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by Kate Bischoff

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

“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The job description (JD) may be the most out-of-date and inaccurate document in all of human resources.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.

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Payroll is like the heart of an organization: when everything’s running smoothly, it’s occasionally taken for granted; but if something goes wrong, the results can be disastrous. Considering the tremendous accuracy and coordination required, coupled with the daunting task of countless variables changing each pay period, it’s not difficult to understand how and why payroll mistakes can happen.

Historically, payroll provided the perfect opportunity for organizations to begin experimenting with software technology, especially considering these substantial demands. Standard applications, which became more mainstream in the 1980s, used source code designed for rule-based and repetitive processes.

Over the years, these solutions have become increasingly sophisticated. Today, automation has reduced a significant amount of payroll’s manual strain, simultaneously improving overall accuracy. These systems can execute data transactions, generate reconciliations, and even draw conclusions from their findings. As a result, complex tax and payroll calculations are instantly simplified, and most tedious accounting tasks are eliminated.

These innovations were met primarily with excitement, but as AI’s evolution continues at breakneck speed (launching us into the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”), some payroll professionals have grown concerned. It’s clear that jobs will be impacted—just like they’ve been in every industrial revolution—but most agencies predict that AI, and other emerging technologies, will create far more jobs than they disrupt.

Millions of individuals, including payroll professionals, will require new skills, additional training, and more support during this process. But rather than becoming intimidated by emerging solutions, payroll should focus on learning to optimize these solutions, reskilling teams, and homing in on strategy.

This week, we’re thrilled to be attending our 20th annual APA Congress, where our product and industry experts will discuss AI and a variety of payroll-related topics. If you’re attending, please be sure to visit Ultimate Software at Booth 523 throughout the conference and attend Thursday morning’s general session, “The Future of Work and Pay: How Will Artificial Intelligence, Data, and Predictive Analytics Change the World?” featuring Ultimate’s VP of Products, Martin Hartshorne.

The future of payroll is coming. At Ultimate, we’ll continue delivering the best HCM technologies, so your people—and your business—can grow at the speed of technology.

The post “People First” Software Key to Merging People, Tech in Future of Payroll appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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Last year, we debuted our “10 Places to Find US” series, designed to showcase the latest Ultimate Software mentions and news in the HR community. Back by popular demand, we’re thrilled to share this special “Connections” update on the latest places to find Ultimate:

  1. Surviving Leadership is a blog authored by HR leader and Influencer, Mary Faulkner, a renowned industry influencer with significant experience in leadership, management, talent, and more. She attended our Connections conference and shared her thoughts in several blog posts, including When Tech and HR combine: What I saw at UltiConnect. Additionally, Mary partnered with analyst Ben Eubanks (#8 below) to film an exciting conference introduction video. Take a look, and if you’re not already, follow Mary on Twitter at @mfaulkner43.
  2. Red Branch Media is a marketing company specifically designed to assist HR professionals! CEO Maren Hogan, @marenhogan on Twitter, is an awesome marketer, but she’s also an amazing HR pro. She shared her insight about recruiting for tough positions at the conference and discusses her Connections experience in this blog post, Making connections at the Ultimate Software user conference.
  3. Tim Sackett, author of The Tim Sackett Project, is a legendary HR influencer who makes a point to blog every single day. Make sure to follow him on Twitter, @timsackett, as well as his blog for daily doses of HR related content! He’s already shared some awesome Ultimate content, including posts like Are HR conferences responsible for ensuring you connect? #UltiConnect. HR blogging is about making HR connections #UltiConnect features a video with Tim Sackett and Ultimate Software customers and new blogger, Cheryl Nelson!
  4. Kolor Me HR is a new blog by up-and-coming influencer Cheryl Nelson, @CherylNelsonPHR on Twitter. We’re thrilled that Cheryl included us in her post Down Memory Lane, and can’t wait to see all she has to write about!
  5. If you don’t already know Robin Schooling, @robinschooling, she’s a great HR leader with a wealth of insightful HR stories. She authors com and manages a long-standing HR series, Carnival of HR. We’re honored to be mentioned in one of the posts mentioned in March Madness Circa 2018 #HRCarnival.
  6. HR expert, Janine Truitt, authors the blog CzarinaofHR and live streams on Periscope at #AskCzarinaLive. She speaks to a variety of HR and life topics, and recently shot an episode at our Connections conference. Make sure to follow her on Twitter, @CzarinaofHR, and online.
  7. Employment Lawyer from tHRive HR Law, Kate Bischoff, also attended Connections this year. She live tweeted her thoughts on Twitter, @k8bischHRLaw, and shared more thoughts in her blog post, UltiConnect. Be sure to take a look!
  8. UpstartHR is an HR blog authored by Influencer and Analyst, Ben Eubanks, @beneubanks on Twitter. Ben focuses on HR technology, leadership, and even innovation in HR. He attended Connections and shared his experience in AI means HR can be more human. Separately, Ben is writing a book on AI technology in HR. Check out the preview in LinkedIn post, What is your workforce thinking? Leveraging #AI for employee sentiment analysis.
  9. While at Connections, Ben Eubanks also led a podcast discussing the importance of the HR/IT relationship and steps these departments can take to achieve their mutual goals. Ben interviewed Gregg Paulk, CIO for Anderson Center for Autism and long-time UltiPro customer, who shared a plethora of insights into the importance of HR technology in the post CIO shares How HR Can Build Better Relationships with IT.
  10. Jason Lauritsen is an admired influencer and member of HRExaminer’s Editorial Advisory Board. Jason attended Connections and actually moderated our “Women in Leadership” panel, which featured Janine Truitt, Mary Faulkner, Kate Bischoff, and Maren Hogan. Read about his (somewhat uncomfortable) experience here in Gender at Work.

For the latest Ultimate news, updates, and happenings, visit www.ultimatesoftware.com, look for Ultimate on your favorite HR blogs, or connect with US on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

The post 10 Places to Find US – Connections Edition appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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As our exposure to Big Data progresses exponentially, analytics and BI are playing an increasing role in overall corporate strategy. Few departments are exempt from regularly analyzing and reporting metrics to the C-suite, and long-term tracking of this data is invaluable.

Comparing quarterly and year-over-year success is certainly insightful, but most organizations have the ability to take this one step further. Benchmarking enables companies to compare organizational metrics with their peers and competitors, confirming strengths and opportunities for improvement. It’s a strategic, dynamic tool that bolsters continuous improvement within the organization.

Many businesses already use benchmarking to analyze their learning and development (L&D) spending, recruiting, and organizational design, but far fewer are actively measuring and benchmarking their employee engagement scores. Considering talent is typically the most expensive line in the budget, this is a missed opportunity to potentially cut costs and increase productivity.

Today’s labor market is highly competitive, and there’s a heightened focus on employee satisfaction and engagement. Unfortunately, organizations often don’t realize they have a talent problem until they aggressively track talent metrics and compare them with their industry peers. A retail establishment with 40% turnover is about average, but for a professional services firm, this figure would be a major red flag.

But while retention and turnover statistics provide a solid understanding of who’s leaving your workforce, they don’t address the greater issue—why.

Enter sentiment analysis. By initiating regular, Natural Language Processing (NLP) powered employee surveys, business leaders can get into the heads and hearts of their employees to learn how they truly feel about work and flag potential problems before they negatively impact the workforce.

Of course, this data is even more insightful when weighed against industry benchmarks. We’re inundated with articles bemoaning America’s employee-engagement problem, but do business leaders know how to feel about 55% engagement? Does industry play a role? What about geographic location?

At Ultimate, we’ve partnered with Mercer | Sirota, one of the world’s preeminent talent consulting and analytics firms with more than 50 years of HCM and talent strategy expertise, to provide our customers with robust global benchmark data from nearly six million individual data points. This partnership allows our customers to gain invaluable insight into how their engagement and satisfaction scores compare with other world-class organizations, and provides additional guidance in terms of identifying the right actions to improve culture, retention, and performance.

Ultimate’s customers can select from more than 130 questions within UltiPro Perception® to compare their own employees’ ratings with Mercer | Sirota’s employee engagement and satisfaction benchmark data—all at no extra cost. Mercer | Sirota’s normative database represents more than five years of information, and organizations even have the ability to filter data by country or industry.

Developing leading-edge technology that empowers people has been Ultimate’s mission since our inception. This partnership with Mercer | Sirota further helps our customers accurately identify strategies that can improve their employee experience while establishing (and maintaining) a competitive advantage.

The post Solidifying a Competitive Advantage with Engagement Benchmarking appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post Equity at Work: “No Excuses,” Please appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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

Being able to tell misconduct apart from poor performance isn’t necessarily rocket science. But the differences often confuse managers, and that can cause missteps when they’re addressed. Managers might put someone who is late a lot on a performance improvement plan (PIP), or—as is usually the case—discipline an employee for poor performance. However, when an employee is disciplined for poor performance, he’s often left on his own to figure out what went wrong, or even left thinking he’s bound to fail. That’s not helping anyone improve.

Misconduct

Misconduct differs from poor performance. Misconduct involves intentional or negligent conduct (such as not caring enough to be on time to work), whereas poor performance is actually doing the job poorly. Being late isn’t doing the job. Lying to a manager isn’t doing the job. While it may impact the work, misconduct is separate and apart from the actual work.

Here’s a simple way to spot the difference: you may be able to train away poor performance, but you can’t train an employee to get to work on time, not lie to you, or not steal from you.

Misconduct requires discipline. Simply put, we have to discipline when employee misconduct warrants it. Managers dislike having disciplinary conversations. However, failure to discipline will result in poor morale overall and, ultimately, poor productivity and employee engagement.

Discipline for misconduct includes, in escalating order of severity: verbal warning, written warning, suspension, and termination. Except where a union has bargained otherwise, an employer gets to choose what level of discipline it will apply in a particular situation. An employee who is late four times might get a verbal warning and may get a written warning if she continues to be late. An employee who steals a truck usually gets fired. Imagine discipline issues as the concepts we learned in kindergarten—don’t hit people, clean up your messes, don’t take things that aren’t yours, tell the truth, and so on.

Poor Performance

Poor performance also looks different than misconduct. Poor performance is the inability to get a job done or done to the employer’s expectations. For performance issues, we expect that employees will get the chance to improve. Fairness also tells us that employees should get that chance.

Employers often address poor performance with a PIP, which typically has three parts: it explains why the performance is subpar; what the employee can do to improve his performance; and what tools, training, or other support the employee can expect to receive throughout the process. This is really what sets discipline apart from performance management—performance management requires the employer do something to help improve the performance.

Handling Discipline and Improving Performance

Here are just a few things managers can do to help improve performance:

  1. Coach. Managers have an opportunity to coach employees to improve performance.  Whether it is spending more time with the employee, shadowing, providing encouragement, or simply providing more hands-on training, coaching is a great way to show how to do something correctly.
  2. Assign a partner. If there is another team member who does the job well, match that individual with the employee whose performance misses the mark.  If both have a good attitude, performance will improve.
  3. Provide more training. If available, additional training on the technology used, the process, or product could improve performance.

Finally, don’t forget to check in.  Performance is not something organizations can afford to ignore.  When it is poor and improving performance, spending the extra time for a one-on-one or quick chat will go far in improving and monitoring performance.

We as HR professionals have to teach managers how to properly address an employee issue. When we treat a discipline issue as a performance issue, we take on too much. When we discipline a performance issue, we don’t give the employee the tools she needs to succeed.

The post Discipline vs. Performance – Spotting the Differences and Finding Solutions appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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

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

An Ode to Putting People First

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post World Poetry Day the UltiWay appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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After months of anticipation, it’s finally here!

Connections 2018, Ultimate Software’s annual customer conference, starts tomorrow in Las Vegas. This year promises to be one of our most engaging, productive, and exciting events yet, with a jam-packed agenda and more than 3,900 HR executives, administrators, practitioners, and industry influencers scheduled to attend.

If you’re joining us in Vegas, here’s a preview of what to expect at Connections 2018.

Interactive Breakouts

This year’s Connections theme is “New Perspectives,” and we have more than 135 breakout sessions covering over 65 different topics all designed to increase your knowledge of Ultimate’s HCM solutions and show you how to get the most out of UltiPro®.

Led by our subject-matter experts, these interactive sessions cover the complete HR spectrum—from managing payroll and time, to engaging and managing people, to reporting and analytics, to configuring and integrating UltiPro with third-party solutions. We even have breakouts tailored to Canada-based organizations and our customers with global employees. No matter which sessions you attend, you’re sure to learn plenty of useful tips, tricks, and strategies you can take back to the workplace.

Innovative Presentations
The conference officially kicks off Tuesday morning with presentations by Ultimate’s Chief Technology Officer, Adam Rogers, and Ultimate’s VP of Products, Martin Hartshorne. Get an inside look at the latest HCM technology Ultimate is offering to customers, as well as the game-changing innovations and UltiPro functionality you can expect to see in the coming months.

Connections has marked the debut of many Ultimate products and services. Last year, we unveiled our portfolio of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, Xander, the next step in data science for HR. We’re primed and ready to share our newest solutions at Connections 2018, providing organizations with even more ways to enhance the employee experience and put their people first.

On Wednesday, you’ll hear from Scott Scherr, CEO, president, and founder of Ultimate. Discover the true power of making employees your number-one priority, as Scherr shares personal stories from Ultimate’s 25-plus-year history, highlighting our successes and challenges. Whether this is your first time at Connections or you’re a veteran attendee, Scherr’s talk is one you won’t want to miss.

Thursday brings results from the third-annual Connections 2018 Code-A-Thon. Witness what Ultimate’s skilled software engineers developed in a matter of days onsite at the conference, showcasing new UltiPro concept functionality based on attendees’ own ideas. And, we’ll announce the winners of our prestigious Innovation Awards, honoring our customers who’ve gone above and beyond with their use of UltiPro and Ultimate’s services in the past 12 months.

Inspiring Keynotes

Year after year, Connections features memorable keynotes from inspirational individuals, and 2018 is no exception. Come expecting to be entertained and enlightened. Leave with new perspectives on work and life.

On Wednesday, you’ll hear from Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. Roberts has more than two decades of broadcasting experience, covering sports and news throughout her storied career. In 2012, she battled a life-threatening bone-marrow disease, but refused to give up her fight. She returned to the GMA anchor desk the following year, ready to achieve even more as a broadcaster. Now, Roberts will share her remarkable story and the life lessons she’s learned at every turn.

Bestselling author and impassioned speaker, John O’Leary, will deliver Thursday’s keynote. As a child, O’Leary sparked a massive explosion in his home that burned 100% of his body. Determined not to die, but to live a full life, O’Leary has spent adulthood as a source of inspiration for thousands of people, challenging each and every one to view their lives differently. Through his book On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life and his thought-provoking talks, O’Leary travels the world, helping individuals overcome personal challenges while celebrating the joys of life. 

Impressive Performances

Connections is also known for its incomparable evening events. In addition to our energetic Welcome Reception on Tuesday night, this year, we’re thrilled to welcome country-music all-star Kenny Chesney, who’ll perform a private concert during our Customer Appreciation Party on Thursday. Enjoy an eclectic setlist pulling from Chesney’s extensive catalog of country hits, guaranteed to have you singing along. It’s the perfect way to go out on the last night of Connections.

Plus, our conference emcee and Ultimate’s Chief Relationship Officer, Bill Hicks, always has a few surprises planned exclusively for Connections attendees, so you never know just what to expect from Bill and his friends throughout the week.

Philanthropic Efforts

It’s a Connections tradition to partner with inspiring organizations that change the lives of people around the world. This year, we’re partnering with Operation H.O.P.E., Inc. (Helping Other People Everywhere), a local Las Vegas organization that provides services and support to homeless and disadvantaged residents. Please stop by the Wynn registration desk #1 to learn more about the organization and write a personalized letter of encouragement to help empower and support those who truly need it.

We’ll see you in Las Vegas!
Follow #UltiConnect on Social

Can’t make it to Connections, or want to catch up on any parts you might have missed during the week? Follow Ultimate and #UltiConnect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn for live coverage, photos, videos, and more throughout the entire conference.

The post Connections 2018 Preview: Plethora of “New Perspectives” appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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Every March, Ultimate Software hosts its annual customer conference, Connections. This year, in addition to dozens of workshops, breakout sessions, a full lineup of inspiring keynote speakers, and an intimate live music performance, we’ve partnered with a variety of world-class HR influencers and bloggers to share the latest research and trends with you. During the course of interactive sessions, panels, and hands-on workshops, these industry leaders will provide guests with “New Perspectives” while sharing their expert opinions on compliance, recruitment, talent, and leadership best practices.

While most of these sessions filled within days of registration, we’re thrilled to announce that each session will be Livestreamed on Twitter.

Kate Bischoff

Attorney, tHRive Law

Kate is an energetic and enthusiastic HR professional, employment/labor law attorney, and technology aficionado. She wants to make companies better – not just compliant. With both domestic and international HR experience, she helps organizations create, revamp and implement effective HR policies and practices to drive innovation and business.

Connections sessions:

  • Compliance and Employee Communication
  • Women in Leadership Panel

Matt Charney

Chief Content Officer, Allegis Global Solutions

Matt has over 10 years of experience in HR and recruiting, working at organizations like Warner Brothers, the Walt Disney Company, and Monster.com. In 2013, Matt founded Recruiting Daily and has been writing for the site and acting as Managing Editor ever since. His impact on the industry continues to grow as he speaks globally on HR technology, recruiting, and the future of work.

Connections sessions:

  • Sentiment Analysis and the Future of Work

Ben Eubanks

Principal Analyst, Lighthouse Recovery and Advisory

Ben is an HCM industry analyst helping companies and vendors with strategy, content, and more. He has worked as an analyst for more than seven years, with five of those in an independent capacity. Ben specializes in HR technology, the future of work, recruiting, benefits, employee relations, and more. He also co-founded HRevolution.

Connections sessions:

  • Innovation Sprints: Discover the Potency of Applying a “Hacking” Mindset to Your Work

Mary Faulkner

Director of Human Resources, Denver Water

Mary is a talent strategist and business leader with almost 15 years’ experience in helping organizations achieve their goals through operations, as well as learning and development, with extensive experience in leadership and organizational development, coaching, key talent planning, talent acquisition, performance management, business partnering, HRIS, process and policy creation, and instructional design. In addition to her work within companies, Mary authors survivingleadership.blog and co-chairs the Denver chapter of DisruptHR.

Connections sessions:

  • Transforming Your HR Department: Implement Changes Today to Achieve Business and HR Results
  • Women in Leadership Panel

Maren Hogan

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Red Branch Media

Maren is the Founder and CEO of Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and outreach as well as thought leadership to HR and recruiting technology and services organizations internationally. She is a consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques with over 15 years of experience in the HR and recruitment space. She has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies and been a thought leader in the global recruitment and talent space.

Connections sessions:

  • 10 Ways to Draw Interest in Less Than Desirable Jobs and 50 Discrete Benefits
  • Women in Leadership Panel

Jason Lauritsen

North American Advisor, The Employee Engagement Awards

Jason has dedicated his career to helping leaders build organizations that are good for both people and profits – first as an entrepreneur, then a corporate HR executive, then as a consultant, researcher, and speaker. He has over 10 years experience in HR and is passionate about employee engagement, culture, leadership, technology, and talent management.

Connections sessions:

  • The Relationship Comes First: Discovering the True Path to Employee Engagement
  • Women in Leadership Panel

Tim Sackett

President, HRU Technical Resources

Tim is the President of HRU Technical Resources, where he employs his 20 years of HR and recruiting experience to run his $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. He resides in Lansing, Michigan and works to improve the local, national, and global HR communities. In his free time, Tim writes for popular HR blogs like The Tim Sackett Project and Fistful of Talent.

Connections sessions:

  • When Your HR Metrics Fail to Connect with Your Organization

Janine Truitt

Chief Innovations Officer and Founder, Talent Think Innovations LLC

Janine is the Founder of Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a business strategy and management consulting firm. She has 10 years experience in talent management, technology, diversity and inclusion, and HR strategy that has taken her through staffing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and R&D.

Connections sessions:

  • Women in Leadership Panel

The post Industry Influencers Bring “New Perspectives” to Connections 2018 appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employee Appreciation Day 2018 - YouTube

The post Thanking All of the People Who Make Ultimate Great appeared first on Ultimate Software's Blog.

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