Business in Focus: Workday

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

Once a week, the employees at the HR Software company Workday get a two-question survey. On #FeedbackFriday, employees might be asked first about their relationship with their manager, and then to reflect on their own mental and physical health. The questions vary from week to week, but the survey creates a robust data set of responses from over 10,000 employees that can be mined to help ensure the company’s culture stays on track. From the day that the idea for the company was sketched out over lunch at Jax Truckee Diner in California in 2005, co-founders Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield resolved to build a company that would scale by tapping into a rich tapestry of diverse talent.

Fifteen years later, Workday has matured into a top-ranking, people-centric company on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For overall and in categories like Diversity, Women, Millennials, and Technology.

According to Ashley Goldsmith, Workday’s Chief People Officer, the tenets that has helped the company achieve year after year recognition involves three critical areas of focus.

1. Make Culture a Priority
Since managers have the greatest impact on employees’ daily experiences, Workday invests in management training focused on what it means to lead and manage in alignment with the company’s values and culture. The company holds an annual, two-day People Leadership Summit for every new manager (or people leaders in the Workday vernacular) to ensure that culture scales with size.


2. Listen to Your Workforce, and Take Action
Workday partners with Great Place to Work to collect and aggregate feedback to manager dashboards. These dashboards help managers understand the experiences they’re creating for their teams. Based on those insights, targeted coaching content is delivered to managers through the Workday Learning application that suggests how they can better support their teams.


3. Create Meaningful Employee Experiences
There is no one-size-fits-all career path flow at Workday. Instead, moments that matter are emphasized. Whether it’s helping employees find a mentor, explore peer learning, build desired skills, or connect with other colleagues, the mission is to empower team members to grow in ways that are individually meaningful.


Kudos to Workday for its continued rise in Fortune’s ranking, and proving that enormous growth and a meaningful culture are not mutually exclusive.





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