U.Group is a digital transformation partner helping organizations use technology and human-centered design to solve complex problems and create new opportunities. We partner with organizations inside and outside the federal government to develop digital solutions that allow teams to work more efficiently and reach audiences more effectively.
With teammates working from around the country, we strive to provide as many opportunities as possible to stay connected with and informed on what’s going on at U.Group.
U.Group has always had a strong communications function, but we really ramped it up in early 2020—and continue to do so. From “morning views” and “WFH setup” chats on Slack to weekly newsletters, monthly Town Halls, and updates from all levels of the company, it’s important that our communications rise to meet the times. We’ve been intentional about providing the team with multiple touchpoints on various channels—helping folks feel connected in our distributed posture.
The importance of communication is lived daily at all levels of the company. Our CEO regularly posts photos and updates from his home office, shares his weekend plans on Slack, and dedicates the resources necessary to ensure that we're sharing information regularly. This includes having a full-time comms team responsible for internal communications like newsletters and events as well as external comms and marketing.
One of the most unique aspects of U.Group corporate communications is its transparency. Each year, we hold a half-day Town Hall during which the whole team comes together to celebrate the wins from the past year and set goals for the year ahead. As part of this all-hands meeting, leadership goes through our financials. Not broad lens or wide brushstrokes, but actually going line by line through the balance sheet and explaining what the numbers mean for our business. This type of transparency not only helps team members feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, like they’ve got “skin in the game,” but also shows a great level of trust in our people.
Our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion has been foundational from the company’s start. Our team represents this focus—including folks of various degrees of education, military service, country of origin, language, gender identity, practice area-focus, and more.
As we continue to grow and evolve, diversity, equity, and inclusion have become increasingly more central to our identity and culture. We recognized that true diversity, equity, and inclusion should be team-led rather than top-down policy—leading to the launch of our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) initiative. DEI members meet twice monthly to discuss new ways for U.Group to improve diversity, ensure equity, and advance inclusion—while also offering a safe space for folks to talk about issues affecting DEI nationwide.
These members develop initiatives that are supported by senior leadership, activated at the grassroots level, and budgeted across practice areas. Initiatives include: engaging the Talent Acquisition team to prioritize building a diverse pipeline of candidates; training managers on unbiased hiring practices; and activating the People Operations division to revamp performance metrics, job profiles, and promotion plans to create more equitable opportunities for all team members.
We are committed to eliminating organizational structures that oppress, exclude, and/or discriminate. This commitment fosters a culture where all individuals’ ideas are heard and valued—one that prioritizes transparency, equity, flexibility, and promotes personal and professional growth.
U.Group’s ability to seat a diverse range of subject matter experts—from data scientists to interactive designers and content strategists—at the same table to provide full-service solutions to customers is one of our greatest strengths.
Born out of two companies with complementary capabilities, U.Group weaves cross-functional collaboration into everything it does. We have delivered award-winning visual design to blue chip brands and launched powerful data platforms that protect national security—each engagement drawing from different elements of the digital transformation arsenal.
The ability to collaborate is perhaps our greatest asset. Not a single solution is developed without bringing together a team of diverse thinkers and subject matter experts to understand the problem from all angles. Once a path forward is determined, the team may expand or contract based on the steps necessary to ensure success. For instance, a UX-er might be tapped while a content strategist might not be needed. With technology at the center of everything we do, engineers are particularly plugged in to the many practice areas of our organization—working side by side with designers, data scientists, program managers, and more.
With a deep bench of diverse talent, our foundation as a collaborative and distributed company means that there’s always someone, somewhere ready and willing to offer their unique perspective—uncovering solutions that would undoubtedly be hidden to a more homogenic team.
U.Group recognizes that there is always room to grow, no matter how experienced someone is. We have built a culture around constructive feedback to help our team thrive.
How can we improve if we don’t continually seek feedback and constructive criticism? One of the characteristics that sets U.Group apart is our culture of retrospectives. After each project wraps or reaches a critical milestone, the team comes together for a 90-minute retrospective using a scrum project management framework. They assess what went right, what went wrong, what was out of their control, what should have been handled differently, and so on. They take these lessons learned and apply them to future projects so we can continually build on our ability to deliver value to customers.
This ethos of not only accepting feedback, but actively seeking it out, reinforces our culture of not being scared to fail, to try new ideas, or to fall on your face every once in a while. If we’re going to break the mold and be disruptive, it often requires a few slammed doors before busting one wide open.
U.Group was built on the belief that an organization’s most important asset is its people. We are committed to celebrating the team’s accomplishments on individual, team, and company-wide levels.
We’re proud to have some of the brightest minds in tech on our team, and we seek out opportunities to shine a spotlight on their achievements whenever possible. There are several different ways in which we recognize the exceptional work of our team, both internally and externally. These are some of the many ways we regularly spotlight excellence:
U.Group recognizes that our teammates do their best work when they’re well-rested and have an ideal work-life balance.
With offices on each coast and teammates stationed in every corner of the country, flexible work arrangements have long been a staple perk at U.Group. We set core work hours from 10 AM to 3 PM EST, and our teammates have the flexibility to balance their time-sensitive meetings and deliverables with their own personal schedules. Our team is focused on delivery and results—we trust one another to deliver within timelines and are less concerned about when or where the specific work is being done. Our teammates also understand the responsibility and accountability that come with that trust.
Although we fostered a flexible work culture prior to COVID-19, the pandemic has made it even more crucial. First and foremost, we want to ensure that our team is safe and healthy. To realize this, we offer one of the most generous benefits packages in the DC area and are proud to recruit top talent working remotely across the country. And it’s not just on paper. This culture of flexibility is reinforced at the highest level with members of the leadership team taking time away from work, both remotely and on PTO, and encouraging others to do the same.
In just the last 18 months, we have established a paid parental leave policy, created a home office reimbursement for folks no longer making use of the commuter benefit, and created a timecode for caretakers to bill time off to while tending to others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are of some of the most celebrated parts of our benefits package:
Business priorities, user needs, and technologies are constantly evolving. To ensure our customers stay at the forefront of innovation, our teams move at the speed of agile development cycles and specialize in continuous delivery—working to develop, deploy, and iterate quickly and consistently.
At U.Group, delivery is the strategy. As a disruptor in the digital space, we deliver cutting-edge solutions using Agile principles in a space historically dominated by waterfall methodologies and fixed mindsets. This approach leads us to place emphasis on the values below:
By valuing the items on the left over their counterparts on the right, we are able to work closely and continuously with our customers, provide working software early and often, and design systems in real-time to meet ever-evolving needs. The result is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art solution designed with human-interaction at the forefront.
U.Group takes a data-first approach to problem solving. From national security to marketing strategy, our team uses data and analysis to drive decision-making and monitors its impacts after implementing solutions.
We remain innovative by challenging our own ways of thinking and operating. The best way to continue doing that is to remain impartial and objective, using data to drive our decisions and ultimately the solutions we develop.
We analyze data—finding patterns, predicting outcomes, and building platforms that help customers use data to make decisions in real-time. Our team of data scientists, visualization experts, and engineers dive deep to analyze customer data, design algorithms, and build platforms tailored to their needs. We work with our partners to leverage the full power of their data, so they can use it to make insight-informed decisions in real-time.