Meet U Krewer Briana M.— “I’m Safe to be Me at UKG”
I heard Briana speak during a company webcast on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia. They were only a few months into their role, but they were already an incredible advocate for the welcoming culture they’d found at UKG. Here, Briana talks about the new hire experience and offers us an inside look at what it’s like working at UKG.
Give us a quick snapshot of Briana. I love movies, music, and gaming, but nothing keeps me more motivated than my kiddo—or as the clients know her, “my 4-year-old assistant.” I like making people laugh and keeping my friends well fed. I work as a Product Support Specialist II on the Inbound Rapid Response line and there’s never a dull moment. It’s the kind of challenge that feels fun, exciting, and rewarding. At UKG, everyone works with everyone. There’s so much positive, productive, and friendly communication between departments. It feels unreal, but after six months, I’m finding that it’s the norm here.
What initially attracted you to a career at UKG? My initial attraction to UKG came from the way they treated my best friend, Asher, who recommended me for this job. He is such a joyous spirit and a hard worker. Knowing that he felt cared for, accepted, and pushed in such a positive direction really made me say, “OK, what are these people all about?” The more I dug in, the more I found that UKG is serious when they say they put people first. You get hit with this incredible culture before you even have your first interview. I’ve been so burned out from working for companies that are “people first” at the expense of their staff’s well-being. But here, from the top down it’s nothing but kindness, respect, and consideration.
How did you know UKG would be a welcoming environment before you joined? When I got an email from my recruiter and her pronouns were listed right there. That told me they were thinking ahead and being considerate. During my first interview I’d say it was 80% professional, and 20% laughing until we had tears in our eyes. A company that can make you feel that welcome over a 30-minute video interview, before you’re even hired, is the place where I want to be. There were no strangers from the start, just friends I didn’t know yet.
At UKG, you’re going to find your work family as well as a deeper sense of self. There’s an open mindset I’ve noticed where everyone high up is still willing to learn, willing to grow, happy to be held accountable, and always looking to support.
How does UKG embody an inclusive work environment? What does that look, sound, and feel like? There are so many different employee resource groups (ERGs) and ways to engage with others. I’m lucky to be in the Pride ERG and the Trans Taskforce. UKG has found a way to give us safe spaces within certain communities while also allowing us to support each other as a whole. Other companies only look at numbers and could care less if you’re into board games, books, or exercise. UKG? There’s a group for that. You’re going to find your work family as well as a deeper sense of self. There’s an open mindset I’ve noticed where everyone high up is still willing to learn, willing to grow, happy to be held accountable, and always looking to support. I feel that’s part of what makes such a huge difference here and allows us all to be heard, seen, and feel like we matter for being exactly who we are.
Who makes you feel supported at UKG? Between my boss, the team leads that work with me in support chat, coworkers, everyone with the Trans Taskforce—I feel like I’ve switched gears from surviving to thriving. I feel like my only choice now is to become the best version of myself. Thomas, my manager, has been a wicked force of good in my life. I had a terrible work-life balance before coming here and he’s been so observant and supportive. The one-on-ones show me where my hard work pays off even when I’m not working myself straight into another burn out. I used to check in after hours. Not anymore. I enjoy my outside life so I can enjoy my job when I am here.
The Trans Taskforce and Pride ERG have been huge for me. As someone who’s gender non-conforming and a single parent, the support and resources have been a life saver. It wasn’t safe to come out at my previous job and it wasn’t deemed necessary. I’ve been told by others at UKG that knowing and loving my authentic self is very necessary and I’m safe to be me here. I can’t tell you how much having that peace in your heart can change everything. What makes me feel supported in all aspects of my life is the cycle here at UKG: I help you, you help me, and so on. It’s this constant motion of uplifting others and growing yourself.
What makes me feel supported in all aspects of my life is the cycle here at UKG: I help you, you help me, and so on. It’s this constant motion of uplifting others and growing yourself.
Is there a UKG program that has impacted you, or that you find motivating or encouraging? The health and wellness team is where it’s at. There are certain goals and comforts that I had simply given up on. Now, I have resources, tools, and advice. They’ve helped me reset and reach some goals with my health and general comfort. Now my child and I do our daily stretches, I stay hydrated, and I make far less noises when getting out of bed in the morning. It’s so nice to know that any level I’m at, I can have small victories while being surrounded by awesome people.
To read more about U Krewers, check out these stories on career advice, Pride Month, and AAPI Month.