In a recent presentation to Metropolitan State University of Denver senior leaders meeting, Stacy Dvergsdal, associate vice president for Human Resources, used Workday data to illustrate workforce composition and process improvements. The presentation focused on data gathered for Fiscal Year 2023 and during the first six months following the University’s Workday implementation. 

Charles Kibort

Human Resources is considering 2023 as a baseline year,” said Charles Kibort, HR director of Operations and Strategy. “With Workday, the team can now pull metrics much more easily and begin to truly compare year-over-year data to benchmark. 

Understanding the numbers

  • Data included in the presentation is from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.  
  • The report includes data for the following employee classifications: 
    • Faculty 
    • Professional staff and administrators, including Classified employees 
  • Report does not include: 
    • Adjunct faculty members 
    • Student employees 
    • Temporary employees 
    • Fee-for-service employees 
    • Contingent workers 
  • A termination is defined as an employee leaving the University completely (not transferring to another position).  
    • Turnover Analysis does not include employees leaving the University for retirement or death 

Positive trends and findings

Data shows that MSU Denver’s workforce is strong and trending well in several key hiring and retention areas:  

  • Turnover rates for faculty members and professional staff are relatively low from Fiscal Year 2022. 
    • The voluntary turnover rate for professional staff is 16.45% 
    • Employees in the lowest compensation brackets are leaving at the highest rate 
  • The University has a balanced workforce and is not management-heavy 
    • Roughly 77% of employees are individual contributors, 11% are managers, 5% are directors, 3% are chairs and fewer than 1% are executives 
    • Numbering approximately 1,200, student-employees are the University biggest employee population and comprise 34% of the workforce 
  • Within the first six months of implementing Workday, 53% of open positions have been filled in less than 30 days, and 77% of positions are now filled within two months of the time the position was posted. 

“With Workday, the Human Resources team finally has comprehensive and easy-to-access data, and we are celebrating our low faculty and professional staff turnover rates for fiscal year 2023,” Dvergsdal said. 

Now that the University has a clearly established its 2023 baseline, senior leaders have asked every team to decrease turnover by 1% for professional staff, which is line with rates across the sector (14.3% according to CUPA benchmark or 13 % average according to Society for Human Resource Management), with the 2030 goal of a 10% turnover rate. 

Data gaps

While retention and hiring data are positive, a lack of employee demographic data inhibits the Human Resources team from understanding how the hiring and retention experience varies across the University’s diverse workforce. 

“We understand that sharing personal data related to race, gender identity and other factors makes some employees cautious, but it’s so important for the University to understand how we can better serve all members of our community while ensuring equity and parity in our practices and policies,” Dvergsdal said. “While we would never mandate that employees self-identify, we want to reiterate that people’s data is safe and that it is used to help pinpoint larger trends and gaps in care for our people. It is never used to single out any individual or group, but rather an aggregate to help us understand where we need to concentrate equity efforts.” 

Stacy Dverdsdal

Workday tools to support stay conversations

The Workday implementation has also provided a more comprehensive exit survey tool, allowing Human Resources to better understand what departing employees found most valuable about their time at the University and why they chose to leave. Departing employees are able to select multiple responses, and selections are not rank ordered. 

Employees most often noted that they:

  • Had the autonomy to perform their roles well 
  • Felt their manager supported work-life balance 
  • Felt valued 
  • Felt the University demonstrated equity and inclusion 
  • Would consider returning to MSU Denver to work

Among areas of opportunity, departing employees least often selected:

  • My manager showed appreciation 
  • I felt valued as an employee of my department 
  • Morale was good in my department. 
  • Satisfaction with compensation 
  • My manager provides recognition of my accomplishments 

What’s next

Moving forward, employment data will be shared approximately every six months. Stay tuned for more resources and information regarding succession planning, advancement opportunities, learning and development and mentoring.