Self-service programmes remedy hospital network’s retention rates.

St. Luke’s University Health Network addresses a nursing shortage and meets HR requirements by developing its own Workday apps.

Deploys three apps in eight months across its workforce

Improves nurse retention by 50% in one year 

Rapid three-day response to time-tracking service outage

Enables self-service bonus plans and career development

Nurses are in short supply and high demand. By 2025, McKinsey & Company predicts there will be a 10–20% gap between open positions and available nurses in the US. To mitigate this risk, St. Luke’s University Health Network has intensified its effort to retain staff by providing superb benefits programmes. After adopting Workday to automate core HR workflows and simplify day-to-day tasks, the hospital network wanted to design and manage custom HR services without adding standalone products or using paper-based processes. 

One health network, one system of engagement.

When Workday Extend became available as a fully integrated development environment, St. Luke’s adopted it. The hospital network has used Extend to avoid adding technology silos, improve employee experience and simplify future HR app development. Megan McCartney, director of human capital management systems at St. Luke’s University Health Network, says, “With Extend, we can customise our Workday system so that employees have one place to go to manage HR transactions and also access services that improve engagement.”

A remedy for nurse retention.

When St. Luke’s launched its My Opt-In Bonuses app that was built with Extend, 74% of nurses used it to enrol in bonus plans. Capitalising on the initial success, St. Luke’s rolled out the bonus programme to additional roles.

We’ve improved nurse retention rates by 50% since we launched our app a year ago, and we’ve used Extend to offer more than 17 retention bonus plans to other critical roles as well.

Director Human Capital Management Systems

Self-service bonus plans for thousands of employees.

Staff can now opt into bonus programmes without having to speak to a manager. “We built privacy into the My Opt-In Bonuses app by providing all the information employees need to make their election decision via self-service, and that’s led to positive feedback,” says McCartney. To view their bonus options and enrol in a program, employees access the My Opt-In Bonuses app within Workday. From the View Bonus Programme screen, they can see enrolment instructions, programme descriptions, programme terms, legal information and election options. By clicking on “View Payment Schedule”, they can see the dates they need to work to earn the bonus, the plan’s payment dates and amounts. When they click “Make Election”, they can select their bonus option and verify or decline enrolment.


Self-service bonus plans for thousands of employees.

Self-service bonus plan administration.

Another key design goal was to allow HR system administrators to modify bonus programmes without any IT staff assistance. From the bonuses app, they can click to view and change programme details including the text that displays on employee-facing screens, such as programme descriptions, terms and legal requirements. They can modify bonus duration, payment dates and eligibility rules. They can also click to prorate and adjust payment amounts so that the app automatically updates information to reflect enrollees’ employment status and payroll information in Workday. To create a new bonus programme, HR system administrators select “Add Bonus Option” from the Manage Opt-In Bonus Programmes screen and then complete the fields.


Self-service bonus plan administration.


Additionally, developers configured the app to automatically generate bonus payments for employees. After they complete the election process and meet their bonus terms, the app sends events to Workday Payroll so that enrollees receive the bonuses in their paychecks according to their programme’s payment schedules. 

Three days to create a mission-critical app.

Shortly after the bonuses app went live, a ransomware attack on the third-party time-tracking system that St. Luke’s used took the system offline for nearly two months. As a workaround, developers immediately designed, built and deployed a time-tracking app with Extend that integrates with St. Luke’s people and payroll data that’s already in Workday. “It was a 24-hour operation to build,” explains McCartney.  “Using Extend, we delivered the app in three days, ensuring 12,000 people could log their time in Workday and get paid for the hours they worked. The app easily scaled to manage tens of thousands of entries.”

Workday Extend gives us the ability to develop solutions quickly – and push the boundaries of what we can do with Workday by adapting rapidly to our needs.

Human Capital Management Systems Integration Analyst

More collaboration, faster development, better staff services.

Having the ability to quickly develop apps that users can access within Workday has improved collaboration between HR and IT staff, and it has expanded St. Luke’s use of its people data. “Now that our executives have seen the power of Extend, there’s more discussion about using Workday to manage additional tasks, moving us closer to that one system of engagement,” says McCartney. 

One new Extend app helps nurses understand their career opportunities at St. Luke’s and the steps required to achieve their goals. Another Extend app that’s about to launch will enable employees to elect intermittent leave requests directly from Workday. The app will also automatically update employee records across Workday Human Capital Management and Payroll to reflect leave information so HR staff do not have to enter it manually. McCartney concludes, “In just eight months, we’ve realized tremendous value with the Extend platform. We’ve launched three mission-critical apps and a fourth is in development. Being able to develop apps like this for Workday helps us better support St. Luke’s in meeting regional healthcare needs.” 

Giving employees more information and self-service processes in Workday is a big advantage of Workday Extend because we make it easier for them to navigate the constant changes in healthcare.

Human Capital Management System Integration Analyst

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