Employees already know Workday … and next year students will too

Caroline Moran, Crier Staff

Saint Anselm’s student workers have been introduced to a change in payroll systems, with the new system of Workday. Selected as the new system in the fall of 2021, Workday was first implemented this semester on April 1st. Steven McDevitt, Chief Information Officer of Information Technology weighed in on the changes with Workday, and how the system will impact students in the future with its foreseeable changes.

Back in 2005, Jenzabar was selected and installed by the college as the payroll system for student workers. “That’s the system that the college has been using for student information, the portal, registration…payroll”, McDevitt said. Up until 2019, Jenzabar was relied on by the college to provide various utilities, until it was time to make a change. The change began in 2019, because “we needed to modernize”, McDevitt said. With rapid changes in technology within the past twenty years, McDevitt said that we need to “Use a current generation system”. Current technology allows a mobile component with Workday, which was not available with the previous system Jenzabar.

When COVID struck in 2020, the project of implementing Workday was put on the backburner until the summer of 2021 when they “started looking at what systems [we] can use”, McDevitt said. Immense thought was put into the decision process of what the system should include, and the focus was on “HR, hiring, benefits, student workers, compensation, finance, and budget, and a full-blown student information system,” McDevitt said. In the fall of 2021, Workday was officially selected as the new system to replace Jenzabar.

Implementing Workday is occurring in two phases. The first phase went live on April 1st, 2023, for HR. “The impact of students right now is student workers clock in and clock out using the Workday app instead of the Paycom app,” McDevitt said. Student workers have been able to familiarize themselves with the new program, as well as the finance office, the budget office, and HR. The next phase of implementing Workday will occur in the spring of 2024, which will be called Workday Student. “Workday Student includes curriculum, academic advising, course registration, all functions of the registrar’s office, financial aid, and student accounts” McDevitt said. The functions we use on the MyAnselm portal will be used on the Workday portal instead next spring. Students will be using the Workday Student app for course registration for Fall 2024 classes and beyond, with the “academic planning function that will show you all of the requirements for your degree and core classes,” McDevitt said, which will make it easy for students to see what they have fulfilled and what is still required.

There are multitudes of benefits with Workday being implemented. Convenience should be expected, as “it is all one app, so if you’re a student worker you’re logging into the same app as if you were scheduling a meeting with your advisor”, McDevitt said. Everything will all be in the same place, making the system cohesive for all that are using it.  The communication with advisors, professors, employers, and other faculty members will change as well, providing more benefits and convenience. Any communication will be through the app instead of communication modes used now, like email.

With change can come confusion and frustration, but there seemed to be no confusion when it came to Workday being implemented. “We have about 400 or 500 student workers on campus, and we had no issues with students switching payroll systems”, McDevitt said. There was a test run with students who learned how to use the system, and “100% of them knew how to use it,” McDevitt said. With his supervision and guidance, students were able to familiarize themselves with the system with ease.

Though McDevitt’s insight provides an indication of the system’s assumed success, student workers on campus provided their own opinions on the introduction to Workday. Fiona Hutchinson, a sophomore student worker at the Meelia Center, said that “Overall, I thought Workday started off well and transitioned smoothly.” Working with the Meelia Center staff allowed Hutchinson to be fully prepared with the new system and comfortable utilizing it. The change did not cause confusion for Hutchinson, and she thinks that “If anything it is much better than the old one we were using. I tend to forget to clock out and the process on Workday is much easier to change”. There is immediate convenience experienced by Hutchinson, and she was “very excited” to use Workday after her preparation.

Big changes are coming for the students of Saint Anselm, and a new system will be in our future. For student workers who have become familiar with Workday, the future use of the system will only benefit them more. As for the rest of campus, more convenience and benefits will be coming in the fall of 2024, and the new and more modern system will make the academic experience more cohesive as a whole.