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Three Hot Workforce Management Trends from KronosWorks


As a focus area of retail technology, workforce management may not be quite as sexy as CRM or omnichannel commerce. However, a lot of very exciting stuff is currently happening in the world of workforce management, as attendees of the recent KronosWorks 2014 conference in Las Vegas discovered. Here is a brief summary of three of the hottest current workforce management trends.

1. Mobility. As workers become increasingly mobile in their personal lives, they are expecting the same convenience and accessibility provided by mobile technology in their professional lives. This extends to workforce management. Kronos clients including Life Time Fitness and Australia’s Woolworths Ltd. allow employees and managers to perform tasks such as punching in and reviewing timesheets from mobile devices (with appropriate security for system access and safeguards against activities like “buddy punching”). And as more constantly connected Millennials enter the workplace, mobile workforce management capabilities will only become more necessary.

2. Social Connectivity. Workforces are essentially self-contained communities, which function like any other community. Employees will often tend to spend most of their time with other employees in their own department, and may not be aware of the personnel, skills and resources at their disposal in other parts of the company. This disconnect becomes even more pronounced with organizations that operate on a national or global basis.

However, just as social networking is connecting far-flung individuals in a digital instant outside the workplace, it’s starting to provide the same benefits inside the workplace. Kronos is now enabling users to create internal social networks so that a manager looking for an employee with a particular capability can quickly find one anywhere in the organization, including a different office, region or country, using a keyword search.

3. Gamification. Kronos is also developing gamification capabilities to allow users to create competition and entertainment within normally staid workforce management functions. Next month, a new leaderboard feature within its Workforce Central suite will allow companies to reward and recognize employees, managers, and teams for positive job performance and adhering to an organization’s time and attendance policies and procedures.

According to guest keynote speaker Dan Schawbel, managing partner at Millennial Branding LLC and an expert on generational differences in the workplace, younger workers who grew up playing video games are especially receptive to gamified workforce management experiences. He gave the example of vertical cosmetics retailer L’Oreal, who uses digital games to gauge the work skills of potential employees and help them discover where in the company they would most like to work. Realistically speaking, most Gen X employees grew up playing video games, as well.

Do you see a common thread in these three hot workforce management trends? They are all trends which are highly prevalent in the personal, as well as professional, lives of employees. As the lines between work and personal continue to blur, with flexible hours and telecommuting becoming more commonplace, it is only natural that workers will expect their professional environment to function similarly to their personal environment. And workforce management vendors like Kronos are responding to the need.
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