The Phoenix Suns Create “People First” Employee Experiences with UltiPro

April 6, 2016

Ultimate Software

Date: April 6, 2016

Ultimate Software (Nasdaq: ULTI), a leading provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions in the cloud, announced today that the Phoenix Suns, a U.S. professional basketball team and member of the National Basketball Association (NBA), is creating more meaningful experiences for its employees using Ultimate’s comprehensive cloud solution, UltiPro®. Moreover, the Suns’ focus on its workforce earned the sports organization Ultimate’s “People First” customer Innovation Award at Ultimate’s annual Connections Conference in March.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based organization established a key human resources objective of enhancing its employees’ work experiences by delivering more useful tools and better information to its people at all levels. With UltiPro as its solution of record, the Suns can impact the entire employee experience—from onboarding to talent management—regardless of whether the person is in the office or on the road.

“UltiPro was the driving force in the Phoenix Suns’ ability to successfully put our people first,” said Sheila A. Yammer, senior director of payroll services for the Suns. “Ultimate designs its functionality with input from users, which gave us confidence that our employees would embrace the new tools and be happy with them.”

Wanting to impact employees from the very beginning, the Suns rolled out UltiPro Onboarding. Using UltiPro’s user-friendly portal, employees can review and electronically sign all documents quickly. The documents are then stored electronically in UltiPro, vastly reducing the accumulation of paper files and automatically storing the information for later use.

“If we are going to create ‘People First’ experiences, we need to start from the beginning and impact new employees,” said Dianne Tillman, director of HR for the Suns. “With UltiPro, employees can be productive faster than before and they appreciate the ease of use, speed, and convenience of UltiPro Onboarding in a time when there is probably a lot on their minds. In fact, the time it takes new hires to complete necessary government and company forms on their first day of work has decreased from one hour to under 15 minutes. I think it also provides a good first impression of the Suns.”

This accelerated onboarding process has also aided the Suns in achieving its goals to ensure the safety of its employees and customers by automating employee credentialing. Through integrations with UltiPro and a third-party system, the Suns’ security operations team is able to issue credentials within two hours of an employee’s hire.

“Employee credentialing is a critical part of our security procedures and ensuring our people and our venue remains safe. UltiPro makes the credentialing process so much smoother,” said Yammer. “Automating this through UltiPro eliminates the need for our individual departments to maintain numerous spreadsheets and separate employee contact information, which makes for a more organized, more convenient, and more efficient process.”

To improve its performance management and further enhance the employee experience, the Suns are better managing their talent with UltiPro. UltiPro’s interactive performance management functionality empowers managers and employees alike to create, develop, and track their goals, and helps ensure all employees continuously know how their personal accomplishments contribute to the organization’s big picture.

“With UltiPro for performance management, we can do so much,” said Tillman. “For example, we’re able to connect employees’ individual goals to the overall success of our organization, tracking and recognizing employee achievements throughout the year and providing ongoing opportunities for their professional development. It’s a feature we greatly credit in helping us fulfill an essential objective: improving our employees’ experiences at work.”

“In today’s highly competitive environment, where attracting and retaining talent is key to organizational success, many companies are focused on developing ‘People First’ cultures, leveraging technology to simplify administrative processes and help create a desirable place to work,” said Greg Swick, chief sales officer at Ultimate. “We congratulate the Phoenix Suns on their award and are pleased they are utilizing UltiPro to achieve their workforce goals, starting with new hires’ initial impressions and extending throughout the employee lifecycle.”


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