Revitalizing Employee Engagement through Performance Enablement: Workday`s Experience

Revitalizing Employee Engagement through Performance Enablement: Workday`s Experience
Case Code: HROB230
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2009-2021
Pub Date: 2022
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Workday Inc.
Industry: Technology & Communications
Countries: United States
Themes: Performance Management, Change Management, Human Resource Information Management System, HR Automation
Revitalizing Employee Engagement through Performance Enablement: Workday`s Experience
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case ‘Revitalizing Employee Engagement through Performance Enablement: Workday’s Experience’ describes Workday’s decision to refocus on its culture amidst a rapid growth in the number of employees. The company found it easy to maintain a cohesive workplace culture when it was small but as it grew rapidly in size, scale, and complexity, the company realized that its culture was deteriorating. The case describes the early employee engagement initiative undertaken by the founders through the ‘Generation Workday’ program launched in 2009. It then discusses various initiatives that Workday implemented to protect and nurture its culture after it found out in 2016 that the engagement levels of employees were lower than in earlier years. There was a rapid increase in employee count to 5,200 by 2016 from 3,750 employees in 2015. The programs included a Leadership Summit for senior management, the Vista program for improving collaboration in mid-level management, and Career sprints for experienced employees. The Ignite training program and Culture Ambassador program were implemented to train recruitment teams to hire candidates with a cultural fit to create an engaging work environment. The case then focuses on the company’s decision to shift its approach from employee engagement to a performance enablement framework due to the changing landscape. The framework helped simplify, unify, and align Workday’s practices with its culture. The case touches upon the HCM system and the weekly feedback survey that helped Workday changed its practice of managing performance to enabling performance. The efforts resulted in the company being ranked #5 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for list in 2020. The case finally focuses on the poor diversity and inclusion metrics that the company had despite its successful shift to performance enablement and Workday’s initiatives to improve on this metric through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs aimed at underrepresented minorities and military veterans and recruiting candidates from non-traditional backgrounds.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Recognize the need for continuous employee engagement to grow and nurture organizational culture when organizations scale up.
  • Learn about the various programs that support and improve employee engagement.
  • Examine the difference in performance management and performance enablement.
  • Explore the benefits of using human capital management systems (HCM) in performance enablement.
  • Understand that DEI practices are integral to performance enablement for employees.



Performance Management; Performance Enablement; Performance Assessments; Continuous Feedback; Organizational Change; Employee Engagement; Managing Change; HRM Systems ; Performance Management Systems

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