Over the weekend, my Facebook feed was full of posts and pictures from proud friends and family attending graduations. These events are not only full of pomp and circumstance, but also full of hope and...Read more
Workforce Institute board members Bob Clements and William Tincup joined me for a conversation about the current state of workforce management in the cloud. Among the clients we work with at Kronos, this conversation has...Read more
Do you celebrate National Boss's Day on October 16th? Did you even know there was a day celebrating bosses? This event has been around since 1958, though Hallmark didn't offer a card until 1979. I...Read more
As I mentioned in a recent post on the difficulty I had staying out of Outlook while on vacation, unplugging from the digital world is increasingly difficult for a lot of people. We're constantly connected...Read more
I'm happy to announce the availability of the new Workforce Institute ebook. In it, we've collected our board members’ points-of-view on the concept of Workforce Innovation That Works™; their thoughts on the most noteworthy human capital...Read more
In the latest installment in our 1 in One Hundred Million video series celebrating workers, we talk to Vanessa, an ER nurse in Massachusetts. Like most nurses you meet, her overwhelming focus is on providing care. Watch, enjoy, and share with a nurse who’s made a difference in your life.
Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Zeynep Ton, adjunct associate professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, about her book “The Good Jobs Strategy”. I’ve written about this excellent book here before. Zeynep’s core message is that excellent financial returns don’t have to come at the expense of employees. In fact, her research indicates that investing in employees as a driver of strategic advantage vs. treating labor as a cost to be minimized will ultimately drive higher returns for all stakeholders. You can listen to a podcast of our discussion about the lessons from her book below:
Zeynep was kind enough to invite me to MIT Sloan School last night for a symposium on the recent Market Basket story – wherein loyal employees and customers successfully organized and disrupted store operations in response to the ouster of their trusted CEO. Market Basket is widely known for applying many of the principles Zeynep reviews in her book. In fact, Zeynep and some of her colleagues will be writing a case study on Market Basket for aspiring business leaders to study. Several hundred students, faculty (and members of the public like yours truly) packed a sold out auditorium to hear management and labor experts talking about the lessons to be learned from Market Basket.
One of the more interesting observations last night came from MIT finance professor Andrew Lo, who said the Market Basket approach proves “Finance doesn’t need to be zero sum game.” His point, and that made by others on the panels, was that Market Basket employees act like owners. They care about their bonuses and profit sharing – and they understand that maximizing their personal returns is dependent on doing right by their customers. They’ve been empowered to do what it takes to keep those loyal customers coming back, a “distributed leadership model” as one professor noted. In the end, those ties that bound the Market Basket employees to their embattled CEO and each other during the standoff were also connected to their customers. And ultimately it was the customers’ willingness to boycott the stores in order to preserve the brand they loved that turned the tide.
In addition to my Workforce Institute responsibilities, I also manage the voice of the customer program at Kronos. The image to the right expresses our core service message. We do a great job with customer service at Kronos, and have the awards to prove it. We keep it that way by by actively and constantly soliciting feedback through multiple channels. We receive over 20,000 customer surveys a year – and we review all of them. Of course we hear about problems through those surveys, but we hear a lot more feedback like this:
“Your representative was very easy-going & informative – made having to call in about the ticket a pleasant experience. Has very good customer service skills!”
We use this feedback to identify and prioritize improvements needed in our products, services and processes. We help different parts of our business do ad hoc analyses to dive more deeply into specific areas. Today, I got a question about what constitutes the ideal cloud customer experience. Here’s my response – the top ten expectations I believe that cloud customers have of their vendors.
From what I’ve seen from Kronos customer feedback, my own experience as a VP of products and services for a SaaS company before I came to Kronos, and my experience as the manager of two SaaS vendor solutions for Kronos, the following are key expectations of SaaS customers:
If there’s a problem with my environment, tell me. Don’t make me stumble across it.
When there is a problem, tell me when and how you’re going to fix it.
Your privacy and security measures meet objective standards and protect me and my organization from any compliance issues.
Upgrades are friction-less events; i.e. no disruption in my environment. Adding new features that become available in a release should be up to me and easy to configure.
The more I can control my environment through self service measures, the better.
It should be easy to get my data out of your solution – for reporting, integration, or other use cases I need to support within my environment.
I am likely to be a non-technical user. Speak to me in my language. I probably don’t care how you make the sausage, I just want it to work – all the time.
Provide me with a test environment so I can vet new features, and so I can update training and documentation materials that support user adoption of your solution.
You know how I’m using your system, you have my data. Can you provide real time analytics to help me use your solution more effectively?
You have lots of people’s data. Can that be used to help me benchmark my organization against others like mine?
Do you use cloud solutions? What criteria for a great experience would you add to this list?
This is a practical and thought-provoking compilation of experiences focused on what drives and sustains successful organizations. Its contributing authors, all well-respected individuals from academia and industry, go beyond theory showing the reader wisdom — and a roadmap for growing and sustaining any organization.
-- John Boudreau, PhD, Professor and Research Director, USC's Marshall School of Business and Center for Effective Organizations