| Change is in the air. A year ago, the forecast for workforce management was stormy: Some businesses were barely hanging on, and layoffs and cutbacks rained down. Now, with daily news of an improving economy, the skies are a little sunnier.
Nevertheless, some clouds still linger, and most companies are wary of going on a hiring and spending spree. They got used to lean, productive workforce management. And so the days of fat, unquestioned budgets, low ROI expectations and runaway workplace perks may never return.
That might be for the best. Astute workforce management leaders dug in during the bad times and proved their real value. They know how to make an argument for a critical initiative. They understand that training has to show its value--right now. They developed keen recruiting skills, and showed that companies get the best people that way, not just through the ability to write the biggest check. And they are learning (the hard way) how to maintain productive workforces, even if the perk cupboard is bare.
In other words, the 2004 Optimas Award winners are survivors, innovators and bottom-line businesspeople. The organizations that Workforce Management selected found creative ways to achieve such goals as increasing revenue in recessionary times, using literacy training to improve productivity and retention, and breaking down internal barriers that hindered a huge corporation's ability to win against significant foreign competition.
In March, we'll present the awards to the winners at a special event in Chicago. And in March, you'll be able to read more about their achievements here. For right now, we're pleased to present the 2004 Optimas Awards winners. Their approach to workforce management is a breath of fresh air.
| GENERAL EXCELLENCE |
General Motors Corp. (Detroit, Michigan)
| COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE |
Cendant Mobility (Danbury, Connecticut)
| FINANCIAL IMPACT |
Alegent Health (Omaha, Nebraska)
| GLOBAL OUTLOOK |
Mattel Inc. (El Segundo, California)
| MANAGING CHANGE |
Union Pacific Railroad Company (Omaha, Nebraska)
| PARTNERSHIP |
The Global Workplace Collaboration, which consists of the Washtenaw County Book Manufacturers, Washtenaw Literacy and the Washtenaw Development Council (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
| ETHICAL PRACTICES |
Lockheed Martin Corp. (Bethesda, Maryland)
| SERVICE |
Wachovia Corp. (Charlotte, North Carolina)
| VISION |
Monical Pizza Corp. (Bradley, Illinois)