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Workforce Management March 2005

Man with a mission
By Eve Tahmincioglu
Lawrence V. Jackson, Wal-Mart’s new chief human resources officer, has been both a friend to workers and a tough-minded management honcho. He’ll need both sets of skills as he steps into a leadership role at a company facing class-action lawsuits, unionization battles and huge worldwide growth.

They’ve got game
The winners of Workforce Management’s 15th annual Optimas Awards keep their eye on the
bottom line–and the top line, too. They embrace working in a world where national borders are losing their meaning. They move fast and accept risk. They reject rigid, top-down solutions in favor of information-sharing, collaboration and trust. They are savvy players in a great game, and they demonstrate every day, in every way, that people are the secret to winning.

Custom fit
By Irwin Speizer
After more than three lean years, university executive education programs are welcoming back corporate customers, with most schools reporting 3 percent to 10 percent revenue growth as they tailor courses to meet the needs of individual companies.

►This is the first in a series of special reports that will highlight issues and trends in specific workforce management areas, including recruitment and staffing, HRMS, training, relocation, health and retirement benefits and awards and recognition.

Between the Lines
Partnership virtues
The “HP Way” could be back in vogue. It turns out to be a model for company success.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on “socialist” HR, Home Depot and sexual-orientation terminology.

In This Corner
Looking out for No. 1
With fraudulent conduct occurring at the highest levels and resulting in the fall of many corporate giants, companies have been scared straight, and are distancing themselves from employees.

Legal Briefings
Nonunion employee rights upheld. EEOC issues guidance on intellectual disabilities.

Clothing retailers’ dress codes fall out of fashion
The Gap and several other stores are settling lawsuits in California over dress-code policies that require employees to buy and wear store apparel. Also: Carly Fiorina’s firing highlights the limited number of women in key corporate positions. California’s anti-harassment training law could make punitive damage awards harder to get. Monster makes a play for the China market. Hewitt’s deal with Marriott could portend a banner year for HR outsourcing. Employers start looking for restitution from mutual funds that were implicated in last year’s market-timing scandals. Hot List: Top HRMS providers.

Recruiting & Staffing
Betting on high-tech and tried-and-true
A simple newspaper ad helped bring a flood of candidates to the new Wynn Las Vegas resort. But an online system lets managers and would-be employees track the process.

Corporate Responsibility
Alcoa does its bit for the world
Companies want to show employees, consumers and shareholders that they are paying attention to environmental, health and safety impacts globally. Alcoa sends employees on scientific field trips to show its concern.

Retirement Benefits
A fix for market timing raises cost issues
To stem rapid trading in their funds, mutual fund companies are adding redemption fees. And 401(k) plan providers now have to keep track of the different redemption fees and communicate that to employees.

Company Culture
Bloggers find the ax is mightier than the pen
Some companies see the benefits of blogging, but many remain wary of employees leveling criticism or sharing company information. And some have fired the online diarists.

Jack in the Box goes upmarket
Offering insurance to hourly workers is an effort to reduce turnover. But it’s also part of a larger effort to improve the overall dining experience.


February  2005

January  2005

December  2004
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