Have a Workday concern? Check out rundown of known issues

Workday by the numbers

As of July 12, 6,800 employees had logged on, performing 159 unique types of business processes. The 111,957 transactions include:

  • 7,535 requests for time off
  • 2,835 costing allocations assigned
  • 1,204 hires and rehires
  • 985 purchase orders
  • 756 benefit changes/life events
  • 709 photos uploaded

Despite the inevitable wrinkles posed by the shift to Workday, Iowa State's chief information officer (CIO) told the Professional and Scientific Council she's cautiously optimistic after the new system for finance and human resources transactions launched July 1.

Presenting to the council at its July 11 meeting, interim vice president and CIO Kristen Constant credited the relatively smooth transition to the diligence of employees working on the project.

"We continue to have a very committed team. And not just the central team. There are people all over campus who are working hard to make things work," Constant said.

In addition to serving the specific needs of units, staff working on Workday implementation after go-live are collecting and addressing campuswide concerns, she said. A list of known issues on the Workcyte website will help efficiently share broader concerns.

The current list includes 10 known issues. Some were anticipated. For instance, emergency contact information for nonstudent employees intentionally wasn't transferred to Workday because a review of that data in AccessPlus showed much of it might be out-of-date, Constant said. Employees should resubmit the information in Workday.

Other issues are unavoidable hiccups any time complex information is transferred to a new system. That's why department affiliations and supervisory chains need to be checked and manually corrected in some instances. Supervisors need to verify all student employees and graduate assistants, and the known issues list provides a link to a tipsheet explaining how to do that. 

Some problems were more surprising. Constant said the initial Workday settings allowed student employees a maximum of five different time clocks for campus jobs.

"It turns out, a lot of students have more than five jobs," she said, adding that one student had 13. Workday now allows students to have up to 30 jobs. 

WorkCyte learning resources

WorkCyte help

Constant also answered questions from council members, including a concern that Workday would force employees to pick a preferred pronoun. Current settings in the personal information section of Workday offer 21 pronoun options and more may be added, but employees don't have to select a preference. The default setting is no preference, she said.

"We didn't presume anything about anyone," she said.

Taking to training

Constant said 95 percent of employees took the introduction to Workday training sessions and 77 percent took the training on employee self-service. Among those expected to need these sessions, 91 percent completed the training for timekeepers and 77 percent completed the introduction to Workday for managers. Those figures likely will be even higher by the time the fall semester starts, she said.

"Training is something we hit hard, and I think the campus responded admirably," she said.

Constant said project leaders will incorporate feedback about the training programs when Workday is extended to student information, an expansion expected in the coming years.

"We're taking notes and making sure we have our lessons learned for the next implementation," she said.

Other council business

Council approved a motion asking university human resources to offer Crucial Conversations training to staff starting in January. The two-day program aims to make talking about sensitive subjects more constructive and could help address the council's long-standing goal to improve supervisor training. Before voting, council members discussed whether to first identify the cost or consider requesting similar programs based on existing in-house material.

ISU Extension and Outreach offers the $250-per-person program to its staff, county extension councils and volunteers a few times a year, but due to licensing rules, extension and outreach can't make the course available to other university employees. The university has offered the program to employees in the past, according to the motion.

Council members also met in small groups to propose potential 2019-20 strategic initiatives and action items, which they'll consider at their Aug. 1 meeting.