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Top Places to Work

Kronos tops the list of Massachusetts’ largest companies

The Lowell-based software maker strives to give its workers flexibility, responsibility, and respect.

Kronos owes much of its success to a deep belief that you can only create a great business if you have great people, says Aron Ain, chief executive of the workforce-management software company. Ain has pursued that goal with policies that give workers flexibility, responsibility, and respect — think scholarships for employees’ children and unlimited vacation days.

Thoughts from the top: “We tell people that if the most important thing in your life is working at Kronos, then you’ve got your priorities mixed up,” says Ain.

Magic moment: A member of Kim Nugent’s talent management team has been fighting cancer and unable to work, leaving the team one person short. One day recently, Nugent’s phone rang. A colleague from another department, despite being in the midst of her busiest time of year, was calling out of the blue to offer to send someone from her team to help. “I don’t want to be anywhere else, because these are the kind of people I work with,” Nugent says.

Read all about it: Ain distilled his philosophy into the recently released book WorkInspired: How to Build an Organization Where Everyone Loves to Work. He outlines the importance of communication, kindness, and encouraging the next generation. “It’s not just a bunch of idle words for us,” he says. “We do it because it’s the right thing to do.”


Striking a balance: When Kronos outgrew its offices in Chelmsford, developers tried to lure the company to Burlington, Waltham, or Boston. But in the end, Kronos moved just a few miles away, to Lowell, largely to maintain a reasonable commute for employees in the Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. “My commute got longer,” Ain says. “But it’s not about me.”

In a word Inspiration

CHECK OUT THE LISTS OF WINNERS HERE: Largest | Large | Medium | Small | More on the list | The full special issue


As leadership styles lean kinder, how do bosses make unpopular decisions? (Kronos)


How employers are responding to working moms’ needs (MITRE Corp.)

The best way to motivate employees? Look out for their well being (PTC)

Ten workers who really love their jobs (Wayfair, Comcast)

10 creative perks companies are using to tell workers they’re valued (E.F. Education First, Bright Horizons Family Solutions)

How corporate volunteers are using their professional skills to help those in need (Justice Resource Institute)

With digital distractions coming at us from every direction, staying focused can be — wait, was that my phone? (Kronos)

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