Meet Huan: Finding Happiness at Work

Workday Life
5 min readMar 21


As Workday’s vice president of software development in Vancouver, Canada, I feel incredibly fortunate to have a fulfilling and rewarding career — but this was not by chance. I’ve spent more than 18 years working in engineering and leadership positions across a variety of industries. Over the years, I’ve been intentional and proactive with my career and want to share how I’ve found happiness at work to help others do the same.

What Matters Most in a Job?

According to a recent study from Peakon, a Workday company, 41% of employees globally are engaged, 38% of employees are disengaged and 21% of employees are actively disengaged. I’ve seen similar statistics fluctuate over the years, but there is consistently a significant opportunity to improve global work satisfaction scores.

I’m passionate about helping others find workplace happiness. I even founded a company in 2012 to address workforce engagement, and later co-founded Rallyteam, an internal mobility platform that Workday acquired in 2018.

After years of interest in employee engagement, here’s what I found goes into job satisfaction. In no particular order:

  • Company Vision, Mission and Values
  • People and Culture
  • Experience and Growth Opportunities
  • Compensation and Benefits

Work satisfaction is a balance of these four pillars, and you can look at the average as something like a job happiness score.

Below, I’ll dig into what each of these means, and share a bit of how each looks at Workday.

Company Vision, Mission and Values

There are ups and downs in any job, but aligning a company’s purpose with your own values makes it more relatable on a personal level. If your contributions have a greater meaning, then you’re more likely to find daily happiness and excitement at work.

Workday is focused on inspiring a brighter work day for all, and because I care deeply about the employee experience, I’m motivated by this purpose and look forward to moving us closer to this goal every day.

As an engineer, I want to know how the things I’m building impact the world. Our products are used by thousands of companies and millions of people worldwide, so when you’re at Workday, you know your work has an incredible reach. What’s more, at Workday, we’re leading by example as we change the world of enterprise software. As we develop and deploy products, we’re also the first ones to use them, so we get to know the impact of our work first-hand.

People and Culture

While company culture is highly influenced by leadership, it’s ultimately defined by everyone within the company. You’ll be happy at work if you enjoy who you work with, as well as the company norms and environment. Before joining a company, take a close look at the company culture and speak candidly with current employees and those in similar roles about what it is like to work there.

My mission for Workday’s Vancouver office is to create a place where people are happy, excited and engaged at work (even when it’s snowing). We do this by living Workday’s core values while instilling our own local traditions and team fun into our work days. Most importantly, we focus on hiring kind and humble people, who also happen to be some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. People and culture will shape your daily experience, so this is an important one to get right.

Experience and Growth Opportunities

Everyone wants to feel like their career is progressing. Luckily, career growth is something that you have a great deal of influence over. I always tell people not to wait around or hope for that next cool opportunity, but to be proactive and take control of your future. Of course, this also works much better when you’re at a company that encourages and supports new growth opportunities.

For engineers on my team, we build personal development roadmaps within their first week of joining. Oftentimes, engineers choose to take part in our mentorship program, as well as sign up for internal ‘gigs’ through Workday’s Talent Marketplace, a platform to help companies leverage and develop their internal talent. We’re very open about the fact that Workday is a large company and no matter what you seek to learn or where you want to go, we work to provide those opportunities.

Compensation and Benefits

Many companies offer great benefits and ways to keep you (and your family) healthy and happy, as a well-balanced job includes compensation and benefits that support your lifestyle. But I think it’s important to look beyond what’s on paper and dig into how the company listens to employees and frequently evaluates how they support employees’ personal lives.

Workday is exceptional about providing new, timely benefits in addition to what’s already offered. For example, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Workday recognized that this was going to be a challenge for all. As such, Workday provided a one-time payment — equivalent to two-weeks pay — to the majority of employees to help assist with additional expenses as a result of the pandemic.

What’s Your Happiness Score?

When you think about your happiness at work, I believe a good place to start is considering how the above four areas “score” as a whole. I’ve been at companies that have scored high on compensation and benefits, but low on experience and growth — I wasn’t happy. I’ve been at companies that have scored high on vision and mission, but low on people and culture — I wasn’t happy. Finding a good balance of all four of these areas is the key. If one area is lacking, sooner or later, it’ll catch up to you.

I’ve talked a lot about Workday because it is one of the few companies that have scored high across the board for me. I truly want others to find happiness at work, so as our team grows in Vancouver and worldwide, I encourage you to explore career opportunities at Workday.

A brighter work day is just around the corner☀️. Explore career opportunities here. For more #WDAYLife content, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



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