Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:47:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Live From #HRTechConf 2017: AI and the Future of HR https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-hrtechconf-2017-ai-future-hr/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-hrtechconf-2017-ai-future-hr/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 19:31:34 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1119 “Artificial intelligence (AI) is the number-one technology you can’t afford to miss.” These powerful words came from Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, as he led the “Looking Ahead: Where Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning May Take the Next Generation of HR” panel on Thursday, October 12, the second-to-last day of […]

The post Live From #HRTechConf 2017: AI and the Future of HR appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
“Artificial intelligence (AI) is the number-one technology you can’t afford to miss.”

These powerful words came from Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, as he led the “Looking Ahead: Where Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning May Take the Next Generation of HR” panel on Thursday, October 12, the second-to-last day of the 2017 HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas.

Ultimate Software Xander demo at HR Tech Conference 2017Mueller was not alone in his sentiment. AI and machine learning took center stage at the conference this year, with multiple sessions and panels dedicated to the burgeoning technology and its expected impact on HR and HCM. Subject-matter experts from organizations across HR tech agreed on AI’s revolutionary capacity, common problems facing developers, and opportunities for industry leaders to incorporate these futuristic technologies into their solutions.

AI-related topics such as Big Data, advanced analytics, natural language processing (NLP), and blockchain technologies were also discussed.

Many Ultimate Software representatives were invited to participate in panels and lead sessions, including Vivian Maza, chief people office; Adam Rogers, chief technology officer; Cecile Alper-Leroux, vice president of HCM innovation; Armen Berjikly, senior director of strategy for workforce intelligence; Moritz Sudhof, principal data scientist; Jarik Conrad, senior director of HCM innovation, and Yasmary Diaz, engineering team owner.

Joseph Cutrono, manager of innovation strategy, and his team also participated in the conference as competitors in the annual HR Tech Hack-a-Thon. In just 48 hours, Cutrono’s team built a functional platform to help managers effortlessly evaluate competencies in their workforce and efficiently forge new teams based on desired skill set, emotional fit, salary requirements, and more. Audience polling confirmed Ultimate’s solution won by a landslide, both for the feature the audience would most like to have and what’s most likely to be incorporated into future HCM solutions.

While many session and panel discussions were speculative and future-focused, Ultimate’s representatives were able to speak on AI-powered solutions that are presently available. During the conference, Ultimate announced and demoed Xander™, its groundbreaking, “People First” AI platform that underlies UltiPro®’s ability to understand, predict, prescribe, and act on workforce data. Named after innovator Alexander Graham Bell, who improved relationships and brought people closer together using the technology of the telephone, Xander is the next frontier of meaningful people management (and, therefore, organizational success).

Coupling advanced NLP capabilities with machine learning, Xander can analyze open-ended text and decipher more than 100 emotions, 70 workplace themes, and overall sentiment with better-than-human accuracy. It’s as sensitive to emotions as it is to statistics, helping leaders to understand not only what their employees are saying, but how they’re actually feeling. Robust predictive capabilities can forecast everything from performance to retention, and prescriptive functions take this even farther by offering managers step-by-step recommendations at the most crucial decision-making points—all based on experience and what’s worked well in similar situations.

“Xander isn’t designed to replace people,” said Berjikly during the demo. “It’s designed to understand them and help them do their jobs better.”

Stay connected to @UltimateHCM on Twitter for ongoing updates and coverage from this year’s #HRTechConf.

The post Live From #HRTechConf 2017: AI and the Future of HR appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-hrtechconf-2017-ai-future-hr/feed/ 0
The Ultimate HR Tech 2017 Preview https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-tech-2017-preview/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-tech-2017-preview/#respond 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/ 0
Taking Care of Your People: Customer Service Week 2017 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/customer-service-week-2017/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/customer-service-week-2017/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:00:21 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1112 Every year in October, “Customer Service Week” serves as a platform to honor support professionals across industries. Customer service representatives are the front line of your business, expertly fielding inquiries, addressing concerns, and impacting future profitability. Studies show that it’s up to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to […]

The post Taking Care of Your People: Customer Service Week 2017 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
customer service week 2017Every year in October, “Customer Service Week” serves as a platform to honor support professionals across industries. Customer service representatives are the front line of your business, expertly fielding inquiries, addressing concerns, and impacting future profitability. Studies show that it’s up to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the amount of their initial purchase. Poor service, on the other hand, is responsible for U.S. businesses in lost sales from existing customers.

It’s clear that ensuring a positive customer experience isn’t just a marketing maxim—it’s a business imperative.

Ultimate Software’s commitment to service has always been a differentiator for us in the HCM space. We treat every week like Customer Service Week and are regularly recognized for the way our companywide “People First” philosophy drives our customer relations. Most recently, we were named the 2017 National Customer Service Association’s top Service Organization of the Year in the Large-Business Category and presented with a Silver Stevie award for “Innovation in Customer Service” and “Customer Service Department of the Year 2017.”

We hope our devotion to service inspires other companies to put people first. To that end, here are three tips for developing an award-winning customer strategy that celebrates and recognizes customers and service professionals every week of the year.

Think: Employee Satisfaction = Customer Satisfaction

Employee engagement has a significant impact on customer satisfaction. It’s intuitive: dissatisfied, unmotivated employees are much less likely to provide top-quality service than those proudly invested in their roles.

Trust that employees who are well taken care of by their companies will take great care of customers. Evaluate benefits, culture, and overall environment to identify strengths and opportunities. One of the best ways to gauge employee satisfaction is to ask for feedback, a process that’s now easier than ever thanks to advanced sentiment-analysis technology.

Keep in mind that your company’s customer experience will likely improve when a service-minded culture stems from the top. In fact, Forrester’s 2016 “Five Secrets of Customer-Obsessed Cultures” report found that companies with extraordinary customer service often had leaders who frequently conveyed service-oriented values to employees.

Finally, remember that recognition and feeling valued are key drivers of engagement. Periodically recognize top employees, particularly those in sometimes-thankless service roles. To celebrate Customer Service Week, for example, Ultimate is awarding our own Customer Support Heroes with prizes and week-long celebrations complete with free food and fun, inflatable obstacle courses.

Always Be Available to Solve Problems Quickly

Whether offering proactive support, resolving critical issues, or providing ongoing guidance as a trusted resource, it’s crucial to be available to your customers when they need you—whenever that may be.

Resources such as 24/7 phone support, Web-based chat, and self-service portals are key. First-response time and problem-resolution time are equally important, and customers expect adequate support as soon as they have an issue.

Lastly, consider reevaluating service models, which may be outdated. At Ultimate, we implemented an innovative collaborative support service model in 2016 that reduced customer resolution time by 60%.

Remember: Success Comes from Communication, Collaboration with Customers

I can’t stress this enough: establish and prioritize relationships with your customers.

When customers invest their time, trust, and money with you, I feel strongly that at least one person in your organization should know them on a personal basis. The ability to call a dedicated rep who remembers your name and your company goes a long way towards creating a positive customer experience. Everyone wants to feel like they are valued and respected, and established relationships help make this happen.

At Ultimate, every customer is assigned an Executive Relationship Manager as well as a dedicated account manager to walk through every step of the launch. Customers enjoy the industry’s most comprehensive (and personalized!) set of services and training at no additional cost. We believe these extraordinary services help us sustain our 97% customer retention rate.

Finally, in addition to personalized service and relationships, successful organizations understand that customers are key influencers, providing rich insights on ways to improve the product, enhance user experience (UX), and optimize satisfaction. At Ultimate, we frequently hold customer experience focus groups, where we explore the platform one-on-one with our customers. As a result of these and other UX tests, we implemented more than 30 new features in UltiPro this year, incorporating more than 80 customer ideas.

Providing consistent, high-quality customer service should always be a top priority for your organization. Remember: Your customers are your business!

Happy Customer Service Week!

The post Taking Care of Your People: Customer Service Week 2017 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/customer-service-week-2017/feed/ 0
Changing Lives in Our Communities—Together https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/changing-lives-communities-together/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/changing-lives-communities-together/#respond Fri, 29 Sep 2017 15:02:57 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1108 I’m extremely proud to share that, this week, Ultimate Software teamed up with the nonprofit Rebuilding Together to help change the lives of seven families across the United States. In three consecutive days of service, more than 200 employees from our offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Santa Ana, and Weston spent their time painting, landscaping, gardening, […]

The post Changing Lives in Our Communities—Together appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
I’m extremely proud to share that, this week, Ultimate Software teamed up with the nonprofit Rebuilding Together to help change the lives of seven families across the United States. In three consecutive days of service, more than 200 employees from our offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Santa Ana, and Weston spent their time painting, landscaping, gardening, and completing other beautification work on homes in our local communities.

Rebuilding Together is one of the many great organizations we’ve had the privilege of partnering with for several years now. It brings together volunteers throughout communities to improve the lives of veteran, elderly, and low-income homeowners, individuals and families who need major home repairs (such as roofing and retrofitting for accessibility) but can’t afford or otherwise commission these crucial services. Rebuilding Together enlists licensed professionals to handle the main repairs, while allowing everyday volunteers to complete complementary household projects.

Adding a personal touch to the service experience, Rebuilding Together volunteers learn about the people they’re helping when they sign up to participate. Some volunteers even get to meet the homeowners in person—an opportunity that leaves a lasting impact, as we’ve heard from several of our employees over the years.

To US, that’s the true heart of community service: people taking care of people. It’s why, from day one, we’ve made giving a cornerstone of Ultimate’s company culture. So much so that we provide every employee with two paid service days each year, which they can use to volunteer or support any charitable cause of their choosing (though, for many employees, the hours of service extend far beyond these two days).

At Ultimate, we encourage our employees to always “do the right thing.” Community service is that principle in action. It’s a natural extension of our companywide core value, “People First,” which drives everything we do, from the design of our cloud HR solutions to the delivery of our personalized customer support.

When we set out 27 years ago, with just four employees, two cubicles, and one clear focus on people, we could’ve never envisioned what Ultimate would become. Today, we’re more than 4,000 employees strong, each dedicated to helping others. They’re so passionate about people, whenever an opportunity to make a difference arises—whether within our walls, in our local communities, or across the world—it’s our own people who are often first to spring into action and start the movement. They set up online fundraisers, they organize drives (and hand-deliver truckloads of supplies to those in need), they run races and complete challenging obstacle courses for charity, they cycle miles and miles to raise money for a cure. They do more than we even know, because they prefer to stay out of the spotlight.

We are very fortunate. We have the opportunity to pay it forward, to continuously help so many in our communities. It’s Ultimate’s greater purpose as a company, and it’s our greatest responsibility as a society.

We give to help others. We share to inspire others.

We put people first, and this reminds others: Together, we can all make a difference.

The post Changing Lives in Our Communities—Together appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/changing-lives-communities-together/feed/ 0
Confidently Navigating Uncertainty in the Healthcare Industry https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-healthcare-industry/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-healthcare-industry/#respond Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:32:11 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1104 Today’s HR leaders in the healthcare industry must be more agile than ever before, adapting to a variety of evolving policy, technology, and structural changes that continue to redefine the industry. In a world of widespread consolidation and ever-changing governmental guidelines, healthcare organizations must also cope with the shift to value-based reimbursement and steep competition […]

The post Confidently Navigating Uncertainty in the Healthcare Industry appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
hr healthcare industryToday’s HR leaders in the healthcare industry must be more agile than ever before, adapting to a variety of evolving policy, technology, and structural changes that continue to redefine the industry. In a world of widespread consolidation and ever-changing governmental guidelines, healthcare organizations must also cope with the shift to value-based reimbursement and steep competition for skilled talent. The good news is that HR technology can be a huge help. This post will detail some of the challenges and how HR technology can overcome those obstacles.

Despite the high cost of property management and machinery, labor is undoubtedly the most significant operating expense for most healthcare providers. For hospitals, salary costs often consume more than half of total operating revenue, and for smaller practices, this percentage can be even higher. Clearly, the need for strategic operations is paramount for today’s healthcare HR leaders as they navigate unique talent management challenges in a highly stressful and fast-paced field.

Recruiting in the Healthcare Industry

More than any other industry, healthcare HR leaders are faced with the importance of hiring highly skilled employees—with life-or-death consequences. High salaries and a shortage of specialized talent compound recruiting pressure. Despite fierce competition, managers must take their time during the hiring process to ensure candidates are a good match based on experience as well as behaviors, motivations, and aspirations—qualities that are more effective at determining long-term fit and success.

Retention and HR Technology

While replacing a lower-level hourly employee can cost just 16% of their salary, replacing a highly trained employee—like a doctor—can cost up to two times their annual salary. The implications of high turnover in healthcare can be disastrous, both financially and in terms of declining patient-care quality.

Fortunately, advancements in predictive and prescriptive analytics can harness the power of Big Data to identify everything from high performers to flight risks. These data-driven insights allow healthcare HR leaders to strategically target at-risk employees and take action to engage and retain them.

Compliance Made Easier with an HCM Partner

U.S. healthcare legislation continues to change with little notice, and healthcare HR leaders must be increasingly responsive to ensure compliance and avoid hefty penalties. Choosing an HCM partner with proven healthcare expertise and adaptability can be a lifeline for providers, who can then rely on receiving updates and the necessary knowledge, tools, and services to face any challenges presented by new regulations.

Flexibility Through Human Resources Technology

For healthcare providers, time-consuming HR processes are a significant drain on resources when what’s really needed is seamless flexibility to adjust to industry upheavals. Unified, cloud-based solutions allow leaders to easily scale talent management, addressing a variety of HR needs without increasing workload. The result is significant cost savings, improved accuracy, and personalized assistance and specialized advice through every step of the employee lifecycle.

To learn more about how healthcare organizations have overcome their human resources challenges, take a look at these real-life case studies:

The post Confidently Navigating Uncertainty in the Healthcare Industry appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-healthcare-industry/feed/ 0
U.S. Wrestlers Capture World Title in Latest #UltimateTeamMoment https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/u-s-wrestlers-capture-world-title-latest-ultimateteammoment/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/u-s-wrestlers-capture-world-title-latest-ultimateteammoment/#comments Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:11:24 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1099 Today’s #UltimateTeamMoment proves wrestling isn’t always an individual sport. Read how a team of eight elite athletes from the U.S. men’s freestyle wrestling team put aside their college rivalries to compete for America. In the end, six wrestlers brought home medals and, together, the team won its third world title—Team USA’s first in more than […]

The post U.S. Wrestlers Capture World Title in Latest #UltimateTeamMoment appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
Today’s #UltimateTeamMoment proves wrestling isn’t always an individual sport. Read how a team of eight elite athletes from the U.S. men’s freestyle wrestling team put aside their college rivalries to compete for America. In the end, six wrestlers brought home medals and, together, the team won its third world title—Team USA’s first in more than two decades.

Close-Knit U.S. Wrestlers Turn in Ultimate Team Effort in Paris for First Team Title in 22 Years

With six of eight wrestlers medaling, the U.S. men’s freestyle team won its third team world title ever.

By Craig SeskerUltimate Team Moment USA Freestyle Wrestling

 

PARIS – Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder, Iowa’s Thomas Gilman, and Penn State’s Zain Retherford competed for three of the best college wrestling teams in the country this past season.

Snyder and Retherford finished their junior seasons with national titles, while Gilman completed his standout career as a three-time All-American.

This summer, the three elite wrestlers became teammates with even bigger goals.

This wasn’t about scarlet and gray, black and gold, or blue and white.

This was all about the red, white, and blue.

Snyder, Gilman, and Retherford were teammates on Team USA for the world championships. And they were part of a men’s freestyle wrestling squad that had an ultimate team moment on the international level when they won the men’s freestyle team title on Saturday in Paris.

“We’re all loyal to our college programs, and that won’t change,” Gilman said. “But when we compete for our country, we’re all about winning for the United States of America. We live in the greatest country in the world, and we’re proud to represent it.”

Even though wrestling is considered mostly an individual sport, as athletes pursue titles in their own weight classes, the team aspect also is important. That was evident when a close-knit U.S. squad captured its first team title in 22 years in dramatic fashion at AccorHotels Arena.

Snyder, an Olympic and world champion, edged Olympic and two-time world champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia 6-5 in the final match of the tournament at 97 kg. That broke a 53-53 tie in the team race and gave the U.S. an exciting one-point win over Russia.

Champions in each weight class are awarded 10 points, with silver medalists earning nine points and bronze medalists collecting eight apiece. American Jordan Burroughs won his fourth world title. Gilman and James Green earned silver medals, with Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox and first-time world team member Nick Gwiazdowski adding bronze medals.

“During training camp, we talked about wanting to win the team championship. I wanted to have that championship trophy in my hands,” Burroughs said. “It’s a goal all eight guys on the team had. We knew it was going to be a tough battle with Russia. It’s so awesome to finally win this.”

Gilman comes from the tough, hard-nosed Iowa Hawkeye program, where they have an us-against-everybody-else mentality. But Gilman’s perspective changed after making his first world team this year.

“I learned so much being around the other guys on the world team this summer—it really helped a lot,” Gilman said. “Being around Olympic and world champions like Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Snyder, and Logan Stieber helps a lot. You can pick their brains and ask them questions, and you can watch how they train and go about their routines. It’s great having a chance to do that.”

Many of the wrestlers on the world team battled each other in practice. Burroughs and Retherford trained together, as did Snyder and Gwiazdowski.

Green also embraced the team concept.

“These guys not only are my teammates, but we’re close friends and we have a tight bond on this team,” he said. “We get along great, and we support each other and pull for one another. That makes a big difference in a tough, grueling sport like wrestling.”

The matchup between Snyder and Sadulaev lived up to all the pre-match hype. Snyder erased deficits of 3-1 and 5-3 en route to the win in a battle of mega-talented 21-year-olds. Snyder scored a dramatic takedown with 24 seconds remaining to win 6-5 in a thrilling bout in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 8,000 fans. Snyder pounded his chest in celebration while Sadulaev collapsed on the mat and held his hands over his eyes.

“I wasn’t even that nervous—I was more excited than anything,” Snyder said. “I put every ounce of energy I had out on the mat.”

For the first time since 1995, and for only the third time, the U.S. won a world team title in men’s freestyle wrestling.

“It couldn’t have been a more hyped-up situation with everything coming down to the last match and the team title on the line,” Snyder said. “It was an amazing day.”

For Burroughs, it was the first time he had been a part of a team championship on the international level.

“It was huge to win against Russia in the finals with the team title on the line,” Burroughs said. “I came in here wanting to win the team championship, and our guys really came through. It was awesome to be a part of a great team with a bunch of great guys.”

The six U.S. medals in Paris were the most by an American team since the 1995 squad won six medals at the world championships in Atlanta. That was the last time the U.S. won the team title. The other title came in 1993.

Bill Zadick guided the U.S. to the title in his first season as the program’s national freestyle coach.

“This team was very talented, but also very close-knit as well. We had great chemistry, on and off the mat,” Zadick said. “When you do it with eight athletes, and a lot of people dedicating their lives and committing everything they do to this sport, it is pretty amazing.”

Craig Sesker is a sportswriter based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has covered three Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

The post U.S. Wrestlers Capture World Title in Latest #UltimateTeamMoment appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/u-s-wrestlers-capture-world-title-latest-ultimateteammoment/feed/ 2
Workplace Culture: HR Spark Episode 2 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/workplace-culture-hr-spark-episode-2/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/workplace-culture-hr-spark-episode-2/#comments Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:00:51 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1096 “You get a huge increase on your investment when listening to people,” said Vivian Maza, chief people officer at Ultimate Software, during the second episode of Ultimate’s new Web series HR Spark. “Leadership has to be empathetic to people—showing a little bit of empathy and trust in your people goes a long way, and it […]

The post Workplace Culture: HR Spark Episode 2 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
workplace culture“You get a huge increase on your investment when listening to people,” said Vivian Maza, chief people officer at Ultimate Software, during the second episode of Ultimate’s new Web series HR Spark. “Leadership has to be empathetic to people—showing a little bit of empathy and trust in your people goes a long way, and it goes two-fold. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of the company.”

Viv was joined by Jack Klott, vice president of HR for Independent Bank, and Jeff Waldman, SocialHRCamp founder, for a roundtable discussion on tangible steps companies can take to effectively improve workplace culture—and why they should want to.

For one, companies on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list enjoyed stock market returns three times greater than the market average from 1998 to 2015. In addition to a stronger financial performance, these culture-rich companies achieve impressive long-term performance records, higher customer and patient satisfaction ratings, and lower levels of voluntary turnover.

It’s clear that workplace culture has a far-reaching impact on many key performance indicators. But how exactly can HR leaders improve workplace culture at their organizations?

Tune in to hear Jack discuss the key changes Independent Bank has made in the past 24 months and the impact these tactics have had on retaining top talent, changing the mindset of employees, and separating the bank from its competition in recruiting the best people. Adding to Jack’s message, Jeff explains the positive correlation between employee experience and customer experience, and how companies can think beyond salary and benefits to engage and inspire their people. Finally, Viv shares her thoughts on why Ultimate has made Fortune’s Best Companies list six years in a row, and how new survey tools are making continuous improvement to workplace culture possible.

Watch the latest HR Spark episode now to learn more.

The post Workplace Culture: HR Spark Episode 2 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/workplace-culture-hr-spark-episode-2/feed/ 1
National Payroll Week: Tell US Who Deserves an Extra Paycheck, We’ll Tell You Why Payroll Rocks https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/national-payroll-week-extra-paycheck/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/national-payroll-week-extra-paycheck/#comments Thu, 07 Sep 2017 10:00:17 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1091 Payroll. It’s perhaps the only business function that affects every single employee and is a standard need of businesses both big and small, regardless of industry. This week is National Payroll Week, and Ultimate Software is asking you to #PayItForward with our #PayrollCounts giveaway. In honor of the amazing professionals who process payroll, we’d like […]

The post National Payroll Week: Tell US Who Deserves an Extra Paycheck, We’ll Tell You Why Payroll Rocks appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
Payroll.

It’s perhaps the only business function that affects every single employee and is a standard need of businesses both big and small, regardless of industry. This week is National Payroll Week, and Ultimate Software is asking you to #PayItForward with our #PayrollCounts giveaway. In honor of the amazing professionals who process payroll, we’d like to give an extra paycheck to someone who brings their all to the workforce every day. Here’s your chance to recognize a co-worker who consistently goes the extra mile, is a great team player, or has really come through during crunch time! Simply tag your nominee in a comment on our Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn posts and share why you feel they deserve an extra paycheck. You can also make your nomination by replying to our Twitter post. To learn more about why we’re honoring payroll, read on.

Not wholly HR, not fully finance, payroll is its own separate entity responsible for a variety of crucial operating functions. Even the smallest oversight can result in costly ramifications, not to mention the immediate and far-reaching consequences of consoling a litany of unhappy employees (or perhaps the IRS). With this vital emphasis on accuracy and nearly non-stop calculations, it’s no wonder that on average, 35% of an entire HR department’s time is spent handling payroll inquiries alone.  Thinking beyond the next processing date—much less evaluating year-over-year payroll trends—becomes difficult, if not impossible.

Fortunately, this oversight is changing. Business leaders worldwide are recognizing payroll’s full potential, and in 2017, 57% of executives agreed that employee compensation is becoming more important to them. It’s now understood that payroll’s function goes far beyond direct deposits and compliance; it holds a wealth of powerful data that can both actively guide decision-making and boost corporate performance.

Technological innovation is at the heart of this evolution, as unified, cloud-based HCM solutions provide a high degree of automation to streamline workflows and administrative overhead. Today’s best-in-class solutions have transformed payroll from its laborious past into a hassle-free, paperless, people-focused function where time collection, pay, and withholdings are calculated instantly, regardless of such complexities as overtime, tips, multiple job codes, or garnishments. Everything is in a single system of record, eliminating numerous inefficiencies and ensuring seamless integration between payroll and third-party providers.

Some solutions provide even further configurability. UltiPro®, for example, leverages the fastest payroll engineroll  in the industry, processing a variety of different pay combinations based on unique business needs. Compliance needs are continuously updated, as are tax calculations.

The result? Administrative costs (and efforts) are dramatically decreased, accuracy is enhanced, and personnel are free to focus on serving their people and applying payroll’s wealth of business intelligence metrics towards pursuing long-term organizational goals.

Indeed, payroll is perhaps the richest source of human capital data in any organization, and trend analyses can do everything from determine appropriate salary ranges to target compliance issues or diversity concerns. Every single data point, from average 401(k) contributions to teams with disproportionate levels of turnover, can be used to glean a strategic understanding of the workforce and offer illuminating insights into trends and areas of improvement. Leaders are empowered to make deliberate, unbiased, data-backed decisions that maximize their organization’s growth and efficiency.

Finally, payroll can be used as an opportunity to connect with employees, building trust through real-time transparency and improving engagement through ease of use and mobile access. It is truly a powerful resource for every organization, ready to reach its strategic potential with a front seat at the executive table.

Every day, and especially this week, we honor the people behind payroll. The ones who are committed to ensuring payroll runs smoothly week after week, and hard-working people are paid accurately and on time, every time. So, help US #PayItForward and share on social how and why #PayrollCounts.

The post National Payroll Week: Tell US Who Deserves an Extra Paycheck, We’ll Tell You Why Payroll Rocks appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/national-payroll-week-extra-paycheck/feed/ 1
New AI Tools Key to Improving Engagement https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ai-key-improving-employee-engagement/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ai-key-improving-employee-engagement/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 10:00:14 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1085 Employee engagement has been a hot topic for years, and its influence continues to make headlines. Gallup has been tracking U.S. engagement since 2000, and countless studies over the past 17 years have verified the tremendous impact engagement can have on corporate success. The most recent “State of the American Workplace” report found that high […]

The post New AI Tools Key to Improving Engagement appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post New AI Tools Key to Improving Engagement appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/ai-key-improving-employee-engagement/feed/ 0
In a World of Chatbots, People are Still Your Biggest Asset https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/world-chatbots-people-still-biggest-asset/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/world-chatbots-people-still-biggest-asset/#respond Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:04:29 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1080 It’s been said that 2017 is “The Year of the Chatbot” and many organizations are heavily investing in bots to assist retail, marketing, and customer support efforts. These AI-powered technologies have the potential to significantly reduce labor costs, and Gartner predicts that more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed without human assistance by […]

The post In a World of Chatbots, People are Still Your Biggest Asset appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
It’s been said that 2017 is “The Year of the Chatbot” and many organizations are heavily investing in bots to assist retail, marketing, and customer support efforts. These AI-powered technologies have the potential to significantly reduce labor costs, and Gartner predicts that more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed without human assistance by 2020.

chatbotsUsing AI to develop pioneering products and initiatives, including the option of self-service portals, is becoming more important to remain competitive. But in doing so, many companies have neglected their primary purpose of serving the needs of their customers. The missing quotient for many businesses is prioritizing people: you need great customer service (and employees) to be truly successful. Unfortunately, this is something SaaS (software as a service) companies often overlook. Because these companies are recurring-revenue based, once a sale is finalized and customers are “in,” there’s a tendency to let automated services take over and focus on service reactively instead of proactively.

When it comes to customer service, what do your customers actually want? Automation is capable of incredible things, from streamlining arduous tasks to automatically analyzing and predicting data. But there’s a difference between automating tasks to maximize efficiencies and automating entire service departments. Consider the following:

  • Which automation services will be successful long term? Many companies turn to automation to reduce costs and improve workflow. But when it comes to customer service, automated chatbots are not necessarily the most cost-effective option. Initially, robots may cost less than salaried employees, but if customer service is negatively impacted, this decision will begin to significantly affect revenue and ROI. Automation is best when it completes basic or tedious administrative tasks, so your employees can focus on delivering high-value work. A fintech company, for example, may utilize robo-advising for clients who want to pay a low monthly overhead and prefer less customization. This allows human advisors to focus on clients who want and require more attention.
  • Who does this service benefit? As a company, your purpose is to serve clients and support your employees above evrything else. Keep their needs top of mind. Plenty of automation technologies exist to assist both—Twitter, for example, is utilizing the emergence of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to keep a pulse on the voice of their employees in real time and improve the employee experience. Other companies have systems in place to automatically remind customers of upcoming maintenance or when action is needed on their part.
  • How can we provide the best possible service? People expect great service. Always. This usually means reaching an actual person when dialing the customer service line. In fact, 83% of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with humans for customer service issues, and 70% prefer calling for a quick response. And the primary reason people disliked calling customer support? Not being able to speak to a real person right away—as in dealing with a phone bot. When automation begins to negatively impact customer experience, you must have the insight and agility to quickly pivot.

While the average customer churn rate for a SaaS company of its size is between 6% and 10%, at Ultimate Software, it’s just 3%. To ensure we continuously deliver the industry’s best service, we heavily invest in our customer service resources—more than 80% of our employees are staffed in customer support and product development roles.

When it comes to service, serving people should always be the top priority—not cutting costs through automation. Automation is a valuable tool to increase efficiency and manage tasks, but chatbots will never match the personalized and empathetic service of your employees.

The post In a World of Chatbots, People are Still Your Biggest Asset appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

]]>
https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/world-chatbots-people-still-biggest-asset/feed/ 0