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Workforce Management April 2004

April 2, 2004
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Guru nation
By Samuel Greengard
Management gurus, including Stephen Covey, Tom Peters and Gary Hamel, are making millions by promising companies that their techniques and insights can improve productivity and make the most of human capital. Whether they really deliver on those promises is another issue.

A case for child care
By Patrick J. Kiger
While many employers steer clear of providing child care and are leery of the cost, complications and regulation, others are examining the matter in a new light. Abbott Laboratories, IBM and Procter & Gamble have developed cost-effective models for analyzing and meeting employees' child-care needs. The motivation is not humanitarian or altruistic. Some companies now regard child care as something they must do to be competitive.

Gifts that gall
By Eve Tahmincioglu
The reward program that your company thought was so fabulous could instead turn out to be a swamp of ill will, malice, sabotage, fraud and even litigation. Here's why reward programs fall flat on their faces, and what companies can do to ensure that their efforts will reap better performance, not productivity-killing backlash.

Metrics maverick
By Shari Caudron
In 1978--in this publication--Jac Fitz-enz proposed a radical, anti-establishment idea. Human resources activities and their impact on the bottom line could--and should--be measured. The reaction was apathy, disagreement and disbelief. Now, after arguing the importance of measurement and accountability for three decades, Fitz-enz is acknowledged as the father of workforce management metrics, and the accolades bring a pleasant satisfaction. Fitz-enz says: "The secret to success, I've found, it to outlive the bastards who oppose you."

Between the Lines
Practicing humanity
Why are employers so callous about the people at the bottom of the wage ladder?
  Reactions From Readers
More--con and pro--on the
Wal-Mart story. The trouble with offshoring.

In This Corner
A prescription for medical leave
Suspicious medical-leave requests are a headache for employers. But they should not assume that they have no rights to gather information. They do, and it can pay off.

Legal Briefings
Damages approved for broken promises. Employers' rights to read employee e-mail.


Data Bank
Unemployment fuels a backlash

Finding a new EVP of human resources for Wal-Mart
A national search is under way to replace Coleman Peterson, who announced his resignation in February. Also: Pension-reform wrangling in Washington. A muted response to the Medicare prescription drug plan. Companies deny that they'll reap huge savings, but consultants and unions say they will. The Hot List sizes up the biggest human resources consultancies.
 
 
HR Software & Technology
A plan for spam
Employers beset by spammed résumés might finally get a break--at least from the EEOC. A new proposal would redefine the term "job applicant" in language that makes it clear that simply sending out a résumé doesn't turn someone into one.
 

Leadership
Two heads are now one
Kraft as scrapped its unusual two-CEO structure, to no one's surprise. Job-sharing arrangements among corporate chiefs are "always such a wonderful disaster," says one management observer.
 

Flexible Benefits
Adoption programs gaining ground
The Calvert Group is one employer that kicks in money and time for employees who adopt children. But the take-up rate is low, so it costs companies little to increase employee morale and goodwill by offering this benefit.
 

Regulation
Overtime pain and gain
Changes to federal overtime pay rules are moving toward implementation this spring. Can companies wring all possible payroll savings from the rules while still keeping employees happy with their compensation in a tightening labor market?
 

Recruiting & /Staffing
Wooing gay employees
It's not that companies want gay employees just because they're gay. They just don't want to miss good applicants who happen to be gay or lesbian.
 
 


March  2004



February  2003



January  2003
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