Staffing Management

Workforce Management— brSeptember 2003

By Staff Report

Sep. 7, 2011

Passing the Bucks
By Douglas P. Shuit
Exult began with a lot of technology know-how and promises of big savings for companies that handed off their messy, expensive human resources operations. Now, with $500 million in annual billings, Exult is spawning imitators who want a piece of the soon-to-be $21 billion outsourcing market.

Sound the Retreat
By Douglas P. Shuit
Although the dollars that companies spend on retreats have fallen with the weakened economy, some organizations still sign up for off-site meetings that involve physical challenges and offbeat exercises. There’s considerable debate about whether organizations can really rev up leadership skills or build a team through games, firewalking, rock-climbing or whitewater rafting. Last month’s resignation by the U.S. Postal Service’s Inspector General in the wake of her million -dollar retreats (which included mock trials and costumes) hasn’t helped the image of retreats.

Cracking the Ex-Files
By Joe Mullich
Conventional wisdom says that former employers won’t give references. But, as with so many things, the conventional wisdom is wrong. The techniques for getting the straight story on a job candidate include offering a 1-to-10 scale, expecting cooperation and even faxing over a copy of states’ laws that hold employers blameless if the information they share is truthful and without malice. Plus: Steps for fine-tuning the vetting of a job applicant’s past.

Mind Field
Andy Meisler
Almost everyone agrees that depression is a disease that endangers millions of lives and livelihoods. It also costs businesses billions of dollars each year. But what should business do about its treatment? That’s where the arguments begin. One approach favors “talk therapy” and medication with antidepressants, while the other relies on treatment that’s more pharmaceutical than psychiatric. Plus: Declining coverage for behavioral health.

Between the Lines
A CEO for California, Inc.
If the Golden State should be run like a business, here; how to pick the CEO.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on the Transportation Security Administration and more on rank and yank.

In This Corner
Discovering the law of gravity
To jurors in an employment-law case, some things are as certain as gravity. But they’re often the very things that employers and their attorneys overlook.

Legal Briefings
Circumstantial evidence is sufficient to establish sexual discrimination.

Data Bank
Real wages remain frozen.

Deskside help for troubled waters
Companies routinely outsource payroll and 401 (k) administration, but some also are using outsourced chaplains to counsel troubled employees. Also: “Blogs” about workplace issues are proliferating. The New York Times hopes training will short-circuit scandals. A contrarian gives his Labor Day employment.

The big brawl over federal “competitive sourcing”
The Office of Management and Budget claims savings of 40 percent can be had if government workers and private contractors bid to see who can do the public’s work for less.

HR Software & Technology
Software wars and hard realities
Companies could be out hundreds of millions of dollars if their ERP vendors are swallowed up in current or future rounds of software company consolidation.

Disability Management
Sickened by the cost of absenteeism
Internally devised tracking systems, off-the-shelf software and outsourced absence reporting services are all growing popularity as employers try to figure out where an estimated 15 percent of their payroll is going.

Retirement Benefits
The $300 billion pension funding shortfall
Congress ponders controversial changes to federal pension regulations, but critics say they might leave plans even more dangerously short of money.

Do it right or risk getting burned
Employers planning to hike their benefit costs or reduce their coverage must carefully craft their message to employees. Just look at what happened to Lockheed Marin, IBM and American Airlines when the benefit news got out of hand.

August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
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