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iWorkforce Management-I February 2005

January 31, 2005
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Preserving the counter culture
By Gretchen Weber
Starbucks’ competitive wages and generous benefits have made frontline recruiting as smooth as a latte. But with explosive worldwide growth, the Seattle coffee giant faces a tremendous challenge: Can it find enough quality employees to keep customers coming back for more?

Cabin pressure
By Douglas P. Shuit
The perils facing the traditional air carriers are largely the result of economic and technological changes far beyond the scope of anything that workforce management policies could influence directly. But if airlines including United, US Airways, Delta and Continental are to survive, changes in the work rules, human resources policies and employee relationships are crucial.

True blue
By Eve Tahmincioglu
In an industry that has seen decades of labor strife, JetBlue Airways has hit on a novel way of keeping peace--and even fun--in the cabin, cockpit and concourse. In this Q&A, Vincent Stabile, the company’s vice president of people, reveals the secret: JetBlue treats employees with the same regard that it gives its customers.

Huddling with the coach
By Douglas P. Shuit
  Executive coaching has increasingly shifted away from fixing problem managers to helping corporate stars achieve peak performance. In the process, coaching has become, by one estimate, a $1 billion business. Success stories abound, but companies still have to sort out several coaching issues: ROI is not well-defined; there is no standard set of accepted credentials or ethical practices; and some companies have
discovered--usually in hindsight--that what their brilliant but problematic executive really needed was not a coach, but a psychiatrist.

Between the Lines
Armed with people skills
It’s a hard but semi-wonderful life for a human resources director serving in Afghanistan.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on American Airlines, retirement education and Home Depot’s military strategy.

In This Corner
Let’s end "socialist" practices
In the age-old economic battle between capitalism and socialism, capitalism won. But just try telling that to some human resources departments.

Legal Briefings
The ADA and workplace "interaction." Legal termination for inadequate FMLA notice.


Death and danger mount for contractors in Iraq
More than 200 civilians working for U.S. government contractors have died in Iraq since the spring of 2003. Some wonder how many companies will continue sending workers there. Also: Corporate matches drive up tsunami donations. A Towers Perrin/EDS outsourcing company seeks to give Hewitt a run for its money. The link between engaged employees and profitability. Oracle reassures erstwhile PeopleSoft customers. The Labor Department proposes reforms for the imperiled Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
 
 
Relocation
The rise of the "returnees"
As companies send many of their operations offshore, they are increasingly asking employees born in other countries--but educated and trained in the United States--to return home to work. For example, some multinational companies are relocating Chinese-born employees to Beijing and beyond as a way to tap into that nation’s emerging markets and to be closer to clients, suppliers and customers.
 

Health Benefits
Health advocates deliver a dose of knowledge
Health care advocates act as intermediaries for companies that want to improve their employees’ ability to navigate the mazes of medical care options. They also run interference in medical emergencies and help solve disputes that arise over whether an experimental, high-cost or high-risk procedure might actually be covered by an insurance plan.
 

Company Culture
True believers at Methodist Hospital
When the Methodist Hospital in Houston decided to embark on a "values realignment," there were plenty of skeptics to be won over--including the new vice president of human resources. But the effort to revive faith-based values without cramming religion down employees’ throats has been hailed by workers, patients and the press.
 

 


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