“Can you make this better?”
That is probably the #1 question we get from our Kronos Workforce Central (WFC) and Workforce Ready (WFR) clients, which is often followed by the #2 most popular question:
“We just purchased our Kronos software, do we have to invest just as much to configure it?”
To which we confidently answer, "Yes, we can help. And no — it won’t cost you a small fortune."
Configuring your Kronos software to meet your company’s unique requirements — or Optimization — doesn’t have to be a complicated, lengthy, or costly process. In fact, you can gain immediate efficiency by optimizing your current WFC or WFR system in phases.
And the best part of an Optimization project? By making small changes to your current configuration, you can immediately boost employee happiness by zapping common-but-fixable system issues.
Why isn’t my system already configured?
To the #3 top question we respond: “It’s not uncommon after your implementation and go-live for functionality and usability gaps to surface over time.”
It’s not that your Kronos Implementation team shorted you in services. Rather, there’s a constant tension in every Implementation project to stay on scope, on time, and on budget. So configuration possibilities can get abbreviated to some degree to hit a company’s go-live date. With stakeholders to please and outcomes to reach, Implementation wants and needs get separated.
This reality means that custom, complex configurations may have to be explored outside of an initial implementation.
“The Implementation process is a lot like the high-energy and frenzy leading up to a wedding,” says Improv Lead Application Consultant Paul Gaetani. “But the wedding day is just a blip in the entire scope of marriage. The focus, hard work, learning, and constant improvement comes after the wedding — or in this case after your go-live date. You will be using your Kronos system for three to five years, so optimizing it as early as possible is the wisest way to maximize your investment.”
Optimization is where things get fun. This is where an experienced, creative Kronos consulting team can see the possibilities in your workforce and fuse them to your existing Kronos power, a process that renders visible, measurable outcomes.
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your current WFC or WFR platform.
6 Tips to Help Maximize Your WFM Investment
Optimize in bites. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and shy away from starting the Optimization process. After all, you just made a hefty investment in a new piece of software or upgrade. But the day-to-day pain is real. So think about Optimizing in bite-sized chunks (which also happens to be the best way to eat an elephant, yes?). Consider purchasing a bundle of consulting hours to alleviate your most prickly Kronos issues affecting morale and efficiency. Maybe you only need enough hours to evaluate your employee navigator and display and configuration — get that resolved and enjoy the immediate workflow boost.
Gain a Kronos brain. System administrators are rarely certified Kronos experts, which is why it’s cost-effective to bring on a new mind that eats, drinks, and sleeps Kronos. Perhaps you need to optimize self-scheduling in a way that takes into consideration all the self-service options for taking time off. An expert knows that there are over 100 billion configuration possibilities. Think we’re exaggerating? Okay, take the number of average time-off configuration options on a WFC system (let’s say 28) and use factorial math to come up with the configuration possibilities. Did you get 3.04 x 10 to the 29th power, which equals over 100 billion configurations? (Yes, Kronos brains make a difference in complex Kronos projects.)
Focus on the business process. A skilled (and ethical) Kronos consultant will only suggest new system configurations that support your current business process needs. The team will look at what is working and what isn’t in your current process and suggest configuration options to increase efficiency, ease user confusion, and cut costs. Perhaps timecard processing or time-off requests are bottlenecking under your current process. You don't need a system overhaul. You may need some easy changes such as adding reminders to your process, adding an extra approver, or moving the request to a second manager if the request sits more than a day. Simple configuration changes can also be made to the Attestation or Mobile process, which also has millions of configuration and user experience options.
Maximize user experience. When optimizing your WFM platform, especially in the world of scheduling, an experienced consultant will evaluate how each employee uses the system and make ideal system changes based on that employee's learning style. Every environment requires different configuration approaches. For example, nurses and retail workers often need the flexibility of self-scheduling and shift swapping. This small scheduling change boosts employee engagement, reduces overtime as well as turnover. Manufacturing plant administrators may opt to create manager-generated schedules without employee input to keep production schedules on track. Automating overtime alerts and time-off requests will keep costs and turnover low and reduce administrative costs.
Explain the ‘why.' Making sure people know why they have to learn a new software will always be more effective than handing down the dreaded "because I said so" memo. For example, rather than just tasking someone to learn Advanced Scheduler, explain the benefits of the module such as self-scheduling, labor, and sales forecasting, automating manual processes, and easing the administrative burden. This element of the Optimization process can be easily overlooked and result in poor user adoption and poor ROI.
Simplify processes, cut costs. Simple things can get overlooked in a rush to implement and go-live. Often Optimization requires some backtracking to see where processes can be simplified, configured, or automated. For example, tasks such as establishing a method for managing Time Off Requests and Time Off Periods can be automated and simplified in the Optimization process. This Improv case study highlights how we helped one client reduce six weeks of manual HR processes down to only three hours by merely automating.
To maximize your current WFC or WFR investment, you may need a tune-up or an objective third party to assess where you are, where you want to go, and configuration priorities that will get you there.
Contact the Improv team, and let's get your Kronos system operating at full-throttle efficiency TODAY.
Learn more by downloading our Kronos Optimization one sheet.