In case you missed it last week, Kronos was named the #1 large employer in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. OK, so what has Kronos done for us lately? The thing about being #1 is that everyone else wants to be #1, so they’ll try harder. That means we all have to try harder to stay at the top. So this week the company celebrated Thanksgiving a little early with a free employee lunch served by our executive management team, including the big guy. It was a great meal, too. The Flik folks do a great job in our corporate cafeterias, and this week’s feast o’ plenty was delicious!
Getting back to the “what has Kronos done for us lately” query, it’s the wrong question. “Kronos” is us, and it’s our individual contributions that result in collective success. So, what have “we” done for Kronos lately? It’s a question that gets more complex because of all the success we’ve enjoyed. With consistent success, it’s easy to get complacent, but competitors want that #1 spot, whether it’s as a best place to work or as a workforce management solutions provider.
Improving when you’re already very successful is tough, and really the easy part is setting the bar a little higher on all the metrics of success: customer satisfaction and loyalty, employee engagement, revenue, and profitability. More challenging is how we get 4,000 individuals to choreograph that positive movement of the numbers. One of the ways is to simply acknowledge each other’s contributions. An “atta boy” goes a long way to build employee engagement and improve productivity.
Yesterday I had an informal chat with one of my employees. I told her she had a very strong year, and now she had to think creatively about how to get even better. We can’t just keep doing the same things the same way and expect continuous improvement.
On Tuesday, our Chief People Officer sent out a leadership goal for 2015:
Develop and Inspire Employees
One of the bullet points read, “Demonstrate a genuine and ongoing interest in the career/professional development of your employees.”
As I passed through the Thanksgiving lunch line, Aron asked, “Hey, how come you made fun of our Indy employee’s football team?” With all the guy has going on, he reads my blog. Thanks.
OK, I guess Google’s Android 5.0 (Lollipop) mobile operating system launched today, but I won’t see it on my LG G2 probably for months, but that may not be such a bad thing. For the last 2 “over the air” software updates from VerizonWireless, it took a “factory (or hard) reset” to get my phone working correctly, I think. By the way, hard reset means deleting everything on your phone, hoping your backup worked (you did a backup, right?), then manually restoring mail accounts, icons, passwords, music, pictures, shortcuts… You know, everything.
This time Bluetooth was not working. It started failing right after VerizonWireless updated the phone to support their Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service. VoLTE basically routes calls through Verizon’s data network (think VOIP) rather than its voice network. It’s like HD audio, and it’s quite good, except I couldn’t have a conversation through my new car’s Bluetooth system because the upgrade broke the phone Bluetooth! Oh, and the messed up Bluetooth was also killing the usually great LG G2 battery.
You still with me?
So, after not finding an answer via the Verizon community or any of the other Android communities I frequent, last night I finally went to the Big Red Store. Nobody was in “the queue,” but I still waited 30 minutes until “Lanning” helped me. He looked at the phone and asked if I had tried a “soft reset” (basically turning the unit off and on). “Yep.” Then, in a really ominous sign, he frowned and scratched the back of his head like he was thinking, but with this weather, it may have just been dry, itchy scalp. Anyway, I knew then that “hard reset” was my plan for the evening.
Lanning did tell me to use Verizon’s cloud to back up my stuff, and it worked. As the laborious process went on, Maddy and the Bruins kept me company. The B’s played well, giving St. Louis the Blues, 2-0, but my mind wanted to know, “why is a hard reset necessary when Google-LG-Verizon update the software for the phone, and which one of them screwed it up? I may never know, but it’s working now.
That little journey was just to upgrade software on a phone. Upgrading enterprise software can be even more challenging… or not. If you have Workforce Central (WFC) in your own data center, our Upgrade Central provides a ton of content, and can help you understand your options. Of course an easier route for WFC is to go the SaaS route and have Kronos do your upgrades, and in the Workforce Ready world, upgrades just happen… like magic.
Come to think of it, when you consider what our phones can do today… Mail, talk, text, web, mapping, wireless streaming music, camera, video, games, hey, even Kronos… it is pretty magical.
Here’s fair warning… I’m going to be on this “getting more value from Kronos” thing until we all know exactly what it means. One thing it means is using your Kronos applications fully and efficiently. Dig in there! Find out what features and functions can help YOU and your organization (which will make YOU look good!).
In fact, starting tomorrow, you can begin to hone your skills as a Kronos SuperUser by attending our free webinar, Timekeeper Tips and Tricks for Superusers. Christine Cook, Kronos Senior Training Manager is pretty awesome, and this is like free training, so jump on it. Christine will cover the ins-and-outs of the system for added efficiency and productivity – making you a Workforce Timekeeper superuser in no time!
The webinar will cover tools, tips, and best practices for Workforce Timekeeper, including:
- How to turn data into information with Genies
- How to use historical edits with retroactive pay calculations
- How to secure data with generic data access profiles
- And more!
Won’t knowing how to do these things help YOU get more value from Kronos? Yes. Yes it will.
Of all the Kronos offices in the US, the biggest are in Indianapolis, IN, and Chelmsford, MA. The one I work in has a very happy vibe this morning, while the other… Well, they’re probably feeling a little run over. Hey, the Indy team is a young one that’s full of talent, and they’re only going to get better. The same goes for their football team…
Our Indianapolis Technology Center is a buzzing hub of activity, much of it generated by the exploding sales of Workforce Ready. Their productivity lately is off the charts. Just since October, they have taken 115 customer modules live! In the Workforce Ready SaaS suite, a “module” means HR, Payroll, Time & Attendance, Accruals, Leave, etc…
So to our Indy team, thanks… and sorry.
We, as in humanity, landed a probe on a comet 300,000,000 miles from Earth. To put that in perspective, our moon is a mere 240,000 miles away, and it isn’t traveling 84,000 miles per hour. Specifically, the European Space Agency did it, and it’s an incredible achievement since it’s believed comets are residue from the beginning of the universe. Yeah, man. Heavy. Hey, it’s rocket science, and you don’t try it at home. Late in October, a rocket developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded in dramatic fashion seconds after launch.
How do you test a probe that’s going to fly 3.7 billion miles and land on a comet? How do you test every component of a rocket so it doesn’t explode? I apologize if you were expecting answers on those. I don’t even know how to test a Kronos system, but I now know someone who’s a rock star at it.
Kim Geller, CTFL, is a Program Manager with our advanced testing services team. Her presentation at KronosWorks was the best one of the ten or so I saw. She killed it. Here’s what I wrote to her management team:
“Kim’s delivery made the session engaging and fun, but the content! Kim delivered VALUE to the attendees. Some will benefit from the knowledge gained, while others without the skills or bandwidth will know Kim and Kronos can help them! If this were figure skating, I’d give Kim 10′s for both technical merit and artistic impression!”
It was that good, and yes, she landed the triple testing toe loop! If you’re a Kronos customer, you may wonder “why would I need advanced testing services?” As Kim covered in her presentation, if you’ve heard some of these, your organization may be a candidate:
- We can fix issues as we find them – after we go live.
- We don’t have resources to test, everyone is really busy!
- We really need to get this product live before the new year. We don’t have time to test!
- Wait what? This needs to be tested??
- We don’t have a Quality Assurance Department, it will cost too much to hire testers.
I have great news for you that couldn’t attend KronosWorks! Kim’s session is available via webinar until November 25th! You can also read up on advanced testing services in this spiffy marketing piece.
Check it out. You don’t want your implementation or upgrade blowing up due to insufficient testing.
KronosWorks 2014 is now just a memory, but based on the fun I witnessed and participated in during Tuesday night’s customer party at Hakkasan, exactly what attendees remember will be graded on a scale. Here’s just 26 seconds of my 2-3 hours on the dance floor, and I’m not really a dance floor kind of guy. (Play)Joyce really loves this song, and I wish she could have been there to enjoy the fun with 2,000+ customers, partners, Kronites, and well, me…
Later, an entourage of Kronites and at least one customer (who I discovered reads this blog…) headed to the Carnival Court at Harrah’s. Fun place, and I chuckled when I read this on their website:
“The Carnaval Court at Harrah’s delivers the Strip experience one expects…”
The Experience You Expect. It’s our services “brand,” if you will, and it’s a commitment to our customers to get them off to a fast start and early success, to deliver continuous value, and to help them “work smarter.” We’ve got great customers who are committed to us, too. Check out this Wednesday morning poll we did. 72% after that party is COMMITMENT. Let me know if KronosWorks delivered the experience you expected.
Oh. And I do have other pictures…