myHR: News from Penn's Division of Human Resources

myHR: June 26, 2019

Workday@Penn is Coming

Workday@Penn is Coming, July 1, 2019.

The University is less than a week away from launching Workday@Penn, the new faculty affairs, human resources, and payroll system, and a major milestone in our people-centered strategy.

On July 1, Workday will make it easy to change personal information, view your pay slips, check your benefits, request time off, enter time, and find people in your organization.

What else makes Workday cool? It houses all of your information in one place – the cloud. The cloud is a secure way to store information without physically keeping it on campus, and it is available on any device, anytime, and anywhere.

Penn is joining many of our higher education peers and millions of people around the world who are using this next generation of enterprise software. It will transform how Penn delivers human capital management services such as staff recruitment, faculty and staff benefits administration, compensation, payroll, time entry, academic appointment information, and leaves of absence. In the end, simplified and integrated processes will allow the University community to work more efficiently and collaboratively, supported by a modern, continually improving system.

You play an important role in the success of Workday. Please join the University community as we welcome and adapt to our powerful new platform, Workday@Penn!

A Positive Change for the Future

Hand holding glowing lightbulb behind mellow sunset, signaling positive change

Workday@Penn is transforming administrative processes at the University. The new system, which will launch on July 1, will provide a number of advantages for faculty, staff, postdocs, and student workers. These include:

  • Self Service: Workday Self Service enables you to take ownership in maintaining and managing your own information. You can perform certain actions on your personal information, benefits, pay elections (previously known as direct deposit), time tracking, and time off.
  • Improved Workflow: In addition to a personalized inbox and notifications, Workday also allows you to track the status of a task and who is assigned in the next step of a process, such as your request for time off or a manager’s view of the completion status of a new hire’s onboarding tasks.
  • Increased Visibility: Workday allows for increased visibility into supervisory organizations, which is how Workday organizes people and processes. You will see the organizational and reporting structure across campus, which creates a heightened level of transparency at Penn.
  • An Integrated System: In Workday, all users – exempt and non-exempt staff, faculty, postdocs, student workers, and many of our colleagues from other organizations who have managerial or professional responsibilities at Penn – sign into one system. A single platform saves time in performing and executing the functions of our jobs.
  • Mobile Capability: Workday allows you to access and manage information securely through your mobile devices.
  • Security: Workday is a state-of-the-art cloud-based solution and undergoes regular updates to stay current with compliance and risk conditions. It uses a number of approaches to ensure the security of Penn data.

Just the Start: July 1 is just the start, as data improves and the community learns and adapts. Workday undergoes continuous innovation and improvement, with two major releases per year.

Training FAQs for Workday@Penn

Workday@Penn Training graphic

Penn has made learning how to use Workday easy by providing a variety of resources and training tools to walk you through all facets of the new platform. These FAQs address some common questions about training. 

Will all workers have required training?

No. Penn faculty, staff, postdocs, and student workers who will only use Workday as a self-service platform, do naot supervise others, and do not have a more robust HR or business process role will not have required training.

Workday is easy to use, however, learning resources are available for your convenience. If you want an overview, you can watch online videos. Learn how to monitor your own information, declare life events, manage beneficiaries, enter direct deposit information (up to three pay elections), access tax documents, enter and correct time, view time off balances, and request time off and leaves of absence.

Who has required training?

Human resources, faculty affairs, payroll, and business administrators who have robust Workday responsibilities – called security roles in Workday – have required training. Training helps to prepare them to function in Workday on day one. The training process is managed through Knowledge Link, the University’s learning management system. Training began in late April. Training for many security roles is usually an instructor-led class on campus.

What are tip sheets?

Tip sheets are your go-to resource for fast help. They describe in step-by-step fashion how to initiate and navigate through many different processes such as time entry, requesting time off, or managing your benefits. Tip sheets are housed in a searchable library on a training webpage on the Workday@Penn website.

Is manager training required?

Managers training videos, Manager 101, Manager 102, and Time Tracking-Basics, are highly recommended for faculty, staff, postdocs, and student workers with supervisory responsibilities. Some schools and centers require manager training and track completion via Knowledge Link. Managers can also use many manager-specific tip sheets for just-in-time assistance, ranging from creating a job requisition to approving time for non-exempt workers, plus many more.

Will student workers have required training?

Student workers do not have required training. They have access, as do all Penn faculty, staff, and postdocs, to two online videos: Introduction to Self Service shows the self-service features of Workday, and Workday Time Entry walks through time entry. Students, as do all University community members, have the 24/7 use of tip sheets in the self-service category.

Where do I turn if I have questions?

Knowledgeable Penn Employee Solution Center Specialists are available Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 9am-5pm, and Thursday 9am-4pm, to answer your questions. Call 215-898-7372 send an email to

Your Week One Checklist

Businesswoman crossing off checklist, surrounded by futuristic holograms

In the first week of July, Penn will invite faculty, staff, postdocs, and student workers to log on to Workday@Penn for the first time in a special email. The emails will roll out gradually to the University community over several days.

Look for your “Week One Checklist” email in your inbox. The email will contain a link to Workday, logon instructions, and some simple steps to check your personal information and pay election information (direct deposit), along with links to online help resources. Non-exempt weekly paid workers will receive essential information for time entry in Workday.

Thank you for your important role in the University community as we all welcome you to our powerful new platform, Workday@Penn.

Penn's New Benefits Solution Center

Smiling, African-American female Call Center representative

The University of Pennsylvania partners with Health Advocate to provide faculty and staff, their spouses and dependents, free and easy-to-use resources to resolve a wide range of healthcare-related issues.

Now Penn has teamed up again with the service provider to launch the new University of Pennsylvania Benefits Solution Center powered by Health Advocate.

Health Advocate will replace ADP as Penn’s benefits administrator, connecting you to 24/7 confidential support through a single toll-free number at 866-799-2329. So say goodbye to the 1-888-PENNBEN number you’ve grown accustomed to calling with questions about health plans, life insurance, and flexible spending accounts.

Starting July 1, 2019 you can call 866-799-2329 for healthcare benefits support. Health Advocate representatives will be available around the clock to explain your coverage, connect you to the right benefit, assist with your enrollment, help you make changes in Penn’s new Workday system, and answer all of your medical and dental insurance questions.

With the launch of Penn’s new Benefits Solution Center powered by Health Advocate, you will have a one-stop connection to health, well-being, and benefits support.

For more information about Health Advocate, check out the Get Started Guide or visit Health Advocate’s website.

Coming Soon: A New Retirement Savings Enrollment System

Hispanic Couple on LaptopAlong with the improvements that Workday will bring to the University of Pennsylvania on July 1, a more comprehensive enrollment system for Penn’s retirement savings plans will go live on July 8. The new system, called Retirement@Work, will provide plan participants with a series of streamlined features that include the following. 

  • Faculty and staff who are eligible for both the Matching and Supplemental Plans will no longer need to input those contributions separately. You can input the total percentage of your gross pay per pay period that you want to invest for retirement, and Retirement@Work will automatically allocate the first 5% to the Matching Plan and the rest to the Supplemental Plan. If you want your total employee contribution allocated differently, you will have the option to change that automatic allocation.
  • You will see an overall picture of your contribution elections at TIAA and/or Vanguard.
  • If you want to choose your investment funds or designate beneficiaries, Retirement@Work will direct you to the TIAA and/or Vanguard website.
  • There will be many helpful tips that you can click on for more information.

To allow for current contribution data to be transferred from the outgoing system to Retirement@Work, you will not be able to enroll or make changes to your salary deferral elections through July 8, 2019.

When Retirement@Work goes live on July 8, you won’t need to re-enter anything. We do recommend, however, that you take a few minutes to look through Retirement@Work and review your contribution elections.

Retirement@Work Roadshow

If you have any questions about Retirement@Work, you can attend the Introducing Retirement@Work presentation on July 9 from 12pm-1pm, at Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room. TIAA will be on hand to provide details. To register for the session, click here.

For more information about Penn’s Retirement Savings Plans, visit the Saving for Retirement webpage.

Did You Know? Your Colleagues Are on the Workday@Penn Team

The Workday@Penn Team is comprised of scores of people around campus. Learn who is on the team, including six Executive Sponsors, Steering Committee, Change Agent Network, and the members of the Program Management Office.



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