LACE on Tour – Rachel and Celine at Workday Rising, Vienna

When I first started working, I dreamt of having the chance to travel the world. If you told me when I was 18 that I would end up in Vienna with a bunch of like-minded people challenging the status quo, I would have laughed. But, much to my surprise, that’s exactly what happened in November. I got the opportunity to go to Vienna with a bunch of like-minded people challenging the status quo.

Workday Rising 2018 has left me feeling energised.

When I reflect on my experience in Vienna, I have three key takeways that either reinforce what I already know, giving me hunger to continue to pursue excellence, or challenge what I thought I knew, making me want to do things differently.

1). In a world where 87% of people feel like they are not engaged at work, technology that enhances the employee experience should be a priority for companies.

Workday certainly showcased that this is very much in the forefront of their minds in terms of future releases. The ability to cultivate curated journeys for employees through Workday signals the continued shift from technology that makes HR professional’s lives easier, to technology that’s employee centred.

Whether it be the ability to tailor persona-driven content and activities through a single portal to target your workforce, or the ability to use voice recognition technology to make everyday tasks that little bit easier to complete, Workday continues to consider how technology supports engagement.

2). A person’s first experience at work is critical to their ongoing engagement.

You might say, “duh Rachel of course”! However, I don’t think I had fully appreciated the importance of a first impression (and by first impression I mean cultural onboarding).

This starts as early as being a candidate. Of course, technology helps with the overall onboarding experience and Workday’s ‘Power of One’ mantra plays into the hands of a unified employee experience from hire to retire. But, as Michael C Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work, emphasised: ‘Experience – how you greet people on their first day, how you connect people, how you motivate people, is the secret to building a meaningful connection that gives people a reason to stay’.

Michael’s keynote was probably the highlight for me. He reinforced that in actual fact everywhere should be a great place to work, anytime. This utopia is harder to achieve. Onboarding is just one way of supporting a culture of trust from which innovations rises.

3). We come to work because of the people we work with.

I’ve worked for LACE Partners for 4 years now. Along the way I’ve met great people. People who make me smile and are willing to work hard to be successful individually, as a team and as a business. I think too often we feel that companies are the ones responsible for creating a cultural environment where fun is an essential element. We forget that we should take personal responsibility for this culture even if it is in small ways.

A Kiwi and a French woman in Vienna may sound like the beginning of a joke…but this unlikely pair had the greatest fun, learnt a lot and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

With 2019 fast approaching, I would say that Workday Rising has re-energised me for the year ahead and left me with the question: how can I make a difference to people’s experience at work so that they feel as happy as I do when I’m doing what I love?

Rachel Mawson, LACE Senior Associate