Hey, it’s been exactly three weeks since I posted here. I took a week off, including a few days escaping New England snow in New York City for a couple shows with my son and granddaughter. What a great city… We traveled home on New Year’s Eve day, and later, around 7PM, I walked across a path on my front lawn toward the street… The last night of 2016 was decorated with beautiful soft falling snow – the kind used to accentuate a movie scene. Down the incline of the street, I was about 4 feet from the neighbor’s driveway when I slipped. I adjusted my body to avoid the fall, but my plant foot hit more freshly dusted ice and I crashed down – hard. I heard and felt my ribs crush a nice bottle of Pinot Noir against the icy pavement. Yeah. Ouch.
The first week of 2017 was spent recuperating from 3 broken ribs and a broken 2012 Hitching Post… 2016 ended painfully, and 2017 has started slowly, but while broken, I’m not burned out. I’m grateful to my neighbor, my family, and good healthcare for taking care of me, and I’m looking forward to getting back to my team and on to our goals for 2017.
In April, I’ll celebrate 17 years with Kronos. That’s a long run by today’s standards, yet I still get so much satisfaction out of the work I get to do here. Kronos has long been recognized as a great place to work, and for me the stickiness factors as an employee include my boss, my co-workers, and our customers, many who I engage with in our new Kronos community. Sure, our benefits are great, and I do still enjoy receiving a paycheck, but isn’t it the interaction with the people closest to your work that has the biggest influence on the experience and engagement?
Anyway, that’s my segue to The Employee Burnout Crisis: Study Reveals Big Workplace Challenge in 2017. It’s a study by Kronos and Future Workplace® examining how employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention and the ability to build and maintain a high-performing workforce.
* My other working title was “Cleanup in aisle 2016”
Long-time readers of this space may recall past holiday themed posts including Workforce Scheduling and My Christmas Mojo, North Pole Productivity Best Practices, and of course my exposé, The Discontent of Millennial Reindeer. For that I was awarded a Putzitzer Prize in 2013.
This year, my heart is warmed because Tim is back home in time for the holidays. After years of Kronos contributions including a lead role on our Advisory Services team and the penning of “Three Strategies to Optimize Workforce Management Technology,” we thought we lost him, but as if somehow fate has changed, Tim is back with the family.
I’m also thankful for our creative team and their uh, creative take on a Kronos holiday card including, yes, taking “an elfie…”
Last weekend I said to a friend, “You’re pushing (a not insignificant number ending in zero that caused me regret the moment it vibrated off my vocal chords that apparently had momentarily detached from my brain). What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” From there the conversation was largely philosophical with each offering advice about how to handle the range of curveballs, knucklers, and change-ups that life tosses our way from its bag of adversity tricks.
Anyway, the (only) good thing about approaching one of these lofty zero milestones is that you are better equipped to solve life’s puzzles because you’ve accumulated knowledge, experience, and perspective over time. The same is true for a business partner. Kronos is pushing 40 (but we still look marvelous and have the energy of a 20 year-old), and has spent nearly all of those 4 decades helping customers solve problems associated with Human Capital Management and Workforce Management. Some of those best problem solvers from the Workforce Central discipline make up our Advisory Services team. Here’s the marketing-speak:
With 40 years of workforce management expertise, we’re here with best practices insight to support your workforce management journey. Count on our expertise to lead you down the best path toward efficiency and help build a strategy that will ensure you’re getting continuous value from your Kronos system.
Sorry to go all marketing on you, but spending time with a consultant from our Advisory Services team will improve your WFM/HCM practices AND make you feel younger!
OK, so I’m both dating myself and mixing my (old) pop culture metaphors today. It’s now been 9 weeks since we launched the Kronos Community, and to quote “Dirty Harry” from the 70’s film of the same name, “Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself.” What I lost track of is that we also launched a brandy-new Kronos.com website! Yeah, and in 9 weeks I have not mentioned it. So I thought it would be fun to let you play Kronoswood Squares to explore the new website. Just click on any icon to be brought to a different section of the new Kronos.com.
“You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya?”
These days I’m working across 3 compartments of responsibility: services marketing, community, and (rarely now) blogging/social media. I’m tunneling through my head how to effectively span them to help our customers maximize the value of their Kronos solutions.
Yesterday I participated in an online meeting with our Services Customer Advisory Board that we convened in June. I did a brief overview of our new community, then Kristina Lengyel, our professional services VP, shared the results of an innovations program we also began this year. The categories for employee innovation ideas include improving customer “Time To Value” like Kronos Paragon, enhancing our customer experience, and providing new services to help customers improve their workforce management and human capital management effectiveness. The CAB loved our efforts to innovate in our services the same way we do with products.
The bulk of the discussion was around Kronos advisory services and strategic roadmap planning. We covered a great deal, but it’s difficult to fully explore everything you want to in a 90-minute call, so we’re establishing a discussion group in the community so that the conversations can continue unbound by a time constraint.
I think these compartments are beginning to come together…
I know time is relative, but I’m relatively blown away that a week has already passed since KronosWorks 2016 ended. From all accounts, it was a very successful conference. It sure was for me until my granddaughter had a meltdown on the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™” ride during our Tuesday night customer event. She’s since recovered from seeing the giant 3D spiders, though she vowed, “Muma, I’ll never trust you again when you tell me a ride’s not scary!”
I wasn’t that scared going into my 4 community presentations and many demos during the conference. They all went very well, and customer reaction to our new community was magical as we registered over 1,000 new members during the week! We’re now over 7 weeks in and we’re still working to improve things like search results and support case management, but for the most part, our 12,000 members are liking the experience. During the conference, I sensed a shift from “what the heck is this” to “this is cool, how can I leverage it?” The questions are evolving from tactical “how to” to “can we?” Here are a few examples:
- A customer approached one of our “community” booths and asked if we would start a YMCA discussion group. He manages Kronos for a YMCA, one of many that are Kronos customers. He thought a community discussion group would be a great place for fellow YMCA members to discuss their unique challenges and how they use Kronos to solve some of them.
- This week a community member posted a question about starting another group, “I attended KronosWorks and one of the sessions we learned about was Operational Reporting. Could a Group be created for this subject as a means for customers to share reports that they have successfully built rather than each of us having to recreate the wheel?” Yes! What a great use of community!
- Finally, on Tuesday I was in the community “movie theater” when I met Tao. He’s a Kronos customer for a county in California. He explained to me that his county uses Workforce Central to help manage their workforce compliance challenges. He also mentioned how critical it is to have proven success in California in order to be successful providing solutions to California public agencies. Tao is considering Workforce Telestaff and suggested a community discussion group where California state, county, and city agencies could discuss their Kronos experiences to learn from one another.
Wow. Wikipedia defines “Tao” as “a Chinese word signifying ‘way’, ‘path’, ‘route’, ‘key.” Tao’s idea is a perfect example of the ”way” customers can use the Kronos community to collaborate, share leading practices, and learn from each other.
What are other examples of how customers can collaborate in the Kronos Community?
It’s now been five weeks since we launched the Kronos community (and that long since I’ve written a blog post), and as of this moment, we’ve had 10,703 customers and partners enter the venue! It’s sort of like back in the day when concerts were “general admission” and fans would rush for the front of the stage. Here are a few other stats about how our customers and partners have been using the community since launch:
- 1,930 posts and 2,460 comments
- 7,539 questions
- 339 ideas
- 121,462 knowledgebase searches
Community will be prominent at KronosWorks this year with a big “community” right outside the expo hall consisting of a park, town hall, library, and a theater where we’ll demo community for 3 days! We also have several sessions devoted to community:
|Monday, November 14
1:45PM – 2:45PM
|KR192R||Tour the New Kronos Community|
|Tuesday, November 15
1:30PM – 2:30PM
|KR192R||Tour the New Kronos Community|
|Wednesday, November 16
11:00PM – 12:00PM
|KR199||Navigating the New Kronos Community
(for Kronos iSeries Central Customers)
So whether you’re already using the community, want to check it out, ask questions, pick up some usage tips, and maybe get registered, please come visit us and don’t forget to pick up our cool community tote bag!