Bringing Our Best Selves to Work at Workday

We’re thrilled to be ranked #5 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Our Chief People Officer Ashley Goldsmith shares how we’re focused on creating a great place to work for all at Workday.

Ashley Goldsmith February 18, 2020
Image placeholder

While we have a lot to be thankful for here at Workday, I think my Workmates would agree it feels especially good to be recognized as a great place to work. That recognition doesn’t just come from great leadership—it comes from the intentional efforts of every single individual. And throughout today, many of us will be exchanging big smiles upon learning we’ve been ranked #5 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

A lot of things go into being a great company to work for all. In this post I want to focus on what we at Workday refer to as having a culture where you can bring your best self to work. Your best self is one who contributes your unique perspectives, experiences, and skills, and is accepted by your coworkers regardless of how you might be different from one another. In turn, your best self is accepting, kind, and supportive of others.

The double bonus is that when we bring our best selves to work, in addition to creating a place where people can thrive in their careers, it provides an environment for innovation to grow. Only with the input of many different perspectives is a business able to forge a broader connection to the world, and ultimately, be able to continuously innovate for its customers.

This is the kind of culture we consistently strive for at Workday. Still, as a 15-year-old company with nearly 12,000 employees worldwide, one of our biggest challenges is to preserve our culture as we grow, and over the past few years we’ve created what I think are some innovative initiatives and programs for helping us do that.

For example, last year our Chief Diversity Officer Carin Taylor and her team conceived and led an incredible feat called VIBE Week. It included speakers, learnings, and social gatherings across 34 Workday global locations to get everyone rallying around how we value inclusion, belonging, and equity for all (VIBE).

In the video below, several of our Workmates share what it means to be a great place to work for all.

Another is the recent pilot of our Culture Ambassador Program, designed to help us make sure we continue to hire people who align with our values. A group of Workmates now serve as Culture Ambassadors after attending a two-day learning experience on how to nurture Workday’s culture, and interview candidates using questions on competencies that align with our core values (collaboration, customer service, innovation, integrity, and performance). We are requesting that hiring managers include a Culture Ambassador from within their broader organization to be added to the interview panel for North America-based talent requisitions, and are excited to see the results of this pilot program.

And, we’re digging into our data. As I’ve shared in the past, we take a pulse on how every employee is feeling about their job and work environment in our weekly Best Workday survey, using questions developed by Great Place to Work Institute. People managers get the anonymized responses delivered in the Workday system, helping them identify areas that require greater focus.

In the past year, we’ve begun bringing some of the survey answers pertaining to belonging into our Belonging Index, which measures across five areas: gender, career level, generation, ethnicity, and location. We’re now using those insights to determine where we may need to implement more education or programs, or create different development opportunities for people.

Encouragingly, we get a lot of great feedback from Workmates about how they feel they’re able to bring their best selves to work. In the video below, several of our Workmates share their personal stories.

Yet we know this work of culture building is never ending—as the initiatives I mention above should indicate, we certainly don’t have it all figured out. There’s always more we can do to improve the employee experience.

We’re extremely honored to receive this recognition by Fortune, and I hope each and every one of my Workmates takes a moment to reflect and appreciate what we’ve done, and what we’ll keep doing together, to make Workday a best company to work for all.

More Reading