I just returned from Kronosworks2013 where I spent a whirlwind time fully immersed in conversations and demos about the Kronos Inc. product offerings, platforms and new things coming down the proverbial pike.
I had the opportunity to meet with a number of Kronites (the term that CEO Aron Ain used to refer to his fellow team members during his opening remarks at the conference) and their customers. One of the folks I had the chance to sit down with was Lynne Levy, Senior Product Manager for Social and Suite Functions. While we had a great chat about a bunch of stuff that wasn’t even remotely HR Technology related (!) I did get to learn a bit more about the new social collaboration capabilities being rolled out within the Kronos Workforce Central suite. (Note – this optional module will be available to customers beginning in December).
I heard excited buzz from attendees (well, most of them…) who are looking forward to this functionality; these are the HR practitioners who realize that improving communication by breaking down barriers can not only enhance a sense of organizational community but also drive collaboration, efficiency and productivity. They know (probably because they hear it regularly) that their employees and managers want easy and efficient ways to not only share ideas and interact with each other but to also, quite frankly, just know what the heck is going on. So as to keep information manageable (although I think people can self-select what they want to read), this new module will allow for a personalized activity stream that will deliver updates/information that is relevant and personalized to individual employees based on role, location, department, etc. There are also some limited gamification capabilities in the platform which, if it fits the organizational culture, then you can totally go for it. Personally I’m not a big fan of the badge and button, bells and whistles flash – but that’s just me.
But let me just say hallelujah! This is the way people expect to work today.
But, alas, there was still some chatter from a handful of the HR/Payroll/IT professionals in attendance. As you might guess these were the same tired comments I’ve heard for years whenever attempting to convince HR folks that social is not a 4-letter word. For while Carol in IT is concerned about bandwidth (“We can’t have everyone hitting You Tube all day long”) and Bob in Payroll has concerns that employees will post on an open forum that their paycheck was incorrect, the typical HR professional’s ‘argument’ against using social technologies/platforms goes something like this:
- I’m worried that employees will post negative things
- Using social media/channels/technologies is a time waster
- I don’t get it, so therefore…
- We don’t need it
I’ve been focused, often one-person at a time or group-by-group, on getting HR professionals excited about the possibilities inherent in embracing social for years. Years! Yet even here in 2013 it continues to be a matter of informing my fellow HR ladies their employees are social and use of these technologies is not about the tool/website/app – it’s about the experience. It’s behavior. It’s human.
And the value is that while these conversations have been going on forever – with our without us Bill and Sally are hanging at the water cooler talking about their employment experience – we now have the opportunity to be a part of the conversation.
But the real selling point for adoption of social comes back to business reasons (such as the nifty capabilities in the Kronos module that allows employees to participate in problem-solving, i.e. a manager is faced with a last-minute shift-scheduling need).
A McKinsey Global Institute report found that “The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. But when companies use social media internally, messages become content; a searchable record of knowledge can reduce, by as much as 35 percent, the time employees spend searching for company information. Additional value can be realized through faster, more efficient, more effective collaboration, both within and between enterprises.”
35% reduction in wasted time. An opportunity to stop churning along on the hamster wheel and working inefficiently.
Imagine having the ability to reclaim that time and allow employees to use those hours to drive real value for your organization?
Kronos has sponsored my participation at KronosWorks2013 however all ideas and opinions are my own.
Kronos Social image courtesy of Holger Mueller at Constellation Research