Today's post comes to us from the executive director of The Workforce Institute, Dr. Chris Mullen, Ph.D., SHRM-SCP, SPHR.

I recently had the pleasure of joining longtime Workforce Institute board member and the HR Bartender, Sharlyn Lauby, on her brand new podcast, The HR Bartender Show, to talk about importance of providing employees with effective technology.

Sharlyn is easy to talk to, incredibly thoughtful, and always thinking about how to make working life better for employees, managers and employers. In short: she's the perfect HR podcast host.

We covered a lot of ground in our conversation: from how the COVID-19 pandemic exposed shortcomings in technology strategies for many organizations, to how and when organizations may (or may not) bring those employees back to in-person working environments and how technology can help enable this. We talk about scheduling, attendance, hiring, onboarding, “grey-collar” employees, and trust in the modern workplace. It was a lot of fun.

If you have a half hour to listen, please tune in HERE (you can take us on a walk or in your car) or if reading is more your style, you can read the transcript HERE.

Thanks again to Sharlyn for having me on - I look forward to many more conversations in the future and don't forget to subscribe to The HR Bartender Show wherever you get your podcasts!

Today's post is by Dr. Chris Mullen, Executive Director of the Workforce Institute at Kronos. Here Chris reflects on how he feels as he's picking up the torch.

First, I am honored and humbled for this new opportunity and I am excited to continue working with the impressive group that make up The Workforce Institute advisory board.

Second, as I step into the role of executive director of The Workforce Institute at Kronos and as a board member for years both as a customer and a Kronite, I cannot help but feel a sense of awe with what my predecessor, Joyce Maroney and fellow board members have accomplished over the past 13 years. I had the opportunity to sit down with Joyce in her final podcast  and reflect on her milestones with the Institute. It is truly remarkable to see what was once just an idea flourish into the global think tank that the WFI has become.

My goal as executive director is to continue to fulfill the mission of the WFI as it still holds true and is near and dear to me.

The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated is a think tank that helps organizations drive performance by addressing human capital management issues that affect both hourly and salaried employees. Through education and research, we empower organizations with practical ideas for optimizing the 21st century workplace.

The reason this mission resonates with me is because I have lived in both worlds, the hourly and salaried. In a previous life, I worked for almost 10 years as an hourly employee in the construction industry. Both of my parents are hourly employees. Then after college, as a salaried employee, I was privileged enough to manage both types of employees and see firsthand the challenges that both sets of employees face. But throughout it all, I've never forgotten my roots.

In addition, it is my personal philosophy that we should always strive to better understand others, be open to different situations and new experiences, and constantly look for ways to improve what we do. One way I believe we can accomplish this is through quantitative and qualitative research, something the Workforce Institute has been at the forefront of and will continue to do. Another, is applying the research and findings to real situations to develop best practices. This is where the interdisciplinary thoughts from individual board members come into play via blog posts and conversations.  

I appreciate what The Workforce Institute has done, what it has become, and I look forward to being part of its future.

This is my last post as Executive Director of the Workforce Institute. This podcast is a conversation between incoming Executive Director Chris Mullen. Like the Beatles said, Hello Goodbye.

This is my last post as Executive Director of the Workforce Institute. This podcast is a conversation between incoming Executive Director Chris Mullen and me. Like the Beatles said, Hello Goodbye.

This is it, the last post from me. When I wrote my first post, on October 2, 2007, I never foresaw that I'd still be posting almost thirteen years later. At that time, we were experimenting, but not sure how far we'd take the Workforce Institute.

We've taken it pretty far. Over 800 blog posts and podcasts. 4 books. And so many wonderful HR experts who've lent a hand as board members, guest bloggers, podcast interview subjects, and book contributors.

I am thrilled that Chris Mullen is picking up the reins. Chris is a current Workforce Institute advisory board member and director of human capital management (HCM) strategic advisory services at Kronos. He has more than 15 years of experience as an HR leader and practitioner, having served as director of HR for Housing and Dining Services at the University of Colorado, where he managed the HR needs of more than 2,000 employees. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado with a research focus on work-life balance and the use of mobile technology.

In this, my last podcast for the WFI, I ask Chris about his vision for its future and he asks me how I'm feeling about walking away. You can listen in on our conversation on the player below.

Joyce Maroney welcomes Chris Mullen as new Executive Director of the WFI

Goodbye, everyone. It's been a great ride!

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