Making HR mission critical.

Macquarie University has transformed its HR services to support its mission of putting students first and delivering impactful research.

Introduced a ‘one stop shop’ for all things HR

Removed 23 forms and simplified processes

Consolidated 3 different timesheet solutions across the university

Reduced development and performance review templates from 26 to 5 flexible templates

Macquarie University has always been a place of innovation and discovery, but its systems and processes hadn't always kept up with the organization’s pace of growth. Issues included multiple, separate HR systems, including payroll, recruitment and talent, timekeeping, and learning. There were areas of overlap, duplication, and inefficiency—such as 17 different ways of timekeeping—and significant gaps. 

“We had lots of manual workarounds, duplication, and double entry. This was causing real challenges not just for the HR team, but also for the university,” says Nicole Gower, Vice-President, Professional Services. “We were looking for a holistic Human Capital Management system backed by a strong technology partner.”

The transition to Workday significantly improved our HR services and operations.

Vice-President, People and Services

Making lives easier.

A core goal was to use automation and self-service to reduce the vast number of paper HR forms and processes. Macquarie wanted to create a much more streamlined, seamless, and user-friendly experience for staff and for managers, supporting HR services anytime, anywhere, and from any device.

Nicole took great pleasure in receiving excited feedback from day one of Phase One. “In the first week we implemented Workday, a casual staff member who works across multiple areas of the university, told me: ‘This is so great. My life is so much easier. I used to have three different types of time sheets and processes. Now I can do it all in one space.’ I got another email from one of our department heads saying, ‘Congratulations! This is a fantastic, flexible, user-friendly system. Well done!’ He also offered to assist with workforce planning now he could see the data that Workday made available. To me, that willingness to get involved with HR processes was a strong sign that Workday would help us to engage with leaders across the university.”

Staff feedback has been really positive. People love being able to do their HR activities on their phone.

Vice-President, People and Services

Gaining true transparency.

HR wanted to make data accessible at the right time, when decisions were actually being made. And they wanted to better understand their people. 

In this regard, for Nicole, the real-time nature of Workday has been a game changer. “You can immediately see every change reflected in the organization chart. I can get a sense of spans of control, who's in different groups and leadership levels for all parts of the university. That's such a good starting point for workforce planning. I can’t tell you the number of times I go into the Workday org chart to investigate or understand how a different part of our university is working.” 

She says the data the system throws off is already supporting more sophisticated workforce planning: “The capability in Workday is a key enabler of a strategic project we’re doing with our colleagues in Finance.”

One of the things I love about Workday is their continuous improvement mindset.

Vice-President, People and Services

The journey continues.

Nicole is excited to see the new benefits that come through in Phase Two. “You see significant improvements on that first day, but it's also a foundation for the future. So, for us, the real value is in continuing to see benefits flow over time.”

She says Phase Two includes talent and performance, adaptive planning and the self-service analytics solution, Prism—which gives leaders and managers visibility of their team’s leave, including associated leave liability.

“We’ve simplified and standardized our Development and Performance Review process across the Macquarie University Group on five flexible DPR templates (down from 26), reducing the workload associated with manually tailoring templates each year for different parts of the organization.”

Other wins include automating previously manual processes for performance improvement and succession planning, and new tools for workforce planning, moving the university away from spreadsheets.

“We have fantastic visibility of the overall workforce planning process in the annual budget,” explains Nicole. “Now we are seeing that next level of data insight, which is improving  our data-driven decision making capability.”

Workday Adaptive Planning integrates our wealth of staff information with our staff planning and budgeting processes. It provides a user-friendly customizable platform to achieve highly detailed employment budgeting by position. It has delivered great progress so far and we are keenly working towards utilizing the full power and capability it provides.

Head of Group Financial Planning and Analysis

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