Fairfield Residential embarked on an ambitious digital transformation initiative to replace 12 disparate HR systems with one, in an effort to increase organizational efficiency. Workday was selected to be the platform of record for all HR processes, from hiring and firing to payroll and benefits. Implementing the new system presented an intimidating challenge: how to train hundreds of employees with different skill sets, roles, and locations across the country—and reduce the support burden on an already overworked HR department?
WalkMe solved these challenges by enabling Fairfield to provide their employees with an intuitive user experience, while migrating to Workday as well as each day after, resulting in a high level of platform adoption. WalkMe’s in-system training provided Fairfield’s employees with step-by-step self-service guidance through the new user interface and updated processes. Importantly, WalkMe increased employee self-reliance: by automating a number of processes, such as time tracking, all members of Fairfield’s diverse workforce were able to make the most of the same HR platform, no matter their digital proficiency, resulting in a reduction in the number of HR-related support calls.
Training employees en masse—no matter their digital proficiency
Fairfield Residential’s workforce grew substantially over a short time frame, resulting in a large and diversified workforce, and a dozen disjointed HR systems. “We realized how out-of-date our patchwork of systems was,” says Kim Knight, SVP of Human Resources for Fairfield. “We needed a way to consolidate our 12 disparate HR systems into one.”
They settled on Workday, an on-demand human capital and financial management platform, to be the system of record for all HR data, processes, payroll, applicant tracking, onboarding, and offboarding. “It was going to be a huge change,” Kim says. “And my biggest concern was: how are we going to train everybody?”
Training was a particular challenge given the varied workforce, which included property management and vocational employees in the field, as well as all levels of corporate office workers. Spread across 250 US locations, some employees were salaried, some hourly; some tech-savvy, others, less so. Further complicating matters, some employees worked nights and weekends, when HR staff were not available to answer questions or respond to challenges.
Looking for a way to alleviate the support burden
Fairfield Residential’s workforce is often in flux as properties are constructed, acquired, or sold. Hundreds of employees may join the company in a given year, so Kim and her team needed a scalable training solution that would be ready to welcome new hires and allow them to hit the ground running. “We have a constant influx of new people, and so we would be constantly training people if we didn’t have some kind of in-system guidance.”
Before bringing in Workday, any process outside of punching a time card was almost certain to generate a support ticket, accompanied by a call directly to HR. Workday would ease the support burden—but only if everyone was able to take full advantage of the platform.
Effective change management for stress-free user adoption
WalkMe offered the perfect solution for Fairfield’s challenges, and proved instrumental to a successful rollout of Workday. Kim leads the implementation of WalkMe across the Fairfield’s Workday HCM Suite—including modules for performance, advanced compensation, and payroll.
Fairfield created Smart Walk-Thrus, balloon-based guidance that appears exactly when an employee needs the help, to take employees through the new user interface. SmartTips further increased employee self-reliance, resulting in an overall reduction in support tickets. “Having real-time, in-system assistance so you don’t have to go anywhere else to find out how to do something, that’s the biggest benefit—especially with staff that works on the weekends,” says Kim.
As with any HR system, Kim recognized the difficulty of pushing users to complete tasks in a different system, which is why they decided to use WalkMe to engage users at the place where they spend the most time — their inbox — to drive process adoption. When sending an email, they would embed a Permalink—a link that automatically starts a relevant Smart Walk-Thru when clicked — so that employees were seamlessly redirected to Workday, and guidance for the appropriate process was initiated, increasing likelihood for the user to engage and complete.
Saving time and money through automation
While WalkMe was integral in creating a seamless rollout experience, it has an equally impactful role in driving true, ongoing adoption of the platform by making everyday as well as occasional processes simple, easy, and even automated. One of Fairfield’s most used solutions is an automated Smart Walk-Thru created with the goal of making time tracking effortless. A clock-in, clock-out button was created so that when clicked, it automatically executes a number of steps. “That has been awesome,” says Kim. “All of our hourly staff, even if they’re not super savvy technologically speaking, they can just come in and click the button.” Other functions, including report preparation and printing, have also been automated, resulting in huge time savings on repetitive tasks.
Increased accuracy and efficiency, and decreased frustration
Replacing Fairfield’s array of HR systems was a year-long process that Kim says couldn’t have happened without WalkMe. Although Workday provided the core infrastructure and functionality the company needed, WalkMe ensured employees were actually using Workday properly and fully.
WalkMe made it easy to effectively communicate process changes or updates, among other things. “We use WalkMe to help manage changes within our Workday system,” Kim says. “We use the pop-ups to highlight different recruiting pushes and programs, referral programs, etc.”
The introduction of Smart Walk-Thrus has reduced the number of how-to calls the HR team receives. Kim elaborates, “And even when we do get a call with ‘How do I do this?’ We can just direct them to launch a Smart Walk-Thru. That short interaction replaces a 10-minute phone call with a payroll specialist.” In the span of one year, Kim’s team has saved 1,080 hours and $27,000 in administrative time thanks to Smart Walk-Thrus.
Automation has not only improved efficiency, but increased accuracy by ensuring all parts of a complex process are followed correctly. Importantly, a lack of digital proficiency is no longer a roadblock: automation ensured Fairfield workers with different jobs and skill sets can all use the same HR platform. By not relying on HR for hand holding, WalkMe “gives our folks a sense of independence,” Kim says, “which lets HR make better use of our time.”
“They don’t really need us to walk them through administrative processes now,” explains Kim, “so we’re focusing on other things. When someone is coming on board, for example, we can focus on what they need to know to do the job they were hired for, and not get bogged down in onboarding tasks.”
Fairfield currently uses WalkMe to teach and automate frequently used processes and Kim looks forward to implementing it with periodic HR tasks as well. “Now that we’ve tackled the daily tasks like time cards, we look forward to expanding the impact of WalkMe to help us simplify the things we have to do monthly, quarterly, or yearly because right now, we struggle with the same cyclical processes.”
Overall, Kim says, WalkMe is an invaluable asset in facilitating true adoption of Workday by Fairfield employees, which has increased self-service and maximized productivity. “I can’t envision how we would have rolled out Workday without WalkMe, while keeping our HR team lean.”