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Cloud is not a Bad Word

February 24, 2017

cloudRecently I’ve seen articles floating around indicating intelligent people use more swear words. Maybe that’s what TechCrunch was thinking when they titled a recent article @%! is cloud computing? Despite the “edgy” title, the article is a decent primer. After all, as the article opens, “After more than a decade of being in the popular tech lexicon, people kind of get the idea of “the cloud,” but most probably only understand a bit of it.”

Time flies, especially in the cloud, and we’ve been at it for over ten years! It’s amazing to me, but we deployed our first Workforce Central customer in the cloud in 2006! Today we have more than 21,000 organizations around the globe now running in the Kronos Cloud, including a recent Workforce Central customer of more than 40,000 employees and thousands of small-to-mid-sized organizations running Workforce Ready.

It’s true. Intelligent people use more cloud.

Spanning the Globe, to bring you the constant variety of Workforce Management solutions…

February 17, 2017

ski-jump-hillThose of a certain demographic will recall today’s headline, and “the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” “DA DA DA DAAAAA!” As a kid, I always watched that show, and one of the more interesting things about it was its global perspective. Cricket from India, ping pong in China, Australian rugby, and one of my favorites, Mexican cliff diving from Acapulco. Along with the ’68 Olympics from Mexico City, Wide World of Sports offered a rare glimpse of the outside world, even if it took the technology of television to provide it.

paragonFast forward through VCR, DVD, and DVR, it’s now nearly 50 years later, and the world seems a lot smaller. Today it’s much easier for companies in most countries to “go global,” and Kronos is helping them to manage their growing global workforces. For the past decade or so, we’ve been enhancing our products to accommodate global markets, and more recently, our professional services organization has engineered Kronos Paragon to simplify the configuration of Workforce Central in over 40 countries! Here’s a preview.

Just like staring down a 120 meter ski jump hill, expanding your business globally can be intimidating. We can help. Our Workforce Management Global Assessment will help you assess the current and future state of your workforce management program and provide a global solution aligned with your global footprint and growth strategy.
You’ve pushed off the global hill. Kronos can help you to a smooth landing.

Loving… compliance meditation?

February 14, 2017

There’s a meditation practice called “loving kindness” where you “focus on developing feelings of goodwill, kindness and warmth towards others.” – Sharon Salzberg

One of the possible benefits is “decreasing migraines.” For workforce management professionals, another way to decrease headaches in general is to reduce your compliance risk.

That’s it for today. And with loving kindness, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Halftime Adjustments

February 6, 2017
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Heartbreak in Atlanta (2005 Edition)

Well, that was an easy commute this morning. The roads of New England flowed as freely as their offense in overtime. For the bleary making the trek, productivity today may dip like a tired Altanta defense. It’s still surreal, but at the half, down 18, my hope was that the coaching staff would make the necessary adjustments to get back in the game. They did, and they did. During the blur of the 4th quarter and overtime, I was reminded of a 2005 game between the teams in Atlanta that I attended with my pal, Tom, and his then 13 year old son, Jared. When the home team tied the game at 28 with 3:52 to go, Jared started talking trash, admittedly in a cute Southern accent. I looked at the boy, and felt a twang of paternal empathy at his innocence. Then I asked, “Jared, who’s the quarterback for the Patriots?” Sheepishly, the boys head drooped, and he answered softly, “Tom Brady.”

Yeah, I’m going there again, but halftime adjustments are a good metaphor for our advisory services:

It’s likely your (gameplan) workforce management needs have changed since (kickoff) you first deployed your Kronos solution. Think (sacks, pick sixes, and getting run over on defense) mergers, acquisitions, legislative changes, collective bargaining revisions, and competitive changes – all factors that can affect your (shot at winning the game) Workforce Central® system. In today’s (game) competitive environment, it’s important that your (offensive and defensive play calling) workforce management program continues to support your (being down by 18 at the half) evolving business objectives.

Oh, Tom and Jared, your young team was scary, and they will be back.

Super (HR) Day Before Monday

February 3, 2017

I don’t want us to get sideways with the guy who issued a player suspension out of thin air, so I’ll refrain from any copyright protected terms associated with the organization holding a large gathering in Houston this weekend featuring a large, inflated pork rind that will be kicked, carried, and thrown. Anyway, one of the competing organizations has enjoyed an unprecedented run of success, but I’d like to point out, they’re not alone, and HR has a lot to do with the success of each. While the unit in Houston this weekend is ranked #1 in defense, there are no “big name” individuals to speak of. They simply excel as a unit – a team. Everybody has a job to do, and they do it. Same here at Kronos. In my opinion, we continue to be recognized as a great place to work because of the people here. In fact, “92 percent believe colleagues truly care about each other.”

In other news, Monday is sure to include a few sick days, particularly in Georgia and the New England states. Be careful. Have fun, and go “those who vigorously support their country and its way of life!”

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“Bridge Critical Thinking with Hope”

February 1, 2017

I heard that line this week while listening to “On Being,” a radio show/podcast with Krista Tippett. Her guest was Maria Popova, the creator and editor of “Brain Pickings.” I highly recommend both sites. In fact, I’ve written about On Being and Brain Pickings here before.

In the title quote, Ms. Popova is lamenting that somehow as a culture we’ve become bored with thinking, and that there’s an “epidemic of listicles.” We all love our lists, but they contribute to learning laziness. Ms. Popova added, “We want to have the knowledge but not do the work of claiming it.”

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Where’s this going? Well, when our customers invest in Kronos solutions, there’s a great deal of thinking that goes into how the system will be set up to support the specific needs of the organization. It takes work. Workforce management and human capital management are complex business issues, and are continuously impacted by external factors like economic cycles, regulatory changes, and a changing workforce. Are all of those factors the same as when you did the work to figure out your original system deployment? Probably not.

It’s a good idea to step back and think about what’s changed about your business, and how those changes have impacted your workforce management and human capital management practices. Kronos advisory services can help you with that thinking, and with recommendations to ensure you’re getting continuous value from your Kronos system.

Here’s a little more to encourage listening to that podcast:

“I think a lot about this relationship between cynicism and hope. And critical thinking without hope is cynicism. But hope without critical thinking is naïveté. And I try to live in this place between the two to try to build a life there because finding fault and feeling hopeless about improving our situation produces resignation of which cynicism is a symptom and against which it is the sort of futile self-protection mechanism. But on the other hand, believing blindly that everything will work out just fine also produces a kind of resignation because we have no motive to apply ourselves toward making things better. And I think in order to survive, both as individuals and as a civilization, but especially in order to thrive, we need to bridge critical thinking with hope.”

– Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Broken, but Not Burned Out in the Brand New Year*

January 10, 2017

highlinerHey, 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”

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