Ceridian – A Lesson In Leadership

On the last page we read about the problems of Ceridian. Here is how the CEO tackled what he considered to be the main issue – the employees.

Step 1: Motivating Employees

Motivating employees and to get their spirits back to a good place is a difficult job, but a good leader knows how to go about this task. Ossip had prior experience in the human resources area so he used his experience of building many startups with a strong workforce in this situation.

Ceridian’s failure to innovate had contributed to its losses, low employee morale and decreased customer satisfaction, so Ossip decided to pair it together with Day-Force, a startup he had built in 2009. So Day-Force was re-launched, but this time with Ceridian’s banner. This helped put together good software with an established organisation. Results were greater than expected, with 483 sales against the 100 that were predicted.


Step 2: Making communication within the business and customers easier

The results of a market survey were taken next, which stated that HR computer applications were not integrated properly which made communication between HR and the staff difficult. This made the HR practitioner’s job much harder than it needed to be. To solve this, it was decided that one application should be used to capture and track all of the employee experience making communication easier. Ceridian fully acquired Day-Force to do this and Ossip took the role of the CEO.


Step 3: Modifying the company structure to accept change

Again focusing on the employee engagement agenda, Ossip decided to turn the company around, but when he went back to the origin of the company and found out that company’s structure prevented change, which was exactly what it needed. He started with fixing communication between employees and leaders by breaking barriers between them. An initiative called “top talent” was taken, employee’s proposed ideas, leaders selected the top 5 and implemented them. The leaders were also trained to communicate effectively.


Step 4: Redefining the purpose of the firm to improve life for both customers and employees


He then redefined the company purpose to improving work and life for people, both customers and employees. All the business unrelated to this purpose were sold off, and the core purpose was made the central focus. The company values were aligned so that employees could identify with them; customer focus, transparency, diligence, optimism and agility were the new values which were communicated and demonstrated by the company.

With a new mission of “creating products and services that will help people enjoy work and life more” Ceridian now had a clear vision, to become the preferred HR solution chosen by all employees. Ossip shared this vision with all employees along with what kind of future awaits them if this vision was turned into a reality. This helped boost the energy at Ceridian.

Step 5: Revamping the recruitment process

The recruitment procedure was revamped as well, finding the right fit for the organisation involved examining whether or not they a candidate was reliable, could work well with his team and had an aptitude for learning.


Step 6: Conducting surveys


An employee engagement survey was conducted twice a year while at departmental and team level a daily employee engagement tool was added to the Day-force product. The results were openly communicated to managers and employees so they could work together to make the situation better. Surveys about engagement as well as disengagement helped improve company culture.

Effect of these initiatives

18 months after Ossip’s change management initiative the employee engagement increased by quite a margin, and a company saw a 70% growth when it comes to revenue, making it one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. It also made Ceridian one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2016.

At the start, the task may have seemed impossible but if Ossip had decided to accept failure that would have been the final blow for the company. What he did instead was focused on ways the company could improve its culture, bring innovation and hence increase revenue and profit.

Leadership like this is what can save any company. Is this you?


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