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How to Send HRIS Data from Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) through SFTP
How to Send HRIS Data from Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) through SFTP

How to send HRIS data from UKG via SFTP

Jared Ellis avatar
Written by Jared Ellis
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

How to send HRIS data from UKG via SFTP

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins, IT

Note: this guide covers how you can send your HRIS data from UKG through a SFTP connection which uses our PARTIAL import process. Partial imports are good for when you upload a data file that contains new or updated information for a subset of your employees. Employees NOT in your data file will remain active. See: Importing your user data to Culture Amp for more information.


You can save time and effort by configuring UKG to automatically send your employee data to Culture Amp via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). There are two options for UKG to set up the connection.

  1. UKG to handle the setup of the SFTP connection to Culture Amp and manage the creation of the data file.

  2. UKG to only handle the SFTP connection between the HRIS system and Culture Amp.

Both options will require a UKG representative to work with a Culture Amp Account Administrator to complete the setup process.

Setting up an SFTP integration may require assistance from your IT Team. We've provided detailed technical instructions that you can provide to them during the setup process.

SFTP updates the user data using our Partial Import process. This means that you can update or add data via SFTP and manual uploads if you do not have all your information available in UKG.

Please ensure that if UKG are sending the file in CSV format, this needs to be CSV UTF-8 encoded and not using iso-8859-1 encoded due to the way this format encodes special characters. This will require a custom integration.

Step 1: Create a Custom Report in Your HRIS

Create a report that contains all the employees and demographics you want to import into Culture Amp. The report file will need to be in the CSV(UTF-8) or XLSX formats. The file cannot be converted from plain text to CSV or XLSX before the transfer. It needs to be saved in CSV(UTF-8)or XLSX.

We recommend that you start with our Employee Data File Template. If you have existing data in the platform, you can head to your Settings > Users > Export Users and use the headings that are included in the export to create your template. If you have additional demographics that want to send through in addition to the existing data, you can add these columns in the report you are creating.

At a minimum, every employee needs to have the information below for their profiles to be created:

  • Name

  • Employee email (Email) OR Employee ID (These are used as identifiers of each employee's user profile)

Below are some additional demographic columns that are commonly included in employee data files:

  • Preferred Name (This will be used in survey communications)

  • Job Title

  • Employee Type

  • Department

  • Gender

  • Date of Birth

  • Start Date

  • End Date

  • Manager Name

  • Manager Email (All values must be in lower case)

  • Manager ID

You can also include any other demographics you wish to report on.

Please also ensure that the CSV file does not have any special characters, incorrectly placed commas, or incorrectly placed quotations.

If you plan to create a hierarchy, or already have a hierarchy enabled, every employee except one must be assigned a manager using a unique manager identifier (e.g. Manager Email or Manager ID)

Step 2: Create an SSH Key Pair

The SFTP connection will require OpenSSH keys for authentication. A representative from UKG will create a public key and private key pair for the connection.

The private key will remain with the UKG. The public key will need to be entered in the Public Key field on the Settings > Data Integrations page in Culture Amp. This can be done by a Culture Amp Account Administrator.

Note: Our SFTP only supports OpenSSH key pairs, not SSH2. If your HRIS or command-line tool generates keys in SSH2 format, you can convert them to openSSH using the instructions in the guide below.

Step 3: Connect Your SFTP Client with Culture Amp

Most SFTP clients will require the following information to set a connection. Some of this information can be found in Culture Amp (Settings > Data Integrations > UKG). Make sure the hostname and username you use to set up your SFTP client are copied directly from the setup form in Culture Amp. Both are case-sensitive.

  • Protocol: SFTP

  • Logon Type: Key File

  • Host/Hostname: Can be found Culture Amp

  • Username: Can be found Culture Amp

To start setting up on Culture Amp, select your HR system from the options on the Data Integrations page.

Step 4: Testing Your SFTP Connection

If you're having problems with your SFTP connection, we suggest testing it by first running a manual import of your data. This will ensure you have a valid data set, and allow you to focus specifically on the SFTP connection.

  1. Export your report from UKG in XLSX or CSV format

  2. Head to your Settings > Import Users > Partial Import page and upload the custom report. You will need to go through the steps until you reach the “Review Import Summary” stage.

  3. Review any errors and request adjustments to the report, if any are required.

  4. Cancel and do not “Apply changes”. This is because you are only testing the data and do not want to apply the changes via this manual upload process.

  5. Test your SFTP connection by transferring your data via SFTP

Add Your Hierarchy

Once your integration has been successfully set up, the process of adding hierarchy to your account is a one-time manual task.

The steps to add hierarchy to your account can be located in our Add your hierarchy guide.

Troubleshooting Integration Issues

If you are facing issues with syncing your data from UKG to Culture Amp, you can view the troubleshooting information we have included in our Troubleshooting SFTP integration issues guide.


How do I mark employees as inactive in my SFTP file?

When removing users from the platform, you have two options: you can mark them as inactive, indicating they are former employees with an end date, or deactivate them, with no specified end date. Both options result in the user being made inactive.

Learn more about the differences between former and deactivated employees here.

Mark Users Inactive as Former Employees:

To make users inactive via SFTP as former employees:

  1. Ensure that there is an End Date column included in your user file

  2. Apply an End Date value next to the employee you are deactivating

  3. Following your update, the Culture Amp platform generally does a file sweep every 10 minutes or so and will process any file that has been picked up and process the updates to the platform.

  4. Once the import is processed, those users will show up under your Settings > Users page under the Former User list.

Mark Users Inactive as Deactivated Employees:

  1. Ensure that your SFTP file has an End Date column

  2. Under the End Date column, ensure that the value for the user you would like to deactivate is blank.

  3. Create an Employee Deactivated column in your SFTP file. Make sure that this column comes before any other custom demographics in your file.

  4. Assign TRUE as the value next to the employee/s you are deactivating.

  5. Make sure FALSE is set for any other employees.

  6. Following your update, the Culture Amp platform generally does a file sweep every 10 minutes or so and will process any file that has been picked up and process the updates to the platform.

  7. Once the import is processed, those users will show up under your Settings > Users page under the Deactivated User list.

Alternatively, you can mark users as inactive by deactivating them individually in the platform. Follow the instructions provided here.

Just make sure that once you manually deactivate these users, they are removed from your any file uploads moving forward.

Need further help? Contact our Culture Amp Support team via email: or ask to speak with a support specialist during your live chat conversation.

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