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It's a Wrap: Gifts 2020 Gave Us We'd Never Return

It's a Wrap: Gifts 2020 Gave Us We'd Never Return

If we had to upvote a few adjectives to describe the past year, words like “unprecedented,” “turbulent,” and “surreal” would have to battle it out for first place. And while all are accurate descriptors, they don’t tell the full story of 2020 because they overpower other words that came to shape us; words like “resilience,” “compassion,” and “collaboration.” 


No matter how distressing, historically, a crisis can also bring opportunities that can change us in important ways. Here are just a few things we learned in 2020 we're proudly carrying into the new year.

We’re adapters. When the pandemic arrived in March of 2020, we had three possible responses to the change in front of us:  Adapt, adapt, or adapt. So, we did. And we did it quickly. The result? We gained new skills, designed new processes, reimagined solutions, improved services, built new business models, and attracted new customers. Call it what you will, most of us learned (and are still learning) to pivot, change, and morph to the ever-changing circumstances around us. For that, we all deserve a high five. 

We’re wired for resilience. In 2020 comfort zones all but vanished. As entire economies worldwide shut down, to survive, businesses large and small were forced to listen more closely to their customers, rethink outdated business models, embrace new technologies, and hustle to reopen for “business” that was far from usual. Resilience is defined as a person's ability to recover quickly from tough circumstances and in 2020, we found that resilience is part of our shared DNA. 

Remote work works. For over a decade, numerous studies have claimed that employees who work from home often bank more productivity, efficiency, and profit. More recent studies brought those benefits to the forefront, perhaps changing the workforce permanently for many industries. This year, remote workers proved they could knock out more work at their kitchen tables than they ever did in conference rooms (while homeschooling kids). Work-life balance, flex-schedules, and remote became HR value drivers for hiring and retention. In the Kronos world, company leaders worked closely with HR, IT, and LOB leaders to build frameworks for supporting remote work and methods to advance collaboration, communication, security, and productivity. 

Apart together. While forced to distance, we learned quickly that no one flies solo in a pandemic. Collaboration, compassion, and courage fueled us forward on numerous fronts. From supporting first responders to businesses relaunching with new, community-focused missions, this crisis spotlighted our collective ingenuity and what can be accomplished when hearts and minds align. 

Digital infrastructure strength wins. Organizations more invested in their digital infrastructure had an easier time transitioning staff to remote locations. For example, optimized Kronos customers quickly adapted to COVID regulations, use smart Time and Attendance tools to manage shifts, prevent burnout, and track employee engagement. Too, optimized Kronos platforms helped companies keep employees safe with Contact Tracing efforts

Compliance got hot. While compliance used to be a quiet (albeit essential) side dish, it moved into the spotlight in the wake of COVID-19. Quarantine considerations, PTO, flex-time, short-term disability, labor laws, employee privacy, HIPPA, ADA, leave, accruals, and other topics became central conversation topics. In the Kronos world, customers hustled to optimize platforms to minimize compliance risk.

Crisis planning focus. While many organizations invested in crisis planning prior to COVID, the sudden outbreak caught many off guard. Moving into the future, we’re seeing many Kronos customers committing to higher levels of application integrationimplementing Kronos mobile, and automating manual tasks so they can respond to the ongoing crisis and prepare for any future ones.

We reconnected with empathy. Metrics shifted from profits to people and from mastering hard skills to fine-tuning our soft skills. Employee wellbeing and safety swiftly took center stage, which put HR leadership in the spotlight. Gauging the physical and mental health of the people around us became the norm, which helped reprise our collective empathy and added a heartbeat back into many workplaces. 

We got smarter and faster. Upskilling and online learning took center stage as organizations looked to fill technology and knowledge gaps and workers sought out new opportunities. To avoid closings or layoffs, teams stopped holding meetings and started executing ideas and initiatives. Projects with 1-3 year rollouts were executed in weeks, even days. Likewise, that 10-year projection to develop a vaccine? Yep. It took nine months, proving that humans can achieve amazing things when working for the greater good.  

We took chances. A minute after the pandemic hit, many realized that the thinking that got us to this level of success wouldn't carry us through a pandemic. To support new work models and paradigms we've learned to be open, take chances on new ideas, and to have the courage to reinvent beloved best practices. 

Although 2020 brought changes no one asked for, it gave us some gifts we'd never return. So thank you 2020, for making us stronger, wiser, and positioned to prosper in the days to come. To us, that's worth singing about. Click below and join us! 





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