Creating Enhanced Employee Experiences through Workday Integrations
A national multi-brand retailer with one of the world’s largest implementations of Workday.
One of the advantages of a modern cloud-based HR system such as Workday is that it allows organizations to deliver innovative employee-experience innovations that otherwise would be too costly or complex to achieve.
Several of our retail clients have been actively leveraging this potential by developing enhanced employee rewards and discount programs. These programs are tailored to provide different employee groups increased value and an improved experience while being easier to manage and maintain.
In this case, we worked alongside our client’s team to provide a solution that could leverage the data inside Workday to improve the employee enrolment process in their already well-established customer loyalty discount program.
This solution needed to provide a simple employee self-service capability that could be used during their initial onboarding as well as throughout their employee lifecycle. It needed to be a rules-based solution to enable employees with different roles, tenure, and preferences to benefit from programs tailored just to them. And it needed to be scalable to handle the volume of employees who would access the system at any given point of time.
The client wanted employees to be able to enter or update their unique discount points number in Workday, which would integrate with their loyalty program ecosystem. All transactions would be transmitted in a single file on an hourly basis. New cards would be activated, and old cards deactivated if the worker entered an updated card number or if the employee was terminated or went on leave. Loyalty program numbers in Workday that had been updated needed to have the old number deactivated while simultaneously activating the new account.
As a Canadian national retailer, all human interfaces required bilingual capabilities, and the client wanted to manage risk by rolling out the enhanced program to employees in a phased approach.
Integrations are often thought of as “back-office” functions that don’t impact user or customer experience. In this case, however, the design of the integration and data flows were essential to creating an excellent employee experience. The program had to work with a broad diversity of use-cases, which drove complexity. All that complexity needed to be hidden from the employee and handled automatically. After all, a discount program that created frustration for the employee would defeat the purpose.
Technically this meant developing a solution that required creating custom objects, developing automatic validation steps, building workflow automation logic, implementing backdoor functionality to deal with edge-cases and management overrides, and automated bilingual capabilities. The employee needed to be able to review and accept the terms & conditions of the program during their onboarding process, and employer branding needed to be prominent in every employee interaction.
The solution for this project thus comprised multiple Workday components, including security groups, announcements, widgets, alert notifications, custom objects, and custom reports. Changes to the Hire and Job Change processes were also made.
Dispatch configured an effective-dated custom object for storing the employee data, which allowed for tighter auditing, as well as the use of Workday’s core connector functionality to detect employee data updates.
Appropriate security was configured to allow employee access to the fields needed to realize the self-service requirement of the solution, as well as to provide an additional small group of administrators access for updating employee information and eligibility. Multiple security groups were built along with associated integration logic to achieve the client’s phased rollout strategy.
The optional program required a wait-time to be eligible for the discount, which meant employees would not be automatically enrolled. To facilitate program management, we created a daily alert report that checked to see if the worker had entered their discount number in Workday. If they had not entered a discount number, a reminder was placed in their Workday inbox that invited them to enter the data required to participate.
Some types of leaves of absence were deemed ineligible for the program. As a result, the program number associated with the employee’s account had to be deactivated while the employee was on leave. Upon return, the number had to be reinstated. We used a combination of Workday tools to achieve this:
- Core Connector: We used change detection functionality for the day-to-day management of the system, and generated a custom report to capture the arrival of the employee’s anniversary day.
- Workday Studio was used to launch the custom report once per day and stitch the results together with the hourly output of the core connector. We had to implement several validation steps to be sure that the records reflected an accurate storyline of the events taking place on that day for each employee. For example, if an employee happened to be terminating on the same day as an eligibility anniversary, these two events effectively canceled each other but needed to be executed in a logical order.
To make it as easy as possible for employees to be able to update their information and to reduce service desk calls, a widget was placed on every employee’s home list of applications, with the branding of the discount program. With one click, the worker could find themselves in the right spot in Workday to update and manage enrollment themselves.
New steps were configured within current business processes (new hires, transfers) to create a task for the employee to input or update their loyalty program information. This workflow had to be carefully designed to ensure the employee could complete these tasks, but not slow down or disrupt other onboarding tasks such as benefits enrolment and HR electronic form signing.
To provide the best possible user experience, we leveraged Workday’s built-in language selection features to present non-English pages based on the employee/s language preferences.
This project was a great example of how integrations with Workday can enable exceptional employee experiences. We were able to deliver a solution that handles significant complexity behind the scenes so that each employee received the best experience possible, tailored to their role, location, tenure, and personal preferences. The self-service nature of the program reduced service-calls and improved employee satisfaction.
Architecturally we delivered a file-based system that was robust and required minimal changes to the existing system design. Our pragmatic and flexible approach also allows the program to continue to evolve in the future without needing significant re-engineering.
As a result of rigorous continuous testing during the project, including successful acceptance validation with a pilot population, the client decided they didn’t need to roll out the new program in a phased approach. Instead, they were able to offer this enhanced program to all employees across the country at the same time.
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