On Valentine’s Day weekend, the knighted Beatle performed his “Maybe I’m Amazed” on the SNL 40 show. The old man had a shaky start, but finished strong. Sir Paul’s song always shows up in lists of the all-time greatest love songs. He sure can write a moving love song, or Something (actually written by George Harrison). Yes, it’s old, but hey, I believe in yesterday…
So what’s your favorite love song? What’s the one with the words that really get you? Which one really delivers the power of love to you? In researching for this post, I found a fascinating article on the power of the love song. It explores how the words and music pull our heart strings, and also explores some of the most famous love songs ever, including those by Amy Winehouse and Carly Simon. Yeah, just who was “You’re so vain” written about?
All you need is love, and for companies and customers, it’s not enough to “Like” each other. “Like” can be fleeting, and certainly doesn’t create a long lasting relationship or loyalty, although it’s a good start. What we want at Kronos is for our customers to know our love is real, and everlasting, not just when we’re dating, but over the long run, like when we’re 64. We want you to know that anytime… Just call my name and I’ll be there. And if you really are amazed, baby don’t write me a letter. Write me a love song that tells the world how you feel. How? Here’s an example of one recently penned on G2Crowd. This line really gets me:
“Clearly they have people working for them who understand the needs of HR and Payroll. It shows in the quality of their product.”
Sam Inzerillo has been creating and speaking about extensions to the Kronos suite of products for over 20 years. He consults with many Kronos customers to help them maximize the value in the products through extensible add-on products and features. Lately, you can find him either talking to customers about their compliance documentation or wondering when Carmelo Anthony will be done driving all the talent out of NY.
As a guest blogger at the café, I’d like to offer a differing opinion on the references to the New England sports teams usually peddled here. I grew up in New York, so I could never root for the Red Sox or the Patriots. But I cannot take away from the achievements of Tom Brady and Company earlier this month. Although, I have to admit that I did win a football in a raffle signed by Gronkowski. It came in a nice case and meant to be the centerpiece of a local fan’s shrine to the great tight end. However, for me, it serves as a useful door stop in my man cave… I can give it a little kick when I pass by every day and it stays in place. Fitting, I think.
I don’t want to seem to be just bashing New England Sports, so I’ll change the subject to another target of some derision: Wal-Mart. In December, the retailer lost an appeal of their 2007 $188M class action lawsuit loss. 187,000 employees alleged that they were denied their meals and breaks over a nine year period. Wal-Mart, apparently, was unable to prove to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court whether their employees’ meals and breaks were taken. Imagine how this would have been different if Wal-Mart had a process where employees attested that they took their meals and breaks. Wal-Mart is everywhere, so this is not just a one state (California?) issue, but a national one that affects employees in every state. For those of you who have not thought about how you could engage your employees to help with this simple record keeping process, there’s no time like the present to help avoid a potentially expensive compliance issue.
Our Kronos Attestation Tool Kit engages both managers and employees by delivering the tools they need to help comply with state, local, union and organization policies. It provides employees the ability to access, review and approve or reject their timecards at the Kronos data terminals, online using a web-based tool or within the Kronos mobile and tablet applications. It also includes a configurable tool for employees to answer important questions such as attesting whether a meal or break was taken, or whether they were hurt on the job—all as part of the punching process. The Kit comes with reports specially designed to audit and summarize the questions, answers and exceptions caused by the employee and manager responses. The components of the Attestation Tool Kit foster a level of employee engagement that makes it easier than ever to enforce employee time and approval compliance.
It’s day 2 of the Kronos Global Project Management Summit in Indy takes place during one of the coldest days in the history of the city. This multi-day training, teamwork, and social event is being led by our new Head of Global PMO at Kronos, Peter Taylor. If you’re a project manager and work at being better at it, you may have heard of Peter. He’s the author of
The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early.
I’ve enjoyed Peter’s contribution this week, but I can tell you, none of the project managers here this week are leaving the office early. We ended an interesting teambuilding event last night around 9:30, and immediately after, PM’s could be seen scurrying back to their rooms to answer emails and anything else needed to keep their projects going. I’m amazed at the enthusiasm and work ethic of our PM’s, including our many new PM’s learning their trade in our Indy Technology Center.
Right now, the self described Englishman Mr. Taylor is leading a session on “What you need from your GPMO.” Peter is soliciting the needs from all the PM’s and managers attending. It’s a great, collaborative approach, and very Kronos. The first team exercise we did involved discovery of our similarities and differences. It was an interesting look into what makes each of us unique, and what binds us together. As a global company, language is one of our differences just in the PM community. For example, yesterday during an overview presentation of “The Lazy Project Manager,” Peter said “sheduling.”
I wondered, “why in the US do we say it wrong?”
Last nights event was led by True North, a teambuilding organization. We all had a great time, built relationships, and learned a valuable lesson of project management: the stronger you build your connections through teamwork, the less likely you have to defy the laws of physics to be successful. Or something like that.
I’m in Indianapolis this week with some 160 Kronos project managers from across the globe. We’re here to grow our connections to each other, and to collectively discover what drives a great experience for Kronos customers implementing, upgrading, or adding to their Kronos solutions. Three big success themes I’ve heard are communication, responsiveness, and listening. Customers appreciate when project elements are explained well, and the timely return of calls or emails is a simple way to assist a positive experience. Then there’s the listening thing… Really listening to a customer is how we can truly understand what their expectations are. One story I heard was that of a visit to very unhappy customer by a senior Kronos service manager. While reviewing the statement of work (SOW), it was determined every commitment in it was met by Kronos, but the customer was still not happy. After some back and forth, the customer finally said, “but it’s not what I wanted.” Further discussion and listening to the unmet expectations resulted in additional work to deliver what the customer really wanted. In the end, the customer got what they wanted, and was ultimately happy with their experience.
The lesson learned is to really listen early in the process to confirm what the customer expectations for success really are. It may not be in the SOW, so initiate that discussion early, and listen carefully to confirm what the customer really wants. Otherwise, there’s no way you can deliver the experience they expect.
This summit is excellent, and will result in better Kronos project managers, and better service experiences for Kronos customers.
I’m fascinated by time, so it’s a tick ironic that I work for a company built on measuring it. Compared to Galileo’s first thought of a pendulum clock in the 16th century, or even the invention of the first quartz clock in 1928 or atomic clocks in the 1950s, Kronos is just a pup at a little over 37 years old. 37.30595483 as of today to be exact. A fascinating read on Galileo’s timely invention is from one of my favorite sites, Brain Pickings, and includes this gem on his achievement:
“In our present age of productivity, when our entire lives depend on accurate timekeeping — from our daily routines to our conference calls to financial markets and flights — it’s hard to imagine just how groundbreaking and downright miraculous the concept of measuring time accurately was in 16th-century Italy.”
I’ve been with an employee 14.82546201 years as of today, but that’s just 39.74% of the time Kronos has been Kronos. We’ve done some good things over that 37 and change, and one guy who’s been there much of the way is our CMO, Jim Kizielewicz. Jim was recently in Australia for the launch of Workforce Ready down under, and he was interviewed by Alex Zaharov-Reutt for itwire.com. It’s a wide ranging and fun interview including Kizzy’s thought on time past, time future, and even his answers to some Ashton Kutcher-inspired questions.
As I tried to get my head around the passing time and its relativity, I did some calculations to figure out what day I will have worked for Kronos 50% of the time they’ll have been in existence. Based on my spreadsheet, that day will be 10/17/2022. I’m sure time will travel very fast while I’m looking forward to it.
When you work in tech or are a big user of it, you sit through presentations about it. Sometimes they’re dry like lousy veal. Many times you can glance around the room to see attendees focused intently… on their devices. That wasn’t the case back at KronosWorks in November when Kronos Solution Consultant Matt LaGrange hit the stage. “BigMattyL” (hey, it was out there on the internets) presented “Workforce Central Operational Reporting” to two different audiences. In total, 263 customers attended Matt’s sessions, and here are some of their unedited comments:
- Operational Reporting appears to be a simple solution to a common problem.
- Matt was funny and engaging presenter. Did a great job.
- He is the best speaker!
- Matthew is incredibly knowledgeable and excellent presenter
- Best session yet!
- Was best session of conference. Speaker was fun and lively.
- Matt was a great presenter, these are some cool new features and this is the type of class I come to the conferences to see! Loved it!
- Great functionality to learn about. Awesome tool for BI professionals. I would highly recommend this secession, no only or the content but the presenters humor. He made this learning experience enjoyable.
- This is the way to go about report writing
- Matthew LaGrange killed the presentation. Best session I have been to.
We took Nancy’s comment to heart, and I’m happy to announce BigMattyL is back, and you don’t have to leave your warm office chair to enjoy him! Join Matt on Thursday, February 26th at 2:00 p.m. ET to learn how to use our new Excel-based solution to produce reports. Matt will show you how to:
- Edit the underlying templates that drive each report
- Download an existing report and copy and modify it to create your own
- Generate charts and graphs within Excel for more pictorial reporting
And do try the veal. Matty’s here all week! Well, even longer because we’ll record his webinar in case you can’t see it live.
In case you missed it, there are large clouds of uh, clouds rising from a point on Mars. Here’s coverage from the Seattle Post‑Intelligencer. Speaking of Seattle, football fans there must still be under a cloud of disappointment after that loss in the “big game.” You know what game I mean, right? We marketing weasels have to use that generic term because the organization currently doing such a fine job investigating the big game winners doesn’t allow use of their trademarked term that’s something like “Superb Owl.”
We thought it would be fun to have a contest to send a Kronos customer and their guest to the very large game, so we put together a foot and ball themed promotion for… that’s right. The Kronos cloud. And we have a winner! Well, Pam Michalk from Conn’s, an electronics and appliance store chain based in Texas “won” our contest, but based on their attire, I’m not sure Pam and her sister felt like winners at the end of incredibly awesome Sunday in Phoenix. Still, it seems Pam and her sister had a blast.
“It was a fantastic experience. We were rooting for the Seahawks; oh well. But you are right, the game did not disappoint, it was a great one till the end!
The whole experience was just awesome. Wan Graeber setup our flights and even managed to get us ground transportation to/from the hotel. We kind of felt like celebrities! I’ve never had a chauffeur waiting on me, holding up a sign with my name on it; especially around – NBC, FOX Sports, etc. it was pretty cool!
The hotel was great too. We actually were in a casita; not just a hotel room. It was nice to have the extra amenities.
Ryan Cheuvront took care of us as well. He presented us with a backpack full of goodies; including the tickets to the game and transportation to and from the game. The pre game party was a blast too.
I cannot thank you all enough for a wonderful experience and for me, a once in a lifetime event!”
It feels wonderful to be able to treat a customer with such a great experience, even if it was only great right up till the end…