The Kids Are Alright
Millennials in the workplace is a frequent topic of discussion in the press, and it’s often not very flattering. My experience with the young people in our internship program does not support that perspective. I find these kids to be smart, thoughtful (there’s a difference), conscientious, and of course idealistic. They want to change the world. Good. It needs changing. Anyway, some in our current summer class have expressed interest in guest-blogging, so here we go. Katie McKenna is currently interning for the corporate communications team at Kronos. She recently graduated from UMass Amherst where she studied journalism and political science.
I’ve always been fond of the “how does your date treat the waiter?” rule when it comes to a first impression. The rule, for those who may be unfamiliar, suggests that it’s important to pay attention not only to how someone treats you, but how they treat everyone else around them. It’s a test of character, of sincerity and genuineness.
At Kronos, I’ve found that a good leader– like a good date – addresses everyone respectfully, and takes the time to appreciate every employee for what they as individuals have to offer. “Leaders adapt their style to those that they lead. Not the other way around,” said Steve Gray, our VP of corporate marketing, in a meeting with the interns last week. I found this piece of advice to be particularly notable, and shared it with my parents, both of whom have led their own set of employees, my mother running her own association management company and my father having managed bookstores for the past 20 years. My sister, as a teacher, leads her classroom. I could see that the way she taught me how to do algebra was different than the way she taught my younger brother. Taking the time to get to know each of us and understand our personal needs and developments helped both parties succeed.
As we’ve all heard before, with great power comes great responsibility. Part of that responsibility at Kronos is about investing time into each and every employee to ensure that we all feel valued for the unique Kronite-snowflakes that we are! Some will always say that at a big college or company that you’re “just a number,” a phrase I’ve never found to be true within my own circumstances, both at college and at Kronos. The value of your work, I’ve learned, doesn’t come from choosing the right sized company, but rather how much your work is valued among other employees. I feel valued at Kronos, therefore I produce valuable work. The management and leadership are sincere, and therefore I want to do well. People are loyal to this company in the same way that they’re loyal to the people in their everyday lives, a concept I’ve found to be surprisingly simple.
You know how they say that “work” isn’t “work” if you find a job you love? I feel as though sometimes you have to sift through a few bad fits or jobs to know you’re at the right one. I think of Larry David’s “A date is an experience that makes you appreciate being alone.” A great career, just like a great date, is not always easy to find. But when you find the right one, you actually look for reasons to commit to it, and out of that commitment comes success. When you (and your work) are valued, you produce valuable work. The greater the value, the greater your investment. The greater the investment in your work, the greater your success! I’ve never been one for formulas, but this one seems to make a lot of sense (and cents, am I right?)
Of course I could talk about the cost of time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring or labor analytics. But the investment that Kronos makes in its employees? Now that’s priceless.
Thanks, Katie, and I loved the Larry David reference! Now one thing I believe important to impart to our class of interns is the history of the British invasion. Here’s some…