Kevin and I had very different experiences of our first full day in Vegas.
This was his.
Mine was good, too. It was just primarily indoors.
Yesterday was day one of the conference I’m here for: KronosWorks.
In my day to day work (and I’ll try to limit how boring this is), the tool I use the most is a scheduling and timekeeping software made by Kronos and it’s called Workforce. I’m logged in from the minute I get into the office until the minute I leave. In addition to using it to manage all of the 200 employees I am responsible for, I also do all of the maintenance and optimization for our local application.
Coming to KronosWorks is good exposure to what other companies from all over the world are doing. It lets me meet new people in similar positions and learn about new technological and human relations advances.
The thing I love most about KronosWorks, though, is the focus on labour strategy and employee engagement. It speaks to my heart.
We started the day with a number of stories about customer cases and product related announcements. For the second year in a row, the general sessions were hosted by Katie Linendoll. I’ll admit that I didn’t know how she was before last year, but I was reminded that I quite like her.
The keynote address was delivered by Platon, a worldly, passionate and talented photographer, storyteller and humanitarian. He told incredible stories about photographing world leaders (more have sat for him than any other photographer) and other people from all different walks of life. He coupled many of his photos with background details that were heartfelt, heartwarming and spoke to human connection and vulnerability. It was all truly inspiring and it served the audience well, people working with people everyday, embracing the knowledge that people are any companys greatest asset and in many cases swimming upstream in a corporate world that doesn’t always accept that.
There’s only one other person from my company here and even though we’ve never met, we’ve worked together extensively. We were able to meet up before the general sessions and stuck together through the buffet lunch. (Som Tam, ftw!)
Once we were done, I ran up to the expo to connect with my friend John. I first met him when he led a workshop at our site and he and I are now connected all over social media. We see each other at conferences every year and every time I feel great affection for him. He’s so much fun and his high energy is really fun to me. Also, pro-tip for the Kronites out there: he always has candy at his booths.
After a couple of early afternoon workshop sessions, I headed to the presentation that John was giving. He joked that I’ve seen it a bunch of times, but honestly, it never gets old. The topic? The 5 Currencies You Must Pay and Retain Great Employees. I LOVE this stuff.
John talks a lot about leadership, talent retention and employee engagement. While talking about how feedback is effective, he argued that negative feedback has a bigger impact than positive feedback does. He said:
People say love trumps hate, but that isn’t true. Hate is more motivating than love. The difference is that there are more lovers than haters in the world so love always wins out in the end.
We got a little downtime after my 4pm session and I headed to our room to relax, refresh and change my clothes before our industry dinner.
KronosWorks is always full of great content during the day and even greater entertainment in the evening. (Like that time we got the private visit to Harry Potter World!) After the first day of the conference, there are about six different industry dinners taking place. The idea is that by networking with people in similar industries, you’ll get to share solutions and processes.
This year, the manufacturing industry dinner was at Chateau Nightclub in Paris Hotel. We were shuttled over there from our hotel and made our way through the casino and nightclub entrance, up in the elevator and onto the rooftop.
When we walked out, we immediately noticed pool tables and decks of playing cards laid out on other tables. There was a huge version of Jenga set up in the middle. (The sounds of its collapse was terrifying!)
I’m sure my eyes lit up when I saw that there were also a couple of fortune tellers set up at separate tables – one read tarot cards and the other read oracle cards. I chose tarot. AND I LOVED IT.
I sat and talked with her for a long time and only left because a line started to form and it would be weird if I stayed there all night.
There were a couple of permanent bars and food stations situated throughout the space. There was caesar salad, macaroni and cheese, a legit cheese table, turkey and roast beef dinners. Desserts came out later and we grabbed some coffee to go.
We’ve been sticking pretty close to “home” since we left Vancouver so we decided to forgo the shuttle back to the hotel and took a walk across the street and over to Bellagio to see their fancy seasonal display.
First, The Strip.
We got to the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden and saw something just as joyful for me as seeing the card readers. This year’s harvest display is called Falling Asleep and it features a resting goddess of the harvest being watched over by some fairies.
It’s beautiful! ????
After leaving there, we were going to take the tram back to our hotel so we walked towards the back of Bellagio before discovering that a new (to us) walkway had been built through Vdara and linking to our Aria Hotel. We explored the space between and got our legs moving.
Day 3’s agenda: more of the same. Kevin is hitting up a different pool and I am conferencing all day.