Today's post is submitted by Joyce Maroney, Executive Director of the Workforce Institute.

Aron and I discussing WorkInspired on 12/14/18.


I've had the great privilege of working for Kronos for over 12 years.  During that time, I've had lots of opportunities to lead new programs, launch new systems, and most importantly, to work with a lot of great people.  And I'm not alone at Kronos in feeling that working here is uniquely great.  People outside of Kronos ask me all the time "Is working at Kronos really as good as all the PR suggests?".

The answer is a resounding yes, but I always go on to explain that this great culture and the decades long tenures of many employees here didn't happen by accident.  The leadership team at Kronos, led for thirteen plus years now by Aron Ain, has treated culture as a strategic advantage and invested in it accordingly.  Kronos employee engagement metrics are best in class and have led to many great place to work awards across the globe.  The most recent of these was the annual Glassdoor list, based on unsolicited employee reviews on their platform.  Of 45 million employee reviews, salaries, and insights about 830,000 companies worldwide, Kronos ranked #44 overall and a top employer in the software industry on Glassdoor's annual listing of the Top 100 Best Places to Work in the U.S.

When our 2018 fiscal year ended in October, we announced 
Kronos had just closed the best quarter in the best year of the company's 41-year history with $1.4 billion in revenue.  Employee engagement isn't the only reason that Kronos is successful, but it is a major driver according to Aron.  In fact, he feels so strongly about this that he wrote a book, Work Inspired, that was published in October.  In the book, he lays out fourteen principles that guide his management philosophy. 

Last week, I sat down with Aron to discuss Work Inspired and how he developed his management principles over time.  In this podcast, we discuss:

Aron has a lot of interesting and even provocative views about how to lead an organization of people who'll be inspired to come to work every day.  Please listen to our conversation below to hear from the man himself.

In recent weeks, our outstanding CEO Aron Ain has been getting a lot of public recognition for his great performance.  He was once again recognized by Glassdoor as a top CEO - with a 96% approval rating from Kronos employees.   Of the 700,000 companies reviewed on Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating is 67 percent.

Aron Ain has been CEO at Kronos since 2005.  During the 12 years of his leadership,  Kronos has grown from $518.7 million in annual revenue to  a $1.261 billion company; has expanded its worldwide employee base from 2,900 to 5,200 Kronites; and employee engagement scores have risen dramatically to 87 percent today, which includes a three percent boost from 2016 to 2017 alone.  Aron has also been honored for his commitment to employee engagement, innovation, and overall Kronos success by being named the inaugural Ray Stata Leadership and Innovation Award winner from the Massachusetts High Technology Council as well as CEO of the Year by MassTLC.

All of the above are impressive accomplishments.  What any Kronite would tell you, though, is that what's most important is his genuine concern for every employee.  He trusts us to do our jobs, and we trust him in return.  If you'd like to hear from the man himself, have a listen to this short radio interview from earlier in June.  And if all of this makes you want to work for Aron and Kronos, you'll find our job postings here.

To hear from Aron about what he thinks makes an effective leader, you can listen to this recent radio interview.

I'm proud to announce that our Chief Executive Officer Aron Ain was named CEO of the Year by the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC).  The MassTLC Technology Leadership Awards program is the Commonwealth's most prestigious honor for technology companies, innovators, and leaders. The Awards Gala brought together more than 800 of the region's top tech innovators to network and celebrate the area's best leaders, companies, and technologies. Winning companies were selected from hundreds of nominations and judged by panels of executives, investors, analysts, media, and thought leaders in 16 categories.

Aron has spent the entirety of his 37-year career at Kronos, starting as one of the company's first employees in 1979, working his way up through the ranks and playing a role in nearly every functional department at Kronos.  Since taking over as CEO in 2005, he has been the driving force in building Kronos into a $1.1 billion global cloud company with more than 30,000 customers in over 100 countries around the world. More than 40 million people use a Kronos solution every day.  The MassTLC 2016 CEO of the Year award closely follows a number of other accolades Ain and Kronos have received connected to the company's WorkInspired culture.  Aron was named to Glassdoor's Highest Rated CEO list, ranking as one of the highest-rated CEOs at large organizations in the U.S. - and top 10 in information technology - based solely on employee reviews.

The Boston Business Journal once again named Kronos a Best Place to Work, ranking the company #2 overall - and as the top technology employer - within the extra-large category of companies in Massachusetts.  Kronos won Great Place to Work® Institute honors this year in Australia, Canada, and India and is Certified as a Great Place to Work® in the U.S.

How does Aron manage to balance great business results with the cultural investments required to earn recognition as a great place to work? He never forgets that the people of Kronos drive the results.  When he is praised for the company's track record, he'll immediately flip the focus to the team of 5000 Kronites around the world who are making things happen for our customers every day.  In the photo above, he's serving lunch during our annual Thanksgiving celebration.  I love this picture because it exemplifies Aron's humility.  In a The New York Times Corner Office column titled, “The Incalculable Value of a Good Boss” Aron is quoted as saying "Leading and managing people is a privilege."  And because he really believes that, his employees want to work even harder for him.

If you want to hear more from the man himself, you can listen in on an interview I did with him this year by clicking the link below.  We talk about why Aron considers the Kronos culture to be a strategic weapon.  If you take a few minute to listen, you'll know why I gleefully passed my 10 year anniversary at Kronos recently.  When the CEO walks the talk, it makes all the difference in the world.

 

As somebody who frequently writes about employee engagement as a business issue, I am fortunate to work for an organization that is very committed to its employees - inside and outside of work.  That employee-centered ethos starts with our CEO, Aron Ain.   As you can see from the current Glassdoor data pictured here, Aron has off-the-charts high approval ratings from Kronos employees.  There are very good reasons Aron has so many fans, as you'll hear for yourself in this podcast.

I sat down with Aron to ask him about how he thinks about our culture. During our conversation, Aron shared his perspective on why the Kronos culture is such an important part of our success.  One of the things Aron said during this interview that really struck me was that "Kronos should come a distant second in your life to your family". His point was that he recognizes that people are much more than their jobs at Kronos, and that if we want to create an environment in which high performance flourishes, we need to honor that by expressing appreciation for the time that performance takes away from their family and their lives outside of Kronos.  If you want to get inside the head of a CEO who inspires employees not only with his message, but by his actions,  you can listen to our conversation here.

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

What do you think about Aron's message?  Does the culture where you work inspire employees?

 

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