How to increase Workday Adoption

Group of people using various devices to access Workday - a great way to increase Workday Adoption

Like any new complex IT implementation, the rollout of Workday can be challenging. On the surface, the system is presented as being intuitive and user-friendly. However, this disregards problems users sometimes experience, which can have a direct impact on Workday adoption.

Sound familiar?

In this blog, we discuss ways to increase Workday adoption.

It all starts with the programme setup: vocal and visible leader sponsorship, selecting the right partners, choosing the best people to become Workday champions, and identifying business process owners early in the project.

These business process owners will drive the design and control of the solutions and ensure clarity about where the system activities fit into your end-to-end process.

It is vital to think about the insights and reports you will need from Workday and for what the data will be used. This will inform the design decisions made in the build of your Workday tenant.

Alongside this, you want an effective change management strategy and plan – perhaps partnering with an external consultancy.

You should develop any change management programme in the light of a stakeholder analysis. This analysis will help you understand where different stakeholder groups are now, in terms of what they think, feel and do, and where you need them to be to ensure the programme is a success. You can then decide where to focus your change efforts to accelerate Workday adoption.

Ten change management techniques to increase Workday adoption

  1. Engage the business
    Get people from all parts of the business involved throughout the project, and particularly at the requirements and user acceptance testing. When Workday adoption falters, it’s usually in its day-to-day use by staff and line managers. So engage not only the leaders but also representatives of all critical users in the company.
  2. Review and clarify processes
    Assign Workday process ownership to the appropriate people within your organisation. Given them a responsibility to ensure the Workday processes meet businesses requirements.
  3. Impact assessment
    Understand the impact that Workday will have on key stakeholders, including process changes, behavioural change, and new ways of working. Consider the methods, channels, messages, and training to help people accept and deal with the impacts of change.
  4. Communicate early and frequently
    Keep stakeholders engaged throughout the programme through a communications plan which includes timely messages tailored to the specific audiences.
  5. Create incentives and celebrations
    Celebrate early adoption. These can recognise adoption role models and increase peer pressure on the more reluctant adopters. Run progress reports frequently to identify good and bad user engagement, using data to inform your adoption metrics.
  6. Design and deliver training
    Ensure training includes the appropriate level of detail and uses the most effective channels. You want your team to know how to use the new tools to do their jobs so consider this time well invested.
  7. Consider using adoption tools, such as
    • Guided Tours to guide users through Workday processes. These are practical and built into Workday. They need to be activated in your Workday tenant. Guided tours are a way to provide interactive help during transactions. They reduce the need for external training or materials such as PDFs, videos, or coaching sessions. However they are not currently available for all Workday processes.
    • WalkMe and AppLearn – These paid-for tools are more comprehensive and dynamic than guided tours and include multimedia and interactive elements. You can develop content for specific Workday processes and extend them to other applications in the Workday ecosystem.
  8. Develop a shared understanding of Workday terminology.
    Ensure you familiarise all users across the organisation with Workday terminology. Words like ‘position’, ‘organisation’, ‘management level’ need to be well-defined so all users can make the link between what happens in reality and how that is reflected accurately in Workday.

    This goes beyond explaining the new terminology. Ensure everyone is clear about their authority levels, what they can change, and what they should be checking in all approvals and transactions.
  9. Live Clinics
    These are live sessions where people drop in and ask questions about Workday. For example, if there is a new feature in the Workday Recruiter, you may want to have a session with line managers to walk them through the process.
  10. Reports
    Regularly run reports from Workday to identify where issues and bottlenecks are occurring and see what is working well. Such analysis will highlight where and when the adoption of Workday is dropping off, providing the opportunity to address problem areas.

    Running reports also gives you valuable information for your ongoing development and improvement of Workday.
    However, we have found that the biggest adoption challenge is using the system to its full potential, beyond the transactional level. This means designing the system to suit the end-users’ needs, making their lives easier and looking at insights that help them see the new system’s real value.


Once leaders recognise Workday’s value and the powerful insights it can provide, they will give it the vocal support needed to persuade staff and managers to use it. So it’s essential to understand the reporting and analytical data leaders want to get out of Workday to ensure they embrace the system. This understanding of their requirements will help you configure Workday and its processes to get the relevant data.

This leadership support needs to be complemented by activities that ensure managers and staff have the knowledge and support they need to use the Workday accurately. They also need to find that Workday processes are as easy or easier to use than the previous method.

Then you can anticipate seamless Workday adoption.

Photo (c) Shutterstock / Khakimullin Aleksandr