17:09 PM

Workday to Improve Data Reporting on Workforce Needs

Plus: Meet Merridth Simpson, AVP Human Resources Operations

M Simpson

The Human Resources (HR) department at Cook Children’s will be able to make more strategic workforce decisions thanks to the robust data capabilities that Workday offers.

Merridth Simpson, AVP, Human Resources Operations, says Workday delivers tools that can sort and report data in sophisticated ways to help Cook Children’s attract, develop and retain top talent in an ever-changing job market.   

“When I think about our current landscape as far as attracting talent, what I know is that we’re going to continue to battle for talent in ways we’ve never seen before,” Merridth said. “Workday helps surface the data-driven insights we’ll need to recruit and retain a highly diverse and engaged workforce. Add to that our need to adapt business processes quickly as we continue to grow, and it makes a platform like Workday a real necessity.”

The Workday platform is replacing Lawson at Cook Children’s starting July 1. Every employee should expect a new look to paychecks, a simpler procedure for submitting expense reports, and the convenience of a mobile app. Our switch to Workday will particularly impact the operations in HR, Finance and Supply Chain.

Merridth describes Workday as an intuitive and easy transition for those who are already accustomed to using other apps on their phones. “A lot of our employees have grown up with Amazon, Facebook, Netflix and other on-demand services. There’s no reason why the tools we use at work can’t provide the same level of quality and service that we’ve grown accustomed to at home.”  

Before coming to Cook Children’s in February 2023, Merridth worked in a similar role at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas during the launch of Workday at Methodist Health System. She has seen implementation firsthand. What features of Workday stand out to her?

  • The mobile app, downloaded to a phone and available 24/7. The app is especially helpful for employees who don’t sit at a computer. Managers too, can complete important tasks anywhere, anytime using the app.
  • Data analytics. The ability to report on hundreds of different data points, using real-time information.
  •  It’s cloud-based, which means it’s highly flexible and we won’t outgrow it.

Because of her involvement with the move to Workday at Methodist, Merridth arrived with tips and experience to help prepare for our changeover. She frequently asks “Did you check for this?” type questions. Merridth gives assurance that Cook Children’s is in good shape as the July 1 finish line approaches. She points out it’s been a huge effort by the HR, Finance and Supply Chain teams.  

“I try to encourage everybody that there's light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “I know what you're going through. It’s a heavy lift but we need innovative technologies in all aspects of our operations, including finance and HR systems, and I think we have a lot to look forward to with Workday.”

Reputation, Values and Welcome

A long list of factors drew Merridth to Cook Children’s. Our Pinky Promise: Everything for the Child. Our values -- kindness, collaboration, imagination, generosity, respect and safety. Our reputation for excellence in health care. She feels welcomed by her new co-workers.

She emphatically makes the case that each of the roughly 9,400 employees across our system contributes to patient care, even though not all are hands-on clinical caregivers.  “I love that we talk about connecting the dots. Our job as leaders is to make sure that our staff know at any given time how they're touching the patient, based on their role.”

Merridth enjoyed visiting the cookouts at various Cook Children’s locations during Employee Appreciation Month in May. She finds people fascinating. “Everyone has a story. And if I don’t know you, then I'm curious what your story is.”

Her approach to HR, she explains, is like solving a puzzle. The various skills and abilities of each employee – the puzzle pieces, in other words – sometimes need to be moved around before they fit together in ways that best support our Promise.      

“I'm always trying to figure out how to leverage the best of what everybody brings to the table, and creating inclusive environments where people feel valued for who they are so they can contribute at their maximum potential.”

More about Merridth Simpson

A North Carolina native, Merridth has lived in Texas since 1991. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Relations and Business along with several HR certifications. She is the youngest of 10 children and her hobbies include traveling with her husband (they will celebrate 30 years of marriage this year), visits with their three adult children, and outdoor sports (especially running, swimming and snowmobiling).