Workforce Communications – Apps On the Clock

Imagine being able to get a message to every employee that comes into work today. Or suppose you could communicate to hundreds of your co-workers in seconds.

Social media and mobile devices have enabled users to post a message to friends and followers from anywhere at any time. And office environments with many white collar desk workers now host internal social networks for employees to communicate with each other. But what about in a retail store, manufacturing plant or warehouse – where employees have limited access to a computer screen and may have restrictions for using their mobile phones at work?

Businesses are finding great new ways to leverage social media, mostly for marketing purposes. A stadium in Kansas City actually posts tweets from fans in attendance up on the JumboTron. Which got me thinking, suppose you could combine the features of a Twitter management tool like TweetDeck or HootSuite with a device that every employee sees multiple times per day? Think about the messages you could send?

#byLocation Hoops at lunch today. Meet at noon

#byLocation Leftover pizza in the break room

#byLocation Can someone swap shifts with me tomorrow?

#byLocation ACCIDENT on hwy. Heavy traffic going north

Managers could also leverage this for immediate staff communications:

#byLocation Reminder – team meeting tomorrow morning

#byLocation Sales contest today 12-9, winning team earns XXX

Time clocks have long been a critical tool for organizations to collect labor data from their workforce, automating the process of converting worked hours into accurate pay. As these devices evolved, new functionality was added to provide self-service functions to managers and employees – enabling time off requests, time card approvals, viewing shifts, etc. Critical business processes were eventually incorporated into the time clock, including Employee Attestation functionality, dramatically reducing compliance risk by enabling employees to electronically access, review and approve or reject their timecards as well as allowing employees to designate whether they took their lunch break or not when they punch out.

Last fall Kronos launched the Kronos InTouch, a new breed of time clock goes far beyond simply punching in and out (industry analysts compared to an iPad). It’s a full color, multimedia device with a 7” touch screen display.  But one of the most revolutionary new features of the InTouch is the app development platform.

Since the launch, the ideas for Apps on the Clock continue to come up. One application that was showcased at KronosWorks was an app that enabled employees to pre-order a meal from the cafeteria and have it charged to their account. Another is an employee survey app.

What type of app could you envision at your employer? If you have an idea you can suggest it to Kronos here.

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