Senior Willie Perez works two jobs on campus. He’s an operations student supervisor at the Student Center Complex (SCC) and a facility supervisor at the Wellness Center. His dual role had never been problematic until the implementation of Workday.
Workday HR, a business application that is accessible online, was unveiled on Thursday, March 26. It replaced the KRONOS system, which required employees to clock in and out via a telephone code. The switch means that employees can mange their clock-ins online through any web browser rather than calling from the office phone.
When Perez uses Workday, he can see his position as a facility supervisor at the Wellness Center, but he can’t clock in for his job at the SCC. Since the two jobs have different pay rates, Perez says he’s worried that he won’t get paid correctly for his work.
To try to prevent any payment errors, he’s been forced to make adjustments to his clock in schedule.
“I have to add notes every time I clock in saying where I’m working,” he explained. “Because when the Wellness Center payroll sees all of my clock-ins, they’ll know I didn’t work all those hours here.”
The release of Workday follows UM’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) initiative and replaces old systems for HR, payroll and general ledger. The ERP Implementation Team says that the old systems were not only outdated but lacked the flexibility that is necessary to manage a large institution.
With a cloud-based data storage system and a modern interface, Workday HR is user-friendly and intuitive, according to the ERP website. Employees can use Workday to clock in and out from any web browser, and the program offers other functions like requesting time off and viewing performance evaluations.
“Workday makes processes easier for student employees by simplifying the clocking in and out process and consolidating all of their jobs into a single timesheet,” the ERP team said.
Despite this apparent step forward, Perez is worried that the change is more trouble than it’s worth.
Other students have also expressed concerns about Workday, like the potential for employees to clock in and out from their computers at home rather than on the job. The ERP team says that employees have to get permission from their manager to clock in and out from a mobile device. If a manager is concerned with an employees entry, the team says, the manager can then work with HR to audit their employee’s timecard.
“Workday records the device use to clock in or clock out and also the IP address used, so we can easily determine what the employee is doing,” the ERP team said.
The ERP team says Workday has had minimal problems so far. The program was implemented as Phase II of the three-phase ERP Initiative. Phase I included CaneLink, the student site for class registration, financial aid and more. The final phase of the initiative will involve Workday Financial, a system that will be used to manage purchasing, expense reporting and general ledger data on one system.
The initiative was approved in 2011 with the goal of modernizing and streamlining UM administration services.
“Our faculty, staff and students were frustrated by systems that were inflexible and difficult to use,” said Lorilei Bush, communications manager for the IT department.
The ERP team says that UM chose Workday HR for its intuitive interface, low operating costs and ease of use. The application is also used by other universities around the country, including Yale, Brown, Cornell and Georgetown University.
The biggest impacts Workday has on student employees are the clock-in process and the ability to access all employment information from home.
Senior Erin O’Reilly, a student assistant of Ticket Operations in athletics, says that she likes the efficiency and mobility of the new system but is disappointed that she has to use the web browser rather than the mobile app offered by Workday. According to the ERP team, this app has not been released for UM because of functionality issues, particularly with students who have multiple jobs.
Still, O’Reilly says the online program streamlines the process of clocking in and out.
“The only thing that makes me skeptical,” she said, “is that I found out [Workday] is part of the same initiative as CaneLink.”
CaneLink has been a source of controversy since its implementation. During the transition to CaneLink, some students had problems with what they described as a confusing interface, particularly when navigating the financial aid and registration pages.
This concerns O’Reilly because she says CaneLink didn’t make anything easier for her. She hopes Workday won’t follow in the same footsteps.
“Other than that, I have had no issues with Workday so far,” she said.