employee-feedback-12daysofhcm/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/get-employee-feedback-12daysofhcm/#respond Thu, 22 Dec 2016 13:00:06 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=779 Employees everywhere are talking, but are we listening? The need for organizations to actively listen to their people is at an all-time high, with three-quarters of American workers saying they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed, according to a study this year by The Center for […]

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get employee feedback. 75% of employees say they are more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed. Learn more on the #12DaysofHCM series.

Employees everywhere are talking, but are we listening?

The need for organizations to actively listen to their people is at an all-time high, with three-quarters of American workers saying they’re more likely to stay with a company longer if their concerns are heard and addressed, according to a study this year by The Center for Generational Kinetics.

The good news? Advances in employee-survey solutions now make it easier to collect, analyze, and act upon employee feedback—including open-ended responses—efficiently and effectively. Technology that combines natural language processing and machine-learning algorithms can analyze text-based feedback, enabling organizations to not only hear what employees are saying, but also measure how they truly feel about work.

We can learn a lot from our people. Organizations that take active steps in 2017 to get employee feedback, hear, and address concerns could see positive impacts on culture, performance, and retention.

 

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Measuring, Improving Employee Engagement – #12DaysofHCM https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/understanding-employee-engagement-performance-12daysofhcm/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/understanding-employee-engagement-performance-12daysofhcm/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:00:27 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=770 The need for understanding employee engagement in the workplace continues to increase. Fortunately, the ways of effectively assessing it continue to increase as well. Today’s HCM analytics technology can help organizations of all sizes identify and predict potential top performers and flight risks, and even measure individual employees’ engagement levels. Right now, many organizations are […]

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understanding employee engagement on the #12DaysofHCM blog series.

Higher workplace engagement leads to:
37% lower absenteeism
41% fewer safety incidents
41% fewer quality defects. Learn more on the #12DaysofHCM blog series.

The need for understanding employee engagement in the workplace continues to increase. Fortunately, the ways of effectively assessing it continue to increase as well.

Today’s HCM analytics technology can help organizations of all sizes identify and predict potential top performers and flight risks, and even measure individual employees’ engagement levels.

Right now, many organizations are sitting on a wealth of workforce data—up to 16 million data points. Those companies already applying Big Data to HR are experiencing the benefits, with HR teams four times more likely to be respected by their business counterparts for data-driving decision making, according to Bersin by Deloitte.

If you’ve been unsure about using predictive analytics tools in your organization, there’s perhaps no better time to start reaping the many rewards.

Is 2017 the year you finally embrace Big Data and harness the full power of HCM analytics?

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