Workday — advice from other Liberal Arts colleges

17 November 2022
By Janet Scannell and Julie Creamer

Throughout Carleton’s evaluation of our current enterprise software (Colleague and The Hub), we have relied on the lessons of peer institutions that were ahead of us in determining how to replace software that was going to be out of support and that wasn’t meeting institutional needs. As we now prepare for our first move of functionality into Workday, Janet and Julie reached out to peers to ask how their community members feel about Workday. Here are a few responses from Hamline, Haverford, Wellesley, and Washington & Lee. 

What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced in Workday? 

  • The benefits of being able to drill into see the details of revenue and expenses has been such a welcome change. You are able to click right in the system to see the invoice or transaction.
  • Employees are now self service for benefits, profile information, direct deposit payment information, and can view their comp/benefits right on the spot.
  • More information surrounding transactions provided by integrated workflow.
  • Reporting is easier.

What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in Workday?

  • Workday was not originally designed for higher education and at times that can cause some challenges. It just means you have to approach a few things with that lens.
  • Big learning curve as it relates to training on new processes and new chart of accounts. Faculty and staff were very accustomed to historical account numbers and felt very uncertain about all of the changes.
  • Security (access control) is very different and we are constantly having to assign new roles to people or open up fields that we thought we should already have access to but do not.
  • Routing does not always work as expected.

What suggestions do you have for how to make the transition more manageable?

  • Provide significant resources such as “how to” business process documents. Hold significant trainings on the more simple aspects of Workday like how to view people, personal information, etc.
  • I recommend multiple sessions and trainings for users. 
  • Lots of hands-on training. I think it would have been helpful to have more hand-on training sessions in computer labs across campus.
  • Have a dedicated report writer. Training training training. The Workday classes are excellent. Patience. 🙂

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