Workforce Management February 2004
Preview the February 2004 table of contents.
September 7, 2011
People problems on every aisle
By Douglas P. Shuit
|The world's largest retailer is beset by allegations of discrimination, overtime-law violations and turnover that is "spiraling in the wrong direction," to the tune of some 600,000 employees a year. For a company that practices what could be called HR lite, it might be time for a change.|
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By Sheila Anne Feeney
|Romance may be in the air at your company, but passion can have its price. Affairs that end with allegations of harassment can put companies in the middle of million-dollar lawsuits. If they're well publicized and bitter enough, companies can expect to see drops in productivity and even impacts on profitability. Dating policies are one answer, but even they might not save your company from the turmoil of workplace love gone bad. Also: A look at "love contracts," which lawyers offer as a way to insulate companies from liability.|
The five-alarm job
By Samuel Greengard
|What makes a hot job hot? It's not always money, prestige or glamour. A hot job, more than anything else, offers opportunity and meshes with the current values, attitudes and desires of the workforce. Companies that understand the timeless ingredients of a hot job can slash turnover, pump up productivity and bolster the bottom line. Also: Generation Y, the youngest workers in the population, don't view jobs as their parents do. Money isn't everything. Flexibility might be.|
|A second act for e-learning |
by Joe Mullich
|The first generation of e-learning left a bad taste with many of its users. It sucked up bandwidth. Or it bored the learners to death. Or, worst of all, no one used it. But e-learning is making a comeback. While spending for corporate training remained flat in 2003, e-learning expenditures rose 22 percent. Companies are trying e-learning again, with greater attention to ROI and more awareness of how to use online training.|
Between the Lines
The snoop in the machine
You can monitor every employee's every keystroke. But why would you want to?
| Reactions From Readers |
Letters on Verizon's early retirement program, Myers-Briggs and learning to fire people.
In This Corner
The burden, alas, is yours
Congress is using employers to accomplish its politically correct social goals. And until it stops, you must be prepared to defend adverse employment actions.
The high price of recovery.
Reaching out to shadow workers
Many employer groups were cheered by the news of President Bush's guest-worker plan. But others continue to support a plan that would give illegal workers already here a means of attaining citizenship. Also: Reservists find few job problems upon their return from duty. Recent surveys show employees doubt they are getting the whole truth from their employers. The Hot List sizes up applicant tracking system software providers.
No race to the bottom for these stores
While some supermarket chains slash benefits to cut costs and stay competitive, two specialty grocers, Wegmans and Stew Leonard's, are bucking the trend. The two chains, which are very profitable, are working on another model. They enrich their wage and benefits packages, which draws a higher caliber of employee. They say that those workers are more productive, and more attuned to customer service. That means the stores see better bottom-line results.
Companies weigh the cost of prepping expats
Even though the cost of a failed relocation might be more than a million dollars, many companies are bypassing pre-relocation cultural counseling. Instead, they opt for intervention if employees melt down once they're overseas.
Recruiting & Staffing
Cap management for H-1B visas
No more than 65,000 H-1B visas will be issued in fiscal 2004, and immigration experts say the cap will likely be reached by spring. Companies that want to hire foreign professional workers should pay the price of "premium processing" to secure the visas that they need.
The Supreme Court's workplace docket
The court will consider such issues as reverse age discrimination, ERISA's primacy over state-court lawsuits and the limits of existing sexual-harassment case law.
Little impact from Massachusetts gay marriage ruling
The court ordered employers in the state to offer same-sex couples the same benefits as those enjoyed by heterosexual spouses. But many companies nationally already offer gay partner benefits. It costs very little, and builds their images as inclusive employers.