HR Administration

The 2011 Optimas Award Winners

By Staff Report

Dec. 1, 2011

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Optimas Awards, which marks the 21st anniversary of our prize for outstanding achievement in talent management.

The winning programs range from an initiative designed to beef up business process outsourcing training in Egypt to a law firm’s search for “bleeding heart” talent to help it compete in the marketplace. The common denominator for all 10 of this year’s winners is their ability to show tangible results for their innovative workforce programs.

This year’s winner for General Excellence is Ryan LLC, a Dallas-based tax services firm. Ryan’s ability to completely change the workplace culture from what was once a place where burnout was prominent to one with an employee friendly atmosphere—where turnover has plunged and where workers are now free to set their own schedules—greatly impressed the judges.

Past Optimas winners such as the U.S. Navy and IBM Corp. earned honors again this year. But we also had several first-time winners, including the city of Peoria, Arizona, for taking a “grow-your-own” approach to talent development, and Canadian telecommunications company Telus Communications for instituting change when an old system wasn’t able to handle anticipated demand for a new TV service.

We congratulate all of the winners, and we encourage companies with innovative workplace management strategies to enter next year’s Optimas competition.

The Ryan profile was written by Workforce Management senior writer Rita Pyrillis. The other Optimas winner profiles were written by Todd Henneman, Susan Hauser and Susan Ladika. We thank them for their fine work. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.


For its flexible work program that reinvented the company’s workplace culture, Ryan LLC is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for General Excellence.

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For its efforts in establishing an innovative training program in Egypt, Infosys BPO is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Corporate Citizenship.

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For its creative new workforce management system, Telus is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Competitive Advantage.

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For its employee-retention effort with a clear bottom-line boost, NetApp is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Financial Impact.

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For its efforts to hone the skills of its law department employees throughout the world, IBM is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Global Outlook.

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For its creative internal mobility program, Sodexo is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Innovation.

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For creating a registered apprenticeship program to develop talent in-house, the city of Peoria, Arizona, is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Managing Change.

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For its program to increase culinary specialists’ skills and boost sailors’ quality of life, the Navy is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Partnership.

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For its success in keeping up with the call volume crunch during open enrollment, Health Advocate Inc. is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Service.

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For its foresight in tackling a difficult human resources challenge, Disability Group Inc. is the 2011 winner of the Optimas Award for Vision.

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To learn about the Optimas Awards, click here.

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