Ultimate Software's Blog

How Unified Employee-Feedback Tools are Revolutionizing HR

Nearly all HR leaders agree that long-term organizational success is dependent upon building and retaining a happy, engaged workforce. While a litany of factors influence workplace satisfaction, the data on this are clear: three out of four employees say that the one thing employers can do to improve retention is to listen to and address their concerns. This deceptively simple concept, however, is easier said than done. Yearly reviews are invaluable snapshots of each employee’s experience and performance, but they’re limited in their ability to provide real-time feedback throughout the year.

It turns out that the best way to learn what motivates your employees and how they feel about work is to just ask them. Regularly. Some companies have begun investing in employee-feedback technology, but those that do usually struggle with time-consuming manual analysis, complex integration work, and far-too-simplistic surveys that fail to uncover any meaningful, actionable insights.

So, what’s the solution?

It’s HCM Software, Only Better

We’re thrilled to be unveiling UltiPro Perception this year, one of the newest features of Ultimate Software’s award-winning, cloud-based HCM solution. Developed by a team of statisticians, mathematicians, psychologists, and , this sophisticated sentiment-analysis technology uses customizable surveys to measure both quantitative, scalar data and unstructured, text-based data. It’s a statistical approach, but grounded in human psychology, and it’s capable of recognizing more than 100 emotions and over 70 themes, including workplace topics, values, and performance competencies.

The analysis of open-ended data supplies specific information about how employees are actually feeling—are they sad about lack of manager recognition? Worried about developmental opportunities? Grateful for benefits updates? Perception interprets their responses and understands data with upwards of 97% accuracy, compared with human-level accuracy of 65%–75%, and HR leaders enjoy a 99% reduction in expended time and effort. Instead of waiting weeks—or months—to go through a complex analysis process, results are delivered within seconds of survey completion. Instant insights mean you understand how your employees feel today, not how they felt three months ago, all with the click of a button.

The technology cuts through extraneous information to focus on the key insights that matter most to businesses, such as performance and attrition. These data-driven results leave no room for bias or favoritism and make decision-making easy. Finally, because Perception is part of our comprehensive HCM solution, employers can match scores with crucial employee metadata while incorporating UltiPro’s predictive and prescriptive analytics functions.

And this is where the magic happens.

The Power of One

As part of a unified HCM solution, sentiment analysis tools seamlessly integrate with existing employee data, with no down time and no room for user error. Perception’s survey- and result-distribution lists are automatically synced with information changes in UltiPro, so as people join, leave, or move around the organization, they’re guaranteed to receive only the most relevant material without any additional input from IT or HR. Data is further safeguarded using UltiPro’s enterprise-level security and role-based access.

Templates exist for every step of the employee journey, from new hire to exit, and automated surveys can be triggered by regular intervals or workplace events. Because UltiPro houses all employee data, it’s easy to select survey participants based on information such as location, department, or tenure. Any data element within the solution can be leveraged to fine-tune surveys, which means you can send a satisfaction survey to all California-based salespeople who’ve been with the company for less than a year—and then filter and compare their responses based on their supervisors or performance. Interested how a certain team’s engagement scores have changed over time, or whether Marketing’s average tenure is improving alongside engagement? Historical benchmarking is an absolute breeze.

Sentiment analysis uncovers people challenges, insight that is even more valuable when used alongside predictive and prescriptive analytics to forecast outcomes based on current feelings and recommend specific actions to mitigate risk. This enables leaders to respond with timely action that drives real change within an organization, improving morale alongside performance and retention. Managers can even link unsatisfied or under-performing individuals directly to UltiPro’s action planning and learning-development courses.

The seamless ease of use provided by a unified sentiment analysis solution is a game-changer for HR professionals and the industry at large. Today’s leaders can leverage massive amounts of unstructured data to receive instant analysis and insights, empowering the data-driven decisions central to every successful strategy.

It’s machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and HCM—all in one. Most importantly, it’s easy, so you spend less time analyzing and more time achieving.

It’s a revolution. And we’re paving the road.