3 Ways to Get Your Employees Excited When You Go Live on Workday

After all those months working on your Workday deployment, it’s finally time to go live and roll it out to your employees. You’ve been working alongside your deployment partner, so you’re ready. But is the rest of your company ready?

In order for Workday to be a success at your organization, you need to rally your employees and get them excited about this new tool. More important, you need to get them using the tool. How can you do that? We asked some of our clients to tell us what they did. Here is their advice.

1. Good communication

When Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA, chose to deploy Workday, leaders knew they were making a huge, transformational change. For example, before the go-live, they were still using paper time cards. Since the HR team needed to prepare the campus community for such a major adjustment, it knew communication was key — they decided to communicate early and often. “Messages about the change to Workday began from our President shortly after product selection and communication continued to happen regularly thereafter,” explains Corey Fling, the university’s chief information officer. “We had skits at our all-staff meetings, Q&As after demos with small prizes, and to help drive home the point that getting paid was a big part of the new system, we gave each person a PayDay candy bar.”

In addition to an all-staff meeting, PLNU had a specific Workday kickoff meeting, in which Corey and his team demonstrated how the product worked and answered any questions employees might have. “We also prepared about three weeks of training for various user segments — ‘champions’ (for those who wanted to be experts in the departments), managers and end users,” he adds. “We felt that the communication strategy worked well to build awareness and excitement about the project.”

2. Have a contest

At Grant Thornton, a professional services firm based in Toronto, Workday was initially deployed just to the human resources team. So when it went live for all employees, the HR team was ready and really wanted it to go well. Jeff McMaster, director of people services, and his team branded the process as Get Noticed, and encouraged everyone to enter their information. “Download your LinkedIn profile, and maybe you’ll win a prize,” employees were told. The strategy worked: “Close to 90 percent of our employees went in and did it,” Jeff reports, adding that prizes included such items as iPads. “It made a great, positive first impression, and it set the stage for our people to see the tool first-hand and for it to do even more.”

While the motivation behind the contest may have been to populate the system with as much information as possible, Jeff says employees recognized the real goal. “This was laying the foundation for them to tell the firm what they’re all about: What their skills profile is, what their credentials are and what their experiences are, and to market themselves for any opportunities that may come along.”

3. Find the influencers

Another customer of ours, a biotech company, recognized early on that their employees are not the type who are motivated by contests or other conventional incentives. Instead, they like to be subject matter experts and see things in advance. So the company’s director of learning and development came up with a plan to identify internal influencers who could motivate, teach and encourage employees to use the new system. The influencers participated in UAT testing, were given an advance preview of what was to come and were eligible to win prizes based on the number of people they helped.

The influencer program targeted those who were either too busy to attend a training or learn things on their own, who needed an extra push from someone they already work with and who they normally talk to. That would encourage those too-busy employees to be more self-sufficient, because they were seeing a key influencer, a helper friend or somebody else tech savvy being comfortable in the system. In addition, it was hoped that the program would empower more leaders in the company because people on the ground in the business would be the champions, not HR.

What works for you

Not every company makes a big deal about their go-live, and that is an engagement strategy in itself. What it comes down to is that the best strategy for increasing employee engagement is the one that best works for your team. But as these clients can attest, excitement can be contagious. Share that with your employees and they’re more likely to feel the same.

What did YOUR business do to get employees excited for Workday? Share your story in the comments section below!

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