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Workday Skills Cloud - Organizational keys to a successful deployment


At Alight, we frequently hear about clients implementing Workday Skills Cloud only to see it under-utilized or ignored because of lack of adoption. Here we cover keys to maximizing adoption beyond system configuration. By doing so, not only will you enable a successful Workday Skills Cloud deployment, you’re also ensuring employee enrichment and creating infrastructure important to strategic workforce planning.

Strategy makes the difference

Organizations often develop skills and platforms like Workday Skills Cloud in a specific function, designing the program around that function. This can make it difficult to scale or transfer that program to other functions.

We recommend a more strategic, hands-on approach:

  1. Create a shared vision: Can you articulate a clear story of how your skills model will enable your entire organization? What key internal employee mobility scenarios do you want to enable? How will skills model help you plan and deliver your strategic workforce plan?
  2. Leverage transformation: How can you leverage enterprise transformation events like M&A transactions or operating model redesigns to enhance your skills model deployment?
  3. Manage stakeholders: Being strategic and thinking at scale about effectively deploying Workday Skills Cloud also involves understanding stakeholder needs, motivations and challenges. As you identify individuals and groups, we suggest:
    • Get leadership buy-in: Successful adoption requires senior leaders to think and talk about the future workforce using your roadmap, outcomes and terminology. Your C-suite needs to actively endorse your program to set the tone for success. 
    • Move the conversation beyond HR: Functional and executive leaders around the organization need to be invested in the success of this initiative, because they’ll be contributors and beneficiaries. Your HR business partners can help here, but there must be greater and earlier alignment across functions.
    • Shift the entire enterprise to one common framework: It’s okay to have specialty skillsets in specific functions (like finance or IT), but your entire organization should be on a single common framework for all transferable skills. 
  4. Understand the terminology: Workday Skills Cloud will generate specific skill names as part of its machine learning and cloud-based design. So set expectations here, noting that how people describe skills today will change. Your organization should benefit from the collective capabilities of Workday’s machine learning.
  5. Create a culture: Skills-related thinking is a critical part of your organizational culture. As employees interact and get things done, knowing their skills are the building blocks of successful careers and the force behind accomplishing individual and organization goals, should be top of mind.

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