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Megan’s Maxims – Effective Engagement and Project Planning

July 20, 2017

Building off of Tuesday’s topic on Implementation and Kronos Paragon, here’s the last post in this year’s run of Megan’s Maxims. Search other posts for this Working Smarter Café Mini Series here: Megan’s Maxims Blog Roll.

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.” – Steve Jobs

The same holds true when launching a project and rolling out a new tool or process to your organization. You must first define your stakeholders before diving too far into the details – because, without the support of the decision makers and those who will be influenced, you lack the foundation for a successful final outcome right from the start.

graphic1Define your stakeholders – Analyze their level of influence and interest in the project and group them based on how closely they need to be involved. This initial step is key to:

  • Comprehending the challenges at hand
  • Deliberate the pros and cons of differing approaches
  • Prioritize project items
  • Implement the solution
  • Promote the system
  • Evaluate the overall success of your efforts.

And then…

Develop a communication strategy – Determine the best ways to reach your stakeholders and how often to engage them with a planned communication schedule.

Prepare for the project – Perform a risk/change impact analysis. Identify your advocates and detractors and put a strategy in place to proactively resolve conflict.

Engage the team – Work with your stakeholders and help them to mitigate risk. Provide direction on tasks to complete and deadlines to meet, and use this information to extract solution benefits.

Evaluate success – Listen to your stakeholders and act on the feedback they provide to make improvements, whether that means implementing an incremental change, or possibly, starting fresh.

Keeping these best practices in mind will help ensure you push forward a carefully executed project that brings maximum value to your workforce. For more information and guidance on how to achieve success, visit the Services tab on the Kronos Community!

Simplifying Global Workforce Management

July 18, 2017

Last year, I had the valuable opportunity to hear one of our customers speak about global personas and how different countries have unique timekeeping related laws, legislations, and tracking requirements. The importance of a standardized approach was clear, as managing a global workforce can be a complex and challenging process – especially if you’re rolling out new technology across borders.

Kronos ParagonBut, the exciting news? Kronos Paragon implementation methodology is now supported in more than 50 countries! With an online workspace, industry configuration, dynamic documentation, accelerated testing, and now multiple language offerings, the Kronos Paragon global implementation approach provides the foundation for millions upon millions of country-specific compliance regulations, labor laws, and language requirements.

The recent global enhancements to the Kronos Paragon strategy jogged my memory of the customer’s presentation and the emphasis on accommodating multicultural landscapes. Globalization is a driving force in today’s fast-paced world of growing businesses, and it’s pushing organizations to rethink how they build and manage an engaged workforce. The first step to success? Starting with a smooth implementation for any tools or technologies you introduce to your organization. A well-thought-out, carefully constructed software deployment strategy for your worldwide locations will help you increase time to value and achieve a rapid return on your investment.

More on Kronos Implementation Services is available on our website here!

A Working Smarter Café History Lesson

July 13, 2017

LeoOctober 1st, 2010 is an important day in Working Smarter Café history. It’s the day our site was born! Leo Daley, Mr. Working Smarter Café, took flight on his Kronos blogging journey with a customer success story on Southwest Airlines. Since then, Working Smarter Café has received over 178,000 views and Leo has individually shared more than 1,000 posts!

His most widely read throughout the years are:

I think it’s safe to say I can speak for the collective audience when I give a huge thank you to Leo for his wisdom, his wit, and his will to help customers work smarter through this blog! Leo has taken off on his next flight leading the now 27,000 member Kronos Community, so be sure to follow him there @KronosCommunity. Now, a few more fun facts about Working Smarter Cafe:

To date…

  • Working Smarter Café posts have received views in more than 160 countries
  • We’ve had 83,400 visitors
  • Our most popular day of the week for viewers is Wednesday
  • We happily join many of our viewers for lunch, as 12:00 pm is our most popular hour
  • Over 6,180 clicks have been generated from blog content
  • 1,843 amazing people follow this blog

Honesty goes a long way, honestly!

July 11, 2017

I was on vacation last week, and one evening, I went out to dinner with my family. To set the stage, we called the day before but were told they don’t take reservations – however, they do take names of people who call ahead. We asked if it might be busy at the time we planned to eat but were assured there would be plenty of room. So far so good.

Now, it’s dinner day. We call again before leaving to confirm our party number and to verify our name is on the list. “Sure, come on down!” they say. “All set.” We arrive for dinner, but we’re not really on the list, and they tell us it’s going to take an hour. Can we move some tables together, we ask? No, some are round and some are square. There isn’t much they can do for us.

DN_Hostess_56972254.jpgLong story short, we only waited for about 30 minutes, the meal was excellent, and we had great service! Even so, our experience was tainted. Why? Based on the conversations we had by calling ahead, we thought they’d be expecting us and that we’d be seated quickly. We would have arrived with a different set of expectations if they’d told us we might need to wait.

Setting clear expectations is the key to providing customers with a positive experience. It’s all about building a relationship and doing your best for your customers. Strive to give your customers the experience they expect because typically, it’s the one you lead them to believe they’ll receive. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

Megan’s Maxims – Improving Adoption

July 6, 2017

More of Megan’s Maxims! Click for the last post on Goals with Workforce Scheduler.

Sometimes we all must face the harsh reality. Change happens. Is it fun? Not always, and sometimes it even affects your life, how you work, or the tools you use to get your job done. For example, implementing your Kronos Workforce Central solution is an adjustment for your organization. Not only is there the solution setup, there’s also the cultural shift your organization must prepare for to embrace the new technology.

But, the good news is we can help with it all! Here’s what Megan has to say about facilitating user adoption:

CV-engaged workforce - woman and man looking at computer screenDesignate early adopters. These are your technology champions. Ask people to be involved in a pilot group and to become ambassadors who will help others learn the process.

Customize training materials. Develop job aids and courseware for different roles because one size doesn’t fit all. Offer the opportunity for users to learn online through webinars, traditional classrooms, and one-on-one support.

Communicate and explain why. Transparency is key. Share the reasons the new technology is important to your organization and the benefits it will provide. And it’s okay to admit that you might not have all the answers. New processes take time and you’re learning together.

Don’t create labels. Don’t call a new process the “new way.” This can often cause greater resentment. Simply refer to tools by name to avoid the inclination that there are “sides” to choose.

Celebrate wins, have fun with it! Share success stories and announce when the software produces positive results. “Hey team! Since implementing Workforce Timekeeper, I spend half the amount of time editing your timecards than I did before. Now, my calendar is free. Who wants lunch?”

The faster you adopt the solution as a whole, the faster you’ll receive value and achieve maximum return on your Kronos investment. Don’t leave your employees hanging. Help them learn the tricks of the trade!

Stars and Stripes

July 4, 2017

flagFor many of us, today is a day filled with good food, family, friends, and fireworks. One of my favorite childhood memories is marching around my grandfather’s backyard with my sister wearing his VFW caps and holding our American flags high in the air. “Keep going” my grandfather would say, “today we celebrate our history.”

While July 4th honors how our stars and stripes came to be – our Founding Fathers, our veterans, the Americans who came before us – I’d like to also give a shout out to our state, local, and federal governments to thank them for keeping us up and running since 1776! We have our unalienable rights, we have freedom, we all have a voice – and for this I am thankful.

Happy 4th to all our US customers, and wishing our global customers a happy day as well!

People, Places and Digital Prowess

July 3, 2017

Yesterday was a hot one here in New England, so I took to the cold vacuum of the internets to sign up at the local Orchard Hills Athletic Club pool. After googling around a few dark alleys, I found a pack of 10 passes for $75. Perfect! Son Kyle and I headed out for some aquatic refreshment…

Of course the kid at the front counter was clueless when I presented the situation, so he sent me over to the “Membership Guy.”

Me: “Hi, I purchased a 10 pack of passes so my son and I could use the pool.”
MG: “A what?”

I sort of expected the transaction to be a bit of a hassle, but I humored “MG.”

Me: “Yeah, the ten passes for seventy five dollar deal.”
MG: (Completely puzzled.) “Do you have anything to…”
Me: (Confidently) “Sure. I have the email right here.”
MG: (Looking at my phone as I patiently waited to be escorted to the pool.”
MG: (At his PC, probably finding my transaction.) Sir?
Me: “Yes?”
MG: “That Orchard Hills Athletic Club is in Michigan.”
Me: “I see…”

“MG” was gracious and let us use the pool, but as this little story illustrates, it is my extraordinary digital prowess that makes me uniquely qualified for a new (well, officially) role leading the now 27,000 member Kronos Community that we launched in October… With the change of my responsibilities to focus solely on managing, engaging, improving and growing our community, I’m turning over control of the this blog to Lauren Nawfel, who has done a great job creating stories since first joining the Kronos Services Marketing team back in April. Lauren will also take over the @SmarterCafe Twitter handle.

I’ll still guest post here occasionally, and if you’re into that kind of thing, follow me @KronosCommunity.

Lauren, take it away…

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