(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. You can learn more about their industry-specific time and attendance, scheduling, absence management and labor analytics software here. Enjoy today’s post!)
We often hear the term “best place to work” or “best in class” to describe companies that treat their employees well. They’re places that job seekers want to work for. But what exactly does the term “best” mean?
Sometimes “best places to work” are described as companies with an outstanding program or benefit. But that’s only describes one program. Truly “best” companies are about more than singular programs. Their way of doing business is ingrained in their corporate cultural and drives the decision-making process of the organization.
An example of this is Kronos. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Kronos team for several months now and they’re truly a company that practices what they preach. Their innovative culture has not only won them recognition as a best place to work but wins them clients.
After hearing about the two Best Places to Work awards Kronos recently won, I wanted to find out more. So I sat down with David Almeda, their chief people officer, to find out what makes the Kronos culture special. David has an impressive human resources background, holding senior level positions with Staples and Hertz. He holds a doctorate from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. And we serve on The Workforce Institute board together.
Congrats! Kronos has recently won two Best Places to Work awards. Can you share with readers why Kronos decided to apply for the recognition?
[David] Kronos employees (or Kronites) around the globe feel a sense of pride in Kronos and in the products and services we provide to our customers. Our tagline ‘Workforce Innovation that Works’ represents the pride we take knowing that we develop solutions that help organizations solve critical business issues by lowering labor costs, reducing compliance risk, and improving productivity.
Investing in our employees and creating an innovative work environment is very important to us and we do our best to make employees excited to come to work. Applying for the recognition was a way for us to externally demonstrate how proud we are to work at Kronos. To be considered for the awards, we had to describe what makes Kronos such a special place to work. Kronites participated in anonymous engagement surveys conducted by third-party vendors to demonstrate what it is really like to work at Kronos. This approach allowed employees to give their unbiased perspective. The results confirm that our efforts to make Kronos a best place to work are really paying off.
Winning a Best Places to Work award speaks volumes about the Kronos culture. How would you describe the culture at Kronos? And to what do you attribute its success?
[David] One word that describes our culture is inspired. We are inspired by the products we’re developing, our customers, and most importantly, we’re inspired by each other. There is a very real sense of camaraderie and teamwork inside the office as well as outside. You’ll find Kronites videoconferencing with their global colleagues, contributing to internal department blogs, solving problems over a friendly game of ping pong. We’re always collaborating.
Outside of working together, you’ll see employees taking part in a boot camp class together or a pickup game of basketball. I think the reason behind our successful culture is that we believe employees who feel valued will stay at a company longer. And we put great effort into programs and opportunities to show that we value employees and the work they do. We have employees who have been here for 10, 20, and even 30 years.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Kate Conran, your product marketing manager. She talked about the emphasis Kronos places on work/life balance – not just in terms of flextime but around being healthy. Would you share the company’s philosophy regarding employee wellness and work balance?
[David] We recognize that employees have families and passions away from work and we celebrate that because happy employees will be better contributors. We know the talented people who work here hold themselves accountable for getting results. I, myself have two young daughters and do not feel guilty about occasionally leaving work early to attend school events. And to me, that’s a great feeling. Our CEO firmly believes that family comes first and this message is cascaded throughout the company.
In addition to flexibility, we also offer innovative benefits that promote healthy living. It’s a part of the philosophy that we consistently show employees that they are our most valuable asset. We genuinely care about our employees’ well-being and provide resources for employees to be their best selves.
I also know that Kronos places a huge importance on workforce development. Tell us a little bit about your intern program.
[David] When we first started the internship program in 2009, we had about 18 interns and today, the program has grown to more than 50 interns from all over the country at our corporate campus. We offer internships in a variety of different departments including marketing, human resources, product development, and information technology.
Throughout the paid 10-week program, our interns are completely immersed in the Kronos culture. We challenge them to apply their academic coursework, to projects they work on and have a meaningful impact on Kronos. In addition to giving them the opportunity to gain real-world experience, we also give them access to a network of seasoned company leaders and a mentor for support. When not working with their teams, the interns attend educational programs about career development and professional social networking events such as volunteer work or sporting events.
We strongly believe that it is our responsibility to give the next generation workforce a strong foundation for their career growth. At the conclusion of the program, interns must give a formal presentation of lessons learned and how they made an impact on Kronos.
Lastly, here at HR Bartender, we do serious work but try not to take ourselves too seriously. So, my last question is what’s your favorite drink (adult or not)?
[David] That’s one question that I’ve never been asked in an interview before. It depends. On the non-adult side, I love a good cup of coffee. Kronos provides Starbuck’s coffee, free of charge to all employees. I really love a good cup of coffee so that’s a nice perk to have. My favorite adult beverage is beer. I worked and lived in Belgium for about a year and gained a real appreciation for good beer. I have several favorite brands, both domestic and imported.
I want to thank David for taking the time to share with us some of what happens behind the scenes at Kronos. I hope David’s comments inspire companies to ask themselves what they can do to create a special place to work. If you want to learn more about the Kronos work culture, be sure to check out their blogs or follow David on Twitter.