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2000 Global Outlook Optimas Award Profile United Nations

Awarded to a department that has created a program or strategy to help the company succeed in the world marketplace.

July 28, 2000
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United Nations

Real HR: The United Nations has more than 180 member states.

From famine in Africa to war in the Balkans, the organization is charged with addressing some of the most complex and difficult issues on the planet, so it’s imperative that people work effectively together and get things done.

The vision starts at the top: Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been working to modernize the UN.

As part of the effort, he told the General Assembly that the overarching goal for HR is "to align our human resources with our global mission of peace, development and human rights around the world."

Real Impact: Since 1994, HR has been forging change intended to bring it into alignment with practices better established in the private sector.

The strategy focuses on streamlining procedures, improving HR planning, and promoting staff development.

One initiative has been to hold managers accountable for performance; until recently, they had only been evaluated for fraud and dishonesty.

The staffing process also has been streamlined to make it less bureaucratic so that top candidates aren’t lost. And staff development initiatives help to build skills and prepare employees for other roles.

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