Goucher’s long-awaited transition to Workday has finally arrived. After more than a year of planning and a veritable deluge of emails hyping it up, Goucher’s Workday system officially launched on April 3. According to Associate VP for Information Technology Rob Smith, Workday is a web-based product that the college has adopted in order to streamline the sharing of information between departments.
The formal decision to switch to Workday was made in December 2021. According to Smith, the original plan was to implement the program by the end of 2022, but due to the complexity of the system, this was extended to March 2023. Smith notes that the main reasons for the switch were that it took a lot of time and data to share information between departments, and that, for student workers specifically, there were issues when it came to manually logging hours.
With Workday having launched so recently, Smith believes that it’s premature to measure if productivity has gone up, and estimates that it will take about a month for any meaningful change to become obvious. Nevertheless, he expects more time to be saved and for there to be greater accuracy than in previous years.
“In the old world,” he remembers, “there was a lot of manual re-entry of data. Workday should remove a lot of manual data entry and allow folks to focus on efficiency.”
Lana Oweidat, head of Goucher’s Writing Center, says that Workday has made it much easier to record her employees’ hours. Previously, students would record their hours manually on a timesheet that would then be submitted to the payroll. So far, Oweidat has mostly used Workday to approve hours for student workers, which she says has gone smoothly. Oweidat has also provided resources to her Writing Center tutors to make sure that everyone knows their way around the software, and as part of the center’s mentorship program, some tutors have been helping their “mentees” learn how to use Workday.
However, the launch has not gone smoothly for everyone. From March 28 to April 4, the SGA’s credit cards were frozen due to the move to Workday. According to Treasurer Andrea Casique, SGA was informed about the freeze shortly before their cards stopped working. An email was then sent out to all clubs explaining why the hold was occurring, and that all club expenses would have to be paid out of pocket for the duration of the hold. However, once the hold was resolved, Casique found Workday to be much easier to work with than Excel, remembering how she “forgot to log a bunch of [her] hours at the beginning of the semester and it became a mess.”
This mixed-to-positive reception is shared by other student employees. One says that they don’t see it providing more benefits than a normal scheduling program, but says that they like the neatness and accessibility of it. Another notes that the transition has been hard, but they prefer it to the old system and are cautiously optimistic. Another employee says that Workday has improved the Writing Center’s productivity, and said “I think that it’s a lot easier for the organization to manage. The way that we did it last time put a lot of stress on supervisors and student workers to keep track of everything.”
While students not employed by Goucher will most likely not interact directly with Workday in the near future, in the long term, Smith plans to move all Goucher systems to the platform. This means that Workday will likely replace and centralize student platforms such as MyGoucher.