WFM in your Pocket – Friction, Factions and Functions

I’m lucky enough to spend my days as a Kronos WFM Strategic Advisor in the Retail and Hospitality professional services vertical. This is a fancy way of saying I try to be a good consultant and help our customers use Kronos in a way that works best for them. In fact, I’m certain we can help you – see what I do every day with Advisory Services.

One of my favorite topics is the use of mobile apps by front line retail employees. I like to imagine that an assistant manager somewhere is posting a picture of their awesome Kronos optimized schedule to Instagram and getting 1000 likes, but I digress. At nearly every conversation there are 3 areas that are the hotbed of decisions – friction, factions and functions.


As in, removing friction. As in, making it so easy for an employee to do something that they do it because it is so convenient. We’ve evolved from a time where a post-it note is a convenient way to ask for a day off to hopefully soon being able to just say “Hey Siri, ask for Tuesday off” and Siri will respond “Ok Mike, Calling David Hasselhoff”.

Much of what currently requires manager intervention can now be put into the hands of employees, which empower them to help make your WFM platform great and drive adoption. This empowerment can be a huge success factor alone. The care and feeding that your WFM system needs can literally just happen because it’s easy for people to do.


Whenever I watch Game of Thrones, the strategy and tactics of the different kingdoms remind me of many discussions around implementing mobile. You’ve got your project team “factions” – HR/Legal, IT and Store Ops. First faction says “Mobile for every person, everywhere”. Next faction says “Mobile for some people, somewhere”. Third faction says “Mobile for no people, nowhere”. Then some flaming arrows start shooting and dragons and what not, but eventually you end up at a place that is usually in the middle.

Every team has some great points for their perspective – no doubt about that. The realization that we live in a mobile society and employees expect to manage their time, on their phone, leads to increased employee satisfaction, less turnover, real ROI…. the list goes on. Push as far as you can with mobile (and tablet too!) and the benefits will come.


There’s an old joke about Kronos that I learned when I became a Kronite. “The best thing about Kronos is it’s so configurable. The worst thing about Kronos is it’s so configurable.” I chuckle as I write this.

Mobile implementations can go very deep and very wide. You want geo-fenced punching on a personal device only for delivery drivers? No problem. You want manager functions and notifications when the manager is on a corporate device in the store, but no notifications or manager functions when she is on her personal device and off the clock? No problem.

Go deep, take the time to map the functionality that is important for different employee types in different scenarios and don’t be afraid to get granular. It’ll pay off!

Source: Mike Hoepfinger (WFM Strategic Advisor – Retail Practice at Kronos)

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