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Workforce Management Lessons Learned

The following post is courtesy of our board member Alexandra Levit. She recently attended KronosWorks, Kronos' annual customer event. There she sat in on a number of customer presentations about workforce management lessons learned during their deployments of Kronos technology. We know that technology implementations rise and fall on the quality of the change management practices they employ (or not). In the following post, Alexandra summarizes what she learned from two different organization case studies about what it takes to succeed.

At KronosWorks in Las Vegas, I learned about how two organizations, a popular Australian retailer and a top American children's hospital, realized the full benefits of workforce automation with Kronos.

The 34-year-old clothing retailer offers surf, skate, and street Australian-influenced fashion across 60 store locations. The hospital is a 400 bed-licensed pediatric medical center employing approximately 10,000 individuals. Both are using Kronos' Workforce Dimensions solution to manage their frontline workforces. Here's what each team had to say about their recent implementations.

Popular Australian Retailer

  • Modern technology requires the adoption of modern processes. If you cling to the old way of doing things, you will likely struggle. Using automated schedule optimization is best because a few individual managers can do an extremely bad job of scheduling, which negatively affects employee engagement and ultimately, profits.
  • Managers can unintentionally fall victim to breeches in break policy, etc. A dashboard can track compliance with your industrial instruments in real time, and alert managers if there's a potential violation risk ahead.
  • When employees who are irresponsible with tardiness and punches are presented with the reality of an intelligent system that accurately captures when employees are at work and how they're spending their time on the clock, these issues magically disappear.
  • When you engage and train managers from the beginning, you can refine your offering based on feedback about what will work for the business.
  • Always offer a usage alternative. For example, facilitate the use of employees' own mobile devices. Trust that employees will make smart data decisions.
  • Have an open mind. Don't create additional functionality you don't need. Understand the product you have and make sure you're using it to its full potential.
  • Change management is about people, not technology. While executive sponsorship is important, change should take place as a collaboration with subject matter experts and end users.
  • Set expectations that implementations can be rocky. Not only will you not achieve perfection the first time, but you might not achieve it ever. Go live with the bare minimum and learn from your mistakes.

Top Children's Hospital

  • Be the change you seek. There is never a good time. You will compete for resources unless you dedicate full-time people to the project.
  • Consider a single, unified HCM platform. “Bolt-ons” will result in efficiency decreases and manual interventions.
  • Maintain a cadence of communication to inform and engage stakeholders throughout digital transformation initiatives. This will create awareness, encourage adoption, and prepare the organization for effective change. Expect it to be a multi-year process.
  • Create a project support model that includes a call center, drop-ins, roaming, online live sessions, and email. Plan your training strategy early, let users touch the system, and prepare for more than you think you'll need. Pay the most attention to your users with complex business processes.
  • Leverage engagement booster meetings attended by senior leadership. Schedule these around project milestones and provide food.
  • To prevent time and cost escalations, build in accountability checks and strive to work within the boundaries of agreed-upon scope.
  • Produce detailed, labor productivity reports to determine if you need to adjust staffing.
  • Enhance your employee experience via mobile access and cloud computing.
  • Dedicate resources to recruiting, onboarding, and upskilling to facilitate organization-wide support of the new technology.
  • Just because something doesn't do what you planned doesn't make it useless. Test extensively, install vital patches, and ensure necessary browser updates are made prior to go-live.

Both the Australian retailer and the children's hospital are solid examples of organizations that are still learning from their initiatives to embrace the future of work. Their work illustrates well that when it comes to workforce automation, taking thoughtful, strategic action can make all the difference in staying competitive.

If you've participated in the deployment of enterprise software, what tips would you give a newbie?

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