It’s not every day you meet someone who strives for excellence in Workday deployments and beekeeping. Unless you happen to know Willow Warren, that is.
By day, Willow is a senior HCM consultant for OneSource Virtual. During her off-hours, she enjoys spending time with the two hives she’s patiently cultivated over the past two years. But in either role, she applies the same levels of passion and curiosity that lead to success both in deploying Workday and harvesting honey.
Willow has almost 20 years of experience in human resources, human resources technology and compensation. Her work has allowed her to partner with a range of organizations across different industries, from non-profits and home improvement suppliers to a behavioral health center, a watch manufacturer and an eyewear distributor.
“My work as a practitioner also gave me a lot of experience with different HR systems and gave me a good feeling for the HR technology industry and how things are trending,” she says.
Willow first encountered OneSource Virtual and Workday several years ago as she worked on the business case and vendor analysis for one of her previous employers. Her experience on the project led her to look for an opportunity that would allow her to work exclusively with the Workday application. This search led her first to a small consulting firm in Boston, then to OneSource Virtual. Now, as a senior HCM consultant, she works within Deployment to help OneSource Virtual customers go live with Workday.
Originally from Long Island, Willow works mostly out of her home in Bristol, Connecticut. But as one of OneSource Virtual’s home-based employees, she’s found that geographical distance from her colleagues doesn’t have to translate into professional distance. In fact, when asked to select one corporate value from among the 10 that drive OneSource Virtual, she doesn’t hesitate to single out value number two—we are a team.
“I’m pleasantly surprised at how everybody interacts and is willing help you. If you need help with something and you reach out, everyone’s willing to jump in and offer support.”
You can see how Willow’s appreciation for teamwork might extend to her passion for beekeeping. A beehive is an orderly, efficient world unto itself, and each member—from the queen on down—has an essential part to play in its success.
“No type of bee can be successful without the others,” she says.
Beekeeping also requires the sort of attentiveness required to help a customer deploy Workday. “When a hive’s not behaving as expected, there are many things that can be wrong,” she says. “Is it mites? Is it weather issues? Are they not getting enough nectar or nutrients? There’s an assessment that goes on if your hive isn’t behaving the way you would expect it to.”
This is not unlike the process of working on a customer’s deployment. “With a project, you go to design sessions or discovery sessions and you hear what’s going on with the customer, and you try to identify the best approach to solving those issues,” she says.