Why this is important
In 2005, Workday founders Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield founded a company around a core set of values that guide our interactions, decisions, and leadership. We value our employees, and we emphasize customer service, innovation, integrity, fun, and profitability.
The result is an inspiring culture that puts our people at the center. We listen to our people and encourage them to have fun. And all Workday employees are committed to achieving the industry’s highest customer-satisfaction rating.
“Ten years ago we founded Workday with the promise to bring passion and customer-focus back to the business of enterprise applications,” says Aneel, co-founder and CEO of Workday. “To accomplish this, we knew we had to put our employees first and we firmly believed that, if we made them happy, success would follow.”
To make a people-centered company a reality, we have three overarching priorities:
- Employee Experience: Our culture and how we treat our people is paramount at Workday. We focus on our core values; encourage our people to bring their authentic selves to work; strive for a diverse and inclusive workplace; and offer a variety of unique employee experiences. This, in turn, has earned Workday recognition as one of the best places to work.
- Employee Development: Many people are attracted to Workday, and stay, because we have an environment where employees can continually learn and grow. Employee development shapes our approach to helping people realize their potential and take charge of their careers.
- Employee Recognition: “Thank you” is one of the most powerful things you can say to someone. We invest in a variety of employee-recognition programs that show appreciation for our colleagues’ contributions, both large and small.
Actions and results
At Workday, our people aren’t just employees—they’re Workmates. We take pride in a culture where our employees can be themselves and reach for their goals as they deliver a great customer experience. We work hard, we have fun, and make sure everyone shares in the company’s success.
Our talent comes from all over the world. Our global, diverse team is a melting pot of cultures, generations, and experiences. We have offices around the world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Sweden. Workmates work remotely in additional locations worldwide.
By the end of FY15, we had more than 3,750 employees in these areas, representing over 120 percent employee growth from the end of 2012.
What is it about Workday that makes people love to work here? Strike up a conversation with any Workmate, and they’ll gladly tell you why.
When you walk through our doors, you feel the atmosphere that’s created by the empowerment we give our employees to dream up and carry through on big ideas.
Our core values are at the heart of everything we do. They give us a framework for leadership and daily decisions, and they help us enjoy our time at work. This may sound simple, but too often companies get caught up in politics, ivory-tower attitudes, and market mania. We focus on the things that made us successful in the first place. The following Workday core values and beliefs define what’s important to us at Workday:
- Employees: Most fundamentally, people are the core of our business. Without them, we would have no business.
- Customer service: Every investment and decision that we make has our customers in mind. We’ll always prioritize the needs and issues of our customers first.
- Innovation: We aim for innovation not only in our Development organization, but also in the way that we approach all aspects of our business.
- Integrity: We say what we mean, and we mean what we say. We stick to our commitments, treat everyone equitably, and communicate openly and honestly.
- Fun: We work hard and play hard. We invest in community and company events that help our employees and their families feel a connection to Workday beyond business as usual.
- Profitability: Profitability is what enables us to give our employees and customers the best productivity tools, solutions, and services, so it’s hugely important to us.
Diversity and inclusion
We know that our Workmates’ different experiences, intelligence, perspectives, insights, backgrounds, and skills – their diversity – are valuable assets and vital to our future. The more inclusive we are, the more innovative we will be, and the better we will be able to support our customers.
Diversity in leadership
We continue to make strides in increasing the diversity of our leadership across Workday. Using a leadership definition of Director and above, between FY14 and FY15, we saw an increase of 4 percentage points in women in leadership roles and an increase of 5 percentage points in minorities in leadership roles.
While diversity has been an important part of our culture from the very beginning, we recognize that there is always more we can do.
That’s why over the past year, we’ve put in place a four-pronged approach – around affinity groups, recruiting, philanthropy, and celebration – to foster a broader dialogue about diversity across the company, increase the diversity of our talent pool, and to support similar efforts in the community at large.
The first part of our four-prong approach is our Workmate-run affinity groups that bring this strategy to life. We support a number of affinity groups, including:
- The Talented Tenth, whose goal is to inspire and excite African-American communities about careers in software and technology
- Women in Tech, which encourages growth and interest among women in the technology sector
- Chinese Cultural Club, which celebrates Chinese culture and helps new Workmates from China get acclimated to the U.S.
Together, the groups assist in helping to recruit a more diverse population and advance the professional development of their members.
We are actively increasing the sources of our talent pool by going on campus to work with diversity organizations at various universities to identify qualified future Workmates. Through a more targeted recruiting approach, we are also publishing all of our jobs to web sites specifically targeting diverse talent.
In true Workday fashion, we also celebrate diversity. We know how important it is to our culture and, of course, fun is one of our core values. We celebrate more than 12 different diversity-related programs and months, from Black History Month to National LGBT Pride Month.
The Workday Foundation’s mission is focused on individuals and communities with high barriers to employment in the tech sector, and we make grants to organizations that prepare people of all ages and backgrounds for careers in tech. As an example, one organization that both Workday and the Workday Foundation supports is Year Up, which aims to bridge the opportunity gap for people aged 18 to 24 who don’t have college degrees. In addition to a three-year grant of $450,000 awarded to the organization by the Workday Foundation, Workday managers have placed 12 Year Up students in internships on their teams, with four of them still at Workday in full-time jobs.
Our affinity group members are also highly active volunteers. For example, The Talented Tenth has partnered with Black Girls Code to send mentors to leadership dinners, share their technical talents during hackathons, and serve as guest speakers at local events.
In business, different people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives can make for a vibrant, highly charged environment that fuels innovation and leads to unexpected advances and a broader connection with the world. In the workplace, celebrating and honoring each other, in all of our diversity, brings out our best as individuals and teams.
Internationally recognized culture
At Workday, our Workmates aren’t just part of our success–they’re our everything. As our Chairman and Co-Founder Dave Duffield likes to say: “Happy employees mean happy customers.”
But don’t just take our word for it. Our dedication to the employee experience has been recognized around the world. Many organizations, including the Great Place to Work Institute, have acknowledged Workday as one of the best places to work. And this recognition isn’t just their opinion–most of it is based directly on employee feedback.
- No. 1 Great Workplaces in Technology (Great Place to Work Institute)
- No. 1 Top Workplace for large companies (Bay Area Newsgroup)
- No. 2 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area for large companies (San Francisco Business Times/ Silicon Valley Business Journal)
- No. 15 Top 50 Companies to Work For in Utah (Deseret News)
- No. 1 Top Workplace for large companies (Bay Area Newsgroup)
- No. 1 Best Place to Work in the Bay Area for large companies (San Francisco Business Times/Silicon Valley Business Journal)
Programs and events: emphasis on fun
What does a typical day at Workday look like? The real answer is that we don’t want any day to be considered “typical.” That’s why we strive to make every day at Workday not like your typical workday.
There are a lot of ingredients in our recipe and here’s a sampling of the wide variety of benefits, perks and programs we offer.
Flexible time off: To better manage the demands of work and life, U.S. salaried employees have no set amount of vacation days. Instead, they are free to take the time off that they need, based on manager approval.
Every employee is a shareholder: All new hires receive ownership in Workday through restricted stock unit grants.
Fun and family: Fun and family are cornerstones of our culture. We host Halloween events with trick-or-treating for employees’ kids, a country fair, “bring your kids and parents to Workday” events, Cantina Cocktail Fridays, and arcade and pool tournaments. We even let employees bring their dogs to work at our Pleasanton headquarters.
Wellness: We offer a variety of programs to promote health and wellness. Weekly wellness workshops cover such topics as meditation, stress management, and juggling. We also have a fitness-reimbursement program, free biometric screenings, walking challenges, sports teams, onsite massages, yoga, and healthy snacks.
Clubs: We have more than 30 clubs, all created and run by our employees. They range from sports teams to hiking, online gaming, meditation, and philosophy.
Sprint to Europe: Through our Sprint to Europe program, we offer our software developers a chance to work in our Dublin, Ireland, or Munich, Germany, offices. For three to four weeks, they get the chance to make new contacts and experience a new office and culture.
Hiring and welcoming
At Workday, we believe that to build a long-lasting and great company, it’s essential that we hire and retain the right people.
From the start, we’ve looked for people who are:
- Confident, but not arrogant or self-obsessed
- Sharp and focused, yet friendly and collegial
- Serious about their work, but not too serious about themselves
- Passionate about customers, putting them and their teams first
- Focused on “we”, rather than “I”
A person’s education, skills, and work experience are important, but the way they fit into our culture is even more important. That’s why we’ve developed a tried-and-true interviewing process involving carefully chosen questions asked by multiple Workday teams. And that’s why we rely a great deal on referrals from Workmates.
Once we’ve hired new people, we welcome them in a big way, both individually and as teams. We make sure that they have all the support that they need to succeed in their day-to-day jobs and careers at Workday.
Global workplace safety
We launched Workday’s Global Workplace Safety team in 2014 with a mission to keep our employees and customers safe and secure in our offices, training centers, and data centers.
In the short period of time since the team launched mid-2014, we have implemented several programs enhancing Workday’s global safety, including:
- Round-the-clock 24/7 on-site uniformed safety officers are stationed on our Pleasanton HQ campuses.
- A Safety Operations Center monitors our global offices, cameras, alarms, and badge access to our offices 24/7.
- New highly visible employee-badge lanyards and badge clips reduce the risk of unauthorized access into Workday offices.
- New third-party system monitors global incidents (including, but not limited to all man-made or natural disasters) that could affect our offices, customer-training centers, data centers, and employees.
Unified Approach to Empowering Talent
Many people are attracted to Workday–and stay here–because we have an environment where we can continually learn and grow. We are pioneers exploring new frontiers, innovators advancing new technologies. Our leading-edge products are vastly different than those of our major competitors. Our business model is different, too.
As we forge new ground, we tend to move quickly and adjust our course as necessary. This pace makes our workplace a dynamic and exciting place. It also gives our employees opportunities to stretch and learn every day.
Employees at Workday often wear multiple hats and take on new responsibilities. This gives them an opportunity to explore capabilities that they haven’t yet developed. Our managers, leaders, and other Workmates are there to support them.
Our people have a variety of other exciting learning and development opportunities to help them grow both personally and professionally.
Employee Feedback and Development (EF&D)
Career planning and discussion takes place throughout the year between Workmates and their manager. Career opportunity and development can take many forms: loving and deepening a current role, exploring lateral challenges, stretch assignments, or taking on bigger roles. We encourage our people to have an ongoing conversation about all of these career-development opportunities.
In FY15, 88 percent of our employees participated in our formal Employee Feedback and Development process. Some employees were not able to participate due to the timing of when they joined Workday and when the EF&D process began.
Career Coaching and Workshops
We offer career-coaching and career-growth programs, tools, and resources, along with a portfolio of learning and networking experiences around the world. Our signature manager development platform, Ignition, provides employees with curated, peer-to-peer learning experiences for managers around Enabling Contribution, Growing Capability, Empowering Career, Deepening Connection and Aligning Recognition and Compensation. In the coming year, we plan to launch a new pilot program to provide employees and managers with tools to allow for continuous feedback in order to enhance the employee experience in real-time.
4 Career Opportunity Principles
Four simple principles guide our decisions and actions.
Winning together: We strive to create a mutually beneficial relationship between our company and our Workmates to align our business goals with individual career goals. When our success is intertwined, this practice delivers extraordinary results and there are opportunities for everyone to contribute as we grow together. That’s why we take a company-wide or One Workday perspective. We regard a Workmate’s career “sweet spot” as the alignment of their professional passion, capabilities, and the organization’s needs.
Workday first: When our people love being at Workday and want to change and grow in new areas, we want them to choose careers with Workday first before exploring outside opportunities. That means helping them be accountable for their careers and working openly with their managers to maintain active career-development conversations. The One Workday program encourages managers and leaders to adhere to our employee core value by encouraging and supporting internal career opportunities.
Transparency: Workday applications provide real-time access to view open positions. We encourage Workmates to maintain an open and ongoing dialogue with their manager about their career, role, development, and location interests.
Unique paths: We want Workmates to develop their careers and put their passion to work at Workday in many different situations. We want them to contribute in their current job or level if they love it or they can expand their breadth of experience by exploring lateral opportunities. They can also increase responsibilities by taking on a broader scope or more senior roles.
Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well-done. Showing appreciation for our colleagues’ contributions is an outward sign of care and respect. It supports our primary core value of employees.
Workday managers and employees have multiple ways to say “thank you,” from stock awards to direct feedback in our Workday application. And in typical Workday fashion, we like to have a little fun along the way.
Quarterly, we hand out awards for innovation, outstanding contribution, years of service, patents, fearlessness (yes, fearlessness!), and more. Each month, we name a Workday Hero, recognizing that person’s contributions.
Our people can be nominated for these awards by management and their peers. In addition, we have a culture that recognizes and thanks each other informally, with kind words, warm smiles, and hugs.
“Thank you” is one of the simplest and best human sentiments ever put into words–and it’s one you see frequently expressed at Workday.
Global Workplace Safety
As Super Storm Juno approached the east coast of the United States, our new incident-monitoring system alerted the Global Workplace Safety team days in advance. The team reached out to our affected East Coast operations, including one of our training centers. Employees worked from home and customers were trained via WebEx, keeping everyone off the roads and out of potential harm’s way. On a small scale, the incident-monitoring system even has the ability to identify minor flooding in the basement of our Amsterdam office facility.
Bring Your Parents to Workday
In 2014 we held our first-ever Bring Your Parents to Workday event, providing Workmates with a chance to thank their parents for all the help, advice, and inspiration they’ve received over the years. Over 275 parents participated in the behind-the-scenes of Workday event and they all received a car bumper-sticker magnet that reads “Proud Parent of a Workmate.”
A scavenger-hunt-style checklist guided parents around our campus headquarters. Participants could listen to a history lesson on Workday delivered by one of our Technical Training instructors (and early Workday employee), meet with Workday co-founders Dave and Aneel, and end the day mingling with other parents at a cocktail hour.
Go Back to School with Rosetta Stone
One of our most successful employee programs involves Rosetta Stone. Launched in 2014, we partnered with Workday customer Rosetta Stone to encourage Workmates to learn a new language. Workmates that complete three levels in the interactive software and 90 hours of training in a language they don’t already know by September 2015 get a chance to win a trip for two to a country where that language is spoken.
Bring Your Ghouls to Workday
At Workday, we take Halloween very seriously. To support our core value of fun, our Pleasanton headquarters building is transformed each year into a five-story Halloween extravaganza we call “Bring Your Ghouls to Workday.”
At this family-first event, Workmates are encouraged to bring their family in (particularly the little ghouls) to wander through the extravagantly decorated halls and work areas. Departments compete for the most spooktacularly decorated area and Workmates dress in theme costumes representing their team’s area. Typically, there are photo booths, treats, and interactive games for the ghouls.
After the event, Workmates vote for the best-decorated team areas, including Most Bewitching, Freakishly Fantastic, and Simply Spooktacular. In 2014, our Cloud Operation team even staged a short Avengers-themed performance where they saved NYC from Loki! We had over 3,100 participants in 2014 and over 37 percent were kids.