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When Work Rocks: #inspiredacts take over Kronos

December 14, 2017

kronite buskersWork was rockin’ yesterday! Kronite musicians across the world shared their shine to celebrate our global community and to help raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Music-making moments took place at our Lowell, MA headquarters, Indianapolis Technology Center, and Bracknell, UK office.

Everyone was encouraged to take #inspiredacts selfies with Kronite “buskers” and share them online. For each picture posted, Kronos donated $10 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a wonderful way to spread joy and inspiration and encourage us all to embrace the spirit of giving. Not only did we make music today – but we helped make a difference.

I was smiling ear-to-ear with all the beautiful sounds resonating around the office. We had drummers, guitarists, vocalists, pianists, trombonists – you name it. I’ve got to brag at least a little about my coworkers…they were amazing!

indy volunteers

‘Tis the season for kind hearts. Last week, the Indianapolis team volunteered their time at the WZPL’s annual Request-a-Thon, a fundraising event also benefitting children from Make-A-Wish. Next week, all Lowell bakers are being called to host a bake sale for the Merrimack Valley Food Bank. The Marketing organization (that’s where I live!) has adopted two families from Jewish Family Services of Metro West and will help purchase mattresses for a Salvation Army family who recently lost many of their possessions in a fire. And that’s not all. Numerous other groups within the company have their own initiatives to give back as well.

Yeserday’s events remind me of one snowy day in 7th grade when I stood outside of a Walmart with my best friend. Our soccer team was raising money to help support a local charity. We decided to come up with a script, so we’d have an idea of what we would say to people passing by. One part was that every kind-hearted gesture counts, big or small. Today, I saw so many kind hearts come together in harmony – and it was marvelous. These Kronites give life to the GiveInspired culture we have, and who knew so many of them had such remarkable musical talent! What a merry, music-filled week it’s been.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

December 12, 2017

symphony

The young boy sitting behind me at the Melrose Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops last Friday evening kindly reminded his father of Buddy the Elf’s famous, wise words.

The Pops is a highly anticipated event for me and my family and has become somewhat of a tradition since I moved to the area. The music is exquisite, and I must say, I agree with little Griffin that the closing singalong might be one of the best parts. I probably would have given my dad the nudge too if he wasn’t singing.

So now, four days later, I’ve still got a bad case of the holiday fever. The only thing that soothes it? Two stations on Pandora – Country Christmas and Instrumental Holiday radio. I’ve had one or the other playing nonstop in the car, at home, and at work. Normally, I don’t listen to music at the office. I find I work best in a quiet environment free of background music or voices, but classical holiday songs are the exception. With a cup of peppermint tea, I’m all settled in, and the creativity starts flowing.

Listening to so much holiday instrumental radio peaked my interest about the latest research on music and concentration. Is it really helping me be more productive? Am I really working smarter?

A September 2017 study says yes. The findings revealed that people asked to listen to positive-sounding classical music had a greater boost in creativity than people asked to listen to other kinds of music. Forbes covers the study in the short and informative article, Listening To ‘Happy’ Music May Boost Creativity, Study Says.

As wonderful as they are, the holidays can create quite a bit of stress. So many areas of your life are competing for your focus and energy. If you’re struggling to find creativity over the next couple of weeks, consider trying one of the following:

  • Break out the music, of course! Whatever it is that inspires you, an hour of tunes could do the trick.
  • Try a change of scenery. Move to a different area of the office to refresh your mind.
  • Priority plan and make to-do lists. Identify what you want to accomplish and dedicate time for specific projects.
  • Keep work and play separate. While multitasking might be tempting, focusing on work when you’re at work and home when you’re at home is likely the best way to be productive in both areas during the busy season.

And try not to lose sight of what the holidays are all about! Celebration, friends, family, and faith. Whether it’s Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, or something else, turn to the ones you love and give them a hug. Thank them for all that they do – a little advice I’ve heard many times by our CEO, Aron Ain. It’s the little things that matter this time of year!

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

December 7, 2017

BadgeWhere’s Lauren? Today, your chief blogger is off to the 2017 Massachusetts Conference for Women at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to learn how she can work smarter!

This will be my second time at the conference, and it’s one of my favorite events. This year’s program is packed with exceptional keynote and special guest speakers including Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Gloria Steinem, and Adam Grant. As a young professional, the values that the event represents are close to my heart. And I am more than grateful to work for a company that supports me in my pursuit to develop both personally and professionally from leaders who have paved the way.

There are so many great sessions, I wish I could be at them all! I’ve chosen to attend two that will help me grow as a person – a motivational interview about never doubting your greatness with best-selling author and success coach Jen Sincero (you might be familiar with her books) and an inspirational talk featuring real-life stories on perseverance and bravery with top-rate professor and best-selling author Adam Grant.

The sessions I enjoy the most are ones like these that help me be the best version of myself and continue living by my favorite Shakespearean quote that you see as the title of this post. It’s my motto! While specific job-related skills are certainly important, believing in yourself and understanding how to best tackle the situations you face at home, at work, and in the world at large is half the battle. And science tells us we work better when we’re happier! Check out this infographic from happify on why emotional well-being matters in the workplace.

Have you tried the Kronos Community?

December 5, 2017

We’ve launched Workforce Dimensions, and you may be wondering where you can learn more about this exciting opportunity. Yes? Of course, you can always contact your Kronos Sales Representative, but it’s also super easy to fact-find on your own right through the Kronos Community! Here’s why:

  1. You can navigate to product information directly from the homepage.
  2. There’s a Workforce Dimensions group where you can engage in conversations with your peers and connect with insightful Kronos experts.
  3. If you’re an early adopter, the Workforce Dimensions (Alerts) group helps you stay in the know on critical solution updates and releases.
  4. The new Group Discussions and Answers tab on the Community “Topics Detail” page combines Q&A and group posts on specific topics – you can search and sort on Workforce Dimensions or other categories like Workforce Central, Workforce Ready, Data Collection, etc.

Please note that you’ll need to be logged into the Kronos Community to access all of the above.

This is only the beginning! There’ll be more to come over the next few months, including Workforce Dimensions training options and detailed documentation. Make sure to stay tuned! For now, I’ll leave you with a Time Well Spent cartoon…

Community Support Cartoon

6 Ways Kronos Helps Engage Employees in Manufacturing

November 30, 2017

The content for this blog post is courtesy of Donald Ciesla – Workforce Solution Consultant for Manufacturing. Thanks, Donald, for your expertise!

MF_workers-hardhats-2

More than 3,000 manufacturing organizations use Kronos to drive productivity and enable successful delivery of their products and services. And an even greater number of individual manufacturing employees interact with Kronos every day – in many cases, several times per day. These regular touch points put Kronos in a unique position to provide valuable insight into your most valuable asset, the people in your workforce.

employee suggestionsDid you know that engaged employees are 22% more productive than non-engaged employees? Here are six quick and simple ways your Kronos solution can boost engagement, not just in manufacturing, but across other industry landscapes as well:

End of Shift Questions: InTouch and Mobile – Prompt your employees with questions at the end of shifts to gather information on how they feel about safety, work/life balance, paychecks, fair treatment, and other topics relevant to your business. Managers can then sort and view data on specific fields like hours worked, seniority, safety concerns, etc.

Employee Suggestions – On the flip side, it’s simple for employees to make recommendations for improvements using the tools they already interact with daily, like InTouch clocks and mobile devices.

Overtime Sign Up and Voluntary Leave – These lists automatically identify which employees can work overtime and generate information on who is willing to end a shift early on a slow day. The system will then automatically alert qualifying employees of overtime or early release opportunities they can secure.

Payroll – Some companies require a 24-hour resolution time frame for employee paycheck issues, but Kronos can do it quickly by automatically noting that an issue has been logged by an employee and then tracking the response time.

Scheduling – Work-life balance and shift accuracy are easily tracked through Kronos to ensure that employees are being offered the appropriate shifts and are not being overworked.

Safety Alerts – Whether it’s mechanical or personal, employees can report safety issues through Kronos. Alerts are received by a manager or designated safety contact and addressed appropriately.

When maximized to its full potential, your Kronos solution can be a great engagement tool. And when you make the effort to understand your employees – what they prefer, what they need, and how they feel – you create a positive workplace culture that promotes productivity, optimism, and retention.

 

VR and AR: Improving Customer Success

November 28, 2017

The future of work is changing, and it’s quite fascinating. The Workforce Dimensions Solution Guide describes how advances in technology directly impact every dimension of our lives, from personal to professional. And today, I’d like to share with you an article describing how technology is changing the way many businesses and organizations operate. Virtual and Augmented Reality Can Protect The American Workforce by Will Byrne and Dale Knauss: this, my friends, is well worth the 7-minute read.

The article focuses on how automation and artificial intelligence are changing jobs and the skills people need to perform them. Many of the world’s largest employers have turned to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to upskill and educate their workers. Take Walmart, for example. The organization has leveraged VR at 200 of its training centers to prepare and train employees for the Black Friday rush. Similarly, UPS uses VR headsets to train drivers.

VR and AR might seem a lot alike, but they are distinctly different. VR takes up your entire field of vision while AR overlays what you can already see – like Microsoft HoloLens. Have you heard of this? ThyssenKrupp, the world’s largest elevator company, has deployed the Microsoft wearable AR headset to train their service engineers. The technology makes it possible for technicians to make calls, look up information, and view plans quickly and easily right from the service site. I particularly like the below picture from the article. I can’t tell you how many times this would have come in handy for me personally. Ask my dad…

 

Reading how AR and VR have helped engage employees through training and onboarding got me thinking about how they impact customer success as well. The more experienced employees are with the real-life scenarios they will encounter, the better prepared they will be to deliver a positive experience to customers and help them achieve their goals. Can you imagine calling Kronos or your other software/hardware providers for the kind of interactive support shown in the photo? Or – going in a different direction – have the ability to “try-on” what’s in your cart while shopping online? Life-changing – just as I expect the live-action remake of the 1960s The Jetson’s will be…to end on a fun fact!

Who’s bringing the squash?

November 23, 2017

This is the question I ask every Thanksgiving, because squash (buttercup) is by far my favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table. Who’s bringing the carrots? – if they don’t show, I can manage. Who’s making the cranberry sauce? – not a necessity, if you ask me. Who’s bringing the turkey? – somehow it just shows up.

This year, it’s my responsibility to bring the squash, and I’m very excited about my new role as an official menu contributor. What I didn’t realize, though, is how much planning and coordination goes into prepping the food for the day. As my mom and I were discussing her oven and stove schedule for this morning – I’ll be in the way if I’m boiling the squash at the same time she’s roasting the root vegetables…oh, and then there’s the gravy and the pumpkin roll – I couldn’t help but think about how much easier it would be to keep track of all this with some sort of automated solution.

Then I remembered Workforce Home. While this solution is an amazing April Fool’s joke and not actually something we offer, don’t you think it would come in handy during the holiday season?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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