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Workforce Scheduler Extensions for Ancillary Care

May 17, 2018

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Kevin Devine, MSN, RN Workforce Scheduler Extensions Solution Consultant and nurse. Kevin’s combined experience at the bedside, in administration, and in consulting leaves him with 26 years working in the healthcare industry.

Nearly 30 percent of today’s medical spending goes toward ancillary care – care describing the variety of healthcare services supporting the work of physicians and nurses in acute care settings. In fact, ancillary providers are often considered a cost-saving alternative to more expensive outpatient hospital and physician services, making it one of the fastest growing areas in healthcare today.

nurses-talking-e1526566345974.jpgKronos customers currently using Workforce Scheduler Extensions – offered as part of Workforce Scheduler in the Workforce Central suite – are likely familiar with the workload-based staffing tool’s influence on inpatient nursing units, patient level-of-care, staff workload, and productivity measurement. And now, there’s more. We’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded Workforce Scheduler Extensions functionality into – yes, you guessed it – ancillary areas! Simply put, Workforce Scheduler Extensions now supports your staffing needs in ancillary areas in addition to nursing units. Customers already leveraging Workforce Scheduler Extensions for nursing units can now manage their ancillary care staff with the same tool, aligning processes and streamlining staffing procedures. The tool remains the same as you know it; what’s new are the features behind the scenes that allow it to support ancillary care.

Let’s dive deeper and look specifically at respiratory therapy as an area of ancillary care. Pretend you’re the manager for a busy respiratory department at a large acute care hospital tasked with creating staff to patient assignments. You can assign respiratory therapists to an entire unit (see Cindy marked in green in the screenshot below; she’s been assigned to the AMC-ICU unit); or you can assign them to individual patients (like Deaton, marked in blue, who is treating Baby Girl Spargo and Baby Boy Rogan).

WFE

Respiratory therapists treat patients across multiple hospital nursing units (ICU, maternity, NICU, emergency room, etc.) and Workforce Scheduler Extensions can help you organize and deliver the quality care your patients expect. The system populates the patients in the nursing departments that need respiratory treatment so that each team of respiratory therapists will only see the patients that need their care. Take a look at the red box in the screenshot. The respiratory team is serving multiple departments, such as the Birth Center and the ICU, but only the patients in those departments who require respiratory care are listed.

Features like tasks, tags, events, workload shading, projecting the census, and staffing evaluation are available just as they are for inpatient nursing units. This means that you, as the manager, can make all your therapists’ assignments, evaluate their workload, and project a census to evaluate staffing for an upcoming shift, all within your Workforce Scheduler Extensions tool.

Although I’ve discussed respiratory as an example, other ancillary care teams like transport, specialized clinical teams, sitter departments, and others may also benefit from these features.

Expanding Workforce Scheduler Extensions into ancillary areas takes a few special considerations. First, staffing matrices will need to be built and maintained within the system so staffing levels can be accurately evaluated and appropriately managed. Second, the order feed and technical information will need to be set up because we use order information to identify the specific patients for ancillary areas. The Kronos Workforce Scheduler Extensions team can help with both items.

Learn more about Workforce Scheduler for Healthcare on the Kronos website.

Hey there, bot: The future of workplace interactions

May 15, 2018

Technology is disrupting the workplace. For better or for worse, it’s changing the way we work at an alarmingly fast pace that only seems to pick up speed by the second. Automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning – we’ve been tossing these terms around for a while. But what’s different about them today is the direct influence they have on the employee/manager experience. They are creating new ways of interacting at work.

How? Chatbots. A new collaboration with Microsoft brings a Workforce Dimensions-powered chatbot within Microsoft Teams to managers and employees, helping them easily navigate day-to-day concerns. For example, the chatbot provides immediate answers to everyday workforce management questions. Employees can ask it to request time off or check vacation hours in real-time while managers can use it to identify who is approaching overtime or who has not clocked in for the day. Read more about the announcement here.

gettyimages-649188276.jpgFrom Eliza to Parry, Siri, and Alexa, a lot has changed over the years. And chatbots are only becoming a more attractive method of improving the user experience. In fact, Gartner recently predicted that 50% of companies will invest more on bots and chatbots per year than on mobile.

So, let’s back up for a moment. What is a chatbot? Is it artificial intelligence or machine learning? The simple answer is that it’s both. A chatbot is a form of artificial intelligence, and inside that artificial intelligence is the machine learning that helps the bot create the algorithms necessary to produce answers to our questions.

Dr. Thomas Walsh, director of data science at Kronos, describes the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning in the HR Bartender article Everything #HR Needs to Know About Machine Learning.

“Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can be tough fields to pin down,” Walsh says. “Artificial intelligence refers to a collection of subfields that solve complex problems associated with human intelligence and/or interacting with the world. These subfields include computer vision, natural language processing, robotics, and machine learning. Machine learning generally covers methods that build models of complex data.”

While there are different approaches to machine learning, Dr. Walsh notes that being data-driven is the commonality between them all. The more data that goes in, the more accurate outputs the machine learning algorithms will produce.

Is all of this positive or negative? The highly disputed question about advancements in technology prevails. The Workforce Institute at Kronos conducted research on the top concerns about artificial intelligence in the workplace in a recent study. Their results revealed that participants are primarily concerned with losing their jobs or being replaced by automated processes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the fourth most common concern is that automated processes will create more work for people because they will have to be monitored and checked. What’s your take? Good or bad? Cast your vote in the ongoing Workforce Institute poll.

What a release: Workforce Ready enhancements that will save you time and effort

May 10, 2018

GettyImages-498317637The content of today’s blog post is courtesy of Brad Nycz, Customer Success Manager and former Kronos customer! Workforce Ready Customer Marketing Manager Holly Bouffard and I spoke with Brad about what’s new in the latest Workforce Ready release. Removing his Kronos cap for a moment and looking through his customer lens, Brad identified what he feels are ten of the most valuable, time-saving new functionalities.

We’ve got some great tips for you! But there’s a lot here, so grab yourself a cup of coffee and settle in. The list of enhancements is organized into HR, Payroll, and manager and employee categories. Enjoy!

HR administrators can work more efficiently

  • When employees transfer roles internally, easily move their data from one EIN to another using HR Actions. Address, birthday, social security number, deductions, benefits, etc. It’s all transferred. No more data re-entry! You can simply move the existing data from its old home to its new one. Refer to your HR User Guide to learn more about HR Actions. Go to Our Company>Service Provider Documents>Download Documents.
  • HR Actions and HR Checklists are coming to the mobile app. Benefits enrollment and direct deposit are the HR Actions we’re most excited to announce. Perform from anywhere, anytime. Need we say more? Refer to page 31 of the April HR release notes for the full list of actions available on mobile. You can also give your employees access to HR Checklists – like Custom Form, Benefit Enrollment Screenlink, and Direct Deposit Screenlink – through the mobile app. For the complete list, reference page 31 of the April summary release notes.
  • Use the Position Hierarchy Chart to pull true, big-picture reports on your workforce. This one is for customers who have Position Management enabled. Produce comprehensive org charts including both active employees and current open positions. Having an all-encompassing view makes it easier to hold strategic, executive-level conversations about topics like succession planning, budgeting, and staffing. Access the Position Hierarchy Chart under Our Company>Position>Hierarchy Chart.
  • Upload data to U.S. state new hire websites using New Hire Reporting Data Exports. Rather than manually re-entering employee information already in Workforce Ready, simply download New Hire Reporting Data Exports from your solution and upload in one quick and easy sweep to state websites. Go to Company Settings>System Data Exports>Data Exports to access the list of available exports.
  • Get creative as an HR administrator with Benefit Related Custom Fields for discount/increase premiums. Say your organization wants to offer a healthy hydration incentive for employees consuming a gallon of water a day. Go ahead and configure it using Custom Fields defined for Benefits Plans and adjust and track premiums accordingly. When the Is List is enabled within the benefit Custom Field, an option for Affects Premium is enabled in the Custom Field Settings within the Benefit Plan under Company Settings>Profiles/Policies>Benefits>Plans.

Payroll managers can keep up with compliance

  • Audit employee data for accuracy with the Master Data Changes Report. This enhancement came from a customer like you! An IDEA was submitted in the Kronos Community and the Master Data Changes Report was born. It’s a summary-level resource highlighting additions, deletions, and updates to key employee information between payroll cycles. Find it within My Reports and from the Payroll Prep Process View Payroll step within specific payrolls.
  • The new Tax Credit Co. (TCC) Auto Delivery option allows for automatic data transfer. Determining if employees are eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) just got easier. We’ve automated the process, so you can avoid double data entry when evaluating employees for the tax credit. Add the widget that makes this possible using the Edit Tabs under Company>Global Setup>Company Setup.

Note: Tax Credit Co. is one of our many outstanding partners available to customers in the Workforce Ready Marketplace. To learn more about Tax Credit Co. and how to add it to your company, check out our Tax Credit Co. datasheet.

Managers and end employees have access to tools creating a simplified Workforce Ready experience

  • Enhance Auto-Assign capabilities by locking down previously edited shifts with Advanced Scheduler. This is great news because manual edits were not locked down before; and running the Scheduler engine to Auto-Assign open shifts would wipe out your work. Now you can freeze manual edits and run Auto-Assign safely. Read about this on page 5 of the Scheduler release notes for April.
  • Time-Off Request Email Notifications and Time-Off Request Workflows work hand in hand. Time-Off Request Notifications will operate normally; they’ll just also work in conjunction with a Time-Off Request Workflow. So, no need to keep using custom workflow steps to set up email notifications for time-off requests. Simply use Time-Off Request Notifications to approve, change, reject, request, or cancel time off. Find more information on page 23 of the TLM release notes for April.

How can you get your hands on release notes and user guides? Exciting news! You have 24/7 access to these documents within your Workforce Ready solution. Go to Our Company>Download Documents>Service Provider Documents. And be sure to join the Workforce Ready Announcements Group in the Kronos Community to stay up to date on published release notes and future release dates.

To share your own idea for a new Workforce Ready feature or enhancement and to vote on fellow users’ ideas, log in to the Kronos Community and visit the IDEAS section.

Lastly, don’t forget to register for the live What’s New, What’s Next webinar at 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 23. Topics include the New Applicant Portal, new mobile application features, succession planning additions, compliance updates, and more. Tune in!

Customers share insight into challenges and opportunities with their Kronos solutions in recent survey

May 8, 2018

blog 5.8When customers implement Kronos workforce management solutions, do the final outcomes achieved match the goals identified at the start? Or, does the implementation process reveal challenging or even surprising facts about the organization? A recent survey from Gatepoint Research offers insight into the answers to these questions.

One hundred decision-making executives participated in Gatepoint’s survey. The research revealed that many customers experience organizational changes after going live on their Kronos solution.

It goes without saying that solving one issue often opens the door to another. Respondents also reported that they have difficulty tracking and assessing goals once their solution is live, and more than half recognize that employees are neither leveraging all the features available to them nor using the system as intended.

When asked what it would take to optimize their Kronos workforce management solution, three opportunities came to the surface:

  • identify and embrace best practices
  • align internally on corporate goals
  • develop a training strategy

Check out the survey infographic for more details.

I think we can all agree that recognizing areas of opportunity and taking the necessary actions to make the most of them are sometimes easier said than done. But that’s why there are strategic coaches in Kronos Advisory Services – experts who know the game, provide feedback on performance, and help you make the right plays to get winning results. Whether it’s addressing concerns related to productivity, compliance, or high costs, they’re available to help you tackle your most pressing business challenges through short- and long-term engagements.

blog 5.8_2Check out the latest Advisory Services video to learn more about how the team can help you work smarter with a strategic approach to navigating the ever-changing business landscape – and ultimately, help you achieve better business outcomes

The Top Five Workforce Ready Instructor-Led Courses and My Learning Assets

May 3, 2018

Did you know that 68 percent of workers claim training and development is the most important company policy? People are curious and eager to learn – especially when it comes to the tools that help make their jobs easier.

girl_laptop_headphones_juiceWorkforce Ready training offers a variety of courses to help administrators, managers, and employees get up to speed quickly and best leverage the features and functionality of their solution. Between My Learning – your one-stop-shop with over 300 learning assets and targeted learning paths – and Virtual Instructor-Led Training – live sessions with a Workforce Ready trainer – you have access to the resources you need to get the most out of your investment.

So, what’s hot? Check out our top five most popular instructor-led training offerings and My Learning assets.

Instructor-Led Training – Visit Ready Registration to sign up!  

  1. TLM System Administrator (1 day) – Provides foundational knowledge of how to use and maintain common time and labor functionality.
  2. Payroll Administrator (3 days) – Provides introductory knowledge on how to use and maintain commonly used payroll functionality.
  3. General Topics in Human Resources (1/2 day) – Overview of features in the HR module, including pay grades, jobs and job changes, terminations, training and certification, and assets.
  4. Benefits Administration (1/2 day) – Covers the components that make up the benefits feature in Core Human Resources.
  5. Onboarding (1/2 day) – Covers the configuration and management of onboarding features.

My Learning Assets

  1. Requesting Time Off
    My Account > My Learning > Employee > 2. General Tasks
  2. Using Time and Labor
    My Account > My Learning > Employee > 4. Using Time and Labor
  3. Navigating Workforce Ready
    My Account > My Learning > Employee > 1. Navigation Overview
  4. Accessing the Mobile Application
    My Account > My Learning > Employee > 2. General Tasks
  5. Modifying the Dashboard
    My Account > My Learning > Employee > 1. Navigation Overview

Join the Workforce Ready Training Team on May 17 at 1:00 p.m. EDT for a webinar on the courses and learning tools that are being developed. You can also check out the Workforce Ready Customer Training Catalog for details on instructor-led training, Q&A sessions, and My Learning content.

For more information on any Workforce Ready training content, contact the training team.

How data gets from here to there

May 1, 2018

integration

Think about the number of enterprise applications that organizations rely on every day. There’s information residing in HR platforms, workforce management solutions, payroll systems, etc. Quickly and efficiently processing payroll, running compliance reports, managing employee records, or administering open enrollment depends on sharing data between these key applications. So, how does critical information get from one place to another?

Three letters – API. Something that reminds me of magic, simplifies business processes, and maximizes the benefits of your enterprise level applications.

APIs connect two platforms together so that information can be shared between them. Think about simply searching your email inbox, booking flights, or viewing live sports scores, for example. From behind the scenes, in each of your apps, an API is what receives your request for information, searches the third-party sites it’s associated with and sends back what you see on your screen. Two easy-to-understand resources on this subject are The World Through an API (video) and What is an API? In English, please. (article).

Perhaps the two things to remember about APIs are that they enable fast data transfer and up-to-date information. They connect platforms in a way that allows for instant, two-way conversations. Rather than batch file transfers – where data is sent in a flat file and processed a day, week, or maybe a month later – API data streams process information in real-time, bidirectionally!

Both Workforce Central® and Workforce Dimensions™ solutions have API-based, business integrations with large human capital management (HCM) vendors like Workday, Oracle, and SAP. This means that when an organization enters new hire information into the HR platform, the new employee is immediately available for scheduling because the API automatically updates the data in the workforce management solution. It’s the same when an employee changes jobs or gets a raise, allowing for always-accurate, reliable payroll information.

gary_bernier“API integrations between major HCM platforms and Kronos solutions help improve the customer experience by synchronizing the data across all systems. APIs also simplify integration development, saving time and money during implementations.”

Gary Bernier – Director, Strategic Partnerships

 

Then there are functional integrations. Take, the Workforce Dimensions integration with Microsoft Outlook. You can see and interact with your Kronos solution all from within the Outlook application. You don’t even have to open Kronos to submit time off! Perform this action with a few clicks in your Outlook profile – thanks to the APIs that are making immediate data transfers between Microsoft and Kronos to give you a simple and seamless experience.

I asked one of my technical friends about it – here’s what he said:

mike_may“The Workforce Dimensions integration to Outlook truly allows our customers to work their way. Now, employees can increase productivity by doing their most common tasks, like submitting time-off requests and viewing their schedule, without ever leaving Outlook. Similarly, managers can approve time-off requests and timecard exceptions without logging into the application. This allows them to spend more time where it matters most – with their customers and staff.”

Mike May, Sr. Director, Platform as a Service

Workforce Dimensions APIs are publically available to customers on-demand. But it can be complex to use them correctly if you’re new to the platform. Kronos Services provides tiered levels of API assistance to help ensure successful API integration across all your systems without costly delays or mistakes. They can also help you rapidly implement a Data Extraction Tool to replace queries you run against your system today so that specified applications – like Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Data Warehouse, and Point of Sale solutions – can receive Workforce Dimensions data.

matt_brown“We know many of our customers extract data directly from the Kronos platform using custom queries and procedures. Kronos can replicate that functionality on day one in your cloud platform using the Data Extraction Tool. Check out our datasheet for more detail or reach out to me at Integration@Kronos.com. I’m happy to hear from you!”

Matthew Brown, Director, Global Integration & API Consulting

If you’re inspired by all this talk about APIs and integrations, check out the Workforce Dimensions Marketplace or join the conversation in the Workforce Dimensions and API and Integrations Consulting (for WFC customers) groups in the Kronos Community.

The link between employee engagement and customer experience

April 26, 2018

indy best place to workEmployee engagement and customer experience are two of the most important matters for organizations to consider. They might seem like separate concerns, but studies show they are related. In fact, it’s more likely to have one of them if you have the other.

Here’s what I mean. An infographic by the Temkin Group reveals that companies with highly or moderately engaged employees have significantly better customer experience than their competitors with less engaged employees. And if you think about it, it makes sense that leaders in customer experience have higher employee engagement. Your employees are the ones who create the customer experience after all – whether through direct interactions or through contributing ideas to product design and development.

NFSBgraphic 2017I couldn’t help but think about Kronos while reading through the Tempkin Group’s infographic. We’ve received many Best Place To Work nominations, recently being named a Best Place To Work in Indiana (celebration pictured above), and have also been recognized by the Customer Relationship Management Institute LLC with its NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for excellence in customer satisfaction for the 18th consecutive year!

Our engaged and inspired workforce is the foundation of these accomplishments. Kronos believes businesses are powered by great people; these are the well-known words of our CEO Aron Ain. And it’s these great people who contribute to the success of the organization every day through demonstrating our culture of caring in our customer interactions.

They do what they do for you! And don’t forget, you can engage with our engaged employees in the Kronos Community.

 

We Just Want to Say Thank You!

April 24, 2018

Today’s post on customer success is courtesy of Jayson Saba, Sr. Director Product Marketing.

A few weeks ago, peer review sites G2Crowd and TrustRadius recognized Kronos Workforce Ready with Leader and Top Rated honors respectively.  This recognition is a result of our awesome customers who continue to share their stories and success with our solutions.  It also speaks to how well Kronites around the globe execute our customer success initiatives.  At Kronos, Customer-First isn’t just something we say, it is what we do every day.  And seeing that our customers recognize and appreciate what we do is an honor and privilege.

0418_CoreHR_TrustMap_Midsize

So how did we get here?

It all starts with our employee focus.  Kronos was named a top 100 Fortune Best Companies to Work For.  A culture of engagement that prioritizes the employee experience improves performance and retention.  Customers value speaking to experienced customer success and technical managers who not only understand the product but are also familiar with the customer’s history.

Under the leadership and with tremendous support from our President Chris Todd, we established a Customer Success organization that is 100% focused on the customer experience from the moment they engage with Kronos onward.  Our customer onboarding program ensures that clients understand what to expect from kickoff to well after go-live to ensure their goals are met in their Kronos partnership.

Thanks to 40 years of experience working with some of the world’s biggest and most ambitious companies, we are now able to accelerate time to value from our customers’ investments.  All Kronos customers benefit from our Paragon Methodology that establishes at startup tenant with all the best practices we learned from the specific industry vertical they operate in.  The goal is to ensure a quality activation and onboarding experience that helps them transform their processes that impact their business.

All our HCM customers have access to an HR and Payroll knowledgebase that provides up to date information and legal updates related to HR, payroll, tax, and labor laws.  Additionally, we proactively provide checklists to ensure HR and Payroll executives are ahead of the curve for audits, mid-year and year-end processes.

Most importantly, it is all about communication. In the cloud world where updates are happening regularly, and enhancements to functionality and usability are expected by customers, it is critical to communicate what is coming.  Through or Customer Engagement Marketing organization under the leadership of my colleague Lisa Pratt, we ensure our customers not only have access to best practices, but are kept aware of what is coming in the products and on the roadmap.

Thank you again to our customers for this honor.  As our president says, “Putting our customers first is the guiding philosophy behind everything we do at Kronos.” And customer success starts and ends with successful customers.

JSaba

 

 Jayson is an HCM technology executive who has done it all: Practitioner, service provider, industry analyst, and technology provider. He currently leads a group of innovative product marketers at Kronos.

Educating on User Experience – Kids in Tech Comes to Kronos

April 19, 2018

clockinExcite, engage, and educate children to use technology. This mission belongs to Kids in Tech – a nonprofit inspiring the next generation of tech-savvy leaders through after-school programs.

Last Thursday, Kronos welcomed a group of 20 kids from the Kids in Tech after-school tech club, ages 8-14. They toured our headquarters, learned about user experience, and participated in hands-on testing of our time clocks.

In the User Experience Center, students worked with Kronites from the User Research and Product Management teams to test out the different ways employees can clock-in to work. The kids also participated in a hands-on activity which walked them through how IoT (Internet of Things) and Cloud computing touch everyday lives in the workplace.

“It is fun to see the curiosity and awe that the kids bring to the workplace. We are inspired by their questions and reactions to things that we might otherwise take for granted.” – Marc Cajolet, Senior Manager Kronos User Experience

“I’ve been to an office, but never one like this,” one boy said to me during the building tour. Another asked, “Can I work here?” after completing the afternoon’s activities. Kronite volunteers were excited about the kids’ visit, and it was great to hear that they were enjoying the program!

Kronos is dedicated to helping develop the next-generation workforce in the communities where we live and work. It’s part of our GiveInspired culture. Technology will only continue to expand to new horizons, and introducing young-talent to its possibilities at an early age will help them understand what opportunities are out there for them.

Thank you, Kids in Tech, and we hope to see you back again soon!

10 of the best HR and Payroll Answerforce Daily Document Updates for HR Compliance

April 17, 2018

picI recently started reading the HR and Payroll Answerforce Daily Document update. To be completely honest, it’s not the most attractive email – but don’t let this fool you! Never judge a book by its cover…I certainly learned my lesson this time. The HR and Payroll Answerforce daily update is packed with interesting news, fascinating surveys, and more!

I glanced back at the email updates I’ve received since the beginning of 2018 and compiled a list of some of the most interesting articles from the HR Compliance Library. Please note that you must be logged into the Kronos Community and HR and Payroll Answerforce for the following links to work. Simply log in to the Kronos Community and scroll to click the orange HR and Payroll Answerforce button before clicking on one of the “Read” links below.

  1. New Fathers take under a week of paid parental leave if any at all. Read.
  2. Female workers nearly three times more likely than male counterparts to think there is a pay disparity at work. Read.
  3. Greatest cybersecurity risks come from managing increasing amounts of data, connected devices. Read.
  4. Most organizations have sexual harassment policies in place, but few plan to update them. Read.
  5. Rural women of color face especially large wage gap. Read.
  6. There is still time for IRA contributions. Read.
  7. Employees say their companies would perform better if their leaders showed greater “moral leadership.” Read.
  8. Experts discuss how to identify and fix a toxic corporate culture. Read.
  9. Survey reveals employees prioritize setting their own schedule above every other workplace perk. Read.
  10. Number of paid sick days directly impacts how Americans use preventive care. Read.

The update email features information on payroll management and state employment law as well. To get a daily dose of this yourself, navigate to HR and Payroll Answerforce homepage through the Kronos Community. Once in HR and Payroll Answerforce, scroll to the What’s New section and click the button to enable your email alerts.

pic2.pngAnd the good news? HR and Payroll Answerforce is FREE for all registered community members! Head to the Kronos Community to access the tool and adjust your email settings.

 

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