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Workforce Management — August 2003

August 1, 2003
Related Topics: Featured Article
Holmes' Improvement
By Andy Meisler
Despite a bear market, St. Louis retail broker Edward Jones has a 38 percent growth rate, delights its customers and reigns supreme on Fortune's list of best companies to work for. Chief human resources officer Michael Holmes doesn't claim credit, but it couldn't have happened without him.

Irreplaceable You
By Sheila Anne Feeney
You know the names: Don Hewitt. Sandy Weill. Sumner Redstone. None wanted to name successors, despite directors' and shareholders' pleas. But when leaders are reluctant to cooperate in succession planning, the results can be destabilized companies, demoralized employees and downturned stock prices.

That Sartain Touch
By Douglas P. Shuit
  If human resources has a household name, it's Libby Sartain, who earned her stripes at Southwest Airlines, mended a fracture at SHRM, made a leap to Yahoo and now has written a road map for human resources professionals who want to be like her.

Big, Fast and Easily Bungled
By Ken Gordon
Virtually overnight, the Transportation Security Administration had to hire more than 55,000 workers. Its problems with mishires and layoffs illustrate the issues inherent in fast large-scale hires..

A Cure for Contingent Costs
By Leslie Gross Klaff
Companies that already use the Web as a tool for buying materials are now using it to manage contract workers. Shell Oil Products U.S. expects to cut its contingent-labor cost in half by the end of the year by using Web-based processes.

Optimas Award: Managing Change:
Almost Curtains
By Maryann Hammers
The workforce management leadership at Designer Blinds in Omaha had a narrow window of opportunity to rescue the company from failure. Their efforts won them the Optimas Award for managing change.
Between the Lines
Jargon isn't just confusing. It's costing you money.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on Carly Fiorina's impact on HP and the pros and cons of forced ranking.

In This Corner
Unreasonable Accommodation
Some courts say employers should favor disabled employees over more qualified coworkers. If they do so, trouble will surely follow.

Legal Briefings
High risks posed by top executives.

Data Bank
Stronger growth is a no-show.
The high cost of employee violence
Nationally, the toll for incidents of workplace violence is $36 billion. And while there is some immunity from claims, it's not a given. Also: A green light for diversity programs, the sound of money talking and a candid comment from IBM.
A broker wins thanks from firefighters
Richard Travers handled benefits for uniformed firefighter offices in the wake of 9/11.

Microsoft leads the way in opting out of options
Not all companies will follow, but many see the value of granting stock instead.

A "family friendly" backlash
Resentment festers if employees believe that flexible-work programs are only for parents.

Rewards & Recognition
Hiking with the honchos
Swanky dinners, trips and everyday praise are part of The Container Store culture.

Health Benefits
Taking health-risk assessments to the next level
"Smart" software gives employees instant feedback and concrete plans for change.

Product Showcase
Recognition &  Incentives

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