FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not see a response to your question below, please bring your inquiry to the WorkLion team by emailing worklion@psu.edu.

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Workday is Penn State's new cloud-based HR-Payroll system. This new software, which includes human resources, payroll, benefits and time tracking supports the HR business process transformation to better serve the needs of Penn State employees. Workday will be replacing components of ESSIC and IBIS.

Yes, while Penn State is one of the first universities to implement Workday we are joining a growing list. Brown University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Louisiana State University, University of Miami, University of Texas at Austin, Yale University and others have also implemented Workday for their HCM and Payroll initiatives.

We would love to hear your questions and feedback about this project. You can either email us at WorkLion@psu.edu or use our online contact form.

Yes, we will be utilizing Workday for Performance Management and You@PSU. Employees and managers will utilize the current You@PSU system until the transition into Workday.


Workday’s user-friendly interface is designed with faculty, staff, technical service, and student employees in mind. Depending on your employee type, you will be able to access and update information such as direct deposit accounts, benefits elections, and tax withholdings through a web browser on your computer or mobile device. Some employees will also submit time worked and time off through Workday. All information is secured but highly accessible.



Yes, all categories of faculty, staff, technical service, and student employees will use Workday. This new system will give all employees greater access and control of their personal information through cloud-based access by logging into Workday. 

Workday will launch in 2017. 

The project scope includes the following key functionality: Human Capital Management, Payroll, Benefits, Time Tracking, Recruitment and Talent Management. A further breakdown of our project scope can be found here. Recruitment and Talent Management will be rolled out during a second phase of implementation.

Workday is a visual, intuitive system. It is similar to many web sites you visit today for shopping, banking and social media. You can get a sneak peak at the new system by watching these introductory videos and demos

The WorkLion Portal is a personalized access point for all things Penn State HR. Components of WorkLion include:

  • Workday - An HR and payroll system that includes time-tracking, benefits, payroll, and much more. 
  • HR Knowledge Base - A searchable HR library of frequently asked questions, policies, and procedures.
  • HR Inquiry Management - A two-way communications tool that links employees to Penn State HR experts for quick, reliable service. 
  • Learning Resource Network - A professional development system that supports employees by making access, registration, and tracking of learning opportunities easier than ever.

Yes. Workday's accessibility functionality will enable you to:

  • Magnify text on a responsive interface that optimizes content based on your device's screen size.
  • View Workday with high color and contrast, improving legibility for all users.
  • Use compatibile assistive technology like a screen reader for text-to-speech output.
  • Use keyboard support to navigate through Workday without a mouse.

Penn State is providing feedback on accessibility to Workday based on user engagement testing conducted with employees in need of accommodation.

A Manager in Workday is anywho who has a direct report, regardless of employee type. If you are uncertain whether you have a direct report, please speak to your HR Strategic Partner.


Yes. Eligible employees will now view, enroll and change benefit elections in Workday. When you view your benefits, you’ll be able to see each plan, the plan’s coverage begin date, the deduction begin date, the employee cost (monthly), and employer contribution (monthly). You can also update dependents due to life events or change beneficiaries for life insurance directly in the system.


Payroll frequency will remain consistent with the delivery today.

Yes. In addition to being able to view and update your direct deposit information in Workday, you will now be able to elect up to two direct deposit accounts - either savings or checking - for your paycheck, in addition to the Penn State Federal Credit Union (PSFCU) deduction as a third option. Direct deposit elections cannot be international. 


Workday is supported on most desktop and mobile browsers on Windows, Apple and Android OS. This means you can view and update your information from virtually anywhere with internet access. 

Penn State and Workday hold information security as a very high priority. Workday delivers world-class infrastructure, policies, and procedures to ensure your data is secure and protected. Security threats and risks are mitigated through strong internal controls and a comprehensive security program. Workday consistently passes rigorous third-party compliance audits, including multiple SAS70 Type II audits, and certifies to the US Safe Harbor program for data privacy. Still want to know more? Read Workday’s full security report.

Cloud-based refers to applications and services that are made available to users on demand via the internet from the service provider’s servers. Cloud-based services are available to users from virtually any device that can connect to the internet.

Yes, the full website of Workday is mobile friendly and provides responsive design when accessed through an internet browser on a desktop or mobile device.

The Workday system is highly configurable, but as a cloud-based system, it is not customizable. Workday’s approach is to make it possible for customers to configure and extend Workday to meet their specific needs, while avoiding the classic problems of customized software.

It is our goal to ensure that all interfaces with the new Workday system are identified and discussed with the work unit. For more details and to ensure that we are aware of your system’s functions and needs, please contact us at WorkLion@psu.edu. Our goal will be to provide consistent information whenever possible through the Workday system with shadow systems continued only if there is a business need that is not being met by Workday.

It is our goal to ensure that all interfaces with Workday are identified and discussed with the work unit. For more details and to ensure that we are aware of your system’s functions and needs please contact us at WorkLion@psu.edu. Our goal is to provide consistent information whenever possible though the Workday system with shadow systems continued only if there is a business need that is not being met by Workday.

In Workday you will find data from legacy HR and payroll systems, including your time off balance, ESSIC attendance balance, performance ratings (historical), and pay for 2017 in quarterly summaries. In addition, historical data in ESSIC will be housed in an application that will be available to you prior to Workday's launch. Details on how to access this application will be communicated prior to launch.

Managers will be able to view the following information for their direct report(s):

  • Staffing Data: Birthdays (month/day only), Work Anniversaries, Onboarding Status, and Probation Period(s)
  • Compensation: Job Profile, Base Pay (salary, hourly, and Activity Pay)
  • Time Tracking & Absence: Team Time Off, Time Off Balances
  • Performance Management: Employee Goals, Feedback and Talent Profile (Education, Skills, and Experience)

In addition, you will be able to search for colleague information in Workday the same way that you would in the LDAP today. You will also be able to see some new and useful information in Workday such as an organizational chart of the management chain from you up to the President.

If you do not wish to be searchable by other employees, please continue to follow the current Penn State "Confidentiality Requests" process. When Workday goes live, confidentiality preferences will be converted over and Workday will become the system of record.

Lastly, there are several key roles, such as Timekeeper, that will be able to view or modify specific pieces of information - as approved by Penn State's Data Stewards - to perform a designated task. Data Stewards are Penn State administrators who are responsible for Penn State's Computerized Institutional Data.

Your Workday Inbox will contain all activities that are required of you and you will be able to act on these activities directly from your Workday Inbox. You can choose to recieve an email to your Penn State email address notifying you when there is an item requiring action. You will be able to manage email notification preferences when Workday goes live.

Some units have been using employee management systems, such as Lamban, to schedule, report, and track hours for wage employees. In most units, wage employees will report their time-in and time-out in Workday.

At this time, Workday will not include a scheduling feature.

Workday has been thoughtfully adapted to meet the business needs of Penn State. Stakeholders from across the University were engaged to collaborateively provide input on the system's business process configuration. The implementation team has been engaged in multiple rounds of system testing to confirm functionality, properly constructed integrations with other systems, and expected payroll outcomes.

Time Tracking

Continue to submit ESSIC balances monthly.

Time and attendance will be directly tied to payroll in the new system. Balances from your last approved ESSIC attendance record will be the source of your time off balances in Workday, making it imperative that you have an up-to-date and accurate attendance record in ESSIC.

Check and report any discrepencies to your supervisor and/or HR Strategic Partner.

As a reminder, the University has the following guidelines for what should be tracked in ESSIC:

  • All Tech Service and Non-Exempt Statf are required to enter daily hours worked.
  • All Tech Service and Non-Exempt Staff are required to enter absences with earned time off.
  • All Exempt Staff are required to enter absences with earned time off.
  • All records are required to be submitted by the employee and approved by the supervisor on a monthly basis.

Time Tracking is the way that Workday captures time worked for an employee. It can also capture overtime, premiums and other pay policies. The Time Tracking module also works closely with the absence and payroll modules, capturing vacation, sick time, paid and unpaid absences.

Our goal is to provide consistent information whenever possible though the Workday system with shadow systems continued only if there is a business need that is not being met by Workday. Speak with your manager to determine exactly how your department will use Workday. 

Yes, depending on your employee type and unit policies, Workday will be used to request, approve and track vacation and sick time, as required. Time off is accrued over time and automatically calculated by the system. 


When Workday launches, you will be able to get assistance with questions or issues related to Workday by:

  • Accessing training materials on the Learning Resource Network (LRN)
  • Searching the Knowledgebase on the WorkLion portal
  • Submitting a question through the WorkLion portal
  • Calling the Shared Services Center

Soon, all employees will have access to web-based training and job aids through the Learning Resource Network (LRN). Learning paths have been developed based on your role in the new system, making sure that you have access to the courses that will best prepare you for Workday. If you haven't already done so, take some time to view your learning path and watch these introductory videos and demos

Yes! Some users will be invited to participate in User Engagement Testing. Others will view the system during campus roadshows where we demonstrate the capabilities of the system. All users will be able to take advantage of training and learning opportunities prior to go-live. In the meantime, you can get a sneak peak at the new system by watching these introductory videos and demos