Why this is important
Our community investments of time, expertise, and direct contributions are core to our company’s culture. These investments are part of what make our employees feel that Workday is a great place to work.
If the communities where we operate are thriving, we will continue to attract top-talent to Workday. If we support community causes that are important to our employees, they are more engaged and stay longer at Workday. If we provide career-training opportunities for workers who seek new skills, we have access to a new-talent pipeline and can move more families into economic self-sufficiency.
The biggest contribution that Workday’s global business makes to communities is through the positive impact of our daily business practices. By creating jobs, delivering business efficiencies to our customers, providing business to our suppliers, and paying taxes, we help drive the global economic engine.
However, we now that our responsibility doesn’t end there. We have the opportunity to address societal challenges where our unique expertise can make a real impact.
- Employee contributions: Workday supports employees who want to become involved in their communities.
- Pro-bono contributions: We devote employee time and talent to help solve social issues through skills-based consulting projects.
- Philanthropic contributions: We invest in workforce-development initiatives to increase economic self-sufficiency for underserved populations.
Actions and results
In 2014, we set up a wide variety of programs to support our employees in their community-involvement efforts. Through volunteer grants, team-volunteer grants, matching gifts, and unlimited paid time off (PTO), we show our employees that they work for a company that cares about our communities.
Workday employees are passionate about rolling up their sleeves and making a difference. Employees have participated in countless volunteer efforts, both company-sponsored and individual projects, prior to 2014 when we began tracking volunteer efforts. In FY15, Workday employees logged nearly 10,000 volunteer hours and received almost $80,000 in individual volunteer grants.
Through our Team Grant program, employees are encouraged to volunteer in groups of five or more and receive a grant for up to $5,000 for their charity partner. These grants make a difference in our communities and further strengthen our teams. They help welcome new employees and provide leadership-development opportunities. Forty-five teams took part in the Team Grant program in FY15, doing a range of things, from teaching coding to reading to children to serving warm meals.
Our Matching Gift program allows employees to double their donation to any qualified charity organization, up to $1,000 per employee per year. In FY14, we matched $138,000 in employee donations. In FY15, that number more than tripled to $421,000.
Workday employees are invited to participate in dozens of local-office and company-wide volunteer events. For example, our annual Cangineering contest challenges offices around the globe to collect canned goods for donation to local food banks. Teams compete by building creative sculptures out of cans of food, and colleagues vote for their favorite with cash donations. Both the cans and the cash are donated to designated food banks.
Movember has become another signature fundraising event at Workday. To promote men’s health awareness, more than 300 of our employees grew moustaches for Movember in 2014 while raising $50,000 to support various men’s health charities.
Encouraging employee involvement in the community comes from the top. Co-founders Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield often roll up their sleeves and personally participate alongside our employees during volunteer events. They also highlight the work we are doing in the community at our all-hands company meetings.
Our Giving & Doing team organizes a hands-on volunteer activity at each of our largest company meetings. For the first time in 2014, we expanded our volunteer reach by offering our Workday Rising conference attendees the opportunity to build Comfort Kits for low-income cancer patients through Giving Comfort.
As part of the focus on maintaining our culture as we continue to grow, Workday’s Global Impact department launched the Giving & Doing Local Leaders program in 2014. Employees around the world can take on a leadership role to bring our community programs to life in their local area.
These outstanding volunteers seek out local volunteer opportunities for teams and arrange for office-wide volunteer events. They ensure that our employees in their location are part of company-wide community events that are organized by headquarters.
Finally, Workday implemented unlimited paid time off (PTO) in 2014. That effort gives employees the freedom to volunteer in ways that work best for their work schedules, without a specific cap on time-off hours.
One way that Workday can make a unique difference is though pro bono consulting projects that create employee teams to lend their expertise to our nonprofit partners.
Workday’s partnerships with the PulsePoint Foundation and the Open Heart Kitchen are two distinctive examples of Workday volunteers lending their skills to worthy nonprofits.
The nonprofit PulsePoint Foundation delivers a mobile app that alerts CPR-trained citizen responders when someone nearby is having a sudden cardiac-arrest incident. Workday developers volunteered time and technical expertise to design and build the mobile applications and infrastructure that makes this app possible (detailed in our 2012 Sustainability Report).
Since August 2011, almost 25 Workday employees have donated time and effort to PulsePoint. Their skills span almost all the technical competencies we have at Workday–system/server development, UI/UX, mobile development, build management, and development management. Currently, 12 core contributors work on the PulsePoint project. The team meets weekly to discuss feature additions and system improvements, and to assign any new work to Workday volunteers.
The Workday Foundation has also provided monetary donations to support the operational costs of the PulsePoint Foundation. Workday’s Dave Duffield is a member of the PulsePoint Advisory Board, and Executive Vice President of Product Development, Petros Dermetzis, serves on the PulsePoint Foundation Board of Directors. Workday is proud of our partnership with PulsePoint, empowering citizen responders to help victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
Major technical accomplishments
- PulsePoint Respond mobile app is in its third generation on iOS and Android.
- A companion crowd-sourced AED-collection app (PulsePoint AED) was recently developed and shipped for iOS and Android.
- PulsePoint’s server infrastructure was recently upgraded to be fully fault-tolerant and distributed across multiple Amazon Web Services (AWS) availability zones.
- Workday volunteers helped to produce the latest PulsePoint PSA video.
- The PulsePoint system has processed close to 4 million agency incidents.
- More than 300,000 people use the PulsePoint Respond app.
- The first non-U.S. agency deployment in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, recently went live. More foreign implementations are coming soon.
Open Heart Kitchen
Workday provided a complete web site redesign for Open Heart Kitchen. Founded in 1995, Open Heart Kitchen served 314,000 meals in 2014, and is the only free hot-meal program of its kind in the Tri-Valley area where Workday’s Pleasanton headquarters are located.
Late in 2014, Karen Liamos, a Workday product manager and Open Heart Kitchen board member, solicited help from Workday to design and build a new web site for the organization. Five talented Workday developers responded and have been building out the site since early 2015, collectively investing well over 100 pro bono hours into web-site development so far. The result will be the launch of a completed redesigned web site for Open Heart Kitchen in the summer of 2015.
“The new site helps donors clearly understand Open Heart Kitchen’s mission and ways they can get involved,” says Linda McKeever, Executive Director of the non-profit. “We are very excited to see your staff using the same skills they use at work to give back to the community.
“Workday has been a great community partner, not only with the web-site project, but with providing volunteers at serving sites, donating and assembling lunches for our box lunch program, and providing Christmas-meal baskets for our clients. Please accept our sincere heartfelt thanks and gratitude for all your good work.”
In late 2014, the Workday Foundation Board of Directors voted to approve a new mission and focus for the organization:
We transform lives by creating career pathways that unleash human potential.
The Foundation focuses its investments in programs that prepare people of all ages for careers in tech. We fund things like coding camps, hands-on app and game development, internships, technical training, and industry-recognized certifications. We believe that preparing people of all ages for in-demand tech careers best positions them for lifelong economic success.
Our grants involve significant dollars, potential multi-year commitments, deep employee involvement, and tight collaboration with grantees.
While the bulk of the Foundation’s philanthropic investments are centered on workforce development, Workday also makes investments in issues that are important to our headquarters community of Pleasanton and the greater Tri-Valley area. We have funded the Pleasanton Run for Education, proceeds from which benefit all public schools in Pleasanton. Another grant recipient, Shepherd’s Gate of Livermore, provides long-term shelter and comprehensive care to women and children trying to free themselves from homelessness due to poverty, addiction, and abuse.
Through Workday corporate charitable investments, we support local fundraising events that are important to our stakeholders. From TEDx Livermore to the KIPP Schools ping-pong smackdown, Workday is actively working to support the communities where we live and work.
In addition to the direct cash contributions, Global Impact team members work collaboratively with nonprofit leaders, funders, and public agencies in the field of workforce development to help advance investments and best practices in this area.
Hour of Code
In honor of National Computer Science Week, we partnered with Workday Foundation grantee code.org. From 11 offices around the globe, 1,117 Workday employees joined the Hour of Code initiative during the week of December 8 to 12, 2014. Employees learned that anyone can code–and that it is fun!
Employees were encouraged to get involved in a variety of ways, including teaching code, learning to code, supporting coding education, or hosting a coding day.
Employee teams were encouraged to host student-learning days with groups of young people from nearby schools for a tour of our campus. It’s a chance to hear from our employees about working for a tech company and gives exposure to age-appropriate Hour of Code lessons.
As part of the Workday Foundation’s commitment to supporting people during times of disaster, we provide proactive annual financial support to the American Red Cross. We support the organization’s efforts to prepare for, respond to, and rebuild after disasters in communities around the globe.
Through the Workday Employee Disaster Relief Fund, we help Workmates who experience significant financial hardship as a result of a qualified natural disaster. Funded through the Workday Foundation, the program provides cash grants to help Workmates bridge the financial gap caused by crisis times.
We provide short-term assistance as a one-time grant to cover unforeseen expenses related to qualified disasters including natural disasters, government-declared emergencies, accident on a common carrier, or a terrorist or military action.
Workday also matches employee charitable donations dollar-for-dollar during times of disaster.
In our annual Cangineering Challenge, teams build creative sculptures with cans of food. Workday colleagues vote on their favorites with cash donations to a designated food bank.
Seventeen teams representing 12 offices raised a total of $24,630 in cash donations and $17,000 in food donations during the 2014 Cangineering Challenge. Because food banks are able to buy in bulk at discounted prices, Workday’s Cangineering contributions translated to $140,237 worth of food.
Many Workmates also volunteered at local food banks as part of the 2014 Cangineering Challenge. Collectively, we logged 224 volunteer hours at events in Pleasanton, San Francisco, Southern California, Chicago, and Washington D.C.
Community service at Workday Rising
In December 2014, Workday brought community service to all aspects of our annual customer conference, Workday Rising. Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children’s Zone, was a keynote speaker in conversation with Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri. Canada spoke to the packed crowd about opportunity inequality.
Each attendee had an opportunity to volunteer on-site at the conference by building a Comfort Kit for a low-income cancer patient. Over the course of a lunch hour, Workday customers and participants put together 1,000 Comfort Kits.
Some of these Comfort Kits were donated to the local Family House, which provides a home away from home for families whose children are being treated for life-threatening illness at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. Workday then added to the in-kind donation of Comfort Kits with a $25,000 cash gift to Family House.
Nick James, a senior associate QA engineer, wanted to do something to help others. Nick, who joined Workday in October 2012, grew up in a not-so-great part of Oakland, California. He grew up not having access to a computer until he was in seventh grade. So he knew that lots of people in his hometown could use some help.
Last summer, he attended a brown-bag event at our Pleasanton campus, where our Giving and Doing team talked about their program. Something clicked. “It really hit home with me, as I’d been feeling this need,” he said. “Although, even then, I wasn’t totally sure where to start.”
Nick’s friend’s mother knew that he was a Workday employee who happened to be a programmer. She asked Nick if he’d help teach code to the more advanced students at an Oakland school. Nick agreed. He started volunteering in November 2014 at St. Lawrence O’Toole School for the Tiger Tech Coding Club.
He shows up each week, spending 60 to 90 minutes sharing his knowledge with kids from second grade to eighth grade.
“Nick approached me several months ago, asking if he could adjust his schedule to allow him to volunteer,” said his manager, Luis Mendoza. “It was an easy decision to say yes. He’s smart and works hard—a very typical Workday employee.
“What makes Nick stand out,” Luis added, “is his natural teaching ability. He’s the type of person who can tailor his delivery to first graders or seasoned professionals.”
Making it fun
Nick practically wears our customer service value in his back pocket. Because the kids had been working with code.org, Nick didn’t have to convince them that coding could be fun. But his passion and skills enriched the experience tenfold.
Nick said the students can put their own spin on their work—and it’s taking the creative aspect of coding to personalize an experience. “I love seeing the look on their faces when they figured out something they’d been struggling with for awhile comes to life.”
Nick did a little soul-searching last year and found something personal and amazing and lasting. Just ask any of the kids.
Imagine that you are a bright 19-year-old who is motivated to learn and work. But challenging personal circumstances inhibit you from having the resources or support for college. What’s next for you?
Year Up could be just the break you need. This non-profit organization puts motivated low-income young people through an intensive six months of technical training that qualifies for college credits. That training is followed by six months in a corporate-internship program. The program gives students a stipend and guides them through the steps of a job search or college enrollment. Students leave the program with the skills required for entry-level IT-related positions or to start college.
According to Year Up, 6 million talented young people are willing to study or work but face obstacles such as poverty, homelessness, childcare or eldercare responsibilities, or lack of role models. Yet, in the United States, employers will need to fill 14 million jobs in the next 10 years.
“We’re trying to bridge the opportunity divide in this country by educating and training a ready-and-willing pool of untapped talent,” says Scott Gullick, director of corporate engagement at Year Up.
“The young adults we work with have the determination and resilience to succeed. Year Up just provides the resources and platform for them to prove themselves and reach their full potential.”
Year Up was founded in Boston in 2000. By 2004, 100 graduates had completed their program. In 2005, the organization expanded to other cities. And in 2007, they received a game-changing $10 million grant from Microsoft.
Today, Year Up serves 2,000 students annually in 14 cities. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Year Up has graduated more than 1,100 students, with 94 percent of Bay Area grads either enrolled in college full-time or earning an average salary of over $40,000 per year.
Workday became involved with Year Up in 2014, when the Workday Foundation awarded the organization a $450,000 three-year grant. Workday managers have also placed 12 Year Up students in internships on their teams, with four of them still at Workday in full-time jobs.
“I don’t want to imagine where I would be today if I didn’t go through this program,” says Nika Griffen, who interned in Spend QA before joining Workday full-time at the beginning of February.
“When I moved to the Bay Area in 2013, I didn’t have a degree or money,” says Nika. “I was working odd hours earning minimum wage, and I ended up living in a tiny room that I rented in a house with a bunch of people I didn’t know. With Year Up, I was able to show my skills and find a career in a company I love on a team that has become a second family. I just moved into an apartment by myself, and I’m excited to start working on a new feature for the next release of Workday applications. This all seemed unimaginable a year ago!”
Workday’s support of Year Up has been reinforced with the Workday Foundation’s recently redefined mission.
“The Year Up program hits exactly in our sweet spot—helping to break the cycle of generational poverty through access to employment opportunities and market-driven IT-skills development,” says Carrie Varoquiers, president of the Workday Foundation. “Year Up has proven results, so we know their methods are working. Their students come to us well-prepared for their internships, and we’re proud to play a part in helping those students succeed.”