BizVoice -- May / June 2018

92 BizVoice/Indiana Chamber – May/June 2018 Kronos ‘Who Wouldn’t Want to Work for Kronos?’ By Charlee Beasor 2018 NEWCOMER “It feels like we are a start-up with a billion-dollar checkbook.” That’s how Christopher Hicks puts it, when talking about the combination of experience and innovation at Kronos Incorporated. Founded in 1977, the company is headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts, and reached its highest revenue to date in 2017 at $1.3 billion. Kronos founder Mark Ain invented the first microprocessor-based timeclock; his brother Aron Ain now runs the company as CEO. Kronos employs 5,000 worldwide and specializes in human capital management with three business units: Workforce Ready, Workforce Central and Workforce Dimensions. Though the company’s history goes back 40-plus years, its much younger Indianapolis Technology Center of about 250 employees has been in the city for just over six years. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, the office certainly has the feel of a start-up, complete with a talented tech workforce of fresh-out-of-college graduates; giant bean bags for naps or relaxing during lunch; vibrant orange, yellow and pink paint colors; and perks that include an unlimited paid time off plan (among numerous other benefits). Kronos’ rich history paired with its focus on attracting and retaining talent allows the company to be storied and experienced, while remaining innovative and nimble. Family first It’s the first year the Indianapolis office has applied for the Best Places to Work in Indiana program. And while the company has garnered several accolades over the years (including the 2018 Fortune 100 Top Companies to Work For honor), the individual recognition for the Indianapolis Technology Center amplifies the excitement. “To me, this is such a high point, because you have to take those moments to celebrate and appreciate what you have,” offers Margaret Mitchell, senior vice president of human resources. “There’s always going to be problems and things that go awry. But we have to always take the moment to celebrate our successes. Our culture is one of our biggest successes and to be recognized outside of our organization is icing on the cake.” To celebrate their inclusion on the list, the company held a dessert bar for employees – complete with a cake adorned with the Best Places to Work in Indiana logo. Ain flew in for the celebration. “This reflects our culture of being an organization who looks after our company,” he told the crowd. “That’s why I’m here. These things didn’t happen by accident.” And in mentioning that Gov. Eric Holcomb visited the Indianapolis Technology Center earlier in the day, he relayed that the Governor quipped that he also wanted to work at Kronos. “Who wouldn’t want to work for Kronos?” Ain conveys to cheers from the group. He reiterated what sounds like a common slogan: If Kronos is your first priority, your priorities are out of order. Take care of your family first. That’s why family-friendly perks include the unlimited time off plan, as well as a four- week paid paternity leave for fathers and non- birthing mothers and a 12-week paid maternity leave for birthing mothers. Mitchell says the employee-centric philosophy starts from the top down. “I see it from an HR function. We just had the hurricane and the fires and the floods and we were reaching out to every single employee and making sure, ‘Are you okay?’ and ‘What can we do for you?’ ” she asserts. “Because if you have happy employees, they’re going to be more engaged and be happy and serve the clients better.” Weaving the family theme throughout the company is aided by referring to employees as “Kronites.” “It’s a prideful thing,” Hicks offers of the nickname. “It’s pride in our organization and the people that we work with.” Talent talks Doug Ding, practice director of Workforce Central/Workforce Dimensions Professional Services, leads two business units on one floor of the PNC Center. Matt Baker, practice director of Workforce Ready Group Professional Services, heads that business unit on another floor. Ding recalls that company executives had narrowed the location search for a technology center to four cities: Tampa, Charlotte, Atlanta and Indianapolis. The company came to Indianapolis for one main reason: talent. “They actually did mock interviews and conducted it with a national search firm and conducted job interviews locally with fresh college graduates and young professionals and they were overwhelmed with the talent they found in Indianapolis,” Ding offers. Attracting that talent is a key strategy. The company partners with local universities and hires in waves two times per year. New employees go through a 12-week onboarding program known as SURGE and are given not only the ability to interact with clients and a foundation to succeed at Kronos, but also GiveInspired is one of the Kronos’ pillars; giving back to the local community is one of the many things “Kronites” enjoy about working for the human capital management company.