Harnessing the Power of Integrity at Workday

To celebrate being recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the second year running, Workday’s Chris Fedrow shares her thoughts on the power of integrity and the importance of setting the right expectations at the top.

Workday is thrilled to share that we’ve been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies (WME) by Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, for the second year running. Workday is one of 136 recipients of this honor, which assesses a company’s culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity, and initiatives to support a strong value chain.

In addition, to coincide with this recognition, we’re excited to introduce our new chief integrity and compliance officer, Chris Fedrow, who will share with us how Workday thinks about integrity, how her role focuses on championing this core value, and the importance of setting the right expectations at the top. 

Before we dive into the details, how does it feel to see Workday on this list once again, and why is it so important? 

Integrity is a core value at Workday, and as our organization continues to grow and the world around us continues to change, it’s vital that integrity remains central to the way we support our employees, our customers, and the wider community. We’re honored by this recognition, and to be on the list again is inspiring and a testament to the great work of our employees across the globe. 

In addition, being one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies speaks directly to the success of our business. Don’t just take my word for it: Ethisphere’s 2022 Ethics Index, which includes recipients of this year’s WME companies designation, outperformed a similar index of companies by over 24% over the past five years. And we’ve seen examples where customers have wanted to work with us because we share this recognition. All of this only motivates me, and hopefully all of our employees, to work even harder to stay on the list!


You just stepped into this role. Can you tell us a bit more about what you’ll be focused on and why it’s important to have someone dedicated to this work?

When you consider the rapidly changing world around us and the seismic events we’re witnessing, it’s more important than ever to have integrity as a constant and a dedicated team laser focused on this work. My role is not only to help ensure we’re in compliance with current laws and regulations, but also continuing to educate and inform our employees on what it means to be an ethical company, and the critical role they play when it comes to doing the right thing. 

We do this in a range of ways including regular employee trainings on ethics and compliance, to recognizing this core value during our annual Integrity Week, which provides an opportunity for employees and leaders to share and discuss what integrity means to them. 

How does Workday think about integrity? 

At Workday, integrity is one of our core values, which we define as standing by what we say, being accountable, staying true to our commitments, treating everyone equitably, and being open and honest in how we communicate to our employees and customers. So while ensuring we’re compliant and operating within the law is a big piece of this important work, I like to look at this with a more holistic lens as opposed to just checking the boxes. When it comes to integrity at Workday, I see four core principles at the center:

  • Empower. Employees are our first core value, and it’s vital we’re empowering them to make difficult decisions in the name of maintaining integrity, even if it means walking away from businesses that do not align with our values. Nobody at Workday will get in trouble for coming down on the right side of integrity.

  • Inspire. We want to inspire not only our employees by doing the right thing but also the broader ecosystem within which we operate. As this most recent nod by Ethisphere demonstrates, we’re seen as a leader in this space, and I’ve heard from employees that it’s a recognition they considered when making their decision to join Workday. 

  • Listen. We need to know when we’re getting it right, and more importantly, when we’re falling short. It’s that accountability that makes a big difference, be it in partnering on decision making where the law doesn’t hold all the answers, to having our employees and customers tell us what’s important to them. These are the things we need to hear, so we can act. 

  • Recognize. Recognition matters, there’s no doubt about it. At Workday, we recognize individual employees driving integrity and even have a cool badge they can display with pride on their Workday profiles. Outside of our company, recognition like WME can have a positive impact on our business because people want to engage with brands that reflect their values.

“It’s more important than ever to have integrity as a constant and a dedicated team laser focused on this work.”

Chris Fedrow Chief Integrity and Compliance Officer Workday

What’s your experience been at Workday so far? 

I’ve worked on building integrity and ethics programs for 25 years, and this is now my fourth company on that journey. And, I have to tell you, Workday does it right. I carefully selected Workday because of two primary reasons: the tone at the top and the commitment it shows to integrity in all that it does. 

I remember attending an all company meeting when I first joined and hearing our Co-Founder and CEO Aneel Bhusri speaking passionately about the importance of integrity, which prompted me to jokingly say, “Who organized this? I just got here yesterday!” It was clear to me from that moment that Workday’s commitment to integrity was not only authentic but how the company wants to operate. That’s what matters at the end of the day—being true to your commitments and doing the right thing. 

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