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Table of Contents March 2003

February 28, 2003
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Features


Cisco's Homegrown Gamble
The company that believed buying talent was the key to success now relies on developing the employees it already has. Not everyone is convinced the strategy will keep Cisco Systems on top.
By Patrick J. Kiger
The Cutting Edge of Benefit-Cost Control
Benefit costs are ripping a hole in the bottom line, and many employers don't see a way out. But some executives find they can still achieve significant savings.
By Fay Hansen
Workforce Optimas Awards 2003
Each year, Workforce celebrates excellence in workforce management with these awards, given in 10 categories, ranging from Competitive Advantage to Vision.
Optimas Winners
The 2003 winners have found creative ways to lower turnover, increase profits, expand markets, foster a healthier workforce, and even save the company from certain demise.
At Google, the Proof Is in the People
The Optimas Awards General Excellence winner is a rarity: a profitable Internet business. The young founders' people practices are aimed at attracting and keeping an unbeatable team.
By Todd Raphael

Special Optimas AwardInsert


Optimas Update:
Past winners describe changes in their winning initiatives, and talk about today's challengers. Also, a list of the winners from 1991 to 2002.
By Samuel Greengard

Departments


Between the Lines
Brave Old World
Mailbox
HR is employee advocate • Does HR really get business? • United's challenges • Ending vague speak
The Buzz
Workforce Problems Imperil NASA • Terrorists in Your Lunchroom? • Unions Play on Executive Pay
On the Contrary
Simple Rules for Workplace Harmony: Shari Caudron imagines an HR department's exhaustive proposal for brining peace to a cranky workforce. Will naps and Jell-O shooters help?
What Works
The Pizza Dialogues: How a contentious "meeting from hell" became a forum for true communication. It called for extra helpings of empathy. And no anchovies.
Dear Workforce:
Leadership styles, from Elvis to Rosa Parks • Perks and the Golden Rule • Quarterly incentives for execs
Case Studies
Making E-Learning More Than "Pixie Dust": An e-learning program can be a cost-effective alternative to classroom training, but it also can be a huge waste of time and money if it's not implemented correctly. Three organizations show how to do it right.
Legal Insight
Corporate Fallout From Failed Marriages: When one of your executives is in a bitter divorce, corporate information can find its way into the pubic record, sometimes to the embarrassment of the company.
Think Twice
7 Steps in Six Months Could Save AOL: By one estimate, AOL Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons has about six months to win the support of his troubled company's employees. Todd Raphael passes along a list of workforce management strategies that could help Parsons, or any executive whose company is in a post-merger meltdown.
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