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Management News

Management News is South-Western's service to provide summaries of the latest management news stories. Review the brief summaries and, for stories of interest, select the full summary.
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
Title  Brief Summary 
MSG’s Dolan Explains Why He Fired Browne Sanders
Full Summary
James Dolan, Chairman of the Madison Square Garden testified recently about his firing of Anucha Browne Sanders, a female MSG executive. Browne Sanders claims she was sexually harassed by Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. Dolan claims she was fired because she willfully interfered in the company’s probe of her allegations.
(Updated January 2008)
Bonuses Shouldn’t Be for Jobs Poorly Done
Full Summary
Workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs receive some of the highest bonuses given to any government employees overall. Yet, the agency has a $1 billion shortfall, a backlog of cases, and is delaying benefits to injured veterans by an average of 177 days. Should bonuses still be paid?
(Updated July 2007)
Home Depot’s New HR Leader Faces Tall Order
Full Summary
Home Depot’s new chief of human resources, Tim Crow, faces a huge challenge. With service levels and morale in the stores at an all-time low, the company needs to bring on about 15,000 new hires, and to reenergize the workforce. If the company can bring back the entrepreneurial spirit and sense of ownership its employees had before Robert Nardelli, there is hope for an economic turnaround.
(Updated June 2007)
Performance-Based Perks Gain Popularity
Full Summary
Companies like American Express are using a variety of forms of variable pay to motivate workers to meet their goals. These plans clearly connect employees to company performance and can be directly linked to business factors that matter the most.
(Updated June 2007)
Feedback, Not Appraisal
Full Summary
A lot of managers wait until the scheduled once-a-year review to provide feedback, but to be truly effective, managers need to act as coaches and provide this type of feedback periodically throughout the year. Effective performance management systems need to be focused on a future-oriented dialogue.
(Updated April 2007)
Firms Can Boost Productivity by Reducing Parental Stress
Full Summary
A new study by Catalyst finds that working parents spend a lot of time and lose productivity worrying about what their children are doing in the after-school hours. Companies could gain productivity by offering flexible schedules, telecommuting, and services to help parents deal with the stress of balancing work and life.
(Updated March 2007)
America Online to Close Oklahoma City Call Center
Full Summary
AOL has decided to close its Oklahoma City Call Center due to a declining number of subscribers and need for services. The company will provide severance and outplacement for the displaced workers, but the impact on the Oklahoma City economy is estimated to be a loss of at least $27 million.
(Updated February 2007)
Firms Walk Fine Line with ‘High-Potential’ Programs
Full Summary
Many firms are changing the way that their high-potential leadership programs are organized and run. Identifying too few or too many leaders can handicap the program from the start, and those left out might feel like they are not important. Companies must overcome these problems and find ways to groom their company’s next generation of leaders.
(Updated December 2006)
Walking on Eggshells
Full Summary
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from negative consequences for filing a discrimination complaint, even if their complaint was not justified. Managers need to be aware of the myriad of behaviors that could constitute retaliation after a discrimination claim has been made.
(Updated November 2006)
Measuring Hiring Managers
Full Summary
Studies show that 65% of the time the hiring decision is the most important factor in determining whether or not you will end up with a good performer. Because of the importance of selection, businesses who measure hiring managers’ success rates and share their findings and techniques with others can gain a competitive advantage.
(Updated September 2006)
The Art and Science of Recruiting a Diverse Workforce
Full Summary
As the United States becomes more ethnically and racially diverse, minorities are becoming an even more important part of any company's workforce. Recruiting and retaining diverse employees makes good business sense.
(Updated July 2006)
Getting a Foot in the Door at 50-Plus
Full Summary
Many workers are staying on the job longer today and working full-time past the traditional retirement age. Yet, workers above the age of 50 who are downsized out of their current positions often find it difficult to obtain new ones. With the right perspective and expectations, the process can go smoother.
(Updated May 2006)
Commitment and Consistency are the Keys to Successful Campus Recruiting
Full Summary
The 2006 campus recruiting season is shaping up to be the most competitive season in more than five years. Companies that want to make the best connections need to maintain a personal presence on campus, recruit with consistency, and set themselves apart from all the competition out there.
(Updated April 2006)
Blind Man Sues Ex-Employer
Full Summary
Lee Martin, a 53-year-old man who lost his sight in June of 1999 is suing DiamlerChrysler for discrimination, saying they let him go because he was blind. Martin hopes to not only win lost wages, but also a better understanding of what the blind can do.
(Updated March 2006)
S.E.C. to Require More Disclosure on Executive Pay
Full Summary
The Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) voted this week to overhaul the way that companies report pay packages for executives. The proposal is designed to make total compensation packages for executives more accessible for investors to review and understand.
(Updated February 2006)
Dynamic Duos
Full Summary
Hiring a second-in-command for a small business can be one of the most important decisions that a business owner will make. Many, however, rush into the decision, make it at the wrong time, or fail to spend time assessing what they really need in a business partner. Taking the time to make the right decision when it comes to a deputy can mean the difference between the success and the failure of a business.
(Updated January 2006)
Minimum Wage Hike Vetoed
Full Summary
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill this week that would increase the minimum wage by a dollar over the next two years to $7.75. The minimum wage in California has not been increased since 2002 and has the lowest purchasing power it has had in 50 years. A study released this week from the nonpartisan California Budget Project shows that the average American family of four needs to earn at least three times the minimum wage amount just to keep a minimum budget and to avoid food stamps.
(Updated November 2005)
Pay Difference Based on Experience Pass EPA Muster
Full Summary
A Circuit Court of Appeals case against Health Care Indemnity raised the question of gender discrimination when a male and female with different levels of experience were paid differently for the same job. The Court has ruled that a pay differential for a man and a woman in the same job is acceptable under the Equal Pay Act if the difference is based on measurable criteria like education or experience, and not on gender.
(Updated October 2005)
Rise in OSH Act Complaints Expected in Rebirth of Gulf Coast
Full Summary
The Department of Labor is expecting an increase in complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the Gulf Coast Region as a result of hazardous work in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Companies are taking extra precautions.
(Updated October 2005)
Temp-to-Hire is Becoming Full-Time Practice at Firms
Full Summary
Office temps have come a long way from typing all day and sending out for lunch. Today's temps are highly skilled professionals being fought over by recruiters and corporations who are seeking flexible workforces.
(Updated July 2005)
Automated External Defibrillators in the Workplace
Full Summary
Corporations have been paying more attention to safety due to efforts by the OSHA and escalating workplace lawsuits. To maximize safety efforts, many companies are purchasing AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) to supplement CPR emergency efforts. The results of AEDs are impressive, but the added cost for equipment and training may be an obstacle for widespread use.
(Updated July 2005)
Hire Staff: Don't Think Big and Other Tips for Picking Those First Few Employees
Full Summary
Many start-up businesses struggle with finding good candidates for their business, knowing what to look for, whom to hire, and when to hire them. The best advice is to proceed slowly, choose people who can adapt to the rapidly changing nature of a small business, and start small.
(Updated June 2005)
More Employers Plan to Hire Middle Managers in First Half
Full Summary
Wal Mart Canada is closing a store whose employees were close to winning a union contract from the notoriously anti-labor retailer.
(Updated April 2005)
More Employers Plan to Hire Middle Managers in First Half
Full Summary
The employment picture for middle managers and professional positions begins to look brighter as companies plan to increase hiring levels to replace those who were laid off or add to staff.
(Updated March 2005)
Bridging The (Gender Wage) Gap
Full Summary
The debate over the gender wage gap has gone on for a long time. Statistics show that women typically earn 80 cents for every dollar that men make. However, the statistic might not tell the whole story. There are things that men will typically do at work that can lead to higher pay.
(Updated February 2005)
Labor Pains: Closing the 'Skills Gap'
Full Summary
As displaced workers in the United States struggle to find jobs, companies complain that they can't find workers who are qualified for their open positions. The missing element is training and education.
(Updated January 2005)
Tackling the High Costs of Health Benefits
Full Summary
With the cost of health care benefits rising, many small business owners are being forced to rethink their benefit offerings. Some are canceling benefits altogether, others are increasing the cost to their employees, and some are looking for new ways to reduce expenses, like becoming part of a cooperative that negotiates costs.
(Updated October 2004)
Ikea's Unusual Benefits, Attitude Scores Hit With Workers
Full Summary
Ikea keeps employees loyal by offering attractive benefits and individualized personal development programs. In doing so, its turnover rate is much lower than others in the retail industry.
(Updated 09/01/04)
Monterey County, Calif., Supervisors Seek Union Input on Layoffs
Full Summary
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors has been threatened with legal action by the Service Employees International Union if it issues layoff notices before getting a plan approved by labor leaders. The layoffs are necessary for the county to overcome a budget deficit of $41 million.
(Updated 04/12/04)
Dow, Hewlett-Packard Take Advantage of E-learning's Strengths
Full Summary
Hewlett-Packard and Dow are two companies that have learned to blend e-learning with classroom experience to save money and increase workforce effectiveness.
(Updated 02/01/04)
Employers Step Up With 'Tween' Care
Full Summary
Although still not common, more companies are developing programs to provide after-school care for older children. They are finding that their employees are more productive at work when they aren't worrying about their children arriving home from school safely.
(Updated 01/06/04)
Small Business Owners Balk at Illinois' New Minimum Wage
Full Summary
The state of Illinois' plan to raise the minimum wage is meeting resistance from small business owners.
(Updated 09/02/03)
New Wal-Mart Policy Protects Gay Workers
Full Summary
Wal-Mart Stores has expanded its antidiscrimination policy to protect gay and lesbian employees. However, Wal-Mart has no plans to extend medical benefits to unmarried couples.
(Updated 09/02/03)
Help Graduates to Become 'Oven-Ready' for Life at Work
Full Summary
Recruiting top-quality graduates can be aided by hiring students for work experience or internships. The benefits are varied: interns are an economical way to feed the pipeline for future hires as well as gain extra workers for time-intensive projects.
(Updated 06/05/03)
Keeping a Staff Motivated Through Training and Development
Full Summary
Companies conduct training not only with new hires, but as an ongoing process for all employees. This article outlines the basics for both new hire training and ongoing professional and personal development.
(Updated 06/05/03)
Health Care Access Services for Expats Gain in Popularity
Full Summary
In today's international climate, particularly since 9-11, companies are faced with new challenges to keep their employees healthy and safe. This article discusses companies that provide health care services and security information overseas.
(Updated 05/01/03)
You Be the Judge
Full Summary
A multiple sclerosis victim sues her former employer for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
(Updated 05/01/03)
At Work, Age is Still More Than a Number
Full Summary
A survey of human resource executives focused on whether older workers are getting equal treatment in the workplace.
(Updated 05/01/03)
The Breaking Point
Full Summary
Health-benefit costs have spiraled, affecting companies' profits as well as employees' premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Unions are threatening action if companies pass some of the increase in costs to the employees, while companies are seeing their bottom line threatened and facing possible layoffs.
(Updated 03/31/03)
You be the Judge
Full Summary
A counselor at a Boys' Club is transferred to a desk job after breaking too many rules. He feels he is being discriminated against because of his ethnicity. The courts ruled against him. As a manager, you must make decisions that have no appearance of discrimination.
(Updated 02/27/03)
Businesses Providing More Ways for Workers to Assist Aging Parents
Full Summary
Businesses are providing more ways for workers to assist aging parents. One employee is spotlighted for having to juggle executive, child-care and elder-care duties.
(Updated 02/27/03)
Protests About Gay Tolerance Prompt Firings
Full Summary
Eastman Kodak recently fired a worker who publicly criticized a company initiative on behalf of its gay workers. The question raised is whether this is a case of denial of religious freedom, or simply outright bigotry on the employee's part. How much can a company dictate employee behavior in the workplace?
(Updated 12/31/02)
Make Room for Daddy
Full Summary
Typically, working mothers who want flexible work hours to spend more time with the family suffer career setbacks that often are permanent. Until work/life issues cease to be women's issues, there will always be a limit on how much progress women can make. Gen X (people born between 1965 and 1980) may be the generation that changes all that, as more men are promoting the concept of balance between work and home life, and demanding this flexibility without accepting the consequent drop in pay and status.
(Updated 12/31/02)
Providing the Killer Perk
Full Summary
Bright Horizons is provider of child care services for major employers. The benefits to the employees of companies who utilize these services seem obvious, but the company benefits, too.
(Updated 12/31/02)
Strategies: Radical Sabbaticals
Full Summary
Threatened by downsizing, companies are making an effort to find alternatives to layoffs. Freezing wages, shortened workweeks, and extended leave are a few strategies that have helped companies survive the hard times.
(Updated 12/31/02)
Improving Safety for Workers Also Improves Company Health
Full Summary
Companies are finding that improving the safety of the workplace also benefits the bottom line. This article discusses what companies are doing voluntarily to improve workplace safety. A safer workplace is often results in a more profitable and better-run company.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Outsourcing Lets Owners Focus on Big Stuff
Full Summary
Professional employer organizations, known as PEOs, can take some of the burden of human resource tasks off a company for a fee. In return, they save time and sometimes money for the company purchasing the services.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Suddenly Loyalty is Back in Business
Full Summary
Employee turnover can be very costly for a company. Cultivating loyalty among employees can help retain valuable workers and improve the bottom line. So can gaining customer loyalty.
(Updated 10/23/02)
Smoothing the Hiring-Firing Curve
Full Summary
After the recent boom and bust in payrolls, companies are finding ways to make their workforces more flexible and efficient. The mark of a good manager is the ability to manage the bottom line so that the employees won't face unemployment in a downturn.
(Updated 8/01/02)
Hit the Road, Jacques
Full Summary
Often American companies hire local people to manage operations in foreign countries. They should be aware that the labor laws in those countries may differ from ours, and this could impact the ability to hire and fire.
(Updated 8/01/02)
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