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Slack and Workday Connect, A Big Step Forward

The Wainhouse Research Blog

News & Views
on Unified Communications & Collaboration


Slack and Workday Connect, A Big Step Forward

By: -
23 Mar 2018

Earlier this week, Workday and Slack announced a partnership that will allow employees not only to access Workday data but also to complete HR tasks from within Slack.  For those who do not follow the HCM (Human Capital Management) vendors, Workday is a leader, with a cloud-based core HR database and solid set of related applications (time management, payroll, performance management, recruiting, learning management, and others).  And for those who do not follow collaboration vendors, Slack is a leading cloud-based team messaging solution that lets teams collaborate in shared workspaces which they call channels. 

Workday’s Integrating with Slack is a big deal, as it gives them access to one of the most popular day-to-day collaboration environments.  While none of the first three items cited in the Slack blogrequest time-off, provide peer feedback, and look up coworker info – are home runs, they could and should make many knowledge workers more productive in that they won’t need to switch apps to do something simple (but necessary), it will be more likely that feedback will be submitted, and they will be able to form better teams or find the right person to get a question answered.

Further out on the roadmap are customized Workday notifications in Slack, which is another feature that will help reduce friction and get better info into the HR system. Also in the second phase is a feature I think is most exciting: the assignment of Slack channels based on personal attributes that are stored in Workday, which can include location, role, department, manager yes/no, etc.  Getting employees into the right Slack channel can be a real challenge, even for medium-sized organizations. With this integration, not only will life be easier for HR and IT, but also it will ensure people are in a core set of Slack channels automatically.  This will enable organizations to easily set up communities of practice so departments or specific job roles can easily share best practices, discuss trends that affect their areas of expertise, and crowd-source questions.

It will be interesting to see how deep and broad the integration will go. We’re curious if in future updates Workday’s learning items such as courses and videos will be easily surfaced in an appropriate Slack channel, and if Slack channels will be accessible within Workday. Time will tell. What we can say today is that learning happens when we collaborate, and collaboration happens when we learn.  So, in recognizing that the lines are blurring between talent management and collaboration, we believe Workday and Slack have taken a big step forward to benefit their customers.