Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Fri, 19 Oct 2018 17:28:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Three Mega Trends to Watch For in 2019 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-mega-trends-to-watch-2019/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-mega-trends-to-watch-2019/#respond Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:39:55 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1533 Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons. Maybe it’s the inevitability of the rapidly evolving world we live in. But, each year, I spend a good amount of time with colleagues thinking about how the major economic, sociological, technological, and cultural trends we are experiencing will impact us, our leaders, our employees, and HR professionals […]

The post Three Mega Trends to Watch For in 2019 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
future of workMaybe it’s the changing of the seasons. Maybe it’s the inevitability of the rapidly evolving world we live in. But, each year, I spend a good amount of time with colleagues thinking about how the major economic, sociological, technological, and cultural trends we are experiencing will impact us, our leaders, our employees, and HR professionals in the coming year.

We like to explore multiple topics, always looking at issues through the lens of putting people first. Through these discussions, we extend and expand the ideas until we see emerging patterns everywhere we look. The value of analogous fields is never lost in this process, as we gather innovative and nascent solutions to the problems posed by these trends in unexpected industries and contexts.

Throughout 2018, our team focused on artificial intelligence, in particular “People First” AI, hyper-personalization and its necessity in leadership, and humanizing work with breakthrough diversity and inclusion initiatives. The growing research and attention paid to these topics by organizations globally has certainly advanced our understanding of these trends and has brought new solutions to the market from Ultimate Software and others.

So, we turn now to what 2019 will bring us.

The three mega trends below are not brand-new concepts, but they will take on a critical urgency in 2019 due to a convergence of technological, economic, and socio-cultural factors.

Well-being at Work

With the dizzying pace of change and the mind-blowing exponential growth of data and technology available to us showing no signs of letting up, we are all facing new levels of overload. The impact of this overload is manifesting itself in unanticipated ways. Our emotional, social, and physical well-being at work is directly impacted by the stressors associated with overload, and organizations will struggle to help employees cope and, more importantly, thrive in such environments without a new approach. Far beyond wellness programs, organizations will have to explore creative new workspace concepts, design work with overall employee well-being in mind, and offer transformative technologies to help monitor and change employee behavior. In addition, the work of inclusion and belonging will take on even greater importance for business success. 

Preparing People for the Future of Work

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. Yet, when we bring it up and read about it, it’s generally in terms of job loss due to AI and automation, the primary drivers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The urgency in 2019 comes from the fact that, to date, we have done more talking and less doing – and action is needed before we reach a global skills crisis. HR and business leaders have done little to prepare people for the future of work by systematically and intentionally reskilling and upskilling them.

The future workforce is a blended one, with humans and machines working side by side. We cannot leave the future success of our businesses to chance, yet that is precisely what many organizations are doing by leaving reskilling entirely up to employees. We must ensure employees’ voices are heard throughout this daunting learning process, and every employee should contribute to defining their development paths, but not without guidance and support from their employers. The shift has to start with understanding a new hierarchy of needs for employees, in which we deeply understand their motivations and dreams and actively include them in their future performance development – all of which result in helping drive better performance for organizations.

Creating the Connected, Collaborative Enterprise

The third major force impacting our workplaces and workforces is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT manifests itself differently in the workplace compared with in our private lives, with our smart lights, thermostats, and connected kitchens. At work, we have new opportunities to create a highly connected and collaborative enterprise. With the IoT at work – smart work apps that might recognize when praise is given and record it, smart meeting spaces and wearable devices that pick up on stress and stressors – we can elevate the traditional employee and manager self-service models to completely new levels (at last) and transform the Digital Employee Experience into an insightful and interactive one.

With data democratization that both fosters higher levels of trust between employees and employers while enabling people to make better and smarter decisions for the enterprise and themselves, organizational outcomes will improve. We must also be aware of and balance the ethics of capturing new kinds of interaction data and the flow of information that moves between and within the connected and collaborative enterprise in the era of boundary-less organizations. It will be crucial to ensure we respect how people work and honor their private data while helping them thrive.

While these mega trends are not entirely new to the world of work and HR, they have certainly not been addressed to the extent they need to be to ensure our people can maximize their contributions to our organizations while achieving more meaningful levels of professional and personal growth and success.

For the sake of our organizations and, above all, our people, let’s make 2019 the year that changes it all!

The post Three Mega Trends to Watch For in 2019 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/three-mega-trends-to-watch-2019/feed/ 0
An Easier Way to Have a Tough Conversation https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/managers-tough-conversations/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/managers-tough-conversations/#comments Fri, 28 Sep 2018 19:28:53 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1520 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. Managers […]

The post An Easier Way to Have a Tough Conversation appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
managers tough conversationsFrom 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.

Managers are often in tough spots. They are required to complete projects while managing their people well. Because people are people, complete with mistakes, errors, and sometimes even naivety, employees can put managers in situations where difficult conversations have to occur. Whether it’s someone isn’t doing her job, creating problems for coworkers or customers, or not even showing up for work, these difficult conversations can cause our overworked managers anxiety. In fact, a recent Harvard Business Review article found that two-thirds of managers are uncomfortable with these conversations due to the anxiety of how the employee will react. We, in HR, can do something about that.

We can equip managers with both support and a checklist. The support means coaching them through prep work for the chat. Offer advice on what to say and how to say it. Tell them, “You’ve got this” and, “I’m here if you need me.” These words of comfort are important.

As for the checklist, here’s how to help managers prepare for those tough conversations:

  • Plan. Prepare a script. I recommend managers draft an email with some bullet points with the main message or a full script of what they need to convey to the employee. If a manager doesn’t plan, it’s possible that the conversation will veer into uncharted waters and the manager may miss the clear messaging she wanted to discuss.
  • Consult. Consult with HR, another manager, and/or the manager’s manager. Soliciting feedback about misconduct or poor performance can help improve the messaging or alter the manager’s wording to make the message even more clear, less emotional, or less harsh.
  • Take a beat. Yes, performance and discipline should be addressed as soon as possible, but a discussion should not happen in the heat of the moment or in anger. Managers need a beat to breathe, plan, and consult. It’s okay, and even preferred, when the manager’s own emotion could hinder the discussion. Just don’t let the beat last longer than one business day.
  • Schedule. This is a short, in-person meeting—usually less than 15 minutes. There should not be a long list of things the manager needs to cover. Bogging it down with other subjects reduces the importance of the poor performance or discipline part of the discussion, so these issues should be the only topic of conversation, from the manager’s perspective. Plus, if a manager adds other topics, the employee may not remember the most important points.
  • Anticipate. Usually a manager knows if an employee will cry, become defensive, and/or get angry. Ponder this when planning what could happen. Managers should have tissues ready, let HR know they’re having the conversation, or plan to have someone with them if they have concerns about the employee’s reaction. Select this person carefully—s/he should not be a coworker of the employee. It’s best if it’s someone from HR.
  • Prepare for surprise. Sometimes, a manager won’t be able to anticipate how the employee reacts. If the employee starts lodging complaints, the manager needs to know how to refocus the discussion. Managers will need to hear a complaint, but then remind the employee that they’re there to talk about a performance or discipline issue. Managers should report the complaint immediately after the meeting, so HR or upper management can take action.
  • Document. Managers can use their preparation bullet points or script to recap, adding notes on how the meeting actually went. The employee doesn’t have to sign off on the documentation, but should know of the document’s existence.

Tough conversations aren’t what most, if any, managers look forward to in their day-to-day work. However, sometimes they still need to take place. With a little preparation, and even help from HR, we can make tough conversations a bit easier for everyone.

 

The post An Easier Way to Have a Tough Conversation appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/managers-tough-conversations/feed/ 2
Humanology: The Future of Humans, Technology in the Workplace https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-smarter-technologies/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-smarter-technologies/#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2018 12:13:51 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1477 by Janine N. Truitt 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 […]

The post Humanology: The Future of Humans, Technology in the Workplace appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
by Janine N. Truitt

smarter technologies hrFrom 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.

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, and “disruption” is the theme. The World Economic Forum reports that this revolution, “includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology.” All of which are supposed to not only disrupt how we do business, but also usher in the need for an entirely different labor market within the next five years.

According to a MIT Technology Review article from 2016, the White House stated, “that it believes future presidents should try to shape how AI technology evolves and is deployed.” This sentiment was echoed in a recent Q&A with Mo Gawdat, former chief business officer for Google X, at UNLEASH 2018 in Las Vegas. In this discussion, Gawdat shared a similar sentiment: we are at an “inflection point”—you may even say, a reflection point. His sense and mine is that we need to reflect on who we are and what we have become in the past five decades or so. It is from that point of view that we need to envision the world we want. The inflection point, in some regard, is already upon us, but from some reflection we can start to think of some ways that working with smarter technologies can improve our way of life and work. Part of the concern Gawdat has expressed is cognitive technologies such as AI will be (and are currently) learning from us based on the information that lives in our systems and on the Internet. If we look at that information objectively, there are far more data points filled with fear, discrimination, poor practices, and anger on our servers than positive examples for the world we want for the future. The good news here is we have the ability to change it—by changing the way we do things now, instead of waiting for a prime time in the future.

“HR can’t afford to have change happen to it.”

I am encouraging my fellow HR practitioners to see this turning point in humanity and history as a prime opportunity for our profession. Yes, we will need to reskill and adapt to new expectations, but that’s true with every technological evolution and previous industrial revolutions. In return, we have also gained many degree fields, jobs, and sectors people couldn’t have dreamt of 30–40 years ago. The emergence of cognitive technologies is no different. We will gain new jobs, sectors, and ways of operating in business. In fact, the same World Economic Forum report states that, amidst the loss, we will add 2.1 million jobs in more “specialized” job families, such as computer and mathematical or architecture and engineering.

By the way, did you forget that these technologies are being developed by us humans? Remembering this fact means that how the emergence of cognitive technology proliferates is largely dependent on the latitude and capabilities we give them. In other words, we ought to define the moral and ethical limits to meet our expectations. Although, according to Gawdat, with smarter technologies, it’s not a matter of “if,” but rather “when” machines exceed human intelligence, which is reported to happen in 2029.

Here are some reasons why HR should be driving change as we continue to explore how we can best work with technology:

  • Assessing human capability. Do you know what the collective and individual capabilities, interests, and motivations of your workforce are? Chances are your answer is “no,” but this is a great place for us to start engaging AI products to assess organization-wide sentiment, so we can start solving for some of the more pressing workforce issues.
  • Clarity and efficiency. If we’re honest, we have never been able to control human behavior, nor have we been great at predicting it. All we really have success in is creating the best possible circumstances for our workforces to thrive. Our imminent partnership with smarter technologies means we can finally be better at using the data we have to predict, forecast, and model workforce outcomes.
  • HR and humanity still have a purpose. The human touch is still needed in everything we do, because humans haven’t altogether stopped being human. Let’s face it: many of the technologies reported to shift the way we work are not going to be great or reliable for a long time to come. That said, while they are becoming great and exceeding our ability to cognate, there is still time to decide what is best left to the machines to do and where our real value proposition lies in the future as an industry.

In a lot of ways, the things we fear about robots and AI are misguided. What we fear are not the actual technologies, but the change it is ushering in and the perceived lack of control we have to change the trajectory of humanity. You can’t manage what you don’t acknowledge or keep record on.

Here are some more ways to participate in the shift:

  • Educate yourself and your teams as much as you can on AI, natural language processing, robotics, virtual reality, and augmented reality. It’s less scary when you’ve assessed them yourself rather than relied on others’ fear-based anecdotes. The more you know about the technologies you will be interacting with, the better.
  • Speak up. Presuming that you are using technology in the way of an applicant tracking system or HCM solution currently, it is safe to think your respective vendor will start to implement any one of these smarter technologies as part of your current product suite. Be sure to communicate how they can continue to serve you best. It should not be about implementing smarter technologies for the sake of being cool—it needs to be applicable to the organization and practitioner’s needs.

There are no right or wrong answers in how we best partner with technologies going forward. The goal should be to move forward together for the better of everyone involved.

The post Humanology: The Future of Humans, Technology in the Workplace appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-smarter-technologies/feed/ 4
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 […]

The post It’s Everyone’s Job to Care About Job Descriptions appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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.

The post It’s Everyone’s Job to Care About Job Descriptions appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/its-everyones-job-to-care-about-job-descriptions/feed/ 0
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” […]

The post New HR Spark Episodes: Hitting the Road, Honoring Payroll Professionals appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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.

The post New HR Spark Episodes: Hitting the Road, Honoring Payroll Professionals appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/new-hr-spark-episodes-3-and-4/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What is the Best Way to Lead? appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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.

The post What is the Best Way to Lead? appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/great-leadership/feed/ 3
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, […]

The post The Ultimate HR Tech 2017 Preview appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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.

The post The Ultimate HR Tech 2017 Preview appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-tech-2017-preview/feed/ 1
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 […]

The post We’ll See You at SHRM 2017! appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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!

 

The post We’ll See You at SHRM 2017! appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/shrm-2017/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post More Employees are Voluntarily Leaving Jobs – What it Means for HR appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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.

The post More Employees are Voluntarily Leaving Jobs – What it Means for HR appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/employee-feedback-retention/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post HR Compliance in a Legal Whiplash World appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
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/

The post HR Compliance in a Legal Whiplash World appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-compliance-predictions/feed/ 0