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Partnering for Success – We’ve talked the talk, and walked the walk.

August 17, 2017

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Workforce management is more than just technology – it’s a strategy. And Kronos is more than just a technology provider – we’re your strategic partner. But what makes us fit to take on this role? How can Kronos Services professionals relate to what you’re experiencing?

Because they’ve been there. Kronos Services employees are industry-focused, domain experts who have “talked the talk and walked the walk” – this is one of my favorite quotes from the new Kronos Services: Partnering for Success video for Manufacturing. As a customer, there is nothing more comforting than working with a credible source who has been there, done it, and can relate to the challenges and stresses you’re facing.

Check out the video to learn about their commitment to helping you achieve your desired outcomes.

Increasing ROI and Strengthening Relationships

August 15, 2017

Gil Lhotka, Director of Customer Success at Kronos, dives deeper into the concept of “defining value,” as the first of the 5 Commandments of Customer Success.

Know your customers’ definition of “value.”

Let’s face it; our clients donCV_discussion‘t purchase our products and services or do business with us simply because they like us. Don’t get me wrong, that’s certainly part of it; but, what they want, need, and may have even put their careers on the line for is a return on their investment – on the partnership they’ve stepped into as one of our valued customers.

A McKinsey-Oxford study of over 5400 large IT projects demonstrated that the average return on investment was 56% lower than expected. How can that be? I believe it’s because change is not always fully embraced. Team members tend to return to the daily grind and go back to the way they’ve always worked. They lose sight of the original goal and their responsibility to keep improving it.

Software vendors can be just as guilty of this and begin thinking of value in terms of the product features rather than the organizational outcomes access to those features and functionalities can create. To influence the return on investment and the results the customer expects, we must truly understand what they see as valuable. But it doesn’t stop there. We have to know the why as well.

Let’s use a couple real world examples to illustrate the importance of the why in value attainment:  A customer in the skilled labor field wants the ability for employees to use mobile devices to request time off and view their schedules from home. The client shares that they want to have a more engaged workforce. It’s clear that they have a desire to use mobile and will likely track how they leverage this functionality as a way to see if they hit their goal. But the real question is why do they want mobile, why do they want employees to be more engaged? From a customer success perspective, this is what we need to uncover.3-Devices-MobileOnly

So why? We do some digging and learn that the customer is also concerned with a lack of qualified and able workers to take on new roles. The increasing average age of employees and baby boomers retiring could affect their organization. Using mobile to create an engaged workforce may allow the average employee to stay longer before retirement. Doing so can reduce overtime costs required to continue to produce their product with a decreasing staff size.

Another customer in hospitality or retail is concerned with attracting and retaining staff. Something as simple as allowing requests for time off and access to schedules from home may set them apart from competitors and attract prospective employees to available job openings.

In both examples, the customer’s goal is to achieve an “engaged workforce,” but the root causes are different. Focusing on the success of the client allows us to make a real difference in their business outcomes. Additionally, this also helps us create a shared success path that monitors the correct data. In one example, we may be measuring overtime reduction and the average age of retirement. In the other, it may be hiring trends.

When working with customers, I encourage you to consider and uncover the why. Get to know them and their business. Ask follow-up questions, push the envelope a little, peel another layer of the onion to help them successfully reach the value they’re looking for and receive high ROI on their solution. The insights we gain and what we do with them will bring positive outcomes for all involved and result in stronger customer partnerships.

8 Reasons Why November is the Best Month – KronosWorks, Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice

August 10, 2017

November is the best month of the year. Here’s why:

  1. Fall is in full swing
  2. History is made every 4 years with US presidential elections
  3. Also in the US, we have ThanksgivingNew Demensions In Work.png
  4. Pumpkin spice everything is everywhere
  5. It’s holiday shopping season
  6. If you like literature, Mark Twain was born in November
  7. I was born in November…does this make me biased?
  8. But another reason why November is a great month is because of KronosWorks!

Are you going? This year’s event will take place November 12th through the 15th in Las Vegas. Come together with Kronos experts for insight on building, managing, and maintaining the workforce you want – and have the chance to network with other Kronos customers as well. From the bustling excitement in our expo hall to the vast selection of content-rich sessions, chances are, whatever you’re interested in, there’s a booth or a discussion for that.

Check out the list of all the available sessions in the 2017 groupSessions Catalog! If you’d like to meet with Kronos Services professionals one-on-one for best practice advice on implementations and upgrades, make sure to visit us in the Expo Hall.

And a noteworthy fun fact? Save $100 when you register before September 15!

WFM in your Pocket – Friction, Factions, and Functions

August 8, 2017

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Mike Hoepfinger, Kronos Workforce Management Strategic Advisor in Advisory Services. Mike shares three ways mobile apps help add value to the Retail and Hospitality landscape. Read on and see more of Mike on LinkedIn – where he originally posted the article here!

I’m lucky enough to spend my days as a Kronos WFM Strategic Advisor in the Retail and Hospitality professional services vertical. This is a fancy way of saying I try to be a good consultant and help our customers use Kronos in a way that works best for them. In fact, I’m certain we can help you – see what I do every day with Advisory Services.

mobileOne of my favorite topics is the use of mobile apps by frontline retail employees. I like to imagine that an assistant manager somewhere is posting a picture of their awesome Kronos optimized schedule to Instagram and getting 1000 likes, but I digress. At nearly every conversation, there are 3 areas that are the hotbed of decisions – friction, factions, and functions.

Friction – As in, removing friction. As in, making it so easy for an employee to do something that they do it because it’s so convenient. We’ve evolved from using post-it notes as a convenient way to ask for a day off to hopefully soon being able to just say “Hey Siri, ask for Tuesday off.” And Siri will respond, “Ok Mike, calling David Hasselhoff.”

Much of what currently requires manager intervention can now be put into the hands of employees, and this empowers them to help make your WFM platform great and drive adoption. Empowerment can be a huge success factor alone – the care and feeding that your WFM system needs can literally just happen because mobile makes it easy for people to do.

Factions – Whenever I watch Game of Thrones, the strategy and tactics of the different kingdoms remind me of many discussions around implementing mobile. You’ve got your project team “factions” – HR/Legal, IT and Store Ops. First faction says “Mobile for every person, everywhere.” Next faction says “Mobile for some people, somewhere.” Third faction says “Mobile for no people, anywhere.” Then some flaming arrows start shooting at dragons and what not, but eventually, you end up at a place that is usually in the middle.

Every team has some great points for their perspective – no doubt about that. The realization that we live in a mobile society and employees expect to manage their time, on their phone, leads to increased employee satisfaction, less turnover, real ROI…. the list goes on. Push as far as you can with mobile (and tablet too!) and the benefits will come.

Functions – There’s an old joke about Kronos that I learned when I became a Kronite. “The best thing about Kronos is it’s so configurable. The worst thing about Kronos is it’s so configurable.” I chuckle as I write this.

Coffeshop man holding tabletMobile implementations can go very deep and very wide. You want geo-fenced punching on a personal device only for delivery drivers? No problem. You want manager functions and notifications when the manager is on a corporate device in the store, but no notifications or manager functions when she is on her personal device and off the clock? No problem.

Go deep, take the time to map the functionality that is important for different employee types in different scenarios, and don’t be afraid to get granular. It’ll pay off!

Ok – time to go like some Instagram posts of great optimized schedules.

If Customer Success had a spirit animal, what would it be?

August 3, 2017

tigerI was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what Jennifer Dearman, our VP of Global Customer Success at Kronos, would give for an answer to this very strange yet totally intriguing question in her recent podcast with Allison Pickens of Gainsight. “Tiger,” she said, “because as a Customer Success Manager and in this industry, you really need tenacity to be successful.”

Who wouldn’t want to be a tiger? I couldn’t agree more from what I’ve learned about Customer Success. And now that I think about it, the most effective Customer Success Managers I know exhibit tiger-tenacity and a distinct drive to help their customers achieve their goals.

Jennifer tells us that every customer deserves our investment in their success, and that’s why taking the proper actions to develop a clearly defined, articulately structured, and strategically aligned Customer Success program is so important for organizations going down this route. The title Customer Success Manager isn’t a new one, but the idea of creating and investing in a truly Customer Success focused function is an innovative differentiator for companies who offer this type of experience.

Building Customer Success into your business isn’t just adding one team, though. It’s modernizing your systems, redefining the experience you deliver, and helping your employees understand what it means to embrace a truly customer-first mission. So, Customer Success is transforming more than the customer experience. It’s also changing the way we structure our organizations to deliver on the success promise.

It’s a thought-provoking conversation! Listen to the full 15-minute podcast for more insight on the process of delivering enterprise-level Customer Success.

Podcast

Onboarding, Training – What’s the difference?

August 1, 2017

CV_meeting1I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of using the two terms as synonyms before conducting further research and realizing my mistake. While both practices do help accomplish the common fundamental goal of educating someone on the job, I recently read an article that made the difference between the two strikingly clear: Onboarding captures the bigger picture and creates a connection to the company while training is about specifics and creates a connection to the work itself.

Together, onboarding and training initiatives help new hires to better understand “the why” behind company values, policies, and standards and recognize how their work contributes to achieving their organization’s goals and objectives. It’s all falling into place!

At Kronos, we have our own defined strategy to welcome and onboard our customers as well as offer training to learn more about how our tools and solutions work. You can access webinars, discussion forums, and knowledge base articles in the Kronos Community and work with Kronos Educational Services to arrange instructor-led classes, set up education subscriptions, and discuss user adoption support.

And while we’re on the topic, Kronos Learning Bytes is one of our newest training opportunities for Workforce Central customers, and there’s a session coming up Monday, August 7th through Wednesday, August 9th! Course topics include:

  • Optimizing Navigator
  • Timecard Compliance and Optimization
  • Payrule Anatomy
  • Workforce Integration Manager

Click here to register if you’re interested or reach out to one of our Training Registrars for questions. US/Canada/LATAM  trainingregistration@kronos.com, EMEA  EMEATraining@kronos.com, APAC  Apac.Education@kronos.com

Happy training!

The Healthiest Brain Food

July 27, 2017

If it’s as difficult for you to quiet your brain at night as it is for me, you know exactly what I’m alluding to in the title of this post – sleep.

tiredA relaxing, refreshing, and mentally fulfilling good night’s rest isn’t always as easy as it might seem, especially in the world of work today. Many of us don’t really close the door on our jobs when we walk out of the office. Work-life balance has taken on a whole new meaning with all the technology we have right at our fingertips. We carry work around in our pockets everywhere we go – because with smart phones, laptops, and tablets, we’re never really offline.

According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, lack of sleep “slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity.” Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night to feel adequately refreshed, but how many of us take these numbers seriously?

Here are a few simple tips Dr. Bradberry recommends to help you get your sleep pattern back on track:

  1. Stay away from sleep aids – they are disruptive to your natural sleep process.
  2. Stop drinking coffee after noon – the caffeine in this treasured beverage has a 6-hour life cycle in the body and disturbs the quality or your REM sleep stage.
  3. Put down your devices after dinner – blue light emitting devices trick our minds into thinking it’s still daytime and make it more difficult to power off our brains.
  4. Wake up at the same time (even on the weekends) – consistency is key and regulates your circadian rhythm.
  5. If you can, put work away – working late into the night stimulates your mind making it more difficult to relax and prepare for sleep.

Our brains are not meant to run marathons and overworking them affects our level of performance and ability to be engaged in our work. So, the moral of the story? Try to get some rest! Prioritize sleep hygiene so you can be the best version of yourself every day.

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