The Workforce Institute at Kronos Appoints New Executive Director

June 22, 2020

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Founder Joyce Maroney retires after building the think tank into a global workforce research leader for more than a decade


LOWELL, Mass., Jun 22, 2020

The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated today announced the appointment of Chris Mullen as the new executive director, succeeding founder Joyce Maroney, who will retire at the end of June. Maroney, who built The Workforce Institute into a leading global authority on workplace trends over 13 years, concludes a distinguished career in the human resources (HR) technology industry focused on customer experience, services, and workforce management thought leadership.

News Facts

  • Chris Mullen (Ph.D., SPHR, SHRM-SCP) – a current Workforce Institute advisory board member and director of human capital management (HCM) strategic advisory services at Kronos – will assume the executive director role on July 1, 2020, bringing more than 15 years of experience as an HR leader and practitioner. Driven by a dedication for compassionate leadership and doing well by doing good, Mullen earned his Ph.D. from the University of Northern Colorado with a research focus on work-life balance and the use of mobile technology. Prior to his role at Kronos, Mullen served as director of HR for Housing and Dining Services at the University of Colorado, where he managed the HR needs of more than 2,000 employees, following his role as assistant director for recruitment and selection in the Office of Equal Opportunity at Colorado State University.
  • Under Maroney’s leadership, The Workforce Institute has collaborated with more than 100 thought leaders from around the world as advisory board members, guest writers, book contributors, and podcast guests, establishing itself as a leading global authority on helping organizations manage their workforces effectively while providing a voice for employees – especially frontline employees who must be present to do their jobs – on critical workplace issues via its research, such as:
    • Workplace absenteeism, including its flagship Super Bowl absence research that was first to cite the millions of Americans who would miss work because of the big game – culminating in a record 17.5 million U.S. employees in 2020, which was only surpassed by the 27.2 million employees who admitted that the Game of Thrones series finale would impact their workday.
    • Employee burnout, which 95% of HR leaders said was sabotaging their workforce and attributing to half of their employee turnover.
    • The 4-day workweek, revealing that nearly half of employees (45%) worldwide could do their jobs in 5 hours or less each day, even though nearly two in five (37%) work more than 40 hours each week, showing a need for better efficiency, creative scheduling, and flexibility.
    • Gen Z’s impact on the workplace, a three-part global series unearthing that one-third (32%) of Gen Zers say they are the hardest-working generation but view their anxiety (34%) as a barrier to success.
    • “Boomerang” employees, highlighting the changing perception of 76% of organizations becoming more accepting of rehires, with nearly half of HR professionals saying their employer previously had a policy against boomerang employees.
    • Manager effectiveness, discovering that employees globally like their managers in general, yet nearly 70% claim they can do their boss’s job better and 90% say the manager-employee relationship is an important factor to remaining at their current job.
    • Technology’s impact on the workplace, including its multi-part global series finding that more than half (55%) of employees say it is easier to search for new movies on Netflix than to check their benefits details, and more than a third (35%) feel their job is harder than it should be because of outdated processes and legacy technology.
  • Following years of North America-focused research and thought leadership, The Workforce Institute established advisory boards in China in 2013 – the same year it began releasing annual workplace predictions – and Europe on its 10-year anniversary in 2017. Other highlights include:

Supporting Quotes

  • Joyce Maroney, executive director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos
    “The founding and cultivation of The Workforce Institute at Kronos has truly been one of the highlights and great privileges of my career. Thirteen years, more than 800 blog posts, more than 120 podcasts, and over 100 thought leaders later, it has made its mark on the industry and continues to be at the forefront of critical HR topics and the future of work. I am pleased to welcome Chris as the Institute’s new leader and look forward to reading the team’s inspired work – this time, from afar.”
  • Chris Mullen, director of HCM strategic advisory services, Kronos
    “I am truly humbled to be continuing the leadership role Joyce established and carried out so masterfully. Joyce’s work building the Institute is inspiring. The impressive group of talented individuals that make up The Workforce Institute at Kronos represents such an important voice for the industry. To speak on behalf of employees – their wants and needs – and provide prescriptive guidance to employers on the world of work, specializing in a niche that’s often not explored: frontline employees.”


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