Five Keys to Successful Onboarding with Workday and Boomi

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Larry Cone (00:10):

And there we are, five keys to successful employee onboarding with Workday and Boomi. So if you're looking, as the airlines say, if you're looking for some other webinar, this is your time to exit, but hopefully you've followed the link and you've gotten here because of your interest in Workday, employee onboarding, Boomi, or all of the above. I'm Larry Cone. We'll do introductions in a minute, but as we wait for a few other people to join, let's just run quickly through your Zoom webinar control. Okay, so just a couple of things we're going to do. Use the Q and A tab to ask questions.


They'll go in there. I think Geoff's going to keep an eye on those. We will look at those at the end and address your questions. A recording will be made of this webinar. It'll be made available to all registered users, and we will share that once that's in place. It usually takes a day or so for that to be ready to go. 

And welcome to attendees now and future attendees. We know that these webinars have a long lifetime and actually more people typically watch the webinar after. So welcome to all of you. There will be a poll we're going to pop up. We're just interested in some feedback about what your challenges are around employee onboarding, so you will see that as well. That'll pop up on your screen. Okay, so let's welcome.

Let me welcome my fellow presenters. I'll start. I'm Larry Cone. I'm CEO at Kitepipe. Kitepipe is a Boomi consultancy. We're a Platinum level Boomi partner and I'm really excited about this content. We do this project pretty frequently, helping companies master and provision and manage their employee data. And we really see the benefits of this project. So pretty excited about this. So let me introduce Amy Conway. Amy, talk a little bit about yourself.

Amy Conway (03:01):

Hi, I'm Amy Conway. I am an HR professional. I spent about 18 years with Nordstrom, which is one of the biggest luxury retailers in North America, and I spent about half of my career in HR and went through a large Workday implementation, which is why I'm on this call today with everyone. And I now do HR consulting work and that's how Larry and I know each other. I did some work with Kitepipe over the last probably 18 months or so, and I'm excited to spend some time with this group today.

Larry Cone (03:36):

Thank you. And Geoff, let's hear a little bit about you.

Geoff Bockelmann (03:41):

Sure, thanks Larry. Hi everybody. I'm Geoff Bockelmann and I lead our data management strategy at Boomi as product manager and solutions architect for our Master Data Hub service. I've been at Boomi for more than 15 years, mostly on the professional services side of our organization, leading technical training and certification programs for both integration and data hub. I've had an opportunity to work closely with Larry and the Kitepipe team over the years supporting on employee onboarding scenarios, and they've even supported some solutions internal to Boomi for supporting our growth. So I'm very excited to be here. Thanks.

Larry Cone (04:23):

Good. Yeah, so we have a distinguished panel. We're going to talk about employee onboarding, employee data management, those challenges both from an HR perspective and from a technical solutions perspective. So we think we have an interesting program today. We'd like to start with a, I would call it a challenge question. We know we work with IT teams every day. The IT team landscape's getting more complicated and the challenge we see is how are HR and IT leaders managing all the business and technical processes around employee onboarding? It's been a huge issue, certainly was an issue with the pandemic as people's work patterns changed, the great resignation, job changes, for that. It's really been a challenge for a lot of customers. And that's really what we want to talk about today. Let's do a poll. There is, let me kick off this poll here. We want to get some feedback from you guys.

So this should pop up in your right browser and we're interested in some feedback about where the pain points are in employee onboarding. So take a look at this. You can make multiple choices and we'll revisit your responses a little later in the webinar. So while you're making your choices, let's take a look at the agenda. So that's the polling question. Basically, what are the pain points? Let's take a look at the agenda. So we're going to talk about the challenge. Why is this a problem? How mastering your employee data can help and what that means, how does it work? You're going to do a little show and tell about how it works and how do you afford it in an organization. Everyone's working on limited resources, so we need to know how to help you make the case for a solution like this. We are going to talk about the five keys that was right in the title. We do have some recommendations for you. We're going to do Q and A. We're going to take your questions and then talk about next steps.



Okay, so this is the challenge. I'm going to talk about this a little bit. Then we're going to talk to Amy about what it looks like on the ground from the HR point of view. This is sort of what it looks like from the IT environment point of view. So lots of different applications. We know you've got more applications, you've got benefits, training, your HRIS. We know the data quality around employees is a problem. That data is duplicated, it changes. There are multiple sources. Many applications need the same data, errors and exception handlings. We've seen hypergrowth situations and mergers and acquisitions in organizations, which really cause stress if you need to combine different employee groups and there's regulatory drivers. You may be a public company, you may need to be HIPAA compliant, you may be a manufacturer. So there are regulatory challenges around managing your employee data. So let's talk with Amy. 


Amy, thanks so much for joining us on this webinar. I know you have a long and distinguished career in the HR side, and you participated in a large implementation of Workday. So what was it like on the front lines? What were some of the challenges?

Amy Conway (09:02):

Yeah, so overall Workday is really an incredible system. The things that it could do for our employees and our people managers and have things all in one location. We had never had that before and the initial stages were just really hard to work through. And that was unexpected. We implemented Workday over 18 months in three different stages, and that initial stage was the toughest. And that included the data transfer and all of our recruiting. Nordstrom is a high turnover business. We're a retailer in the end, food and beverage there. We turn and burn through employees a lot. We have heavy volume seasons, seasonal hiring, all of that. And that created a lot of problems from a recruiting standpoint and an onboarding standpoint from the basic data, what we found was just a lot more errors than we ever expected. Repeat data, missing data, incorrect data.


And I think we expected some of it, but what we didn't expect was how long it took us to get it all fixed and with all the errors created more errors. And when we weren't able to fix it, it just became this backlog of different things in the systems and we just didn't have enough experts probably working through it. We had a great HR service center, right? Nordstrom has 80,000 employees, so we had an HR service center. The org was really big supporting tons of employees, but they were all learning it too. And it just seems like we weren't really fully prepared for some of that initial transfer. And we felt that in the front lines. I was an HR business partner, my team was HR business partners. I wanted my HR managers in the stores, in the regions focused on the business, focused on people and our customer. I did not want them sitting behind a computer trying to learn how to correct all this data. So I just kept thinking during those initial stages, we have to be doing this wrong. There has to be a better way. This system is supposed to work a lot better than this and I think we're not doing it. So that was what it felt like on the front lines.

Larry Cone (11:14):

Yeah, so really interesting. So you talk about, gee, we needed more experts, and that's something we've heard in other customers, really it creates another job. Someone manually going in and setting up, cleaning up, synchronizing HR data, creating permissions, resolving approvals, and that's a real challenge. Talk about employee data quality. So one thing we also hear is that, gee, it wasn't until we started loading our data into the HR system that we discovered some of those issues.

Amy Conway (12:04):

We didn't realize there was a lot of missing things. I remember going through a big working phase around all the kinds of what we used to call at Nordstrom special snowflakes, like all these onesie-twosie job titles and wrong compensation things and things just weren't transferring in the right way. And until we really got in there, we didn't realize how big of an error, and that was probably just years and years of working on our old HRIS and we used to have a lot of people touching that back in the day, different store environments. They were doing their own kind of data implementation and uploading stuff until we centralized it to an HR service center. And that probably was a handful of years before this Workday changeover. So we're still working through some of that. So I mean it was user error, I'm sure a lot of it, but I can imagine that that happens in every organization.


So yeah, there was errors, and again, it shouldn't have taken us that long to get through it, but it's hard because the people who knew the data was wrong were also people like my team that were sitting in stores and that was not their main job to manage data. So it would take us a long time to figure out there was an error until we were going and trying to do something else. And then we realized, well, that isn't even there. Those were just a lot of the things that happened day to day and take up way too much time and create a lot of inefficiency where the system was supposed to help us create efficiencies. And that was not the experience in that first probably six months really of transition. 

Larry Cone (13:48):

In the early going. 

Amy Conway (13:49):

Yeah. Yeah.

Larry Cone (13:50):

You had an interesting comment about approval. So talk about that. I thought that was pretty interesting.

Amy Conway (13:57):

Yeah, so as we were talking about this webinar and just some of the different things we saw in the initial stages, and again, I think I told you before this, I don't know if Nordstrom customized this because we had a tendency to do those types of things and maybe created a little bit. This was uncomfortable for us because Workday was supposed to give, kind of, back the ownership to the employee and the people managers before HR really owned all of those things. So it was like, I think we were working through our own discomfort about giving people too much access. So we tried to manage it a little too much. And what happened is we put in way too many approvals. And I remember when we're thinking about hiring, there would be accidental things that happened that we didn't expect. Approvals would skip levels.


And the last thing you want to do in the fourth quarter when you're trying to do last minute hiring five days before Black Friday is try to get a hold of Jamie Nordstrom, the president of stores, and have him approve a new employee set up. But those were things that were happening. And I remember I had a region of 8,000 employees and over 20 locations that I was responsible for, and I would be traveling in airports and on trains, and I was just running in all directions and stores were calling me to approve a new hire to be hired in. And I'm like, well, gosh, why is this coming to me? And it was either I had an open seat or someone wasn't assigned the right approval. So then it was skipping them and coming to me and there was just all these errors to work through and trying to get me, I mean, I barely knew how to log in. My team was great at Workday. I was not so good at using it because I wasn't in there every day. And those are just things that created a really broken onboarding experience for our candidates coming into being employees. And that certainly, we had a culture of having great experiences for our employees, and this was not enabling us to really hold up our end of the bargain. And we had to work through some of this stuff and work through it really fast because we couldn't delay onboarding during those peak seasons. We needed people to start the same day. And unfortunately there were so many approvals in the system that it was almost like if you didn't hire someone five or six days before they started, we wouldn't be ready to go on day one. And in a high retail environment, that simply was not effective, we needed to be able to offer a job at 4:00 PM on a Monday and have them start on Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM and the system wasn't allowing us to do that. And again, I don't think that was Workday. I think that was maybe our inability to use it efficiently.

Larry Cone (16:46):

Well, so pretty interesting comments. It is true when you buy a system with great new capabilities, there is a tendency to build in those capabilities and really use them, but sometimes you're not aware of the operational implications of that. So good stuff. If you had a magic wand, this is sort of the magic wand question, what would you have changed to enable a better onboarding experience?

Amy Conway (17:25):

I think that if I had a magic wand, I would've had probably more Workday specialists so that we put less burden on the frontline people managers and the frontline HR business partners. I think that we just needed more people internally and we had some people from Workday and project teams and all of that, but it wasn't, I mean, 80,000 employees is a big organization, so having five, a handful of people that knew the system wasn't enough capability, and so that was it. I think that in the end, it's so important to have people that are set up, ready to go on day one. And I think that candidate-to-employee experience was probably the one that if I could go back and fix anything, we can work through the data errors, we can work through the approval process, but we have to provide great experiences the minute we hire, from the minute really we interview someone and then when they start. And that candidate to employee was really probably the biggest pain point that we experienced in the whole organization because every store was hiring and that, and I would go back and probably have had a little bit more training, a little bit more communication. Those are things I know as an HR business partner we need in any kind of change management that we do. But I don't think we could take, I think we took for granted how easy we thought the system was going to be and that just simply in the beginning, we could have had a smoother transition. I think there was probably experts that could have helped us. We probably could have transitioned more into Workday in the beginning, but we were really unsure of how it worked because the second two phases, I have to say, once we turned on performance management and we turned on recognition and some of the other things we did, those were pretty seamless. And even when we did payroll, that was the last one and that worked pretty well. So I think that starting with the recruiting maybe wasn't the right place, but again, you can't go back.

Larry Cone (19:42):

Well, good. And so good insight about some of the good, the bad and the ugly. And you talked about, gee, we really needed more people, more hands in front of keyboards who could help. We found that technology can really help with that. And we're going to bring Geoff Bockelmann in now to talk a little bit about Boomi, what it is and how it addresses some of these problems. So Geoff, why do you need Boomi Master Data Hub?

Geoff Bockelmann (20:23):

Well, thanks Larry. Yes. Yeah, the exciting stories too. Amy, Boomi offers an intelligent integration and automation platform connecting everything across every system to accelerate past to digital connectedness. We support a unified set of platform services where Boomi customers can quickly get started with any combination of them to accelerate their end-to-end digital transformation projects. And Master Data Hub is where we take a data first approach to enabling that path and that integration across systems because our customers really require it to solve those types of data quality challenges that are needed to support these employee onboarding experiences. So data trust and data quality is paramount as we've seen reflected here. And we are enabling our Boomi Master Data Hub service as a foundation to create what we refer to as golden records for employees in any associated domains that require high structure, high quality, high standardization, and high synchronization.


You may have multiple versions of truth or system of records that need to reflect the same data points in a near real time way to make the most of these types of onboarding workflows. And we need an ability through a data first approach to support high consistency, high accuracy, and as patterns are found with these data sets over time, we can help to automate the data quality resolution and not make it be such a tedious experience to have to handle each and every inconsistency that's found along the journey because these things are always evolving. And so our hub is meant to standardize and centralize these types of data sets, make them highly consistent and offer ways to add, update, and retire records from systems over time and strengthen integrations over time by learning from what's failing, what's working to make the best business decisions. So to go on the next slide really to drive this home, these are the pillars that we focus on from a strategy perspective.


And like I mentioned, trust is the foundation for us where we maintain highly available golden records and for this conversation, employees, and that could have a lot of usage across a lot of different systems. And we need to make those data points consistent and accurately reflected across them and have that lineage and that visibility to know, well, this person was provisioned this type of software and what's the speed in which that it's enabled for them in system Y. And there's a lot of complexity with that, but there's also a lot of opportunity for scale. Our organizations that we're working with are experiencing a lot of hypergrowth or changes within the types of HR IT systems that they're managing. And we want to grow with our customers and support their volumes as they make these critical decisions. So yeah, with that, I know the devil's in the details there, so I'll pass it back over to you Larry.

Larry Cone (23:54):

So good stuff. And we at Kitepipe implement this platform that Geoff helps manage and we see the benefits to our customers. There is sort of a “how does it work” problem. And we try to address this early on when talking to customers because it isn't really clear when you talk about Master Data Hub synchronization, what that sort of means in an onboarding process. So let's take a look at that and we've learned the best way to talk about this is with some animation. So Workday in the center, Workday is your source of truth for your employee data. The Workday folks, when they come in on day one, they tell you that that's the way it's got to work. And that's really the power of putting in a powerful HRIS system like this. So here's how Boomi works with Workday. Often you have an applicant tracking system where that's your employee data really starts. 


These days applicants fill in their own information on those systems, they go through the vetting and hiring process, and then an integration can push that data over and create the new employee in Workday. Once that's created, and this can happen overnight or this can happen in real time, a Boomi process can detect that new hire and start to do things in the environment. For instance, IT service desk might be responsible for a laptop or a seat or a phone. So those folks get notified. User provisioning is really important. The modern enterprise has 5, 6, 10, a dozen different systems that an employee might need to access. So setting up their identity is critical. That might be active directory, that might be Okta. So a Boomi process can take that Workday information and depending on what department they're in, what role they have, can set them up appropriately. Training, you certainly want to get them set up in your learning management system.


A Boomi process can grab that data from Workday, set them up in the learning management system and can set them up appropriate for their role. Benefits. You may have two or three or five different benefits providers on different platforms. So we can automate the enrollment of the employee in the appropriate benefits set. And lastly, and one of the most important things is setting up accounts for that employee in all your business systems. So if they need to get into Salesforce, if they need to get into your accounting system, if they need to get into your warehouse system or your point of sale system, a Boomi process can set their account up with appropriate permissions in those systems. And this can happen very quickly. Often it's done overnight where all of these integrations run and set up the system. So when,  Amy, you talked about they needed to start next day, an overnight process like this can set them up completely so that they can literally walk in the next day and they're set up in all these aspects. Okay, pretty exciting. We've seen this work, but any system like this needs to be funded. So we think it's important to talk about what the organizational benefits are because these days you've got to show a return or a benefit to the organization in hard dollars.


So what we do is when we do these implementations, we go back six months later and talk to the customer and talk about where they've seen the benefits. And there are a couple of key areas. Amy, you talked about, gee, we needed more hands on keyboards to set up and manage that employee data. What we found is organizations can save that through doing effective data mastering and data synchronization. That can be a couple or more FTEs, which can really add up. I have no idea what that would be for an 80,000 employee group like Nordstrom. Productive days for each hire, one of our customers was a high growth tech company. They had a sales team of about 400. They were always hiring expensive salespeople. Their biggest benefit was getting those people functional and they ran the numbers and it was a significant benefit to the company to get the sales team members effective five days earlier. Amy, you talked about the experience keeping momentum. So talk about that. Talk about a little bit about why keeping that momentum is important.

Amy Conway (29:42):

Yeah, I mean I think that as an HR business partner and now so much of what I do in a consulting way is how to create great employee experiences. And what we know is that starts the minute they apply for a job with the company, let alone they get onboarded. But I just think about how many places I go into and we're not ready on day one. We don't have the seat, we don't have their tech set up properly. Sometimes we're fumbling through to get their data into the system and we've got to do our paperwork part. And I think all of that just makes it look like we're not ready, we're not prepared, we don't know what we're doing. And that's really not always the case or it looks like employees are our last focus and that also can't be the case. We have to put the people first.


That's who is going to make the business grow in front of our customers and our clients. And we've got to make sure that we have a people first mindset. And I think that it's all about saying when we're on your day one, you can walk through this building and we're ready. We're ready to go, and we want you to be ready to go. And I think that if we're not doing our part, we can't expect employees to show up and do their part. So that's all I think about is just how we can be better at creating those initial moments because that's where the culture starts.

Larry Cone (31:09):

Pretty interesting. I mean that's a soft benefit, but really powerful. So just a couple other things that customers have told us. Data access and permissions audits, that can come right out of the Master Data Hub. You can run reports for that. Security is a concern for everybody. The other aspect of this is offboarding. So you can automatically terminate employee accounts in all your platforms and have audit trails for that. So it's a really powerful part of your security posture. And visibility, so an interesting vignette from a CIO who said, Larry, one of the most important benefits for me was sitting around the table in the leadership team and having my peers say, Hey, the onboarding experience for my new senior management hire was just fabulous. They were set up, everything was set up on day one. They felt they could hit the ground running. And that's true. Onboarding is visible to the whole organization. Every part of the organization is hiring. So a soft benefit, but certainly an important one. So we promised we’d talk about the five keys to effective employee onboarding.


So here they are, clean employee data. We see that, Amy, you confirmed that. So don't underestimate how big a job that might be. Workday or your HR system needs to be the system of record, the single source of truth. Amy would caution you not to over customize it because that can lead to more work. We think synchronization is a really important part of this. So when you saw that animation of the data being set up, that's really synchronization. So putting that in place can remove the need for those hands-on keyboard roles to set up and fix that data. 

Employee data stewardship. Something we find is once you get all the data clean and set up everywhere, you need a process, a business process with procedures and roles assigned to keep the data clean and manage the errors, duplications, which will inevitably happen. 

And lastly, security is essential. So everybody knows this at this point, but employee access to your systems is one of your biggest security gaps. This can be an important part of your security posture.


So that sort of concludes our content here. I think we're going to go to question and answer. So Geoff, I'm going to ask you to take a look at the Q and As. I did peek at 'em a little earlier, one of 'em. So while you're looking at those, Geoff, I'm going to take on one of 'em, which is where have you implemented this system, this employee synchronization mastering system, and what have been the results? So we've got a really good story for that. So I'm going to go to that and here it is. We started working with Moderna, oh six years ago. Didn't initially focus on HR integration, but we put that in place for them. The system that we just described with employee data mastering at the center and Workday is the single source of truth. It's really been a benefit to Moderna.


They can set up people in up to 20 different systems. And the great part of the story is when the pandemic hit, they needed to grow from about a thousand people to about 5,000 people in 18 months. So suddenly this system was under tremendous strain. Literally hundreds of people were being recruited every month, and they will tell you that they could not have grown as fast as they did without this employee data mastering, employee synchronization approach to help them do that onboarding. So that's a really great story, one everyone can relate to because we all lived through the pandemic. So Geoff, pick out a question that we can answer.

Geoff Bockelmann (36:24):

Yeah, there's a great one here. What is the best way to translate these challenges into a way that the IT organization within a company can understand? And then they added, I found there can be a disconnect between how IT and HR view the same challenge. That's a great question.

Larry Cone (36:43):

So that is a great question. So let me take that because we've ran into that. Yeah, we're technologists at core. So we think about this as a technical solution. So we go in there and start to deploy it. Here's what we learned. You got to start. So here's what we do. We start with a workshop and we bring all the players together. We try to do it on site because the personal interaction is important. We get the HR leaders, we get operations people, we get it. We get all parts of the organization in the room and really go through how the solution works. And a couple important things happen. One is the light bulb goes on and people understand why they should pay attention to this project, that it's not an IT project. The other thing that happens is they get committed, they feel like they're part of the solution and they commit their organizations to making it successful. So we have found that doing that upfront is an important part of the solution.

Amy Conway (37:53):

I would agree from an HR business partner perspective, all stakeholders have got to have the same vision and the same outcomes of what we're trying to achieve. And we all then have to go and take our individual roles on the execution part of it all. But it's just important to get thought alignment from the very start.

Larry Cone (38:17):

Good stuff. And yeah, if you think about it as an IT project and it stays in IT, that makes it much harder. So good one. Geoff is there another?

Geoff Bockelmann (38:35):

We have another one here. I think this can go to Amy. What was the cause of the delays in onboarding new associates? If you could expand on that a bit more.

Amy Conway (38:46):

I guess I mean it would probably be different for each organization. Specific to my organization and my part of the organization I should say, a lot of it came from moving from candidate, doing the recruiting through Workday and the postings, moving from candidate to employee. And a lot of it was basic things like password resets and not knowing who to call. And once you become an employee, your login became different. Just it was kind of simple stuff like that. We all created a lot of confusion and we were also onboarding people who have all different skill sets of technology, right? English is a second language, third language, fourth language, different ages, all different diversity and classifications of people. And they didn't all have the same understanding of technology and we were kind of expecting them to have that and that was unrealistic. So a lot of it was that.


And then like I spoke to before, some of just the basic approval process and the parameters that we probably put in place were really holding up a lot of it. And then the third example I would give, because of the environment that Nordstrom was in, we did a lot of rehires because of seasonal work and seasonal hiring that created a lot of issues. Duplicate employee numbers rehires that got assigned a new employee number or rehires that it was based on their old setup, but really they were going into a completely different store location and it just couldn't, there was all kinds of mix ups with that stuff. So those were kind of the top three that come to mind. I'm sure there’s others.

Larry Cone (40:23):

Those are good ones. So we're getting close to the end here. I'd like to share the result of the survey. So I think you attendees will be able to see that. But let's just pick out a couple highlights. So two are the top pain points. One is time lost in getting employee fully functional. We know that to be a pain point because we’ve heard that as well. The second one is not surprising either. Differences in employee data and access across systems without some IT tooling, a data mastering and synchronization approach. It's really hard to keep even a couple hundred employee sets of data consistent across all your systems, much less thousands. So we certainly know that to be a pain point. Not so much about security gaps. That's interesting. We have heard that that's a concern. Loss of momentum for the employee in their new role. Certainly a pain point. And the other one is the approvals question. Approvals and related delays also a pain point as well. Okay, good. So thank you attendees for providing that. We will get that into our knowledge base for future projects.


That concludes our content. A couple of follow-ups, the recorded version of this will be available. I think all registered attendees will get a link to that. We're also going to publish it both on Boomi and the Kitepipe websites. So you can certainly feel free to distribute the link to the recording. I think that will be publicly available. And for context and follow up, typically we get interested parties when we do a webinar like this, we get people raising their hand and saying, Hey, how can you help my organization? So feel free to reach out either to Kitepipe or to Boomi. It's an email address there. Or you could just go to the websites both on Kitepipe and Boomi. There is plenty of content about Workday, employee master data mastering and the employee or the Boomi Master Data Hub component. So there's plenty of content out there for you. Okay, that concludes our webinar. Thank you so much. Panel members, thank you.

Thanks for getting on from wherever the heck you happen to be and participating. We're all on the move these days, so it's fun. We can do something like this in my case from a hotel room in Distant City. So thank you so much. Good content all and thank you attendees and look forward to getting your questions and contacts about implementing this in your organization. Thanks a lot.

Amy & Geoff (44:19):

Thank you. Thank you.

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