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Success stories from the USA


Thu, 13 Jan 2000 06:04:26 -0700X-
Sender: [email protected]
From: Workforce
Subject: Workforce Week Spotlight: Optimas Winners

Dear Member:

HR's effort to impact businesses is alive and well. We received a record number of Optimas entries this year showing how HR initiatives are a potent business force.

The new breed of HR decision makers truly are making their businesses better.

Below is a brief description of each winner. To learn from and network with the winners themselves, you can attend the Optimas Awards Event on March 23 in Chicago at the Hotel Inter-Continental.

*General Excellence: SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC. In an industry where there are five jobs for every skilled worker, SAS is still able to recruit top talent. They're keeping them, too. Their culture of trust and flexibility has resulted in less than 5% annual turnover for 23 straight years. In addition to moving the company forward, the stability of the SAS workforce directly saves the company $56 million per year.

*Competitive Advantage: Jamba Juice, San Francisco, CA. In a fast-food world known for fast turnover of employees, Jamba Juice has stood out from the crowd. They've blended strong training and rewards programs for managers with strong benefits for employees into a healthy ledger of profits.

*Financial Impact: IBM, Armonk, NY.A bloated bureaucracy, falling stock price and trouble competing in the PC market were adding to the 'blues' at this corporate giant. HR responded, consolidating into a single call center, which improved efficiency and customer service, while freeing up field HR professionals to work as true consultants. It often was a painful process, but HR has surpassed its cost-cutting goal and added millions to the bottom line.

*Global Impact: United Nations, New York, NY.How in the world has the UN's workforce managed to deal with everything from famine in Africa to war in the Balkans? For one thing, the staffing process has been streamlined so that top candidates aren't lost. In addition, staff development initiatives help to build skills and prepare employees for other roles.

*Innovation: Jellyvision, Chicago, IL.The makers of "You Don't Know Jack" have managed to keep the creative momentum strong. The HR function at Jellyvision, which was created when the company had just 30 employees, is just as innovative, placing creative staff at the top of the company org chart.

*Managing Change: Bayer Consumer Care Division, Morristown, NJ.Through a series of mergers, one New Jersey plant had been operated under four different company names in just seven months. There was no plant manager, and it was losing money. HR led a major change initiative to turn the plant around, putting it millions in the black.

*Partnership: Connecticut State Department of Education, Hartford, CT.In 1995-96, students lost 16,000 days of school because of disciplinary suspension, and 41% of students reported that they had had trouble with the police. Overwhelmed teachers were using the system's EAP in record numbers. In response, HR forged a landmark labor-management partnership to give all faculty, administrators, staff and students the skills to resolve conflict without violence--skills which have made a dramatic difference.

*Quality of Life: Patagonia, Ventura, CA.Their mission statement reads, "Patagonia exists to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis." That's a lofty goal, but HR lets employees travel the far corners of the globe to accomplish it.

*Service: QualComm, San Diego, CA.QualComm has seen both dramatic growth and dramatic change, including three acquisitions, a joint venture with Microsoft, the sale of one division and pending sale of another, the opening of a first international facility and more. They've stayed ahead of their competitors partly through a rainbow of training programs, one of which helps employees earn an MBA on site.

*Vision: GTE, Irving, TX.HR focused on five areas in which it could move the business forward. It then created the GTE HR Balanced Scorecard to assess whether HR strategies were actually being implemented and, if so, whether they were helping. The scorecard is unusual in that it reports on both leading and lagging indicators, and it is the first to be used with such depth throughout an HR organization.

You can find out how this new breed of HR decision-makers is making their businesses better.

The 10 Optimas Award-winning companies will gather for the Workforce Optimas(R) awards presentation on March 23, 2000, in Chicago, IL. It's sponsored by Tiffany & Co and JobOptions.

Come be inspired. Learn and network from the best in HR.

Information and a reservation form for the event is at:


Todd RaphaelOnline Editor

Distributed by MessageMedia Inc. -


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