When it comes to a business’s most important and time-sensitive processes—payroll, month-end closes, benefits, inventory, etc.—minor disruptions can quickly turn into major issues. (As for major disruptions…don’t get us started…) Whether one of your key Workday players is out on long-term and/or unexpected leave, or you’ve had to let somebody go in a position that’s vital to keeping your Workday operations running, how you handle a sudden Workday backfill need is important.

Here are Surety’s 3 tips for handling a Workday backfill need (without driving your current team crazy).

Tip #1: Assess Your Needs

When you’ve just had a major change to your operation and you’re down a key employee, it’s important to figure out what your needs actually are. Specifically, do you need a short-term or a long-term solution? If your star Workday player will only be gone for a little while or you only need help with a short-term project, you might just need a qualified resource to help you pick up the slack until everything gets back to normal. That’s the best-case scenario, and one our highly trained Workday consultants would be happy to help you with.

On the other hand, if someone is on maternity/paternity leave, has resigned or been terminated, or something along those lines and you’re not planning on hiring someone to fill that missing role, having your remaining staff handle the extra workload while still doing their own jobs just isn’t going to cut it. In that case, you’ll need to support your existing team with backfill support while you get them the Workday training they need.

Tip #2: Support Your Existing Team

If a long-term need suddenly arises, sometimes the instinct is to try and train your existing team on Workday while they continue with their day-to-day duties. The idea is that this gives you coverage of both their old and new responsibilities—until you can hire a new person to manage Workday for you, of course. Sometimes managers try to just hold off on Workday responsibilities entirely until they can secure their new hire.

These are recipes for disaster. The first strategy is a great way to increase errors (nobody can do two jobs very well for very long) and turnover (nobody will want to stay at a company where they have to do two jobs for very long, especially if they aren’t being compensated for the increased workload). The second strategy—the “putting it off until it becomes an emergency” strategy—will work only as long as no one in your organization needs to do anything with payroll, month-end closes, benefits, inventory. So…a week, if that. No, if you have a longer-term need regarding Workday, you need backfill support to cover your core team’s current duties while you get them the Workday training they’ll need moving forward.

Tip #3: Training is King

To succeed with a plan like this one, you’ll need functional consultants to keep the home fires burning while your core team gets the Workday training they need. Doing so offers several significant benefits—not only will your team appreciate not having to do two jobs at once, but your employees will still receive the same high level of service as before and you’re also ensuring that your core team has the skills they need to keep Workday, well…working once your consultants leave.

It’s important to remember that everyone on the core Workday team who will be a functional domain administrator needs to attend “HCM Basics”, a four-day class on Workday architecture, BPs, and security. They will need also to attend a three- or four-day class in their functional area, e.g., for Benefits, for Compensation, for Time Tracking, for Absence, for Payroll, etc.

Do not underestimate the amount of training time, training dollars, travel expenses, and backfill costs that need to go into the budget for a project like this. Like all good upfront investments, these will pay dividends over the long term.

If you have a Workday backfill need, Surety Systems has got your back. Our senior-level Workday consultants can help with everything from benefits to payroll, month-end closes to inventory, and everything in between.