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Without Truckers, we have no bananas…

April 18, 2014

bananasTruckers fly down the on-ramps to I95 South, and I saw many do it during my 1,500 mile trek to Naples, Fl last week. As day sped toward midnight of my 16 hour shift, an 18 wheeler entered the right lane from the on-ramp. I was coming up in the left lane, somewhere in Darkened, SC. The big, silverfish trailer shimmied back and forth, and I thought, “get that puppy under control.” He or she did, and we ambled down the straightaway. Driving a tractor-trailer is a dangerous gig. Last week’s crash in Sacramento was headline horrific, but on average, over 400 truckers die on the job each year. 456 in 2012 to be exact…

Trucking is vital to the U.S. economy. The American Trucking Associations reports, “nearly 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. Without the industry and our truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill. To move 9.2 billion tons of freight annually requires nearly 3 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and over 3 million truck drivers. It also takes over 37 billion gallons of diesel fuel to move all of that freight.” It’s astonishing to think of all the products we take for granted every day. Like bananas. I marvel that every time I walk into a grocery store anywhere, there are always bananas. I also often wonder how many, so I did the math*. We consumed 41,333,504,508 bananas in 2009… Trucks deliver the rest of our food, too.

What’s my point? This morning I read a story about how a trucking company just adopted our Workforce Central, and they deployed it in our private cloud. We actually have a lot of trucking and other logistics companies as customers. As a food lover, I appreciate them even more now.

The ATA concludes, “Simply – without trucks, America stops.” And yes, we have no bananas.

* The math

2,864,000 Metric Tons of Bananas imported to US
6,314 Pounds Per Metric Ton
18,083,408,222 Pounds of bananas
0.44 Average Banana Weight (in pounds)
41,333,504,508 Bananas consumed annually in US

Finding Your Voice

April 17, 2014

This is a guest blog by Terri Edkins, a Senior Services Marketing Manager at Kronos.

find your voiceMany English majors dream of writing the next “Great American Novel.” I wasn’t one of them. Don’t get me wrong. I love the written word and typically read 60+ books a year; I just don’t have the desire to write one. My best friend in college tried to convince me that we should team up and churn out romance novels. She was convinced that the formulaic method behind these publications could put us on the path to financial independence. Given the success of Fifty Shades of Grey she was probably on to something. Hindsight, if I only knew!

Many English professors, at least in my four years of experience, are frustrated actors. Not me, even though I did command the lead role in every single elementary school play in third and fourth grade. Now I’m more introverted, more comfortable behind the scenes rather than out in front on stage.

And let’s not even talk about singing. I love to belt out a song—much to my husband’s dismay—but I can’t carry a tune and I can’t remember all the words. The closest I ever get to a musical performance is watching The Voice.

But a funny thing has happened over time. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s my collective experiences, but whatever it is, I realize that I’m slowly finding my voice. I have a great on-the-job mentor who is the quite the writer himself. He’s encouraged me to dip my toe into the water that is social media. And so I’ve started. Slowly. While I’m never going to be as prolific as him, I’m starting to find it easier and easier to get the words out, literally.

Thank goodness our customers don’t have any issues finding their voices! Check out this video as one of our best talks about Kronos KnowledgePass and how it helps his organization work smarter.

Nathaniel Polky

Are you Algebra or Geometry?

April 16, 2014

LeftBrainRightBrainJoe McAuliffe was a math teacher and a coach at Wakefield (MA) High School when I attended roughly ¾ through the last century. He was also considered “cool” by my peers and me, so I was fully engaged for his Geometry class Sophomore year. There were 4 quarters, and I received 4 “A’s.” It was easy. It was visual. It was right-brained. I don’t recall Algebra as fondly, nor do I recall who taught me. Still, I learned enough of it to craft some kick-ass Excel formulas. I’m thinking about how much of my success in Geometry was attributed to the right-brain thing, versus the influence of a fully engaged teacher and student. I’ll never know the answer to that equation, but I fondly remember the experience.

K-12 job engagementIn 2014, I’m not sure teachers are as engaged. Financial pressures, larger classes, and standardized testing has really changed the workplace for K-12 professionals. A recent Gallup poll of teachers indicates nearly 70% of K-12 teachers are not engaged. That’s not good news for their young “customers” and the future for all of us. Disengaged teachers will result in more disengaged students. However, Gallup discovered that students who felt, “I have at least one teacher who makes me excited about the future” were “30 times more likely to be engaged.” That’s hopeful. One teacher can make a difference. Who was that for you? Tell us in our “Thanks to a Teacher” contest by sharing the best advice they gave you that helped influence your life and career. One winner will be selected, and “Kronos will award $10,000 to the school where the nominated teacher currently works or previously worked.” Do it now! The contest ends, this Friday, April 18, 2014.

Oh, and thanks, Mr. McAuliffe, wherever you are for helping me understand all the angles.

A Mobile Balance of Work and Life (Un équilibre mobile de travail et de vie)

April 15, 2014

185The French didn’t really legislate against tech workers answering work emails after 6PM, but it seemed a good story at the time. I think the French get quite a bit about life right, and the story does call into question the issue of our my “always on” connected lives life. Last week I took vacation days Thursday and Friday to drive Hans Solo 1,500 miles South. Day 1, I stopped for gas a couple times, but didn’t find a hotel motel room till near midnight. Something about a NASCAR race at Darlington… As I finally laid in bed waiting for the 16 hours of highway vibrations to subside, LED light shone data my way. I deleted many of the 185 intruders, and ignored the rest. I’m too connected, but mobile apps do provide some work-life balance. Friday morning in the Summerton (SC) Diner, I sat among the locals and pecked out that days blog, Metamorphosis. Yeah, it was a day off, but the thought of missing a day and potentially ceding my blogging domination to (Work)Joyce would have upset my work-ego balance, so I did what I had to do.

In many industries employees just do what they have to do to get the job done. Sometimes the work and life boundaries blur. Having a mobile app for WordPress allowed me to sit and eat with my iPad, mixing bits and grits to get a little work done. Workforce Mobile and Workforce Ready Mobile give Kronos users easy to use apps to get important tasks of their job done so they can visit mom, see their child’s ballgame, or make that doctor’s appointment.

It’s important to disconnect once in a while, but while we do what we gotta do, mobile technology gives us flexibility to balance busy work and personal lives, or in my case, to just battre le boss…

Clocking In to Work Out?

April 14, 2014

moneyballIn the news recently are two stories regarding workforces taking legal action against “employers.” First, three minor league baseball players have sued Major League Baseball, commissioner Bud Selig, and 3 major league teams for violations of wage and overtime laws. Second, the New York Times reported, “A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday that a group of Northwestern football players were employees of the university and have the right to form a union and bargain collectively.” Of course, baseball ownership and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are opposed to these actions.

Just in case the courts rule in favor of the players, Kronos has time and attendance solutions for organizations large and small to help comply with wage and overtime laws and to automate compliance with sometimes complex collective bargaining agreements. And we’re good sports…

Until then, it will be interesting to see how these versions of “Moneyball” turn out.

 

Metamorphosis

April 11, 2014

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The Wikipedia definition of Metamorphosis follows. I’ve expanded it with parenthesis:

“a biological process by which an animal (entity) physically develops after birth or hatching (creation), involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation. …metamorphosis, which is usually accompanied by a change of habitat or behavior.”

It’s change, and based on some of the pictures I’ve seen of larvae going through it, it looks painful. (I’m thinking Jeff Goldblum in “the Fly.”) Anyway, I think I’ve been going through one, and Kronos definitely is, and neither is a first for us. From the earliest microprocessor based products, to DOS systems, Windows, client-server, the web, and cloud, there have been a few skins ripped to shreds and shed. Kronos has gone through a similar journey…

I don’t know where we’re going, but it will be forward, and hopefully positive. If you’re looking for a career change in “habitat or behavior,” check us out, but be prepared to shed some old, comfortable ways. It’s the only way to find out if you can fly.

“7.1 million folks have health insurance.”

April 10, 2014
tags: ,

original“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” That phrase is often attributed to Mark Twain, but it appears the phrase originated in an article by Leonard H. Courtney. I do try to research facts for my posts, and present them in an objective manner, unlike this graphic presented by a major news organization just prior to the March 31 deadline.

It seems the political war over the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as some tried to ominously spin it, may now be winding down. Another “trial” (the 2012 mid-term elections) of the legislation will be held in November, but Republicans and Democrats will need to carefully measure how their positions will translate (or not) into votes. After the end of the sign-up period, the department of Health and Human Services and the White House announced that 7.1 million people had signed up for health insurance. Queue the cable wars…

Bottom line: Large Employers Need to Be Counting ACA Hours. Check out our ACA resource center, and check out this hilarious look at the cable skirmish after the 7.1M number was announced. You just have to laugh.

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