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Teamwork Lessons from an Intern

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Today's guest post is written by Caroline Quinn, a college intern at Kronos.  Our intern program is designed to ensure that our interns have the opportunity to do "real work" and to experience the Kronos workplace as contributing team members.  Per Caroline's post below, they are learning other life lessons as well.

(Photo copyright Edward Hewitt / Row2k Media)

As a 21 year old college student, I never thought that workforce management would mean much to me at this point in my life. Yet, working at Kronos as a fall intern quickly led to the realization that I actually had practiced a form of workforce management every day for five years.

As the team captain and varsity coxswain at Essex Rowing Club, my position required me to execute race plans, strategize quickly during unexpected change, and maximize boat speed. Rowing is the ultimate team sport: eight people are literally functioning as one unit-- there are no specific positions and no star players. I found out quickly that a boat is only as fast as its slowest rower, and learned to love the challenge of making small adjustments that would create huge changes in boat speed. This required knowledge of the sport, my teammates, and a mastery of our club's strategy and goals. I analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of my rowers, based the practice plan on that information, and we turned that plan into record-breaking finishes for our team.

Four years later, I am drawing countless connections between that position and my experience at Kronos, especially as I learn more about The Workforce Institute's soon-to-be-debuted third book, It's All About Bob(bie) - Strategies For Winning With Your Employees. Winning is not just external, because a single focus on being better than the competition is not effective or meaningful. To win meaningfully and sustainably, it's better to create an internal environment that will motivate your team to go win with you because they want to and they are proud to.

There's a poster on the wall at Kronos about scheduling that says, “The right person, in the right place, at the right time.” I believe what's best for a team is really that simple - not some complicated or vague mission statement in an attempt to motivate. Putting the right person in the right place at the right time while making them feel valued and necessary with the tools to success is what leads to winning performances, happy teammates, and better results than ever.


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