Workday Rising Is Here. And so Is a New Worker Experience

November 3, 2014 Ray Rivera


At this year’s Workday Rising, we will have six panels of artwork in our booth. Each makes a very strong and personal statement about who we are, what we believe, how we want to engage, and we what think worker experience means. I want to share with you some of what inspires us, and hope that a little back story will encourage you to come by and see them for yourself.

But let me first tell you a bit about my own worker experience, and hopefully in the process communicate what we at Appirio mean by worker experience.

More than employee experience, much more than user experience

I begin my work day already blown away to be part of a world of so much richness, vibrancy, and innovation. It accelerates as I exit the Powell Street BART through the easternmost tunnel, down a heartbreaking promenade of sometimes a few dozen homeless persons asleep in soiled clothing. I once knew this sort of privation, and am never for a single moment at a loss for gratitude. Not because I cannot connect with them, but because I can.

As I reach the surface of Market Street, I am grateful for another day to live the dream, excited that maybe that evening I will descend back into the tunnel having made a difference. It is not for me to determine whether it is big or small difference. If I can communicate my own experience effectively with others, then it is meaningful.

I am absolutely convinced that something like this goes on inside everyone who uses technology to make their work happen, and furthermore that it forms the basis of the worker experience. It is an experience that is uniquely vivid and high-definition, and something we interact with rather than just undergo.

So with that, let’s check out the booth artwork.

On each of our booth panels is a photomontage that includes a color splash along with a quote. The color splash may represent creative energy, or the inspiration from which each of us draws, or the vitality of the particular thing we do that keeps us coming in every day.

It could also represent what HR tries to deliver to each worker in giving them what they need and creating an environment in which to thrive. It may be something that comes from within or it may be on the outside. But often it is in both places.

“Inspire a new worker experience”

This quote accompanies a female professional, walking a tightrope confidently, with the color splash a few steps forward. She is taking new risks, challenging herself to do things she never thought she could do. HR has provided her the opportunities to train for it, and a safe place to perform. She is not motivated by fear, but by the thrill of the challenge. She is set up for success.

“Make each work day your masterpiece”

The quote on this panel will be familiar to basketball fans, and is taken from the great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. The color splash hovers over the brow of a female worker, and flows through the space. This is a principle if you take seriously will be a game-changer, for you and the whole worker experience, making what you do not just excellent, but radiant.

“The company that provides the best experience wins”

This panel presents our vision of winning often and virtuously, something Coach Wooden modeled on the basketball court decades ago. It separates the good from the great, then and now.

“Add to the color of your work day”

San Francisco, where our headquarters are located, is a city of colorful characters. Those who do well in the City do so by adding to the color of the experience of being in San Francisco. Indeed, the great Chronicle columnist Herb Caen was keen to praise such people, and such an inclination seems to characterize our City.

But the color of the City and of the workplace do not belong to San Franciscans, or HR, or the employer, but rather anyone who adds to its color. You may visit San Francisco only once every ten years, but if you add to the color, then you belong.

Likewise, you may engage with the workplace remotely, or as a contractor, or even as customer. But if you add to the color, then you belong. HR technology needs to provide a canvas for everyone who wants to engage to do so colorfully, enhancing the richness of their unique palettes.

“Your workers create the space where magic happens. Be there when it does.”

We have heard a lot about how magic happens when workers collaborate in a shared space, over a meal, a chance encounter with a workplace acquaintance, or among a group of colleagues in a playful mood. In the cloud-enabled business HR can make this happen, but only indirectly.

In each of the two panels on which this quote appears, ideas and creativity have become living things, as large as life, and even gravity-defying. HR has given the two subjects big spaces in which to express their work.

But your workers are the ones that shape the space, and the ones to color it. HR needs to take an indirect role. It can be there to keep the space fertile, capture some of the magic, and pass it along to others. But only the workers can truly make the magic happen.

California Soul

We at Appirio have an incredibly vivid worker experience and we want to share it with you. We know you have one too and hope you will share it with us. We know Workday is a big part of your work day, and we want to help you create the finest worker experience possible.

Our booth is not about us, or San Francisco, or about how inspired we are. It is about you, and the space where you can inspire and be inspired, add color and experience it, create new ways to make workplace masterpieces, and communicate the unique experiences that make your worker experience so vivid.

It’s time for us to inspire a new Worker Experience.


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