Universal Business Team (UBT) strives for the best and helps its clients reach for the same. The business services company does everything it can to help its clients’ businesses go “from good to great”.
The global company provides coaching, consulting, training, accounting, and group buying services to 3,000 businesses across 19 regions, including Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, the Caribbean, Argentina, and North America. The company’s 700 employees, who are also scattered around the globe, support clients to increase business profitability and liquidity, decrease debt, and elevate the circumstances of their employees.
To keep the business growing and clients thriving, UBT needs to attract, engage, and retain top talent. The company must also maintain compliance with regulations in each operating region, while using data to make informed decisions.
UBT has always been laser-focused on helping its global clients achieve business excellence. But, as the young company grew exponentially in size and success, gaps started to emerge in its HR systems and processes.
Workforce data and labor cost information were buried in spreadsheets that were time-consuming to update and provided no real-time insights or visibility across the workforce. Employees had to navigate complex manual systems to fill in timesheets and request leave. Managers didn’t have a dependable and easy-to-use system that helped them process vacation and leave requests or access professional development opportunities. With no central recruitment or performance management system, hiring and onboarding were inconsistent, and the company wasn’t able to engage staff or realize global talent mobility.
As the company grew, it became more regionalized, and the challenges grew as well.
“When I started, no one could give me a definitive answer about how many employees we had, where they were located, what roles they performed, or any demographic information about them. Even simple things like commencement dates, titles, and roles were hard to access,” remembers Patrick Ryan, UBT’s Global HR Director. “The business was six or seven years old when I joined and, as with any startup that has had phenomenal growth, there's often a lag in terms of infrastructure. And in this case, the infrastructure that was lagging was really technology and systems.”
In 2015, UBT’s board of directors tasked the company with developing a global HR strategy. The goal of implementing a unified HCM solution was to support growth, centralize processes and employee data, and set standards to facilitate compliance, data-driven decision-making, and talent retention.
UBT began the search for a system they could use to manage the entire employee life cycle, from hire to retire. The company conducted an extensive global search for the right system, and ultimately decided on Ceridian.
“We were looking for as much functionality as possible within the employee lifecycle,” says Ryan. “We needed ease of implementation, and a system that was simple to operate. We needed a compelling price point. And geographic footprint was also a factor.” Ryan and his team wanted to ensure that the partner they chose would be committed to supporting the Australasian market’s specific needs.
UBT chose to partner with Ceridian and implement Dayforce for workforce management, recruiting, onboarding, performance, compensation, and succession planning. The company is already benefiting from the time savings and increase in data visibility that comes with a single, unified system.
“If the board of directors had asked me six years ago to collate org charts, it would have been a mammoth task, and it probably would have taken several weeks. Whereas now, it's instantaneous,” says Ryan.
“We log on, and we've got contemporaneous organizational structures that reflect the way the organization is structured, they're up-to-date, and they're accurate. I can drill into that org structure in any operation anywhere in the world. I can look at reporting lines, I can look at how many layers are in the org structure. I can look at the efficiency and the effectiveness of org structures. I couldn't do any of that before we had Dayforce.”
Implementing Dayforce has made processes like tracking annual leave quicker and more efficient. “We’ve always had leave approval processes, but Dayforce as an all-in-one place to manage it has definitely proven to be an advantage,” says Wendy Johnson, UBT’s Global HR Systems Specialist.
It has also given UBT the opportunity to define roles, processes, and standards and apply them across the company, which has led to more accurate and dependable reporting that’s better able to drive smart and informed business decisions. “We’re more confident that we’re comparing apples with apples across the various regions. We know what we're comparing, or contrasting, is accurate and consistent,” says Ryan.
Data security is a top priority for UBT. As a global employer, the organization has significant obligations to protect employee data and ensure confidentiality. Implementing Dayforce has increased the company’s ability to maintain compliance with GDPR and other global requirements.
“We recently completed a Data Protection Impact Assessment on the Dayforce system and we found that we passed without any issues,” says Johnson.
One of the most challenging aspects of UBT’s highly regionalized model was recruiting.
Prior to Dayforce, each region used its own system for recruiting. There was little visibility across processes, and there was no oversight into global headcount or labor costs.
With Dayforce for recruiting now in place in Australia, New Zealand, North America and the UK, UBT has visibility on hiring needs, total headcount, and labor spend across those regions. The company also put in place processes that streamline recruiting and approvals. In addition, UBT can pull real-time reporting on live postings and the status of hires, and track attrition and retention data.
Dayforce has also improved the candidate experience. Successful candidates receive necessary documents and onboarding requirements prior to their start date, which keeps new hires informed and connected, and has saved UBT’s HR team hours of time spent on annual submissions. UBT’s use of Dayforce for onboarding provides a consistent experience for all new hires, which prepares them to hit the ground running once they’ve started.
“It really has revolutionized how we onboard new staff, and the whole employee experience,” says Ryan. “Dayforce helps us educate employees about UBT, our products, and our services, and makes sure they understand our purpose, our mission, our strategy, and our values, and can get a feel for our culture.”
Another way UBT is leveraging Dayforce to optimize the employee experience is by developing a performance culture. Prior to Dayforce, UBT did not have a standardized approach to managing goal-setting processes, performance evaluations, and merit increases. This limited UBT’s ability to maximize talent across the organization.
Dayforce’s performance capability has helped UBT shift performance goals, comments, and ratings out of spreadsheets and into a unified system. Managers are now better able to help employees set SMART goals, clarify expectations around what success looks like, and focus on performance management.
“The system prompts for the dialogue to happen between the employee and manager. And that's really what we wanted. We didn't want a system-centric process to managing performance. We wanted it to be a human-centered approach. But the system is very important in terms of providing those signposts along the way that outline what needs to happen within the process,” says Ryan.
With performance data now centralized in one system, it’s easier to draw a line between merit review outcomes and incentive outcomes. UBT can better identify success ratios, performance trends, and talent gaps within the organization globally. “We now have a system for performance that allows us to see at a glance what's happening on the other side of the world,” says Johnson.
“We can look at the talent within the business, make sure those high-potential employees are identified and recognized, and shape careers that are meaningful to them. The performance module has a lot of knock-on effects across the employee life cycle outside of just direct performance. It’s really the central module against which everything else then happens,” says Ryan.
Like its clients, UBT is on the path from “great to world-class”. As it continues with its Dayforce implementation, it is looking forward to having even more tools to manage talent across the business.
“We've got speed of reporting that we didn't have before. We've got metrics that offer a lot of insights to both HR and line managers that we never had before,” says Ryan. “Next year, we'll have complete global visibility of 100% of employees in every region across the globe. That's a big step forward.”