Be creative and over-collaborate. I’ve been blown away by the creativity everyone has shown in the past year. We’ve always created a climate of collaboration among employees, customers, and partners, but it’s never been tested to this extent. Everyone was dealing with some level of personal upheaval, but the urgency of the crisis galvanized us, and I saw an influx of innovation and devotion to each other that both impressed and humbled me.
Like many companies, Workday has thrived in a predominantly in-person environment, and I was skeptical about how we might shift to being fully remote, but my team didn’t miss a beat. They pulled together and got busy delivering the services and support that’s always been distinctly Workday just as effectively from their homes. And customers and partners, even those who compete with each other, stepped up to share ideas and solutions in user groups and the Workday Community online at a level I haven’t seen before. We solicited input from customers about what they needed and accelerated the development of those suggestions into product enhancements and published solutions.
Lesson learned: The only way through this is together. The relationships we build and sustain are what enable us all to make massive shifts, and scale.
Don’t expect to stay in your swim lane or swim slowly. As the year unfolded, we saw an acute need for speed and agility across operations. In some cases, people were re-deployed to handle the urgent demands of their business, while others needed to learn or acquire new capabilities immediately to serve their customers.
The role of human resources is a great example. While it’s always been important, this year HR expanded well beyond talent management to include health and safety, facilities management, and mental health. Customers are finding creative ways to use Workday to manage these requirements, like using Workday Learning to push out company updates, newsletters, and videos from their CEOs. And, some are leveraging the survey mechanism to pulse employees on their sentiment and struggles.
Similarly in finance, we’ve seen customers go from planning quarterly to monthly because things are changing so rapidly. Being able to close books remotely and give auditors access to the Workday system directly to pull regulatory reports has made customers not just better informed, but more agile.
Lesson learned: The more we teach customers to recognize, understand, and use the agility inherent to their Workday applications, the better equipped they are to use them to solve operational challenges in a crisis.
Wrapping Up a Year of Firsts
We’ve all learned (and done) a lot of things for the first time last year. We never expected to have so many virtual deployments, but last quarter we had more than 190 go-lives on Workday, including a customer that put more than 1.5 million workers into their Workday system. We rallied together— customers, partners, and Workday teams—to make it happen.
We can’t predict what will happen this year, or even next week, but whatever happens we’ll take the hard lessons and the silver lining with us. We’ve been tested, and we’re still here for each other. Who knew we could shift so quickly? Who knew we could bring customers live virtually? Who knew the Workday Community site would serve as a resource for sharing ideas and solutions for those on the front lines? And, who knew that business leaders would step out of their corporate responsibilities to drive change and collaboration in new ways to impact important social and economic issues?
The year ahead gives me great hope—not only for getting back into the office (and away from all those interruptions on work calls), but for what we can achieve together.