HCM Workdayology

HCM Workdayology

Below you will find several key concepts and terms that identify the system methodology used in Workday. This list will expand further as more training is introduced and more functionality is added for users. As you become more familiar with these Workday terms, it is important to note that Workday has been configured with Brown’s policies and practices in mind. Though it is a powerful system that enables greater employee and manager accountability, Workday functionality does not overrule or take precedence over Brown’s policies. For example, even though you are able to request a sick day in the Workday system without directly communicating with your supervisor, Brown’s policy advises that you first contact your supervisor when requesting a sick day. Therefore, Workday does not replace the need to continue ongoing dialogues to ensure you are meeting your department’s needs and standards and complying with University policies.

Workday Concepts

Q: What is considered business information in Workday?
A: Business information is information related to your position at Brown University including your title, grade, job family and profile, salary, supervisor, and contact information. Only your manager and the security roles assigned within your organization will be able to view your business information.

Q: What is considered personal information in Workday?
A: Personal information is information related to your personal human resources and payroll elections. Some examples include your federal tax information, direct deposit information, benefit choices, retirement elections, and dependent and beneficiary information. Your Workday Manager will not be able to view your personal information.

Q: What is delegation and how is it used?
A: Delegation is used to allow an approver of a business process the ability to allow another user to review and approve processes on his or her behalf. Typically, this is done for short periods of time on behalf of an approver and can be assigned for particular business processes as set by the approver as needed. In addition, an entire inbox can be delegated to another individual during a leave or vacation.

Q: What is a business process and what are the steps?
A: A business process is a sequence of one or more tasks that accomplishes a desired business objective. Examples of business processes are hiring an employee or requesting time off. Business processes begin with the initiation step, which often must take place at the department level. The responsibility to complete an initiation of a business process is dictated by your security role in the system. 

Some processes may allow an employee to initiate a particular step, such as requesting time off. However, many business processes require a certain security role to activate or initiate them, such as hiring an employee. Most business processes have a review and approval step built into their routing prior to completion. In the case of requesting time off, an employee may initiate the step; however, it would then be routed to a manager for review and approval.Once approved, the process would be completed.

It is important to note that, at any point during the review and approval steps, a request could be sent back to the originator to request more information or denied. If a business process is denied, it will be removed and must be reinitiated. If an approver requires more information during the review process, he or she should choose to send the process back to the originator to eliminate an additional step of reiniation. Finally, notifications can be received throughout a business process and serve to alert certain security roles that a request has been made and is in process. For example, department heads will receive a notification if a position has been created within their organization.

Q: What is a Workday security role?
Security roles are Workday designations that determine access to the initiation and approval of certain business processes and reports within the Workday system. The Workday system delivers several security roles and Brown has narrowed the delivered roles to those that best define our needs. For example, an HR Coordinator can initiate the hiring process for their organization but cannot initiate a leave for an employee within that organization as he or she does not have the security access.  Some of Brown's security roles include:


HR Coordinator - department-based position that has access to initiate several HR-related business processes
Workday Manager - initiates and approves steps in a business process for direct reports
Cost Center Manager - oversees, reviews, and approves expenditures for assigned cost centers
Timekeeper - reviews and approves timesheets for non-exempt and student employees
HR Business Partner - initiates, reviews, and approves business processes for assigned organizations
Absence Partner - department-based position that receives notification when a time off request is approved

Definition of Workday Terms

Applicant - a new hire entered as the first step in the Hire Employee business process. 

Business Site - the location of a worker, usually the main address of the campus.

Business Title - a business title is a descriptive title that provides greater understanding of the employee's responsibilities and scope within the Job Profile. This is also know as the long title. A staff member's job profile may be Manager; however, his or her business title may be Manager of Finance and Administration.

Contingent Worker - a worker who is not an employee and is not paid directly by Brown's Payroll Office. An example of a contingent worker would be Bio-Med hospital-based phsycians who have a faculty-based appointment.

Cost Center - cost centers are used to track financial and human resources transactions with a financial impact, such as hiring or terminations. Employees  are assigned a cost center when hired. Cost centers an be rolled up into cost center hierarchies, which can only store cost centers for reporting purposes.

Employee Type - a user-defined type that is assigned to each employee when the employee is hired. For the most part, this designation is informational only. You can search or filter employees by their employee type; however, you can designate a type as Fixed Term Employees, and employees of that type have fixed end dates of employment.

Job Family -  broad, meaningful groupings of jobs that perform similar functions. Examples of job families include information technology, human resources, administrative support, facilities, and the library.

Job Family Group - the broadest category of classification. The Workday Project Team is proposing four job family groups: staff, faculty, fellows and associates, and students.

Job Profile - defines the type of work performed in exempt and non-exempt positions. It also defines generic features and characteristics of a job and of a position that uses that profile. The more specifically defined a job profile is, the more specifically defined those jobs and positions will be, by default. Job profiles are the most specific element in the job catalog: job profiles make up job families, which make up job family groups.

Landing Page - landing pages display a collection of different worklets to enable you to quickly view data and perform tasks. Some common landing pages are My Workday, My Workday 2.0, All About Me, and My Team. There are other specialized landing pages, such as dashboard landing pages.

Leave Type - defines rules that apply to a specific type of leave of absence, such as jury duty or FMLA , and identifies the leave of absence family and unit of time for leave requests. It can also identify employee eligibility rules for requesting a leave, validation rules for preventing invalid requests, whether to track entitlement balances, and other options.

Life Event - a benefit event that occurs in the employee's personal life, for example, getting married or having a child.

Management Chain - displays all the organizations that are between the worker's organization and the top organization.

Matrix Organization - contains workers from different supervisory organizations who work together. Each matrix organization has a manager who has a dotted-line relationship to all the members of the matrix organization. However, the manager of a worker's supervisory organization retains ultimate authority over the worker. Matrix organizations are most useful for semi-permanent relationships, as the matrix manager can view confidential data about each matrix organization member. Matrix organizations are freestanding and cannot be part of a hierarchy or related to a supervisory organization.

My Workday - displays a grid of worklets such as Inbox and My Requests. You should enable My Workday only for administrator and professional roles, not for Employee Self Service or Manager Self Service. Workday recommends that you keep the number of worklets on My Workday to a minimum; the number of worklets on this landing page affects display performance.

My Workday 2.0 - home to the Workfeed worklet. It is designed to optimize performance and, therefore, it is limited to displaying the Workfeed plus 4 additional worklets. This limit ensures that users cannot place a large number of worklets (some of which may be computationally intensive) on a page that is frequently accessed. It is recommended that you use the Dashboard landing pages for additional analytical worklets that users might need.

Supervisory Organizations - make up the organizational chart of Brown University by grouping employees into a management hierarchy.  Some supervisory organizations within Human Resources, for example, would include benefits, compensation, and employment services. A supervisory organization can be a business unit, department, group, or project. Jobs, positions, and compensation structures are associated with supervisory organizations, and workers are hired into jobs or positions associated with a supervisory organization. Departments may have multiple supervisory organizations. Business processes can be assigned to a supervisory organization. All approvals and checklists are established for the supervisory organization hierarchy, with possible variations for particular organizations within that hierarchy. Supervisory organizations can be created and inserted into a hierarchy as a single action. There is no separate action to create a supervisory hierarchy.

Team -  teams are used to track projects across supervisory organizations.  Team membership is established by directly assigning each worker or by using membership rules. Members of these teams do not have to be in the same geographic or supervisory organization; but they must have a common goal or function. Teams are stand-alone organizations; they do not belong to any hierarchy.

Time Off Type - names a type of time off users may request, such as sick time or vacation. This is the name users see when entering a time off request. A time off type can be associated with more than one time off.

Worker - a person who is either paid by the University or a contingent worker not directly paid by the University.

Worker Type - an employee or contingent worker. There can also be several user-defined types of contingent workers. Compensation, benefits, and staffing events are tied to the worker type.

Worklet - a compact report displayed as an icon on the My Workday landing page, providing easy access to tasks and information you regularly use. Examples of worklets include time off, benefits, and pay.