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Workday’s Intentional Culture Achieves Business Returns

Jacob Scott

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Workday Headquarters

Workday and Jason O’Rear

Workday, Inc., is a software company headquartered in Pleasanton, California that provides enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources to over 9,500 customers. Founded in 2005, Workday is now a global operation with 14,200 employees worldwide, a customer community of over 55 million users, and a market capitalization of $70 billion. 

Workday is recognized for its intentional workplace culture, which helps it attract and retain employees, foster innovation and deliver great customer service. It also helped Workday rank number five on Fortune’s 2020 List of the Top 100 Companies to Work For based on an employee satisfaction survey. 

Making Culture a Priority

At the company’s inception, co-founders Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield elevated culture as a C Suite priority, believing it could be foundational for Workday’s success. They personally interviewed their first 500 hires, focusing on how potential employees aligned with Workday’s cultural values. 

Their overarching goal was to design and maintain a supportive workplace culture of employees that felt connected to each other and the company’s purpose, which would foster high engagement, low turnover, high workplace collaboration, and exceptional customer service. 

Today, Workday emphasizes culture as the core of its business model. “Our culture empowers employees to achieve organizational objectives, give their personal best, and work together as a team,” says Workday’s Co-founder, co-CEO and Chairman Aneel Bhusri. “Our culture ultimately defines who we are as a company and the customer experience we provide.”

Workday’s culture centers on interpersonal collaboration. In A Noble Purpose Alone Won’t Transform Your Company in MIT Sloan Management Review, authors Amy Edmondson and Rob Cross describe how Workday’s intentional culture exemplifies how fostering interpersonal workplace relationships can lead to exceptionally high employee engagement.

“When we interviewed people from the top of the house to the front lines at Workday, we found a consistent, clear sense of commitment to reinventing enterprise software, and a level of energy and enthusiasm that was missing in many other companies with very noble missions,” said the authors.

A Collaboration Space at Headquarters

Workday and Garrett Rowland

Workday engineers socialization opportunities during and after work. Before COVID, the company had sports teams, game rooms, a workplace cantina, and sponsored family events, which it plans to re-start as local mandates allow. While they ostensibly function as employee perks, they also foster workplace friendships that lead to business outcomes and interpersonal teamwork. 

Employee volunteers at a local garden

Workday

Volunteerism programs, while meant to enhance its corporate brand, also reinforce workplace culture. Workday approaches community service as another way to foster workplace relationships around a shared purpose which leads to higher employee engagement, collaboration, and idea-sharing. 

Employee Feedback & Manager Accountability

Workday has extensive employee feedback processes that generate actionable insights about team experiences. The company recently launched Workday Peakon Employee Voice, a platform that enables listening at scale by using machine learning to collect and analyze confidential feedback from employees in real-time and turn that feedback into dialog and action. 

Each week, employees receive custom- and development-based question sets that help people leaders measure employee sentiment and experience in key areas, which might include:

I get enough feedback to understand if I’m doing my job well
I’m inspired by the purpose and mission of Workday
The work I do is meaningful to me
This is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work

“Aggregated insights (from these) are shared with people leaders through dashboards, helping them understand experiences they’re creating for their teams,” said Ashley Goldsmith, Workday Chief People Officer

Workday understands the central role managers play in maintaining the company’s intentional culture. Accordingly, it onboards, trains, and coaches managers on cultural leadership skills and uses employee feedback to identify improvements and to reward managers that enhance the company culture.  

Insights analyze employee experience by job function, geographic location, generation, gender, race—and by manager—which helps Workday correct course as required, keep its culture current and learn how managers are performing vis a vis their direct reports. 

Workday hosts regular manager learning experiences via quarterly meetings and a yearly People Leadership Summit that discusses cultural best practices with people leaders from around the world. In 2020, the company recognized 143 managers for enhancing the employee experience. 

Culture Supports Whole Person Wellbeing

Workday operates under the principle that happy employees lead to happy customers. And Workday’s whole-person approach to employee wellbeing prioritizes what’s important to employees, including their careers, relationships, financial and mental wellbeing. 

Workday provides great benefits, including unlimited PTO, paid parental leave, generous insurance, and several financial and mental wellbeing programs such as backup child care, stock ownership, dependent care, commuter programs designed to enhance workers’ personal and professional lives.

This creates a virtuous circle: the more employees feel taken care of, connected to each other, and love their jobs, the more the company benefits through high workplace engagement, performance, and retention.

In Workday’s competitive market, culture helps it provide outstanding customer service, which is key to its business model. “While our customers love our product, at the end of the day we are “software as a service” and our customers choose the people they trust to stand behind the software.”

Moreover, Workday’s culture helps it see high employee satisfaction and low turnover. In 2020, 93% of its employees said the company was a great place to work (compared to 59% of employees at a typical U.S. company) and it has been recognized as a top 10 place to work in Europe, Canada, France, Ireland, UK and has averaged a 97% customer satisfaction rating for several years.

“Workday’s focus on collaboration has paid off,” according to MIT’s Edmondson and Rob Cross. “We have found that, at Workday and across companies and industries, employee engagement is determined by the ability of leaders to foster interpersonal networks and a culture of collaboration.”

Workday exemplifies a core principle for achieving better employee wellbeing outcomes and business returns: Listen to your people. Employees want to be heard, and they want employers to empathize and take actions that help them thrive. This sets the stage for better business outcomes.

——-

Steven Van Yoder, co-founder at Returns On Wellbeing Institute, provided editorial support to this article.

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‘Moon Knight’ Took Marvel in a Different Orbit, but It Didn’t Rise to the Occasion

Jacob Scott

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Before anyone writes that off as an anomaly, “Eternals” tackled a similar introduction of a dense mythology on the bigger screen, with equally mixed results. It’s a reminder that while film-goers have had more than a decade to get to know characters like Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, introducing some of these lesser-known heroes can pose a more formidable challenge beyond catering to the most ardent fans.
For Marvel, there are warning signs in that, since “Moon Knight” will be followed by several series based on second-tier characters, although the next two on the horizon, “Ms. Marvel” (which is due in June) and “She-Hulk,” at least have the benefit of sharing franchises and name recognition with existing Avengers.
Ultimately, “Moon Knight’s” murky storytelling appeared to squander its principal assets, which included the cool look of the character — a costume that was too seldom used — and the presence of Isaac, who possesses additional genre credentials via the “Star Wars” sequels.

Taking its time in peeling back the layers of the character’s complicated backstory, “Moon Knight” took a weird plunge into the Egyptian mythology behind it, in ways that became increasingly confounding and surreal.

By the time the protagonist’s two halves, Steven Grant and Marc Spector, wound up in a psychiatric hospital talking to an anthropomorphic hippo in the penultimate chapter, the question wasn’t so much being able to keep up with the story as whether bothering to do so was worth the effort.

The sixth and final episode brought the plot to a messy close, seeking to stop the goddess Ammit from proceeding to “purify the souls of Cairo, and then the world.” In the customary credit sequence, the producers capped that off by introducing a third personality, Jake Lockley, also rooted in the comics. While that seemingly spelled the end for the show’s villain (Ethan Hawke), the finish — giving the god Khonshu the protégé he sought — paved the way for further adventures should Marvel so choose.

That last twist might be cause for celebration in narrower confines of the Marvel fan universe, but “Moon Knight” too often felt like it was one long Easter-egg sequence, conspicuously preaching to that choir.

Granted, Marvel has made clear that Disney+ offers the chance to explore different kinds of stories, but “Moon Knight” feels at best like a quirky showcase for Isaac and at worst a failed experiment in terms of execution and tone.

That doesn’t mean this “Moon” won’t somehow rise again, if the closely held streaming data justifies it. But the promise that surrounded this property has faded, providing further evidence that even Marvel isn’t immune from setbacks as it moves into its next phase.

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Start-up Pony.ai says it’s the first self-driving company to get a taxi license in China

Jacob Scott

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Autonomous driving start-up Pony.ai can collect fares for robotaxi rides in parts of two major Chinese cities as of Sunday.

Pony.ai handout

BEIJING — Self-driving start-up Pony.ai announced Sunday it received a taxi license, the first of its kind in China.

The license allows Pony.ai to operate 100 self-driving cars as traditional taxis in the Nansha district of the southern city of Guangzhou, the company said.

The Chinese start-up, which is backed by Toyota, received approval from Beijing city late last year to charge fees to operate a commercial robotaxi business in a suburban district of the city. It is not the same as a taxi licence.

Baidu’s Apollo Go also received approval in the same Beijing district last year.

Pony.ai was valued at $8.5 billion in early March. The company said its Nansha taxi license required 24 months of autonomous driving testing in China and/or other countries, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents, among other factors.

The start-up said it plans to launch commercial robotaxi businesses in two other large Chinese cities next year. The company is already testing self-driving cars in those cities and in California. 

Robotaxis in China currently have a human driver present for safety.

— CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal contributed to this report.

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How to watch Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies: TV channel, NBA live stream info, start time

Jacob Scott

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Who’s Playing

Memphis @ Minnesota

Current Records: Memphis 2-1; Minnesota 1-2

What to Know

The Memphis Grizzlies’ road trip will continue as they head to Target Center at 10 p.m. ET this past Saturday to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis will be strutting in after a win while Minnesota will be stumbling in from a loss.

The Grizzlies are hoping for another victory. They beat the Timberwolves 104-95 this past Thursday. The victory came about thanks to a strong surge after the first quarter to overcome a 39-21 deficit. Memphis’ success was spearheaded by the efforts of power forward Brandon Clarke, who had 20 points in addition to eight rebounds, and shooting guard Desmond Bane, who shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and finished with 26 points and six boards.

Barring any buzzer beaters, Memphis is expected to win a tight contest. They might be worth taking a chance on against the spread as they are currently on a two-game streak of ATS wins.

Memphis’ win brought them up to 2-1 while the Timberwolves’ defeat pulled them down to a reciprocal 1-2. A couple offensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Grizzlies come into the game boasting the second most points per game in the league at 115.6. But Minnesota is even better: they rank first in the league when it comes to points per game, with 115.9 on average. Tune in for what’s sure to be a high-scoring contest.

How To Watch

When: Saturday at 10 p.m. ET Where: Target Center — Minneapolis, Minnesota TV: ESPN Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.) Follow: CBS Sports App Ticket Cost: $76.96

Odds

The Grizzlies are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Timberwolves, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Grizzlies as a 3-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Memphis have won 19 out of their last 28 games against Minnesota.

Apr 21, 2022 – Memphis 104 vs. Minnesota 95 Apr 19, 2022 – Memphis 124 vs. Minnesota 96 Apr 16, 2022 – Minnesota 130 vs. Memphis 117 Feb 24, 2022 – Minnesota 119 vs. Memphis 114 Jan 13, 2022 – Memphis 116 vs. Minnesota 108 Nov 20, 2021 – Minnesota 138 vs. Memphis 95 Nov 08, 2021 – Memphis 125 vs. Minnesota 118 May 05, 2021 – Memphis 139 vs. Minnesota 135 Apr 02, 2021 – Memphis 120 vs. Minnesota 108 Jan 13, 2021 – Memphis 118 vs. Minnesota 107 Jan 07, 2020 – Memphis 119 vs. Minnesota 112 Dec 01, 2019 – Memphis 115 vs. Minnesota 107 Nov 06, 2019 – Memphis 137 vs. Minnesota 121 Mar 23, 2019 – Minnesota 112 vs. Memphis 99 Feb 05, 2019 – Memphis 108 vs. Minnesota 106 Jan 30, 2019 – Minnesota 99 vs. Memphis 97 Nov 18, 2018 – Memphis 100 vs. Minnesota 87 Apr 09, 2018 – Minnesota 113 vs. Memphis 94 Mar 26, 2018 – Memphis 101 vs. Minnesota 93 Dec 04, 2017 – Memphis 95 vs. Minnesota 92 Feb 04, 2017 – Memphis 107 vs. Minnesota 99 Nov 19, 2016 – Memphis 93 vs. Minnesota 71 Nov 01, 2016 – Minnesota 116 vs. Memphis 80 Oct 26, 2016 – Memphis 102 vs. Minnesota 98 Mar 16, 2016 – Minnesota 114 vs. Memphis 108 Feb 19, 2016 – Memphis 109 vs. Minnesota 104 Jan 23, 2016 – Minnesota 106 vs. Memphis 101 Nov 15, 2015 – Memphis 114 vs. Minnesota 106

Injury Report for Minnesota

No Injury Information

Injury Report for Memphis

Dillon Brooks: Game-Time Decision (Foot) Santi Aldama: Out (Knee) Killian Tillie: Out (Knee)

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