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Even More Holiday Office Party Rules

November 22, 2017

I can’t believe it’s been nearly five years since I provided Two Simple Christmas Holiday Office Party Rules. Well, a great deal has changed in five years, and while I think the two rules are personally golden for the holidays, my daily email from Wolters Kluwer provides even more advice for employers on how to avoid holiday party pitfalls and other kinds of falls… I receive the email every business day full of HR and Payroll tips to help HCM professionals stay compliant and out of trouble. The email service is a free benefit of HR and Payroll Answerforce, available for free to all registered members of the Kronos Community.

Are you Black Friday ready?

November 21, 2017

RT_Mall_jpgI’ve gone shopping for Black Friday once, maybe twice, in my life. For some shoppers, it’s an anticipated fun night/day out. For others, it’s an exhausting and sometimes even dangerous event. And for the retailer?

The Kronos commissioned “Retail Employees’ Holiday Wish List” survey, conducted Oct. 17-28, 2016 by Harris Poll, revealed that more than half of all retail employees would rather do something other than work on Black Friday – things like working seven days in a row, listening to a customer complain for an hour, and cleaning the bathroom for a month.

Needless to say, the day can be somewhat stressful for the people who make it all happen for the rest of us.

So, how do retailers and their staff prepare for such a hectic day? Well, one way is close stores and give employees the day off like REI – an interesting approach with a valuable #OptOutside message! Or, for retailers continuing business as usual, Kronos can help contain the hustle and bustle. Kronos employee scheduling solutions like Workforce Dimensions Scheduling ensure you have the right people covering every shift every day. The “Retail Employees’ Holiday Wish List” survey also revealed that letting employees choose their own schedules would make working during the holiday season a little bit better, and Workforce Dimensions makes it easier to do that. Empower your employees with self-service and mobile scheduling to keep morale high and increase engagement!

Another way to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year is by leveraging the retail labor model, a tool used to build annual labor budget as well as weekly and period labor forecasts. But not only does it help retailers prepare, it can also help them reflect on actual labor performance – super helpful during busy times like Black Friday. Check out part-2 of the Retail Labor Model white paper series – How Traditional Methods for Gauging the Customer Experience Fall Short – to learn about the variety of ways to measure labor model output!

Happy reading and happy shopping!

The “DreamWorks” Community…

November 18, 2017

Over the past two weeks between Dreamforce and KronosWorks, I flew 10,000 miles and feel like I walked about the same. Salesforce’s annual conference drops 170,000 attendees over about 10 city blocks in San Francisco, while the Kronos version took place between the Aria and Bellagio hotels in Las Vegas. Between the two, I presented 4 times and participated in 2 panels.

At Dreamforce, I twice presented a session with Salesforce Community Cloud employees called, Best Practices for Developing Community Advocates. With a little time since those sessions, it’s occurred to me how successful online communities are like those in real life. A successful community:

  • needs a budget to meet the needs of its population
  • helps businesses (partners) and people (customers)
  • has a high percentage of people helping people
  • encourages and implements the ideas of its people
  • has local events promoted by citizens
  • is advocated for by those in it
  • cares for all…

With an influx of 170,000 people to the City by the Bay, supply and demand pushes the hotel pricing curve sharply in one direction, so even modest hotels were around $800 a night. I couldn’t personally justify a $4,000 company expense, so I opted to stay at a nice Marriott in Walnut Creek, a 40 minute subway ride to and from the city each day via underneath the bay.

Walking the long, bright white tunnels in the Powell BART station, I passed by many sleeping on the floor who had no dollars for nightly accommodation. There are about 7,000 homeless in San Francisco, and as I passed by some of them I wondered:

  • How did they get here?
  • What is their backstory?
  • Is there mental illness? Abuse? Bad luck?

In the week before Dreamforce, the company tweeted, How has Salesforce changed your life for the better? The tweet received many responses, and more live online. Through their Trailblazer program, people’s lives have been changed by the opportunity to learn Salesforce and land great jobs with their 150,000 customers. Some of the Trailblazer stories are truly inspiring, and gave me hope that things could turn for some of the unfortunate.

Last week at KronosWorks, I did a couple demonstration sessions of the Kronos Community and then hosted a panel with our top 3 customer contributors and our community manager. With them, you can definitely check the boxes of “people helping people,” “advocating for the community,” and “caring for all.” They have helped so many.

Matt Sorrell, Mahren Mahilrajan, David Jonsen, and Melissa Spinella

By Wednesday morning at breakfast I was ready to go home, but was still thinking about what I saw in San Francisco. A young man sat down next to me. We chit-chatted, then he asked me what advice I had for a 20 year old. I said to be assertive and not hold himself back. I also mentioned gratitude, and that we were fortunate to be in such a beautiful hotel at a cool event. I added that many don’t have the opportunity we did. Then I told Justin about seeing and empathizing for the homeless I saw in San Francisco. He looked at me quizzically, then showed me a news article on his phone about homeless youth in his city. He was the subject of the piece. Through a series of unfortunate events, Justin found himself homeless in 2016. Through help from his community including an internship, Justin landed a job working for the city supporting their Kronos system. I was stunned. Justin said, “A year ago I was homeless, and now here I am.”

Now through our community, I’ll work to get Justin connected to Kronos experts, and to educational opportunities including KnowledgePass, which his employer subscribes to… Hopefully, Kronos expertise will help Justin continue to work toward his dreams and change his life for the better.

KronosWorks Highlights

November 16, 2017

And it’s a wrap! KronosWorks 2017 has officially come to a close, and it was the most incredible one yet. I know on Tuesday I said that this year was my first KronosWorks; so, it’s true I make this claim without comparing to others in the past. I’m confident, though, that my fellow Kronites and customers who were in attendance will back me up. KronosWorks 2017 is most definitely going down in Kronos history as one to be remembered.

Here are a few of my personal highlights from the past few days…

Workforce Dimensions Unveiling – This is one super cool technology. The solution has reimagined what workforce management looks like and feels like with its intelligent Kronos D5 platform and responsive user design. Accessible from anywhere on any device, managers and employees alike can perform the tasks they need to with ease. I was truly impressed by what I saw during the demos! Workforce Dimensions makes workforce management look fun – even more fun than it already was, of course! You can read more about it in the Workforce Dimensions Solution Guide.

Catching Up With Customers – KronosWorks is a great place to connect with old friends. I was excited to bump into a couple of customers from Gordon Food Service (GFS). Last year, I went to Canada and toured the GFS Milton, Ontario distribution center with a colleague of mine on the User Research team. We gathered information about how managers and employees interacted with Kronos from observations and one-on-meetings with staff. We even walked through the freezer to experience what employees – and Kronos InTouch clocks for that matter – must withstand. It’s something like -10 degrees in there, and we laughed remembering how my glasses fogged up and practically iced over. Great to see you Toni and Luke!

Train selfieCustomer Appreciation Event – This year’s Customer Appreciation Event featured Train live on stage at The Joint – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. But not only did we get to see Patrick Monahan and band jamming out to all their greatest hits, we also saw our own Jesse B., Customer Advocacy Manager at Kronos, and one of our fearless customers pulled up on stage for a stellar performance of Don’t Stop Believin’ – what an amazing evening it was!

The Expo – The expo was hopping with people visiting the Workforce Dimensions booth, Kronos Partner booths, Product booths, and our Services booths! We had three lucky winners claim the prizes we raffled off – an Amazon Echo Plus, a YETI Roadie Cooler, and an American Express gift card. I enjoyed meeting new customers during busy times and chatting with coworkers I’d only met virtually.

I’m already looking forward to next year! Save the date – same place but not same time. Hope to see you at the ARIA Las Vegas November 4-7.

Introducing Workforce Dimensions

November 14, 2017

dimensionsToday, I’m blogging from Las Vegas…whoa. I never thought I’d be saying that!

It’s both my first time in the City of Lights and my first KronosWorks. And what an amazing and inspiring couple of days it’s been! Just yesterday, Kronos announced our latest product suite, Workforce Dimensions – a solution that’s built to represent the next generation of workforce technology. Our CEO, Aron Ain, delivered the news on the stage of the KronosWorks opening general session, and it was streamed live across the globe! We also heard from Bill Bartow, Kronos Workforce Dimensions Vice President of Global Product Management, who gave us a glimpse into the exciting new capabilities that Workforce Dimensions brings to the table. Built on an entirely new, modern cloud platform, every dimension of this innovative solution – the architecture, user experience, functionality, integration, support, etc. – is designed to help you optimize your most valuable resource…and that’s your people.

It’s certainly an exciting time to be a Kronite – and also a Kronos customer! If you’re an existing customer who’s curious about migrating to Workforce Dimensions, you’ll be excited to hear that it’s an intuitive and efficient process. Our services team will make sure you have a clear picture of what to expect, and you’ll also have access to Customer Success. What does this mean? It means that your success is our priority and that we promise to be your advocate and partner throughout your entire customer journey. Visit the Workforce Dimensions Services page to learn more about the Customer Success Plans, Deployment Services, Educational Services, Support Services, and Advisory Services that will help ensure Workforce Dimensions meets your needs.

The excitement is running high and the Workforce Dimensions expo booth here at KronosWorks is packed! Check out the replay of the Workforce Dimensions announcement to see for yourself what all the excitement is about!

The Small Stuff Adds Up: relieving nurse manager administrative burden may strengthen engagement

November 9, 2017

Today’s guest post comes to us from Jocie Strong, MSN, RN, and Kronos Clinical Solution Specialist. Jocie shares the importance of nurse manager engagement in relation to patient care and takes us through a few examples of how modern tools can play an important role in keeping nurse managers energized in their roles. Read on to gain insight from this industry-expert!


The role of a nurse manager (NM) is complex and uniquely challenging. NMs typically have 24/7/365 responsibility for at least one patient care unit, including accountability for both clinical and operational outcomes.  Competencies of these leaders cover everything from specialty clinical care and informatics, to leadership, healthcare finance, and human resources1.  With influence in numerous different domains, it is no wonder that NM skill greatly impacts both patient outcomes2 and staff retention3. It should also be no surprise that with so many required areas of proficiency, NMs are susceptible to high stress and burnout, often making retention a challenge4,5.

Nurse managers directly impact the culture of a patient care unit and the resulting work environment of nurses.  In turn, creation of a healthy work environment can improve employee engagement and productivity, impacting fiscal outcomes such as employee retention, productivity, and absenteeism rates6.  It has also been shown that a healthy work environment leads to better clinical care7. With the estimated costs to replace a nurse manager at 75% to 125% of their salary8, replacing a single manager could average $69,000 to $116,0009. With nurse manager turnover rates typically higher than those of senior leaders, organizations would benefit from engagement initiatives targeting this group10.

A recent study has identified strategies to enhance nurse manager engagement11. Recommendations include enhancing clear communication, relieving the administrative burden, and promotion of work/life balance. So often when discussing workforce management with clients, we hear from the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) that his or her frontline managers do not have what they need to easily, quickly, and accurately manage their clinical nurses. For NMs to avoid frustration and have the required information to make decisions in their role, they need modern tools at their fingertips. Technology can play an influential role in assisting this key group via:

  • Automation – In a world where clinicians often get more facetime with a computer screen than their patients, the ability to automate administrative tasks allows NMs more time out of the office to interact with patients and families, and to mentor their clinical staff. Tasks that can be automated with modern technology include everything from tracking attendance and approving PTO requests, to filling open shifts and creating balanced staff assignments.
  • Alerts – To adequately meet the demands of their role, NMs need to interpret and respond to dynamic real-time information. From patient satisfaction scores and quality outcomes, to financial performance and throughput, the data influencing NM decisions are often received after it is too late to make changes which would impact outcomes. Modern technology can push alerts directly to managers at regular intervals, or in real-time, so that they can correct issues proactively. Alerts include warnings of employees approaching overtime pay, notification of an employee who was unable to receive a break during their shift or reminders to staff when they need to renew required licenses or certifications. Additionally, systems can provide access to real-time data, allowing for optimal decision-making that is most likely to result in positive outcomes – for example, providing visibility to a unit that is experiencing unusually high patient churn, or access to information about a patient who is unexpectedly requiring a higher level of nursing care and additional staffing resources.
  • Mobility77% of Americans own a smartphone today12, and the ability to complete most tasks on a mobile device is a growing expectation. Adopting technology that allows NMs to utilize their smartphone to communicate with employees – whether related to critical staffing issues or to approve timecards and schedule requests – gives them the freedom to balance their management work while both attending organizational meetings at the hospital, or giving their attention to personal matters at home.

By relieving the administrative burden of some non-strategic, but required tasks, NMs can focus their energy on work that is not only important to your organization’s mission and patients, but that will also leave them energized and engaged. Let’s make it easier for them to support their employees in providing the best care possible, without being dragged down by the small stuff.


[1] American Organization of Nurse Executives. (2015). AONE Nurse Manager Competencies. Chicago, IL. Accessed at:, Accessible at:

[2] Lageson, C. Quality focus of the first line nurse manager and relationship to unit outcomes. Journal of Nursing Care Quality. 2004; 19(4):336-342.

[3] Anthony, MK, Standing, TS, Glick, J, et al. Leadership and nurse retention: The pivotal role of nurse managers. Journal of Nursing Administration. 2005; 35(3): 146-155.

[4] Shirley, MR, Ebright, PR, McDaniel, AM. Sleepless in America: Nurse managers cope with stress and complexity. Journal of Nursing Administration. 2008; 38(3): 125-131.

[5] Lee, H, Cummings, GG. Factors influencing job satisfaction of front line nurse managers: A systematic review. Journal of Nursing Management. 2008; 16: 768-783.

[6] Blake N, Leach LS, Robbins W, Pike N. Healthy work environments and staff nurse retention. Nursing Administration Quarterly. Aspen Publishers; 2013; 37:356.

[7] American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. (2016). AACN Standards for Establishing and Maintaining a Healthy Work Environment. Aliso Viejo, CA. Accessed at:, Accessible at:

[8] Titzer J, Phillips T, Tooley S, Hall N, Shirey M. Nurse manager succession planning: Synthesis of the evidence. Journal of Nursing Management. 2013; 21:971-979.

[9] National Average Nurse Manger Salaries. Glassdoor, Sept 2017. Accessed at:,13.htm

[10] Titzer J, Phillips T, Tooley S, Hall N, Shirey M. Nurse manager succession planning: synthesis of the evidence. Journal of Nursing Management. 2013; 21:971-979.

[11]Conley, KA. Nurse manager engagement: Strategies to enhance and maintain engagement. Journal of Nursing Administration. 2017; 47(9): 454-457.

[12] Smith, A. Record shares of Americans now own smartphones, have home broadband. Pew Research Center. Accessed at:


WorkInspired Week @ Kronos

November 7, 2017

Last week was the first ever WorkInspired week at Kronos!

We kicked off the fuspooky mondayn with our Spooky Monday Halloween party where there was trick or treating and pizza for Kronite children and a Halloween-decorating competition between each floor to bring the festive fever to the office. We then gathered to celebrate the ribbon-cutting ceremony and our 40th anniversary celebration on Tuesday. Wednesday we invited our friends and families in for the Family Open House, and Thursday we gave back to local charitable organizations by volunteering our time for great local causes. It was a blast and a great way to spread the Kronos spirit!

The week came to a close with Customer-First Day on Friday – a day to celebrate YOU, our customers, and our commitment to keeping you at the center of everything we do. Kronites visited the Customer First Booth at our Lowell headquarters to share success stories and experiences from throughout the years. Here are a few from my conversations!

  • In July of 2001, there was a 60-car freight train derailment in a tunnel under Howard Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The derailment caused a horrible fire that shut down much of the area, disrupting the rail service and slowing down the internet. This was a huge problem for many people in the city, including one Kronos customer who could not process their payroll. They needed to get their information from point A (a timeclock outside the fire zone) to point B (a timeclock inside the fire zone), but the weak internet connection was prohibiting the data exchange from taking place. A Kronos employee stepped in amid this difficult time and suggested the customer take a laptop to where there was service, download the information from the timeclock, and then bring it to point B to process the payroll. This story shows that our customer-first approach isn’t new and has been alive for many years! This Kronite was able to help the customer problem solve and make the right decisions to keep them up and running efficiently.
  • “Business travel is personal.” It’s so true! One of our Strategic Sourcing Analysts at Kronos stopped by the Customer First Booth and this comment stuck out to me. She explained that it’s her responsibility to make sure everything is arranged accordingly with Kronites who travel so that they can then safely get to their customers and help them reach success. Everyone plays a role in shaping the customer experience, and this story is a great example of how we all work together as an organization to do right by our customers.
  • A member of the User Research team shared a story about one of our large retail customers who was struggling with the usability and efficiency of their Scheduling solution. The customer wanted a more intuitive experience with less clicks and a simpler interface so managers could spend less time working in Kronos. To help, Kronos needed to see how they were using the solution and the problems they were facing. So, a team of Kronites packed their bags and went on their way to visit various stores in New England. They demonstrated best practices for the customer to leverage, including schedule patterns and quick actions, and took back valuable feedback to consider for future upgrades and designs. Knowing our customers is critical, and we understand how important it is to listen, ask the right questions, and understand the situations you face.

The customer-first culture at Kronos is something I’m proud to be a part of, and it was inspiring to hear about the stories that have helped to build it! Check out the Kronos Facebook page for more photos of WorkInspired week!

giveinspired day

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