I recently spent the day with the UKG team in Boston. UKG is a Brandon Hall Group™ Smartchoice®️ Preferred Provider and the industry leader in human-centered suite experiences. Naturally, my expectations were high and I was looking to be dazzled. UKG did not disappoint — it was an action-packed, mind-energizing day!
Chris Todd, UKG’s CEO, opened the day with a transparent, no-nonsense overview of the business. The numbers are impressive. A growth trajectory that is the envy of the industry, wildly happy clients and a dominating competitive presence. But to be candid, what really stuck with me was Chris’s storytelling about the company itself. This is a people-centric culture to the max. It was clear that UKG builds and delivers its products and services with its heart and mind.
The concept is simple yet powerful.
ESG is not a new idea that needs to be rolled out; it is already woven into the cultural fabric of the company. There’s always work to be done but the company embraces the challenge. When the CEO brings to the attention of the analyst community that a key metric on his mind is a 50% increase in volunteer work, you know you’re listening to a special company. Actions speak louder than words at UKG and there’s not a better example than how UKG positively impacted the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup 2023 by creating pay equity for all players, bringing it on par with the equivalent men’s tournament. No thank you needed — “it was just the right thing to do,” as Chris put it, “and so we did it.”
I’ll wrap up and turn this blog over to my colleague, Claude Werder, for his thoughts but I want to leave you with this: If you are looking for a partner that is selfless and will be fully vested in your business and people, look no further, UKG is the “One.”
– Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group™
I absolutely share Michael’s sentiments. What also makes UKG a great company is its investment in big ideas that will sustain their momentum well into the future.
As we discussed in a recent blog, UKG has joined forces with Google Cloud to expand the use of generative AI in its solutions. Combining Google Cloud’s Vertex AI and large language models (LLMs) with its own AI models and Great Place To Work® proprietary data strengthens UKG’s position as an HCM market leader.
Beyond that, UKG is building a culture around generative AI. The company engaged more than 1,100 colleagues in a recent hackathon, with 123 teams from around the world experimenting with all types of innovation around AI. And in typical UKG fashion, they will take specific use cases and try them out on customers to understand whether the ideas resonate with the public.
It was also exciting to see how UKG is beginning to really leverage all the data and insights from the 2021 Great Place To Work® acquisition. By combining UKG’s HR solutions with the research and insights from Great Place To Work®, UKG is the only HR technology provider that delivers a wide range of technologies with the research and insights needed to create a great workplace. This makes them unique in the market while strengthening an already leading-edge employer brand.
What made the biggest impression on me was UKG Labs, which supports entrepreneurial startups creating new and creative ideas to solve workplace challenges for employees, managers and HR professionals. While enabling and empowering entrepreneurs and customers to develop and test their big ideas, UKG Labs also involves more than 140 U Krew “co[Lab]orators” to upskill and reskill by working on projects.
One project example, which aligns with UKG’s strong commitment to diversity equity and inclusion, is with UKG Labs portfolio company AdeptID and a UKG customer. The engagement, supported through a Work Rise grant, brings this startup’s solution, which incorporates AI and LLMs into an inference engine to identify and support diverse talent based on skills and potential, to the UKG customer. As many employers continue to struggle with hiring bias and building a diverse talent pipeline, this solution appears to meet a distinct need. Through Labs, this startup is also exploring a proof-of-concept with the UKG AI and UKG Pro Talent teams to enrich frontline worker profiles.
Another portfolio company, Roleshare, which enables people to apply for shared roles in a company, may have a steeper hill to climb since job sharing has not yet caught on in most companies, Brandon Hall Group™ research shows. But the beauty of this is UKG is helping generate out-of-the-box ideas that might not otherwise see the light of day. And the company is enhancing customer relationships and investing in employee development at the same time.
UKG’s brand message, Our Purpose is People, is a marketing strategy, but it’s also a mission the company demonstrably lives.
– Claude Werder, Senior VP and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group™