Workday Delivers HCM Apps Focused on Employee Retention

Ann All

Updated · Apr 09, 2015

There is no issue more pressing in human capital management (HCM) than employee retention, points out Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president of products for Workday, a provider of HCM software. Writing in a blog post, she cited the high rates for both job openings and employee turnover. Due to the high costs of turnover, she noted, turnover can “have a massive impact on the bottom line.

Not surprisingly, then, Workday chose to focus on employee engagement and retention with its two newest HCM applications, Workday Talent Insights and Workday Professional Services Automation.

Talent Insights

Workday Talent Insights is the first of several human capital management applications planned for a suite of software called Insight Applications, which Workday describes as “the next phase of enterprise applications built on an intelligent technology foundation that equips customers with insights, predictions, and recommendations to solve complex business problems.” The apps leverage data science and machine learning methods to help customers make smarter decisions. According to the company, the apps are being developed with input from customers including 3M, Dell and Broward College.

Workday Talent Insights enables companies to identify top performers at risk of leaving the company. A feature called retention risk analysis examines trends in historical data to yield predictive insights, which can then be viewed via an interactive dashboard that helps users identify and understand retention risk for the entire organization or a specific department, including the number of top performers at a high risk of leaving in the next year and the projected cost to replace them.

The software also includes scorecards that help users track, collaborate and take action on such insights. The scorecards are collaborative, allowing users to add comments or suggestions when sharing scorecards with other users.


“I think we can all agree that mining through data to understand what's happening in our organizations is brutal. Scorecards eliminate the search by enabling customers to see people and business performance at a glance with alerts on a dashboard, their phone or an email,” wrote Levensaler, adding that Workday customers plan to use scorecards to keep executives posted on initiatives like workforce diversity and employee engagement.

Workday Talent Insights also includes tools that enable users to combine multiple structured and unstructured data sources with Workday data. Central to the software is SYMAN, Workday's intelligent information engine that automatically maps, classifies, and normalizes similar definitions across multiple sources and structures of data. This means the software can “learn” from new actions taken and new data introduced, which improves the relevancy and accuracy of insights, predictions and recommendations over time.

The software's adaptive capabilities are especially important, given companies' need to deal with rapid organizational change, wrote Levensaler. “On average, our customers with more than 40,000 employees manage roughly 15,000 employee changes and 600 organizational changes per year. So, a static snapshot of retention can become obsolete one day to the next. That's why an adaptive approach that leverages machine learning is a core component of Workday Talent Insights,” she said.

Professional Services Automation

Workday Professional Services Automation aims to unify people management, project and resource management, time and expense tracking, revenue and cost management, and reporting and analytics in a single system. Workday PSA includes mobile and embedded analytics and reporting capabilities.

For example, an employee can snap a photo and submit an expense receipt on a mobile phone or turn in a timesheet on a tablet. Or a project manager can view a project's progress, take action on tasks awaiting their completion, or communicate with a project team via a mobile device.

With embedded analytics and reporting, project or portfolio managers can drill down into resource utilization reports to make sure they are maximizing the time billable employees spend on revenue-generating projects. Or a resource manager can view a resource demand report to better understand incoming work and then easily find and staff workers accordingly right within a project plan.

Workday Talent Insights and Workday PSA are available now as part of the company's latest release, Workday 24.

On the Human Capital Management Horizon

Offering a peek into future releases, Levensaler said Workday will continue to introduce human capital management applications that complement functional areas across Workday. “One I'm particularly excited about is a projects-centric application that builds on a lot of the capabilities of Workday Professional Services Automation,” she wrote. “Just think about the potential for professional services firms to redefine their business models and client engagements if they had predictions or recommendations to staff more profitable project teams. This really is the magic of one system for finance and HR with machine learning at the core.”

Enterprise Apps Today recently looked at five key HCM trends and also offered HCM implementation tips and an overview of the human capital management vendor landscape.

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  • Ann All
    Ann All

    Public relations, digital marketing, journalism, copywriting. I have done it all so I am able to communicate any information in a professional manner. Recent work includes creating compelling digital content, and applying SEO strategies to increase website performance. I am a skilled copy editor who can manage budgets and people.

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