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American Bankers Association

American Bankers Association

American Bankers Association

About the Client

Banking Trade Association

The American Bankers Association (ABA) was established in 1875 and is
headquartered in Washington, D.C. Renowned as the largest financial trade organization in the United States, ABA represents banks of all asset sizes and charter types and offers a comprehensive range of services including training, certification, news dissemination, research activities, advocacy initiatives, and a supportive community for bankers and individuals involved in the U.S. financial services industry.

In early 2023, ABA decided to expand its use of Kognitiv support and engage with Kognitiv for a one-of-a-kind project to incorporate multiple aspects of total rewards administration into one integrated compensation, performance, and position evaluation (promotion) process.


“ABA decided to partner with Kognitiv due to their demonstrated expertise in the Workday ecosystem, high-touch support from their experienced consultants and project managers, and responsiveness to our evolving needs with respect to our existing configuration and future functionality goals.”
– Deborah K. Hoover, SVP, Employee Benefits & HR Operations, ABA

The Challenge

Optimizing Compensation, Promotion, and Position Reviews: Streamlined and User-Friendly Solutions

The transition to processing promotion and position changes through annual Compensation Review singular process would mark a significant shift in system and internal processes, requiring careful consideration and synchronization with Compensation and Performance Review workflows. This initiative was driven by four key goals:

Ease of Administration

The process would need to be user-friendly and could not demand in-depth technical knowledge of Workday. It would empower HR leads to efficiently manage the final overall process without extensive training or expertise.

Version & Security Management

From a version and security standpoint, the design would include clear version controls and robust security measures to protect sensitive data.

Data Integration

The process would combine data from various sources, including Workday Performance, Employee Demographic Data, manager input, and Compensation Review process data. Providing HR team members with a comprehensive view of position, compensation, and performance information to support decision-making.

Business Flow Alignment

The redesigned process would fit seamlessly into the overall annual HR routines associated with administering performance, position reviews, and salary/bonus changes and payments.


“ABA knew that we would get the right individual(s) to help us through the configuration and process improvements as well as provide hands-on support for our first time working through our newly configured Compensation and Position Review process – a considerable challenge in both methodology as well as procedure.”
– Steven Fields, Sr. Director, HR Systems, ABA

The Solution

With project goals in mind to maximize efficiencies, Kognitiv ensured that:
  • All requests and associated data would be stored in a secure platform that didn’t require extra security configuration.
  • The proposed solution would increase ABA’s ROI in Workday by leveraging the Request Framework and Worksheets functionalities.
  • No additional software or system add-ons needed to be purchased.

“Kognitiv consultants were thorough in gathering requirements and asking follow-up questions and provided frequent and clear updates to the work being completed. They were available for regularly scheduled project meetings and responded promptly when we needed them most. We truly appreciated the transparency, organization, and regular follow-ups throughout the project.”
– Steven Fields, Sr. Director, HR Systems, ABA


Leveraging Workday’s Request Framework for Seamless Operations Allows ABA to:

  • Engage the appropriate initiators and approvers utilizing Business Process framework functionality.
  • Secure the process to initiators, approvers, and the process administrator.
  • Collect position/promotion evaluation data via questionnaires and enable Send Back functionality for insufficiently submitted supporting information.
  • Leverage Workday delivered security to constrain views of completed
  • Leverage a role-based security assignment to control the Request closure ensuring data integrity.
  • Utilize standard reports to monitor the Request status.
  • Manage an allowable submit period by adding and removing Initiator from the Request Type.
  • Build custom reports to flow data to Worksheets.

Once successfully completed, Workday Drive & Worksheets were deployed for the next steps.


Workday Drive & Worksheets Design Principles:

  • Keep it as “one-stop” and simple for process Administrators.
  • Control data input to produce clean data outputs needed for the Import Employee Awards EIBs.
  • Build and leverage custom reports to consolidate information from distinct Business Objects to feed the Worksheets.
  • The worksheet solution hosts all custom reports, allowing real-time data updates within each worksheet to ensure accuracy and eliminate stale data.
Unlocking Efficiency with a Comprehensive Worksheet Solution Including:
  • An audit report to ensure duplicate requests are dispositioned correctly in the Request Framework. Preventing data quality issues in the worksheets tab.
  • An advanced report that returns all approved requests as a quick-connect to the request object in case a correction to a duplicate transaction is necessary.
  • An advanced report output with Formula & controlled Note columns for the staffing side of Position Reviews.
  • Administrator input, controlled by validations. Including: Final Approval, New Job Profile, New Business Title, Change Reason, New Manager.
  • A comprehensive data tab that combines data from various worksheet tabs to provide Administrators a full view of the employee’s compensation pre-decisioning and post-decisioning.
  • An additional tab designed for administrators to seamlessly input extra position details, notes, and ad-hoc compensation adjustments, mirroring the functionalities of other tabs.
Added tabs offered a blend of custom reports and static data, empowering administrators with comprehensive insights for informed decision-making, including:
  • A report returning all active Job Profiles & related data,
  • A report returning all active employees & related compensation data,
  • An export of Compensation Matrix values,
  • An export of employee level prorated merit target (data captured from a launch of the Compensation Review process in SBX),
  • A tab containing all the lists for data validations used in the Workbook tabs, and
  • A tab consolidating the data required to complete the Import Employee Awards EIB
Inherent worksheet functionality was also leveraged to provide a historical record of decisions and support a repeatable process:
  • Utilizing Worksheets version functionality to capture and update final process data before Comp Review is finalized.
  • Creating a template from this design to re-use in following cycles.
The final step, incorporating data and decisions from the Promotion/Position Review process into the Compensation Review Process, with the following requirements:
  • Data from the above Worksheet solution were to be loaded into the Compensation Review process via Import Employee Awards EIB immediately after Launch but before rollout to Compensation Planners.
  • Calculated fields were added to simplify the grids and to inform planners about position/promotion adjustments without the need for additional data entry or communication outside of Workday.
  • Any changes to promotion/additional adjustments were handled via the Import Employee Award EIB.

“With the complexities of this project, the advanced knowledge of the modules needed, and the competing priorities assigned to the ABA team, the use of Kognitiv resources for this project was well worth the financial commitment.”
– Steven Fields, Sr. Director, HR Systems, ABA

Future Enhancements


While the current solution caters to ABA’s immediate needs, ongoing plans
involve continuous enhancements for these processes in upcoming cycles
with the following improvements.

  • Configure additional reports and dashboards to facilitate tracking of process steps and support administrative needs.
  • Lock down certain columns and data entry points in worksheets to continually improve data integrity and version control.
  • Develop additional manager-facing reporting along with employee demographic information to ensure improved insights into data trends and equitable distribution of performance-based rewards.