Get excited about these Workday® 2020 R2 Updates!

10 13 Cross Application Services features and enhancements that Workday users should be excited about!

Twice a year, when Workday releases the latest list of new features, many of us get excited and set time aside to dig into the “What’s New” posts as soon as they’re available. We begin setting up and playing with new features in Sandbox Preview tenants as quickly as possible (sometimes before the actual release window). This release is no different, and it certainly does not disappoint.

As usual, Workday shows us that they can provide new and exciting technology in tandem with reliable existing functionality for a richer and more productive experience. While it’s always important to take regular steps through the release preparation window to; confirm what’s been impacted, audit, and test your existing configuration, implementing new features and improved functionality is what Workday enthusiasts look forward to most!

Here’s a list of some of the items listed in Cross Application Services (with tenant-wide impact), which should excite us the most this month (in no particular order)!

1. Quick Access / My Shortcuts

One of the first features users will notice when logging into the Preview tenant this week is a new feature called Quick Access. Found at the top right corner of the screen next to the Inbox and Notification icons, the Quick Access icon launches My Shortcuts, which allows users to select links to common Workday tasks, reports, and external links, and even comes with pre-configured links like and popular Workday Community posts.

01 Quick Access 02

Available in the Workday header at the top of every screen, this could completely replace the (already quite limited) use of the Favorites application!

New Updates to My Shortcuts in Workday

2. Discovery Boards for Non-Prism Customers (Workday Data Sources) + Charts & Visualization Improvements

02 Discovery Board

In addition to opening up Discovery Boards to non-PRISM customers (for 300+ select Workday-delivered data sources) in this release, Workday has also buffed the charting and visualizations available, allowing for (drum roll please) dual axis functionality! Workday reporting and dashboard users have been long awaiting this charting feature. By pairing it with a feature like Discovery Boards (a simplified and fairly intuitive report writing tool within Workday), Workday is catching up to technology that MS has had a huge (30+ year) head start developing.

The Discovery Boards feature could be life-changing for those who have access to data sources and are somewhat report savvy but have not taken any Report Writer training or truly gotten comfortable working with custom report development. This quick and visual way to review data is especially useful to those looking for quick pivot table and charting options. Possibly the coolest part of this feature (besides getting more hands on it) is the ability to quickly manipulate the data in a visual (Viz) format (like chart or pivot table), then click Export as a Report. Almost like magic, Workday converts the Discovery Board Viz to a Custom Report, allowing users to get the best of both Discovery Boards and Dashboards out of the functionality.

If you have worked in a tool like Tableau, Power BI, or even Crystal Reports, you should be able to take advantage of this functionality with ease and become an instant Matrix report writer to boot!

3. Drill To for Composite Reports

Further enhancing Composite reports, Workday now allows report writers to set up drill down functionality and share report parameters from your Matrix reports directly to the composite report and navigate between the related reports. While it takes a small amount of set-up to complete this on each Composite report where needed, transparency of the data included in the analysis is becoming increasingly available. We love that, Workday!

4. Non-English Custom Labels

Workday now supports custom label overrides in all Workday-delivered languages. This new translation option supports providing complete flexibility for all objects where only English Custom Labels were previously possible. This allows users to match local dialect preferences but also (company based) global business terminology when it applies. The flexibility with this tool is great, however (as with many translation items), it can be fairly tedious within the UI. Rest assured, web services are available to retrieve, create and update these. Getting more global Workday, way to go!

5. Searching

Workday has expedited the search process and decreased search limits. Users will now:

  • See additional details displayed during a type ahead search such as a Photo, Business Title, Sup Org, and Location
  • See display of recent type ahead and executed searches and the ability to Clear the recent search history
  • Be able to search by Business Title of Additional Jobs & Int’l Assignments
  • Be able to secure legal and historical names when needed, to better protect worker data
05 Searching 01
05 Searching 02

6. Audit Reporting with Lineage for Tagged Instances

By tagging the instances you and your auditors are particularly concerned with, security and change management audits can become targeted and more efficient. Tagging audit items will not only allow you to see buried changes (such as the change to a validation or condition rule within a business process step), but it will show you the entire change lineage. As a bonus, your team can also secure Audit Tag access by using Audit Tag Segment functionality. This could be a big win for those responsible for change controls!

7. Branding

Building on previous updates to tenant branding options, Workday now enables the ability to select a custom Hex Color value to match corporate branding styles. That’s going to look so nice!

07 Branding 01
07 Branding 02

8. Rule Based Security Groups

Workday has introduced a new Rule-Based Security Group type that enables you to constrain membership on groups using condition rule logic. Workday allows you to easily define and reuse the rule criteria across these security groups. While limited to the Worker object and only 23 fields at this time, this new Security Group type functionality could continue to grow, and Workday customers are already getting creative ideas on how to use it for their organization.

9. Mass Document Distribution Using DocuSign

Previously only available on per worker events using a Review Documents step, Workday has enabled Create Distribute Documents or Tasks to allow for eSignature integration with DocuSign. When enabled in your tenant (with the required DocuSign licensing/account), workers can be distributed documents across organizations by using the existing task and selecting an eSignature type of DocuSign instead of the previous option to only select the Workday eSignature or Acknowledgement. This could make light work of new employee handbooks and other “all employee” document reviews where DocuSign is required.

10. Mobile Check-In & Out – Geofence Map

For Workday customers allowing workers to use mobile Check In/Out, and who opt-in to this feature, a dynamic map visual helps provide workers a clear understanding of why they may not be able to Check In/Out in their current location. By using Third-Party map services (like Apple & Google) workers will understand the how their geographical location impacts the Check In/Out task and can take action as instructed on their mobile device.

10 Mobile Check In Out To Be Replaced

Note: To opt-in to this update, Workday customers must sign the Innovation Services Agreement (ISA) but that is a free agreement that opens up a wide variety of services that the Workday community is already using and/or excited about. Even if this update does not make sense for your organization, if you have not signed the ISA, it’s a good time to reach out to your Workday CSM to get that agreement in your hands to review. Getting ahead of that process will help when you are interested in opting into many other items in this (and future) releases!

11. Duplicate Management Framework

This release provides an update to Person management that many users, especially Recruiters, are excited about. By opting into the new framework, matching rules can now be set at the tenant level, allowing Workday customers to not only specify which criteria it considers to be a true (duplicate) match, but also allowing optional automation for select record merging. These two improvements will greatly reduce the amount of time spent processing duplicate records. This may not impress you if you aren’t using Workday Recruiting, but this feature stands to save many hours of frustration for those who are! This will also provide much needed relief for other areas of Person records management in Workday. Stay tuned for more information on this functionality as our team gives it a test drive in the coming weeks!

12. Mass Actions in Workbooks for Termination and End Contingent Worker Contract

Workday has given us another new way to use Mass Actions to simplify HR Operations work, while simultaneously supplying Workday Customers yet another valuable use for Worksheets! Using a custom report or even a search report (like Find Workers) as the basis, users can populate the data they need to manage the Termination or End Contingent Worker Contract processes. This could be extremely useful in cases of reduction or mass lay-off, and since the user interface is so easy, it could even provide HR users with a quicker method for everyday processes.

Adding Workers to the file (even if not selected in the report criteria) can be done ad hoc, and the required / other fields provide the necessary drop downs. With the built-in validation functionality, the process is quick and fairly seamless. Using an enhancement this cool could make a person swear off EIB’s for these 2 web services!

12 Mass Action

13. Org Studio and Mass Actions Updates

13 Org Studio

If your team has frequent re-organizations and has not already implemented the Org Studio and Mass Actions tool since its release in Workday 33 (2019), you could be missing out! The visual drag and drop functionality alone, has been a big win for most who have adopted it. Utilizing both Worksheets and business process framework functionality, this tool has been providing Workday customers with an organized method for data cleansing, collaboration, and approvals of these mass organization changes for almost a year now.

Since its original release, Workday has consistently enhanced the tool, and in 2020 R1 improvements included additional Business Process types and significant updates to how changes are reviewed and approved. For those that used this tool already, the functional improvements were welcomed, but the visual improvements were absolutely celebrated, making adoption of the feature more achievable across organizations.

Just prior to the 2020 R2 release, deployed to Production already – August 8, Workday added the ability to edit the settings of an Org Design. Editing the Effective Date and Hierarchy Starting Point are the most critical of these edits (allowing users to make updates as decisions evolve, rather than starting over). Additionally, by adding the ability to resolve conflicts related to past and future dated events using the Org Design Sync feature, Workday now helps prevent the reorganization design from being blocked due to conflicts (like positions no longer available, organizations inactive, etc.)

Finally, in Preview tenants now, this tool is improved even further by the following updates:

  • Allowing better access controls (new sub-domains)
  • Even more related (business process) actions
  • Enabling Send Back to better secure locking and unlocking design edits
  • Updated controls (like undo & redo) and new Business Process Step Labels
  • Help Text functionality to better support users
  • New Process tab to clearly illustrate changes made using the Mass Actions tool

You may have noticed… I could not contain my excitement to just 10 (of 29) release items in this area. There is so much to be enthusiastic about with this release. Is it September 12th yet?!

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