Supervisory Organizations

What are Supervisory Organizations?

Supervisory organizations are new to GVSU with the implementation of Workday. Supervisory organizations are the primary foundation of Workday, as they show who reports to whom in any given area (similar to ‘organizational charts’ or ‘org charts’). All employees belong to a supervisory organization overseen by their manager. A manager in Workday is defined as anyone who supervises one or more direct reports and has hiring, termination, and/or performance evaluation responsibilities.

Review Your Supervisory Organizations

As you login to Workday for the first time, review that your manager is correct, as well as any faculty, staff or students who should report to you. Learn how to view your organizational chart in Workday. If your manager or direct reports are incorrect, please email the Human Resources office at [email protected].




I assign tasks to one or more student workers. Why do they do not appear in my supervisory organization?

If you assign tasks to staff or student employees, but are not responsible for hiring, terminating, or conducting their performance evaluations, these individuals will not fall under you within your supervisory organization.

I have more than one position at the university and appear in more than one supervisory organization. Is this correct?

As long as your primary position is with your primary department, your position is correct in the supervisory organization. For example, if you are faculty member who teaches in Biology and has an overload position in Chemistry, you will show up in two supervisory organizations, once in each department organization, with your primary position within Biology.

Why am I located above my peers in my supervisory organization?

If you have employees who directly report to you, Workday defines you as a manager of a supervisory organization and you will always sit at a level “above” your department/unit. You will not appear “within” your department/unit with your team members. For example, if you are a department chair or unit head, you will appear at a level above your department/unit because of your role. This is the correct view and does not mean that you exist outside of your department/unit—it is set up this way based on your supervisory responsibilities.


Supervisory organizations drive visibility into employee records, access to processes and tasks, business process routing and approvals and reporting relationships. Organizations, based on reporting hierarchy, are then arranged into superior and subordinate organizations. All employees – including faculty, staff, and student workers – must belong to a supervisory organization. This structure creates an organization chart throughout the entire university. Once an employee is hired, they become a “member” of the supervisory organization into which they were hired. 

The Foundation

Supervisory Organizations are arranged in a university-wide hierarchy, which defines how data is organized within Workday. Positions and Jobs are associated with supervisory organizations. Many security roles in Workday are also assigned to supervisory organizations. The Workday manager is ultimately accountable for oversight of an employee. The Workday manager must be the actual “reports to” manager of record. 


Supervisory organizations are not used to manage finances and financial responsibilities; these are addressed through Cost Centers and other FDM elements. Supervisory organizations are different from Default Organization Assignments, which are used in Finance to determine defaults for payroll or expense reports.


Supervisory organization inheritance provides the next level manager with the ability to manage business processes and workers in the supervisory organization. 

Page last modified January 7, 2024