Workday, the HR platform, is sending its employees weekly surveys to weed out bad managers and catch bad office behaviour

Becky Peterson/Business InsiderWorkday CIO Diana McKenzie, center, spoke Wednesday at Okta’s Business at Work conference.
  • Looking to catch bad office behaviour early, Workday has started issuing weekly surveys for employees to give feedback to their managers, CIO Diana McKenzie said.
  • The surveys, which run on the Workday platform, aren’t available to the public but could be soon if all goes well with the internal project.
  • Managers will soon be able to see in real time what their employees think.

SAN FRANCISCO — With stories of workplace harassment and frat house culture causing a storm across the tech industry, many executives are asking themselves what they can do to make sure their company doesn’t end up the focus on the next scandal.

With this in mind, Workday, the $US24 billion human resources management software company, has started issuing employees weekly surveys about their managers, according to CIO Diana McKenzie.

Speaking Wednesday at Okta’s Business at Work conference, McKenzie said it was just a few months into her time at Workday that the company noticed “disturbing trends” with the attrition of new hires.

Since Workday’s platform focuses on using data and analytics to understand company cultures, it was natural for the company to try to gather more data on employee experiences and what exactly might be causing some of the attrition.

In the fall, Workday started issuing two question management surveys every Friday which ask employees how effectively their boss is managing. Though the survey isn’t mandatory, employees are given email reminders that encourage them to participate.

Soon managers will have access to a dashboard which shows all of the information that their subordinates provide. Though technically anonymous, it will likely be easy for managers of small teams to figure out which of their employees gave them low scores.

But McKenzie said she hopes this live-feedback mechanism will give company leaders a better idea of when something is going wrong, and even help higher-ups discern if there is a bad apple whose office behaviour is having a negative impact on his or her team.

For now, the weekly surveys are only available within Workday’s own office, but McKenzie said the company could roll it out as a new product if all goes well in the trial.

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