Workday Rising in Stockholm: Knowing me, knowing you

Modern, efficient “human resources management” is an important lever that companies can use to achieve success. As part of the People+ initiative, one of Freudenberg’s largest transformational projects, the HR software “Workday” has been introduced as a primary “digital hub for personnel data and management.”

It’s not just an internal perspective that is important.  An outward orientation is valuable as well – the exchange of information with other users. We are particularly interested in “Best Practices,” such as the more complex analyses that make it possible to forecast personnel issues based on numerical data. 


In line with the idea of sharing knowledge within the community, there were many opportunities to talk about new developments and best practices.

Kathrin Ohligmacher, HR Process and Business Manager at Freudenberg & Co.


"The Workday Rising Customer Conference”in Stockholm, November 15-17, provided a good opportunity to take this approach. It included a multi-faceted program, both with the active participation of the software provider and without it, allowing customers to meet among themselves and share information. “From an IT standpoint, we came away with a great deal of new information on the strategy and vision of the Workday technology. In line with the idea of sharing knowledge within the community, there were many opportunities to talk about new developments and best practices,” said Kathrin Ohligmacher, HR Process and Business Manager at Freudenberg & Co.

We kicked off with the “Customer Reference Session” where Jessica Vollmer, Manager, Corporate Data Protection, and I provided insights into the system’s implementation at Freudenberg. Here we quickly became involved in lively, in-depth exchanges with participants from across Europe.

The evening’s highlight was the keynote speech on “Change-makers” by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, an impressive figure and one of the music industry’s greats. He described how the band continued to re-invent itself and developed innovations over decades without losing its identity. His thinking lined up nicely with the Freudenberg approach to Workday: We are providing the entire group with a flexible platform for HR work that we can use to support change processes.

There were many different formats on Wednesday and Thursday: keynote speeches, lectures, an exposition, expert discussions, etc. The Freudenberg team was able to discuss the interesting case studies of other customers, gather information on new applications and obtain all kinds of input for the Talent & Performance, Recruiting, HCM and Compensation & Benefits modules.

Freudenberg also shared its knowledge in two Workday-led panel discussions: Joining the Schenck Process Group, Sarah O´Hare first spoke on the topic “Big Bang Transformation.” The discussion focused on how Freudenberg was able to go live with several modules in all of the company’s 60 countries, while also completing the training of 700 HR colleagues. On the next day, together with a panelist from Puma, Jessica Vollmer and I talked about “Collaboration with Labor Unions/Works Councils.” The panel discussion was well-attended with more than 100 participants. We found the questions afterward to be very interesting. They showed how relevant the topic is, especially for German companies. Workday also selected Freudenberg as a contributor since our successful, global implementation which was on time and in budget, as well as our creative approach to involving works councils, means that we are not only pioneers in the German-speaking DACH market.

The HR team in Stockholm: three days of interessting input at the Workday Rising conference

Sharing the knowledge: Sarah O'Hare (in the middle) on the topic "Big Bang Transformation"

The participants: Jessica Vollmer, Johannes Hering, Marion Prager, Kathrin Ohligmacher, Sarah O´Hare, Anita Brenndörfer, Tina Meier, Johannes Ling, Arne Syassen and Andreas Kurch (from the left)

In summary, we can unequivocally state that the Workday Rising Customer Conference was a valuable experience, especially because of the lectures and the direct contact with other users.


More Information about Workday:

Esther Loidl, Group Board of Management Member for Human Resources, talks about the advantages of Workday, strategic objectives and why feedback is so important.

Workday - An interview with Esther Maria Loidl