I’m proud to announce that Fortune recently named Ultimate Software the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology-for the second year in a row. This significant honor adds to an extensive list of our recent awards (22 earned in 2016 alone), all stemming from one, founding principle: “People First.”
This singular belief has impacted every part of our journey. It’s allowed us to create a culture where 99% of employees experience a “great atmosphere” and report having “great pride” in their company. It’s driven us to achieve continued success over our 26-year history. It’s enabled us to help thousands of companies put their own people first. Because we know that, when we take care of our employees, they’re empowered to take care of our customers. And when that happens, everybody wins.
Curious what putting people first means to US? Here are a few ways we’ve created the best large workplace in the industry.
Training and Development
Ultimate invests in our employees’ futures and supports them through each step of their careers. Our innovative TechSTARS internship program recruits promising college students and recent grads for a structured, year-long program where they’re assigned mentors, follow customized learning paths, and work on a peer-to-peer basis with our full-time software engineers. Currently, 95% of our interns who are offered full-time jobs with Ultimate accept, and at least a third of our product developers began as interns—including me!
The Rising Stars program is a similar development program for employees with full-time, customer-facing roles, spanning 14 weeks and encompassing one-on-one mentorship, group learning, individual job-path study, and team-building exercises. These programs not only help new employees adjust to their new roles, but are also extremely effective in instilling Ultimate’s “People First” values.
We also support our employees’ educational goals by fully funding professional training courses and offering tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year. Extensive leadership development courses are available for everyone from entry-level employees to top executives, setting the stage for future growth and promotions—because when our people thrive, Ultimate thrives.
Our total compensation package goes far beyond salary. All full-time employees receive 100% employer-paid healthcare for their entire families, including medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage—even IVF and IUI fertility treatments. I’m extremely proud of our 401(k) program, where we match 40% of our employees’ contributions dollar for dollar, up to the highest allowable federal limit. We also welcome new hires to the family by providing them with stock shares, fostering an immediate sense of pride and ownership in our company. Finally, we offer 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and four weeks of paid paternity/adoption leave, so our new parents have time to recuperate and bond with their growing families without worrying about any professional or financial hardships.
We also offer life insurance for both employees and their spouses, long-term disability, and wellness benefits such as on-site masseuses, acupuncturists, yoga, Pilates, stretching, and meditation classes. By taking care of our people physically, mentally, and financially, they’re able to focus their attention on developing industry-leading products and providing world-class, white-glove service.
Workplace flexibility is another key component of putting people first. More than 40% of our employees telecommute, and another quarter utilize flexible schedules and compressed work weeks. The implementation of paid time off, instead of designated sick and vacation days, is another way we enable our employees to balance their careers with their daily responsibilities.
Making a difference in our local and global communities has been a cornerstone of our “People First” culture from the beginning, and it remains a great source of pride for all of us today. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer at least two days each year, receiving full pay and the flexibility to choose the causes they care most about. As we have grown, so has our ability to positively impact a variety of initiatives. Today, Ultimate and our employees donate time, money, and raise awareness for everything from natural disasters to our own employees in need – together, we make a meaningful difference in the world.
Our innovative work stations are more than just open floorplans. Employees’ workspaces are completely catered to them, from the choice of a laptop to standing, cycling, and treadmill desk options. Every floor boasts at least one themed café, equipped with free beverages and comfortable seating to encourage interactions and caffeine consumption. There are multiple bookable conference rooms and even more informal group meeting spaces—including our golfer’s green, where employees can brainstorm and putt simultaneously. We have a private room to practice, record, and review presentations. We also have a game room, meditation space, and massive saltwater fish tank.
Everything we do focuses on our underlying commitment to put people first – and that’s what sets us apart.
That’s what makes us the best large workplace.
But also…the free ice cream.