Since 1991, the annual Optimas Awards have been a source of ideas, direction and inspiration for human resources professionals. The Optimas Awards celebrate HR's success at solving some of the biggest business challenges of our time.
Each year, the Optimas Awards are given by Workforce to recognize human resources and workforce management initiatives that achieve business results for the organization.
Who Is an Optimas Winner?
Demonstrated Business Results
Optimas Award winners have helped open new markets around the world, reinvented city government, slashed bureaucracy in the federal government, established Mexico's first HMO, taken health care to rural America, revitalized failing business units and improved the acquisition process.
Not surprisingly, Optimas Award winners have pushed their organizations to record profits, greater market share, higher stock value and better corporate reputations. In short, they have produced tangible, measurable business results.
Results-Oriented HR Is Practiced Everywhere
The Optimas Award winners prove that HR at its best can be practiced anywhere: in family businesses and the public sector, in the Fortune 500 and in small organizations, in big cities and on the farm, in industries of every sort.
The Selection Process
How does Workforce Management choose Optimas Award winners? Judges look for organizations whose initiatives have a strong human resources component and an emphasis on bottom-line business results. Winners achieve tangible business results.
All of the winning organizations share some characteristics. In each organization:
Workforce management strategies help the organization achieve its business goals.
Workforce management leadership understands the business issues surrounding the organization and respond accordingly.
Workforce Management's goal is to show how leaders in the profession are guiding their companies to greater success through the astute management of an organization's most valuable corporate asset—its employees. The Optimas Award winners are workforce management leaders who have identified critical business issues in their organizations and responded with initiatives that are key to the company's success.
How Optimas Award Candidates Are Identified
First, workforce management professionals nominate their own programs and initiatives. The online nomination form
must be submitted to be considered for an Optimas Award. While many of these initiatives begin with the leaders in human resources, eligible entries can begin elsewhere in the company, provided that they involve significant participation by the organization's workforce management leadership (and that can include the CEO, chief financial officer or chief operating officer).
In addition, Workforce editors collect information to identify organizations that have the potential to be winners. The data come from numerous sources: newspapers, business magazines, books, conferences and other events, broadcast media, previous winners, consultants and academics.
How Optimas Award Winners Are Chosen
Workforce's editorial staff meets to determine the finalists. They use the following criteria to determine the winners:
Is there a clearly identified business issue?
Are there quantifiable data that help clarify this business issue?
Is there a strong HR component to the solution of the business issue?
What is the HR program and how does it address the business issue?
What are the quantifiable business results of the HR program?
What are the nonmeasurable results that have a payoff to the organization?
Does this initiative serve as a model for other organizations?
Does this program demonstrate how HR has an impact on the business results of the organization?
How long has the program been in place?
Once the candidates have been reviewed, the editors narrow the field to finalists in each category. Then the review starts anew. Through telephone interviews with key participants in the organization, a review of additional materials and other research, the editors learn as much as they can about the finalists. In the end, they reconvene to select the winners.
Organizations of all kinds are welcome, including private companies, public companies, educational and government organizations and nonprofits. There are no restrictions regarding scope, size, or focus of the workforce management initiative. Entrants from all countries are welcome. Consultants with clients eligible to enter are encouraged to work with the individual client in preparing and submitting the nomination form.
The application deadline is October 7, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.. There is a $195 entry fee for the practitioner categories.
Each entry must include a completed form describing the business challenges, the program and how it addressed those challenges, and the results of the initiative. Please do NOT send supporting documents with your entry. Workforce Management will request documents as needed.
Please select the Optimas Awards category most appropriate for your initiative. Your entry will be judged based upon its merits, regardless of the category, and the Workforce Management judges reserve the right to change the category of your nomination.
Benefits: This award recognizes organizations that designed, developed or implemented innovative benefit programs that achieved organizational goals.
Business Impact: This award recognizes organizations that have developed a program to deliver significant financial impact or forge or maintain a winning edge over the organization's competition.
Corporate Citizenship: This award recognizes organizations whose corporate citizenship programs are demonstrably and successfully linked to its employee recruiting, retention and engagement goals.
Global Outlook: This award recognizes organizations that have created a program or strategy to help the organization succeed in the world marketplace.
Innovation: This award recognizes organizations that have developed an innovative workforce management strategy that addresses a fundamental business issue.
Managing Change: This award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated adaptability and agility in successfully developing a program in response to the changing business environment.
Partnership: This award recognizes organizations that have developed or implemented a program in partnership with another constituency, either within the organization or outside of it.
Recruiting: This award recognizes organizations that developed and implemented an innovative and effective recruitment initiative that helped the organization source, attract and recruit job candidates.
Training: This award recognizes organizations that developed a targeted training program that addressed a significant corporate priority and delivered measurable results.
Vision: This award recognizes organizations that anticipated internal or external trends and responded creatively, effectively and proactively.
General Excellence: This award, while not open to general nominations, will be selected by judges and given to the organization whose workforce management initiatives have met the standards established for at least six of the other nine categories.
Each winning company and program is profiled in a story to appear in Workforce Management magazine and Workforce Management online (www.workforce.com).
Workforce Management editors review the entries and base their selection on how the initiative achieved measurable business results in response to the organization's business needs, issues or challenges.
If you have any questions about the awards, selection process or the nomination form, contact Rick Bell, managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAST OPTIMAS AWARD WINNERS