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Innovating in Indy

June 29, 2017

Move over Indy 500. This city has another main attraction, and it’s the talk of the town. The exceptional pool of emerging tech-talent in Indianapolis has drawn numerous leading technology organizations to the area – including Kronos!

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Kronos Technology Center of Excellence located at the PNC Tower in Indianapolis. In the five years since opening, Kronos has created more than 250 jobs in Indiana and built multiple thriving partnerships with top colleges and universities, including Ball State University, Butler University, Indiana University, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Purdue University.


Just this month, more than 20 new hires from Indiana schools joined the Kronos team as part of an extensive 12-week training experience preparing them for project management and application consulting roles and focusing on Kronos Services and the customer experience. The June 2017 class (pictured!) is the first of two new hire groups intended to go through training at the Technology Center of Excellence this year.

If I had to pick three words to describe our Indianapolis office, I’d say innovative, strategic, and engaged sums it up pretty well. From the collaborative, agile office environment to the role of Indy Kronites in piloting a number of innovative process improvements (Kronos Paragon, for example), the Tech Center of Excellence is one of the many hubs where the magic happens –  where employees work together to help establish Kronos as a leader in workforce management and human capital management solutions. Shout out to all our Kronos offices and divisions across the globe as well!

Fun Fact: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is actually a Kronos customer.

Top 5 Commandments of Customer Success

June 27, 2017

All businesses and organizations have one common goal – they want their customers to be successful when using the products and services they provide. Kronos is no exception. Today’s words of wisdom come from Gil Lhotka, Director of Customer Success at Kronos. Gil shares how we can all work towards meeting this goal by following five simple steps.

Discussion between 2 female co-workers

1) Know your customers’ definition of “value.” It’s critical to know them and their business. Customers are expecting to receive high ROI on your solution, so err on the side of helping them to successfully reach and measure that value. Doing so leads to stronger relationships, loyalty, and advocacy. When matters beyond control redefine value for your customers, alter the course to that new destination.

2) Be empathetic. Each customer is unique, and you must see them that way. Organizations faced with the same challenges will experience the effects in very different ways, and acknowledging this is critical. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is an excellent way to understand them better: and from this vantage point, you can create plans that successfully achieve their defined value goals.

3) Listen to your customers to provide valuable insight. Listen actively and offer your undivided attention. But remember that being a good listener involves recognizing that there’s usually more to the story. Think deeply about what your customers say to pinpoint the often unspoken reasoning or root cause behind their requests. Take the time to listen, ask questions, assess the goals and objectives from all angles, and propose an actionable solution.

4) Put your customers first. It’s all about the customer. Always make customers’ needs your top priority and focus on how you can help them accomplish their goals. Be protective but never territorial. Point your customers in the direction of people who can help them. Doing so will strengthen your relationship and create greater trust and confidence in your brand, your products, and your services.

5) Connect your customers with others. The more they can seek and share experiences, the more likely they are to accomplish their goals. Active communities on almost every conceivable topic thrive online and in local areas. Whenever possible and with their permission, introduce customers to each other through social media platforms, on the phone, and in person at customer events.

checkRegardless of your industry, these five simple best practices are valuable guard rails along the shared path of customer success. Keeping them in mind helps to ensure you are continuously setting your customers up for success every time you interact. Focus on aligning your approach with these steps to deliver the value your customers expect.

Summer Makeover

June 23, 2017

It’s now officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so some of the hearty here in New England are now concerned with “getting a little cul-ah” and losing a few pounds that fewer clothes will expose… Yep. We’re badly in need of a summer makeover to transform us into darker, svelter versions of ourselves. Looking in the mirror at what I have to work with, I can only think, “good luck with that.”

Makeovers are easier with websites, and the results can be beautiful and more functional. Here are two recent Kronos examples:

Kronos Advisory Services
I love the look of this new page version. The advisory services are laid out both by business issue (Roadmap planning, Global deployments, application optimizations, etc.) and by industry (Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Public Sector, Retail, etc.)

Kronos Community
The changes to our community home page are more function than form. The theme to our changes was to “bring important content closer to the community member.” Now, logged-in members have quick home page access to announcements, downloads, groups, and personalized content including personalized content across 6 data categories!

The digital improvement makeover is a continuous process that fortunately does not require any sort of personal discipline regarding calorie intake. For us analog beings… Good luck with that.

Megan’s Maxims – Goals with Workforce Scheduler

June 22, 2017

More of Megan’s Maxims! Click for the last post on Controlling Costs.

WFC-scheduler-2The unfortunate truth is that scheduling can be a thorn in the side. But the good news is that Kronos makes the complex process much simpler.

Here are a few goals to keep in mind and to help avoid the prickles along the path.

Staff the right number of people. Forecasting tools like Schedule Generator, Auto Scheduler, Coverage Graph, and Daily Coverage Tab can help pinpoint vacancies and evaluate how well you’re meeting staffing needs.

Staff the proper skill-mix. Coverage Indicator and Staffing Assistant are features that help ensure you have the right people/roles on the job.

Control overtime. Set up Kronos to show projected hours in the Schedule Planner. Send staff home early or have them come in later to limit labor costs. The system can then promote changes to managers and/or employees as close to real-time as possible.

Know where to send staff when help is needed. Keep employee skills, certifications, proficiencies, and pay codes current to maintain accurate info on employee eligibility and availability. In healthcare, the staffing widget works wonders to identify which units have too many or too few people.

Who knows? With the right strategy and by using the right tools, you might even look forward to making your schedule. Check out the WFC Scheduler group on the Kronos Community if you have questions! Please note, you must be logged in to post or comment.


Different Strokes for Different Folks

June 20, 2017

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” – A. A. Milne

Yes, this is a quote from a favorite childhood character, but it’s a wise statement even outside the Hundred Acre Wood. For instance, the things that are unique about an organization are the things that set it apart and position it as a desirable brand for customers as well as for employees. So simple, but yet, so true.

So what is an organization’s best differentiator? Is it salary? Benefits? The look and feel of the office? I’m sure they all play a role, but I’d have to agree with Gregg Gordon, vice president of the data science practice group at Kronos, that what truly differentiates a great organization from the pack is its workforce.

tws39-600-differentiatorIn his new book Your Last Differentiator: Human Capital, Gregg discusses the value that comes with fully utilizing the talent of your workforce and stresses that building employee engagement and increasing fiscal performance are not necessarily conflicting efforts. You can improve employee engagement while also improving your bottom line.

Gregg also states that employees are the reason customers love some brands so much more than others. Have you ever been to a WaWa? I haven’t, but a friend of mine from Pennsylvania raves about how it’s “the best” pit stop you’ll ever make on the road. From what I’ve heard, WaWa certainly has a compelling brand, one that clearly demonstrates the connection between employee engagement and the customer experience. Gregg writes in a recent blog post that one couple chose the WaWa where they first met as customers for their wedding venue – talk about building a brand driving customer loyalty!

To learn more about how you can enhance employee experience while achieving positive business and service outcomes, check out Your Last Differentiator: Human Capital!

Blue cheese olives and the engaged employee

June 19, 2017

Last Wednesday I had dinner at a Boston restaurant before “Wicked.” The food and service did not defy gravity. While ordering a martini, I asked if the establishment had blue cheese stuffed olives. “No” was the simple response from our disengaged waiter, Rick.

In contrast, Saturday night I finally got to “Bocado,” a Worcester, MA tapas restaurant (There’s also one in Wellesley, MA). I have fond memories of the tapas in Barcelona, and of the “Sangria Con Cava.” Bocado didn’t have a Sangria “con cava,” but they had an excellent sangria selection and amazing food. While the food was varied and delicious, the service really made Bocado shine for us Saturday night. Seated at the bar, service was provided by Matt and Veronica. I heard Veronica mention to a nearby couple her working experience. “I love working here it’s a great company.” She went on to say the company, the Niche Hospitality Group offers a 401K plan, and just as important, work-life balance and flexibility. “I don’t have to worry about child care,” Veronica noted. “If one of my kids are sick, they’re flexible around schedules.”

I chatted up Matt (one of Worcester’s best bartenders!) a bit about his experience. “One of the owners is here tonight. You’ll see him working, cleaning tables. They grew up in the restaurant business. They’ll never ask us to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves.”

It was a delicious and fun experience. As a strawberry shortcake was being finished off and the bill being paid. I noticed a couple down the bar getting martinis. Matt was stuffing olives with blue cheese by hand… That’s what employee engagement in the hospitality industry looks like.

Put Me In Coach

June 15, 2017

What motivates your employees? The answer to this question seems to depend largely on generation, but there’s one common motivating factor that stretches from Baby Boomers to Generation Z …Leadership.

If you’ve ever played a sport, you’ve experienced how a strong, inspiring leader influences how you play the game. It’s natural to give a little extra when there’s a great coach on the sideline rooting for you to succeed. The same applies out in the workforce.

I’ve been lucky enough to hear our CEO, Aron Ain, speak on a number of occasions. He’s the kind of authentic and enthusiastic leader that has you jumping up and down yelling, “Put me in coach!!” I’m eager to come into work and give it my all for a leader who I know does the same for all of the 5000+ Kronites across the globe.

I worked for a couple years in a different group before moving to Services Marketing, and I will never forget when Aron thanked me for what I was doing for Kronos after an event I had helped to coordinate. I wasn’t even a year out of college, so to receive this simple compliment felt like I’d just been awarded a Nobel Prize. It was then that it really sunk in how everyone at Kronos – individual contributors, managers, and directors alike – has a role that matters. Altogether, we shape this great company into a leading Aron Ain 2017 Ray Stata Awardorganization in the industry and create an outstanding, end-to-end experience for our customers.

So, I was not surprised when Kronos announced last week that Aron Ain was awarded the inaugural Ray Stata Leadership and Innovation Award by the Massachusetts High Technology Council on June 6th for his remarkable leadership qualities. What an honor! Under his leadership has grown a truly inspired culture at Kronos. Congrats to our incredible CEO!

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