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How Mobile Is Your HR Technology? How Mobile Should It Be?

mobile phone userWorkforce Institute board members Sharlyn Lauby and John Hollon joined me for a discussion of how quickly mobile technology is transforming HR.  John is Vice President for Editorial at ERE Media, the go-to source for information and conferences in the human resources and recruiting industries; and Sharlyn is the HR Bartender and President of ITM Group Inc., a training company focused on developing programs to retain and engage talent in the workplace.

Increasingly, HR leaders are grappling with the proliferation of mobile devices and the need for mobile applications for their employees.  And as John notes in our conversation, Gartner has recently predicted that more than 50% of organizations will require their employees to bring their own devices to work by 2017.

According to Gartner, ”BYOD drives innovation for CIOs and the business by increasing the number of mobile application users in the workforce. Rolling out applications throughout the workforce presents myriad new opportunities beyond traditional mobile email and communications. Applications such as time sheets, punch lists, site check-in/check-out, and employee self-service HR applications are just a few examples.”  

Is your organization moving in this direction?  How prepared are you for the practical (device support, security) and policy (overtime, privacy) implications of more mobile devices in your environment?  If you’d like to hear our discussion of the questions below, you can listen in on our discussion here:

  • Mobile HR has been a hot topic for several years now – what are you both seeing in terms of actual adoption? Has implementation lived up to hype?
  • What are the major challenges employers face in devising a mobile HR strategy?
  • What advice would you give to employers on getting started?
  • Tablet versus smart phone – do you think one opportunity is bigger than the other for employers?
  • What impact does the Bring Your Own Device phenomenon or BYOD have on HR? What implications does it have in terms of policy?
  • What changes do you think we’ll see over the next 3-5 years?


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Is Teenage Labor a Good Thing?

WS - Group Honor RollToday’s guest post is courtesy of our board member David Creelman.  I spoke to David recently about the different types of internship programs we support at Kronos, including our sponsorship of several local high school students through the Cristo Rey Network.  This program has been a win for us, despite our initial concerns that managing a high schooler in the workplace might require more investment than return.  Our concerns were misplaced.  Our high school interns are doing a great job for us.  Read on to learn more about this program.

Would it make sense to have high school students spend four days a week at school and one day working? That’s what happens at Cristo Rey Network, based in Chicago, IL. Cristo Rey has 26 high schools in 25 cities across the U.S. serving mainly low income youth. Their Corporate Work Study program puts students in the workforce one day a week which helps fund their education and build skills. Legally, it is set up as an employee leasing program so that the students are employees of the school not the corporate client.

So that’s cool. Is it a good idea?

Or let’s be more precise: would it be good for your company to participate?

The first question is whether students can afford to take 20% of their time away from school. On the one hand, there never seems enough time to cover all the things we think high schoolers should learn. On the other hand, when I look back on my high school experience it feels like I could have taken 50% of the time off, and not been the worse for wear.

The next questions are whether the time at work is good for the student, and whether having a student is good for the employer. I group these questions together because I suspect they fit hand in glove. Create a value-adding job and both parties benefit; create a make-work job and no one wins.

That the idea can work has been proven by Cristo Rey. And my own stance is that the biggest single weakness in our education system (and this definitely includes universities) is that kids spend 20 years doing nothing but being educated, and then are simply dumped into the workforce. Braiding together the worlds of work and education would, to my mind, benefit both.

If the idea intrigues you, the place to start is probably having HR sit down with whoever runs social responsibility. At that point it becomes a question of how to find which managers have the skills and enthusiasm to find or create value-adding tasks for high schoolers.

So what’s on your mind? What is it that most worries you or most excites you about the prospect of teenage labor?

Omni Indy – Converting a customer service fail into a happy customer

I had my first trip to Indianapolis and our Kronos Technology Center there this week. I went to Indy to speak on a panel with some of my fellow female leaders at the request of the women working at the center. This event was both energizing and inspiring for me and my fellow panelists. It’s fun for us to share our perspectives on work/life management, and equally fun to hear about the aspirations of our younger colleagues.

I did have an interesting customer service experience I want to share about how the Omni hotel in Indy turned a poor customer service experience into a win for me. When I arrived at the hotel yesterday, they had no room for me even though I had a reservation. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. I knew there was a big conference in town and hotel rooms were very hard to come by. The desk staff and manager apologized, but said they had nothing to offer. Had the experience stopped there, I no doubt would have avoided this hotel chain for the rest of my life.

What happened, however, was that the hotel manager called around and found me a room a couple of blocks away at a different chain hotel. This alone was a major step in turning around a bad situation. On top of that, though, when I checked out of my hotel this morning I learned that the Omni had already taken care of my bill.

Extraordinary customer service, Omni Severin!

We’re Reading This Week:
Employers list worker health habits as top cost concern via @Benefits_Pro
Tech Insights: Operations vs. HR, or Why Old Techniques Still Have Value via @dcreelman @TLNT_com
6 Things I Want to Teach My Dog About Work via @HuffPostBiz
How to Have a Happier Monday via @HealthyLiving

Kronites are writing about:
New Time Well Spent #Carton: #certified #Kronos4HC
RT @SmarterCafe: @CallawayGolf hitting ‘em straight to the @KronosInc #cloud.
Thank a Teacher and Win $10,000 for Their School! via @WF_Institute #education #teaching #edtech
How good is your vision? via @simonmacpherson @KronosUK
To Everything (Learn, Learn, Learn) via @SmarterCafe
The 40th most important person in cloud computing via @SmarterCafe
“7.1 million folks have health insurance.” via @SmarterCafe

Kronos News:
Kronos Adds @CallawayGolf Company as #Global and #Mobile #Cloud Customer!
#RewardTeachers and their schools by entering our “Thanks to a Teacher” contest! #thankateacher
Kronos Survey Finds Employee Fatigue Can Cost Energy Companies Millions Annually; Night Shifts Not the Leading Cause
[INFOGRAPHIC] Employee Fatigue Leaves Energy Organizations in the Dark.
Don’t miss the FREE #KronosLive conference near you! Learn about the latest innovations & gather valuable tips/tricks