Bringing the Power of Personalization to the Employee Experience

As consumers, our experiences shape our opinions and influence our behavior. When we shop at Nordstrom, grab a sandwich at Panera Bread, or watch a recommended Netflix movie, great care has gone into every customer touch point to ensure our satisfaction and build a desire to come back for more. The world’s best consumer brands don’t simply offer a product or service—they create an intentional experience that makes us feel a certain way.

As consumer technologies keep marching forward in this new world of seamless and personalized experiences, expectations continue to increase for enterprise systems to offer personalized experiences in the workplace. That’s why at Workday, we’ve been working closely with our customer design partners to deliver a new people experience. Specifically, we’re developing features and tools that will drive a personalized, more intelligent Workday home page for Workday Human Capital Management (HCM), to simplify various workplace tasks and create a more connected and engaging digital experience. This will allow our customers to integrate other applications with Workday to deliver an even-better experience to their people.

Because Workday HCM has rich data and people insights, it has the full context of each person in the system and can leverage this knowledge to best meet an individual’s unique needs. With these new capabilities, our customers will be able to leverage this data even more to support employees during critical moments in their employee journeys, such as major life events and job changes. These are times when context is most needed, to help employees navigate workplace tasks that should be simple but in fact are tedious and often force them to search across different resources and applications, log a service ticket, or call someone for information.

We are innovating to leapfrog the HR portals of yesterday and deliver consumer-grade user experiences that will engage people in powerful new ways.

While some companies try to improve this experience by building or integrating an online HR portal to bring these different services together, their attempts still miss the mark. Portals can be hard to navigate from a desktop (and impossible from a mobile device), and often just contain hyperlinks to other websites and systems.

We believe our people deserve a better experience that doesn’t add another layer of complexity on top of their Workday application. With intuitive functionality woven into a new Workday home page, we can intelligently bring in recommended steps, courses of action, and activities that will provide our customers’ employees with better education, coaching, and guidance at every stage of their workplace journey.

Here are a few examples of how we plan to bring greater personalization to Workday HCM:

Going on leave. When employees want to take a leave of absence, such as to spend time with a new child, it can be frustrating to navigate the guidelines including how many days to take off, who they need to notify, and how to initiate benefits payments. In some instances, the experience might involve multiple calls into HR, separate interactions with a third-party benefits provider, emails with various coworkers/managers, and an overall sense of confusion as to what needs to be completed and when.

With Workday’s new people experience, all the information needed to manage the leave process will be easy to find, including a checklist of what needs to be done, paperwork that must be submitted, key deadlines, and guidance on who to notify before taking leave. Questions could be answered by using a conversational bot, and a Workday-delivered integration with the benefit provider would ensure a seamless, direct connection to the right resources right from an employee’s home page.

Onboarding as a new manager. When employees are promoted to people manager roles, there is a lot to consider as they navigate the transition from individual contributor to team leader. For example, how will that person know how to effectively manage employees and new responsibilities like budgeting or forecasting without prior experience? How will they get to know each team member better, and will they work more closely with other managers?

Because of Workday’s unique data set that allows customers to understand their users and track where they are in their employee journeys, Workday HCM will offer more relevant recommendations for new managers. For example, specific learning content could be pushed to new managers to help them learn new skills necessary for their role, along with suggested workplace connections and a list of potential mentors that went through similar transitions. Details about their team members—including roles, work histories, previous managers, birthdays, and work anniversaries—could be displayed in a simple card visual, and ideas for instilling work-life balance or other culture initiatives for the team could be surfaced on their home pages.

New Manager Journey


Transitioning to a new department or location. When an employee transitions into a new department or location, there can be confusion around the process. Finding out how to expense moving costs (what can and what cannot be reimbursed?), understanding any changes to benefits and tax structures in a new location, and knowing how to ramp up with a new team or be productive from a new location from the get-go, are all things transitioning employees must figure out. They often have to take this initiative all on their own, seeking out answers from colleagues, managers, and HR.

With our new people experience, Workday HCM will surface the administrative changes associated with the location change for easy navigation, with time-sensitive items flagged via notifications. In addition, recommended learning content and videos could be pushed to employees, providing them with a virtual tour of the new office or suggesting how to stay connected with their team if they’re going to start working remotely. This can all be wrapped into a branded experience using Workday’s personalization tools to emulate the look-and-feel of the corporate brand with familiar imagery and logos.

By leveraging Workday’s context, technology, and design-thinking approaches, we are innovating to leapfrog the HR portals of yesterday and deliver consumer-grade user experiences that will engage people in powerful new ways—and change the way we all work for the better.