UKG's chief people officer: Building a culture through COVID-19

The merger of two such hugely influential HR companies has sent shockwaves across the sector

UKG's chief people officer: Building a culture through COVID-19

The marriage of industry giants Ultimate Software and Kronos Incorporated resulted in the birth of UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) – the world’s most innovative HCM and workforce management organization.

The merger of two such hugely influential HR companies has sent shockwaves across the sector, as employers and employees alike watch the new brand with eager anticipation.

Whenever two organizations are brought together, questions arise around shared values, culture, and benefits.

HRD spoke to Dave Almeda, chief people officer at UKG, who walked us through their journey so far.

“In terms of values, I think there was a lot of commonality between Ultimate Software and Kronos, which definitely made things easier,” he told HRD.

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“Both organizations had a culture with values based on caring for employees, building trust, cultivating high performance, and encouraging open communication.

“It's super important that we give employees a voice in identifying the values for the new organization, as opposed to just dictating them.”

Both Kronos and Ultimate Software had a very similar mindset in regards to their employees. UKG’s new motto – Our Purpose is People – is incredibly reflective of both cultures.

Almeda revealed that UKG had paid a lot of attention to prioritizing their people through the merger- especially considering they had to deal with COVID issues too.

“Ideally, it would be easier to interact with people face-to-face, building strong relationships and getting to know the team on a personal level.

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“Having said that, I think COVID-19 actually helped us a little in some areas. We were able to really embody our motto – going above and beyond to support working parents in particular, for instance, during these difficult times.”

To really help employees with children during these trying times, UKG launched a Virtual Summer Camp this past summer, and then rolled that successful program into virtual Kids Clubs for three different age groups this fall once kids were back in school.

Catering from ages two through to 14, over 1,500 children registered for the clubs since their launch. Almeda explained that the children received backpacks and goodie bags, engaged in camp songs and craft days, all the while allowing their parents to continue with their important work at UKG.

And the result? Well, according to Almeda employees are happier than ever.

“We surveyed our employees asking how they feel working from home and 93% of them said they're just as productive. I mean, that's a that's a great number.

“We won’t be going back to the offices until it's safe to do so. Managing that trade-off between keeping people safe and working at home, as opposed to boosting nominal productivity by bringing people back to the office, is something we’re committed to.”

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