In an interaction with Financial Express Online’s Kritika Rastogi, workforce management company Kronos Incorporated’s Global VP, Human Resources, Deborah Smith and Head of Human Resources-APAC, Rajiv Burman explain what makes Kronos an exceptional workplace and reveal the idea behind their vision and what makes it different from other companies. Here are the excerpts:
Q. Can you define your work culture? What are the factors that you think have already made a difference or will do so in the future?
Deborah Smith – Engagement is an important measure of our culture. When we feel engaged, we are inspired to reach our full potential. This has a powerful impact on our work, our customers, and each other. To gain insight into our engagement levels, where our strengths are as a company, and where we have some opportunity to improve our culture, employees are asked to participate in Employee Engagement surveys. Recently, we introduced our ‘Make the 5HIFT’ initiative and the Kronos transformation to becoming a true-SaaS company. As a part of this transformation we invited employees to participate in a mid-year version of our employee engagement survey that provides feedback related to our Kronos 5.0 strategy, leadership, and this initiative too. Employee sentiments serve as a benchmark and help us understand the areas that we need to focus on for Kronos to continue to be an inspired place to work; areas where employees need more information to do their job well; and what we can do to help us achieve our strategic goals as a company. The surveys demonstrate strengths in the culture and areas that could be enhanced. As compared to global information technology organizations and global high-performing organizations, Kronos has consistently scored above average in all employee engagements. We have also won many employers of choice awards around the world.
Q. How important are employees in Kronos’ scheme of things?
Rajiv Burman – As part of our commitment to develop an inspired workplace, Kronos regularly pursues related rankings as a top company to work for. Each ranking is given based on results from employee feedback on areas of Kronos culture, including innovation, work/life balance, benefits, and development. It is Kronites who make Kronos an exceptional workplace, and without such a great community of people, Kronos would not be as successful as it is today.
Q. Can you tell me something about your recent CSR initiative launched in India?
Deborah Smith – a.Since 2015 Kronos is committed to support ANK’s Learning Center in Noida to educate more than 125 local underprivileged children every year.
b. ‘ANK & Kronos’ Noida Learning Center offers elementary education to children aged five to 14 years old and aims to:
b.i. Provide remedial education to the needy school going children in partnership with parents and the wider local community
b.ii. Teach community children, drop-out or out-of-school children who cannot attend school due to financial or family problems;
b.iii. Support periodic health camps to offer improved healthcare and education within the local area.
c. The launch of the computer lab today brings the children in the school access to valuable and relevant digital skills. The computer lab is well equipped with four PCs, three laptops and an Internet connection.
Q. What comment would you like to make on the common trend of employees changing their jobs frequently. Does it impact Kronos too?
Deborah Smith – We are proud of our retention rate which is better than the industry average. Majority of our attrition occurs when employees decide to pursue higher education or have changes in their personal circumstances due marriage and associated relocation. Our approach is to encourage and support all employees to reach their maximum potential and we understand that in some cases that may involve leaving Kronos. We are happy that a number of employees who leave us decide to return back to Kronos – a validation of our highly engaged culture. Kronos currently has more than 180 active boomerang Kronites (Kronos employees) who have returned to work at the organization, including nearly 120 who have been re-hired since 2010. Many boomerang Kronites cite the Kronos corporate culture as a primary reason for returning to the organization, which is reaffirmed by recent employee engagement scores that far surpass industry benchmarks for global IT organizations. Nearly one-third of Kronos hires in the past 12 months have been from employee referrals.
Q. Hike in salary is a major issue employees are always concerned about. How do you deal with it?
Rajiv Burman – We pay competitively to ensure that the talent we have hired and invested in will continue to be rewarded for their performance. Every year and sometimes more than once a year we assess the market to ensure that our pay rates are competitive. Salary increases are based on performance demonstrated by the employee and the behaviors displayed in achieving that performance.