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Have You Thanked a Nurse Today?

October 5-11 is Emergency Nurses Week here in the US.   At Kronos, our single largest customer population is in healthcare.  From standalone long term care facilities to the biggest healthcare networks in the world, we are helping healthcare providers help their patients.

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.

You can watch Vanessa’s story here:

Prior Posts About Why We Value Nurses:

Kronos Video Tributes to Nurses

Thank You Post to Dad’s Nurse, Katy

Talking About the Good Jobs Strategy with Zeynep Ton

zeynep tonRecently 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.

Relevant Links:

News coverage of the symposium on Boston.com

Seismic Shift – Waking Up to the Strategic Value of Workforce Management

New York Times article “Thinking Outside the (Big) Box”

Good Jobs Strategy = Happier Employees = Better Customer Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Rules for Keeping Customers Happy in the Cloud

experience you expectIn 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:

  1. If there’s a problem with my environment, tell me.  Don’t make me stumble across it.
  2. When there is a problem, tell me when and how you’re going to fix it.
  3. Your privacy and security measures meet objective standards and protect me and my organization from any compliance issues.
  4. 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.
  5. The more I can control my environment through self service measures, the better.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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?