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Ceridian uses employee engagement tool from its own joint venture

After forming a new joint venture, LifeWorks, HCM vendor Ceridian uses LifeWorks' employee recognition, engagement and perks software with its own workforce.

After Ceridian HCM, Inc. formed a new company with the former WorkAngel, it deployed the employee engagement tool from the joint venture with its own workforce first, before its full commercial release.

The joint venture, LifeWorks, combines WorkAngel's employee engagement tool -- which includes employee recognition, perks and rewards capabilities -- with Ceridian's employee assistance program (EAP) technology.

Within LifeWorks, WorkAngel's mobile technology also is being integrated with the employee assistance software and bundled with the former WorkAngel's recognition and perks system.

Recognition software in action

For Ceridian, the immediate payoff was a full-blown employee engagement tool featuring a mobile-based recognition and perks system and a mobile-enabled version of the EAP backed by LifeWorks' back-end human employee assistance staff.

For both Ceridian and LifeWorks, "testing" the new system, as it were, on Ceridian itself also brought the advantage of familiarity and ease of communication between the two companies.

Deb LaMere, CeridianDeb LaMere

"There's a comfort level there," said Deb LaMere, vice president of employee experience at Ceridian. "It's great to have this partnership where we can just go to LifeWorks and ask them what the different things are they can do to support us and how can we do it through the mobile platform."

Since Ceridian adopted the employee engagement tool about a year ago after the March 2016 joint venture was born, it has used the LifeWorks Work module of the software for more than 23,000 employee recognitions, or about 2,000 a month, LaMere said.

All of Ceridian's 4,000-plus employees are registered for and using LifeWorks, LaMere said.

"It's really heavily utilized," she said.

The recognition system works across departments. Employees can see on their app's news feed who has been recognized in their department and also in different sections of the company by customizing the feed to show recognition by function or companywide, for example.

"It's a great way to see what's happening not only on a Ceridian level but also on a functional work group level," LaMere said.

Wellness and perks

Besides Work, the other pillars of the current LifeWorks employee engagement tool are Perks and Life, and Ceridian has also started to use those.

In the meantime, LifeWorks is pulling the wellness function out of Work and giving it its own area.

For now, Life includes the EAP program and a wellness system, which Ceridian uses in conjunction with its own in-house wellness program, Live Well, Work Well.

As for the perks and rewards capabilities of LifeWorks, Ceridian has rolled them out across its global workforce in North America, the United Kingdom and Mauritius.

"It's got a lot of traction," LaMere said.

Employees use the perks system as a sort of internal corporate Yelp. By letting the app know where they are, the system will spit out discounts or cash-back offers near them for dining, shopping or entertainment. The perks program is particularly useful for employees who travel.

Many popular retailers and online services are on the LifeWorks perks roster, including Macy's, Nordstrom Rack, 1-800-Flowers and Priceline.com.

LifeWorks ready for HR tech market

Jon Harris, LifeWorksJon Harris

On the LifeWorks side, the Ceridian project has been a valuable opportunity to see the amped-up LifeWorks employee engagement tool in action as the company prepares to roll out the full system to the wider HR tech market, said LifeWorks President and COO Jon Harris.

"We can get really direct feedback," Harris said.

LifeWorks is an independent company based in the U.K. with nearly 300 employees. About 200 came from Ceridian and about 60 from WorkAngel, which has been incorporated into LifeWorks, plus new hires.

The notion was if we could combine these two things, we could actually have a well-being and engagement platform that people would use for a host of reasons and impact a broader group. That’s really what we went after in creating the company.
Jon Harris, LifeWorks

Essentially, the joint venture married Ceridian's EAP with WorkAngel's recognition and perks offerings and mobile expertise.

"The notion was if we could combine these two things, we could actually have a well-being and engagement platform that people would use for a host of reasons and impact a broader group," Harris said. "That's really what we went after in creating the company."

Under the deal between Ceridian and LifeWorks, Ceridian is paying LifeWorks for the SaaS technology, just as it would any vendor.

Meanwhile, LifeWorks has entered the HR tech market at large over the last few months after spending much of the last year developing the integrated system that Ceridian has been using.

With Ceridian's existing base of some 49,000 customers, LifeWorks also expects to migrate the Ceridian EAP system to the LifeWorks platform within a few months.

"So the base of folks who will be using this will be fairly substantial," Harris said.

LifeWorks works with Ceridian's Dayforce human capital management system, but LifeWorks will also be marketing to employers that use competing HCMs, including Workday, Oracle and others.

Next Steps

ADP adds employee engagement technology through acquisition

Engagement software includes recognition, performance management and health

Ceridian and other workforce management vendors evaluated

This was last published in June 2017

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