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To col•lab•o•rate: Work jointly or cooperate traitorously?

July 30, 2014

TWS23.600.collaborationOur latest Time Well Spent cartoon got me thinking about workplace collaboration. In case you haven’t heard, Workforce Central 7 has social collaboration built in to help employees, um, collaborate. Then I looked up the definition, and got 2:

  1. work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.
  2. cooperate traitorously with an enemy.

We hear the word collaborate quite a bit, and it’s with positive connotation like the 7 Dwarfs working together literally in harmony, but is that how you collaborate? Not every dwarf is good at the group singing thing. My morning’s research found a Salesforce Rypple infographic titled, Is Poor Collaboration Killing Your Company? It’s worth a look to help all of us determine if we’re doing it right, and if our own collaboration style is to “work jointly” or “cooperate traitorously.” At the bottom of the infographic, the importance of knowing the difference is summarized nicely:

“The most successful companies break down the barriers that kill collaboration. If your employees are not working together as harmoniously as they could be, now is the time to find out why – and fix it.

So… How do you collaborate?

RyppleCollaboration

And the thunder rolls…

July 29, 2014

Given that a Tornado swept through Revere Massachusetts yesterday, I thought it was good timing for this guest blog by Melissa Spinella, Services Marketing Manager at Kronos. On July 1st, Melissa debuted as a guest blogger with Building a fan base brick by brick.

Scared CoorsStorm clouds always make me nervous. As the “Doggy Mom” to a 6-year old Golden Retriever “son,” those clouds, and the thunder and lightning that usually accompany them in the summer months, send my pup into uncontrollable bouts of anxiety and he ends up hiding in the most cave-like area he can find in the house.

Luckily, the same isn’t true about the Kronos Cloud. In fact, for the more than 20 Kronos customers who went live in the Kronos Workforce Central Cloud in June, the cloud actually relieves their anxiety about workforce management. They know their system is safe, all technical issues are handled by the experts, and their IT staff is freed up to focus on core business systems that affect their bottom-line. But don’t just take my word for it; see for yourself what these happy Cloud customers have to say!

Now excuse me while I peel my “son” off the ceiling, I see those clouds rolling in again…

Agri supply stores

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Rexam

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5 years of work is 39 in cat years

July 28, 2014

Readers of this space know Terri Edkins from her guest posts on change, loons, and of course cats, among other things. Sunday at 1:38 AM I received this email. I have no idea what these people were doing up at that hour, except that they are self-described as inspired.

terri 5

I actually read the message Sunday night after dinner, so to “make today special” I raised my beer, and took a celebratory sip. Then I thought a bit, and Terri’s accomplishments began to parade across my mind. Terri had a strong start and early success with her customer focus group work in 2009, and the subsequent development of The Experience You Expect for Kronos services. Since then, Terri’s head has been mostly in the cloud, working with our cloud services team, managing cloud customer video testimonials, plus analyst projects quantifying the financial benefits of the Kronos cloud and the cloud customer experience. She also supports our professional services and education teams to create awareness for offerings that help customers get more value from their Kronos investment, like user adoption services. She’s also an annual force for the excellent services content we deliver at KronosWorks.

There are many employees who reach five years in a company, but few deliver continuous value the way Terri does. Oh, and in her spare time, she’s a mentor to many of her colleagues. In my case, she may not realize she’s mentoring. Terri’s a busy girl, but she always has time to walk in my office every single morning to say, “Good morning! How you doing?” Even after 5 years of that, it never gets old. Then we catch up, and make sure we’re focused on the right things for our internal stakeholders. When I think I have all the answers, Terri pushes back, always careful to protect my sensitive male ego. She helps me work smarter.

For all of her contributions professionally and personally to make our whole team better… Thanks, Terri.

5 year cat

U Can’t Touch This

July 25, 2014

OK, I’ve officially checked off my blog bucket-list, “Use an MC Hammer song as a post title.”

InTouch on Night ShiftNow changing the channel from MTV Classic, on Tuesday’s at 10PM (9 Central) on NBC, “The Night Shift focuses on financially-strained San Antonio Memorial, its heroic and fun-loving staff, and their …” I couldn’t find the rest of the description on NBC’s website, but elsewhere I learned some of the staff includes returning Army veterans. Interesting premise. I was very happy to discover that even though the hospital is “financially strapped,” they had the wisdom to invest in Kronos for Healthcare to help them help control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, improve workforce productivity, and deliver quality, cost-effective care. See? There’s a Kronos InTouch® right there on the wall! Well played, San Antonio Memorial.TouchID

Speaking of the InTouch®, I read in Appleinsider.com that “Apple will not be granted a trademark for the Touch ID authentication system introduced alongside the iPhone 5s, according to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision revealed Monday, because it could be confused with an earlier Touch ID trademark assigned to timekeeping company Kronos.”

In a comment posted following the article, Apple enthusiast “scotty321” wrote “Nobody is going to confuse some clunky timecard system hanging on the wall at their office with Apple’s svelte Touch ID fingerprint unlocking system for the iPhone.” scotty, ouch! “Clunky?” I think it’s pretty svelte. Later in the comments, the light of online communities shone when “zoetmb” replied, “Clunky? Do you even know what Kronos produces? Among their many implementations of Touch ID are sophisticated terminals for use in the gaming industry that are used in casinos.“ Thanks, zoe.

Anyway, it’s Friday. Get up and dance like Hammer!

In, but Out Of the Office

July 24, 2014

OOOIt seems we are officially in the “dog days” of summer here in the Northeast United States. I don’t understand the negative connotation though, because most of the sad puppies I see in the halls here look like they’d rather be playing outside. With all the ins and outs of half-days, vacation days, and (“I lit myself on fire grilling burgers.”) sick days, it’s got to be tough for an employer to keep track of it all. Not to mention when “burger boy” needs short-term leave to heal.

During my morning hitchhike across the excellent internet galaxy, I found “Most employers don’t measure cost of worker absences” by Stephanie Goldberg in Business Insurance magazine. Ms. Goldberg writes about an Aon Hewitt survey concluding that “The majority of employers don’t measure the impact of absence on their bottom line, despite the fact that it costs about 8% of payroll on average.”

When you think about the annual payroll expense for an organization, 8% is a significant number, and helping to minimize it is right in the Kronos wheelhouse with absence management and workforce analytics solutions.

If you’d like to learn more, on August 7, 2014, 2:00 PM ET we’re teaming up with SHRM for Heavy Lifting: How Hidden Absence Costs Add Up – and Weigh You Down, a free webinar to explore how automating absence management can help you:

  • Efficiently manage scheduled and unscheduled absence
  • Identify and rectify costly absence trends
  • Use real-time data visibility for quick fixes to last minute absences
  • Minimize compliance risk associated with FMLA

Now since you’re “In” but would like to be “Out,” here’s a fun song about a county fair in the country sun…

I’m in Love with my Car (Workforce)

July 23, 2014

mystery-suvTonight I’m headed to my local Acura dealer to begin exploring a replacement for my 2008 TSX. I love the car, but as it nears 150,000 miles, I don’t want to push my luck on longevity. Their upcoming TLX looks interesting, but it’s a first year model, plus I may be going SUV this time around unless the TLX sedan comes with an ejector seat. I’m not naming any names, and all I’ll say is that it’s not getting any easier for one of my passengers to extract themselves after a long drive… Tonight I’ll check out the Acura RDX and the larger MDX. Any other suggestions?

Like most industries, auto manufacturing is competitive, and car companies look for every advantage they can get along their complex supply chains. Forbes just put out their list of the top 10 global automakers, and the majority of them are Kronos customers. One of them, Agustin Salas, human resources manager for Volkswagen in Mexico said, “We have saved nearly $900,000 through maintenance and overtime control and other efficiencies with Kronos. Kronos enables our plant management to secure accurate and on-time data on labor costs to help improve overall budget management.”

Hmmm… maybe I should check out the VW Touareg.

In other news… We just announced our third quarter results, and of course there was this:

“The Kronos Cloud is experiencing significant growth across all market segments. 77 percent of new customer bookings were from an array of Kronos Cloud offerings, bringing the total number of organizations leveraging the Kronos Cloud to nearly 12,000.”

As an employee, it’s difficult to not sometimes take this continued success for granted. In my 14 years, we’ve grown consistently and profitably from $200 million to over a billion in revenue. It’s been a great ride, and it’s comforting to hear our CEO, Aron Ain say, “the best days are still ahead for Kronos.”

Who are the People in Your Venn Diagram?

July 22, 2014

people I most enjoyReaders of this space will know I appreciate the value of content curation out here on the World Wide Web. The thing about sharing stuff on the internet is that good form dictates assigning attribution to the content. In other words, you tell your audience how you found it, and whose original content is it.

The Joyce's - (Work) and (Play)

The Joyce’s – (Work) and (Play)

This morning, my social media pal, and former co-worker, Kelley “Liked” this Venn diagram posted by Linkedin CEO, Jeff Weiner. Now I can’t tell if the pic is Jeff’s original creation, but if it is, it makes his gig even cooler. I don’t typically sit around creating Venn’s, but Jeff went to Wharton, so maybe he does. In any case, it’s cool, Kelley helped me find it, and it is a perfect intro to my lovely afternoon of golf yesterday to help our pal Barb and Kronos raise money for the local UMass-Lowell hockey team.

Pete repairing one of only two ball marks created by team Kronos...

Pete repairing one of only two ball marks created by team Kronos…

It was a great day spent with three favorite people who live in the middle of my concentric circles, (Play)Joyce, (Work)Joyce, and Pete Broderick, the owner of a sweet golf swing, and the guy that hired me at Kronos (in spite of his denials). We had a ball (and lost many) while finishing dead last. I could easily blame it on the ladies, but since they outdrove us all day, that wouldn’t really be um, up to par. Hey, it’s a tough game that can crush the will of any man. Late in the day after a particularly rough hole, Pete said, “I want to play from the ladies tee.” Yeah, the game can be crushing.

There are a lot of people in the “People I Most Enjoy Working With” at Kronos, like Barb, (Work)Joyce, and Pete, and many others, plus we’re always looking for more. So who are the people in the middle for you? More importantly, are you in the sweet spot for them?

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