Rabobank is an international financial services provider with a presence in nearly 40 countries around the world. A cooperative bank with agricultural roots, it was originally founded in the Netherlands over 125 years ago, and services now include banking, capital management, leasing, insurance, and real estate.
From the outset, Rabobank has remained a socially committed bank. As part of its mission “Growing a Better World Together,” Rabobank plays an active role in developing and supporting local communities and helping rural clients innovate and become more sustainable. Today, it has over 43,000 employees, has a presence in 38 countries, and serves more than 9 million customers in the Netherlands.
Rabobank was one of the first banks to make products and services available through online channels. Keen to ensure all operational areas of the company benefited from similar operational efficiencies, the bank implemented a company-wide digital transformation program to simplify the IT landscape and make full use of cloud technologies.
The bank chose Workday to consolidate the systems used by HR in view of the system’s global applications and positive user experience. With all data in one place and readily accessible anywhere in the world, Workday is now providing considerable efficiency gains and is the core of a consistent and reliable ecosystem for everything within the department.
A dynamic and easy-to-use ecosystem with the benefits of cloud technology.
Rabobank’s HR department previously relied on a heavily customized legacy solution and around 20 different core HR systems that had evolved over 15 years. With Workday, the company has benefited from a more integrated system that is crucial for gaining insights. Combining numerous HR functions and housing all global data in one cohesive ecosystem aligns seamlessly with Rabobank’s Workday-first strategy.
“It really has simplified the way we work,” says Robert Rombeek, Rabobank’s Workforce Fundamentals—HR Area Lead. “Now, if I upgrade a job profile, change personnel data, or update operational data, the change is automatically included in other modules. And it is now easy for staff to move to another one of our offices anywhere in the world, as we are all using the same system.”
Within our ‘Workday First strategy’ we believe Workday offers a great opportunity to further digitalize our employee processes and help us with valuable workforce insights for many different use cases and for the wider business.
Robert Rombeek, Workforce Fundamentals, HR Area Lead
The importance of considering IT implementation and business adoption.
Deploying a new and integrated system for HR activities across the entire Rabobank Group was a significant departure from established processes, and which required careful planning. The company opted to focus on a hard global IT implementation for Workday.
“In hindsight, I think it would also have been helpful to pay more attention to the business adoption of Workday,” says Jonna de Winter-Hannukainen, Senior IT Lead. “Going live with 6 or 7 modules in 25 different countries all at the same time was very ambitious. Such a ‘big bang’ approach was all very well in terms of IT implementation, but it quickly became clear that some hands-on support was required, as we were introducing many new working practices.”
Rabobank opened help desks at its head office and at other locations around the group to help familiarize employees and managers with Workday capabilities and benefits. This practical support improved the adoption process and helped acquaint users with the system and ensure staff had confidence in the new processes and procedures.
“From our experience, I would advise any global business to provide a virtual assistant or local Workday help to support the implementation and successful adoption of the system. It soon becomes very clear what a difference the system can make, but encouragement, guidance, and a helping hand certainly smooths the transition.”
Staying up to date supports effective resource planning and staff retention.
Having immediate access to accurate data and company insight has demonstrated the value of Workday, including having a global workforce data in one place, using globally designed business processes and a robust data and security model.
“It’s a huge relief to know that I can rely on Workday to stay up to speed and up to date with matters such as lifecycle management and security without having to scratch around for the right information,” says de Winter-Hannukainen. “Resource and continuity planning, talent optimization, and recruitment are all areas where the integrated architecture can make a very real difference.”
de Winter-Hannukainen finishes by explaining that “Workday Extend is an innovation that will hopefully give us a lot of additional value and benefit, as it is enabling us to replace some of the third-party solutions and to interconnect with external systems. This is helping us to further improve employee experience and operational agility. And it is just the type of cutting-edge innovation that a complex and global business like ours can really benefit from.”
There is still a lot to do to unleash the full potential of Workday, but we’ve made a very good and strong start and, because it is a constantly evolving system, it is directly supporting our own commitment to continuous improvement.
Jonna de Winter-Hannukainen, Senior IT Lead