24.05.2023 Human Resources FarvesTalks HR One Gala Luxembourg Tech Workday

Workday, named The HR Digital Partner of the Year

Writer Laura Campan

Following a global pandemic and all the social phenomena that have impacted the job market since then, how to show resilience and embrace the new values of a whole (disillusioned) generation?

The 20th anniversary of the HR One Gala was arguably the perfect moment to discuss these topics with the awards’ winners.

This week, let’s start the ball rolling with Workday.

We often hear talking about the benefits of cloud applications for finance – especially from a management and analytics’ perspective – but how about human resources? 

Workday’s HR suite is the most used application within the platform. This includes administrative management, but also for example career management and skills and workforce planning. Opting for a SaaS is clearly a way for new Workday customers to eliminate the technical debt of CHROs while at the same time offering them continuously new functionalities and innovations, especially in the area of resource optimization.

For more than five years, we have integrated a generative artificial intelligence, similar to how ChatGPT works. All our customers can use the AI applications that come with each of our modules. However, working within HR means working with a lot of sensitive personal data. Building AI and machine learning applications ethically and responsibly is therefore not a choice but an obligation. In order for AI and ML to rise to its full potential, it must be trustworthy and people-centered. That is why we champion transparency and honesty while providing maximum data protection and privacy.

But Workday is sticking to a hybrid model. We add ethics to ensure that our AIs are not biased, especially when used to generate career recommendations. This “talent management” evolving into “workforce management” makes it possible to deal with competency shortages: it is still possible to acquire competencies externally, but it is also necessary to develop internal competencies. This way, organizations fill in the gap between available skills and the skills needed, which helps them to recruit internally. Our clients increasingly expect us to contribute to the reflection on the talent management strategy that goes beyond administration management.

Human resources were held responsible sometimes for ignoring employees’ concerns and often standing on management’s side. Do you believe providing them with cloud solutions will enable them to (re)focus on the essence of their profession, humans? 

Definitely. Cloud solutions enable efficiency and automation in the HR department. All automations that organizations can achieve thanks to cloud solutions, free up time to focus on the real challenges within HR departments, like employee wellbeing and engagement.

Organizations are in need of systems and controls to quickly adapt to disruptions in the market and keep the workforce aligned with changing objectives. Workers are demanding and expecting organizations to be more flexible in where, when, and how they work. When that’s not possible, they leave.

This means HR needs to adapt the workforce to both internal and external changes. However, many HR leaders lack the necessary tools to adequately gauge how workers are feeling and what they are expecting. This becomes increasingly important as they reinvent compensation and benefits programs to meet worker expectations, while also balancing costs.

Workday delivers the flexibility to adjust business models accordingly, which increases organizational agility and resilience. Additionally, Workday provides insights into real-time worker sentiment to understand what workers want and need to facilitate change and action.

Like all new applications, it may be challenging to get the hang of it. Do you offer any specific training to unlock their potential internally? 

Our solutions are very user-friendly and accessible from any device, without restrictions. Whereas front desk staff often use the application on their PC, frontline workers or laborers will use the mobile app. Additionally, we offer comprehensive training sessions for all administrator users, which helps the implementation of the software but also eases the maintenance of the application when business processes change.

What would you say to those who still see digitization and automation as a potential threat – to many jobs?

Digitization is inevitable. Moreover, organizations are forced to do more with less as talent becomes scarcer and financial constraints grow tighter. This means that manual, disconnected staffing activities are no longer viable. Economic uncertainty, intense competition for talent, market disruption and digital transformation are forcing organizations to become more efficient and technologically advanced to survive and thrive.

To succeed, HR needs insights into labor costs, access to workforce metrics and real-time, actionable insights. This allows well-managed processes, informed decision-making and quick responses to business reforms. Workday facilitates this with a simple, easy to use HR experience for all workers. Our applications are designed to be fully electronic and heavily automated.

The embedded AI and ML applications allow the automation of repetitive, predictable HR and workforce operations – processes and tasks that are traditionally very labor intensive. This improves the accuracy, resulting in a measurable business impact. We keep humans in the loop when needed, with all the correct context to make faster, easier and better-informed decisions.