A+E Networks specialises in the highest-quality original programming spanning scripted series, non-fiction series, documentaries and films. To capture the attention of global audiences, the company continually creates shows people want to watch today and rewatch tomorrow. Delivering a diverse and ever-expanding menu of content requires creativity, agility and efficiency in all departments. Steve Gillooly, vice president of HR at A+E Networks, says, “Because people’s viewing habits, favourite programmes and preferred channels constantly change, our company is always adjusting and transforming itself. Our internal operations, including HR, can’t get in the way of our storytellers and businesspeople, ever.”
The need for seamless workflows and collaboration became even more critical in 2020 when production studios closed, demand for streaming services doubled and A+E Networks staff switched to working from home. “Fortunately, we were already using Workday, so transitioning to remote operations was a non-event for us”, says Gillooly. “However, we wanted to give our people more tools for staying connected regardless of where they were, especially when it came to HR workflows like onboarding and training.”
Workday is such an enabler … we wanted to ‘squeeze the lemon’ and get more juice out of it.
VP, Human Resources
Right-sized, on-demand help for every challenge.
A+E Networks wanted to improve their HR-related workflows using Workday. Not only did the company recognise that there were additional capabilities they could use to meet their challenges, but it made sense to use the tools they already had. Gillooly explains, “Workday is such an enabler for us. Many executives we hire are familiar with it and many of our employees use Workday without even realising it, so we wanted to ‘squeeze the lemon’ and get more juice out of it.”
However, internal IT resources were busy tackling other challenges, so rather than hiring additional people or engaging a third-party consultant, A+E Networks signed up for Workday Success Plans. An offering of on-demand services, Success Plans gives HR and IT teams options for receiving the personalised expert guidance they need to solve existing challenges and plan for the future with Workday tools and capabilities. Staff can interact with experts to ask questions, understand what tools are available to solve a challenge and see demos performed in their Workday tenant. Staff can also learn and share tips with other users in Workday Collaboration Crews and gain access to software toolkits and learning libraries.
“The analogy I use is highway construction”, Gillooly says. “Rather than building a 100-lane highway that supports a once-a-year rush to the beach but sits empty the rest of the year, we signed up for Success Plans. That way, we could get the extra lanes when we need them without having to staff up internally or hire a consultant.”
Rather than building a 100-lane highway that supports a once-a-year rush to the beach but sits empty the rest of the year, we signed up for Success Plans.
VP, Human Resources
Personalised demos that bring tools to life.
When the A+E Networks Talent and Acquisition team saw that there was a toolkit that connected Microsoft Outlook to Workday, they engaged an expert to learn more. Gillooly explains, “The Success Plans Ask-an-Expert consultant not only answered our questions, but he also set up a live remote demo in our tenant and said, ‘Here’s what the tool does. Here’s what it doesn’t do. Here are the problems it solves. Here are some of the problems it doesn’t solve.’”
We solve our problems but also learn at the same time. That collaboration is more than a transactional relationship.
VP, Human Resources
Introducing people into A+E Network’s story just got easier.
HR employees can improve employee onboarding with ready-to-go training content and strategies. “We use the Workday Adoption Kit in Success Plans to accelerate employee learning and development”, Gillooly explains. “Instead of taking 4 hours to put together materials for people starting new positions, it takes only 30 minutes because a lot of the work is already done for us. This productivity is very visible and it’s helping our HR team, including executives, be more successful.”
Unexpected connections that do more than save money.
By participating in Collaboration Crews, HR employees learn how to overcome other challenges by using Workday capabilities such as the Value Inclusion, Belonging and Equity (VIBE™) dashboard. “On one of our first calls, we were talking with a British company in a completely different industry than ours about how they use Workday to capture diversity data”, Gillooly says. “That conversation helped us solve a dilemma we were having with the VIBE dashboard, and it could end up saving us tens of thousands of dollars.”
Gillooly concludes, “People always have questions. With Success Plans, we get answers from experts who want to make sure we understand our options. So we solve our problems but also learn at the same time. That collaboration is more than a transactional relationship, and it’s something we really love.”