The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

Ten soldiers-turned-electric company apprentices became the first graduates of a training program set up by Southern Company at Fort Stewart, near Savannah, Ga. The energy giant partnered with the U.S. Army to offer the three-week training course on base as part of the utility’s effort to recruit soldiers who are about to return to civilian life.

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Wells Fargo has an international volunteer program that lends employees’ professional expertise to nonprofits in up to 30 countries.

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Managers at advertising and PR agency The Lavidge Co. in Phoenix encourage employees to “be creative, work smart, have fun”—words from the firm’s corporate philosophy. One particular perk definitely falls into the “creative” category.

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Car-shopping website Edmunds.com “can’t perform well without finding innovative ways to attract and retain top talent,” notes Avi Steinlauf, CEO of the Santa Monica, Calif., organization. To that end, the company has added a slew of employee perks over the past year.

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As Americans work longer hours, some organizations have become tolerant of sleeping on the job. Here’s the real headline: Naps work.

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At the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa on Florida’s Gulf Coast, 70% of management positions are filled internally, and 18 employees were promoted into manager roles over the past year. HR execs there credit the resort’s “people before policies” philosophy.

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Like many trucking companies, family-owned National Retail Systems is having trouble recruiting new drivers to take over for employees who retire. So it’s asking truck drivers where they are applying for jobs, how many jobs they’re trying for at a time and what entices them to fill out applications.

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Employees of DaVita HealthCare Partners have a tough job, says Director Danny Shapiro: treating ­kidney patients with dialysis. So execs at the practice “believe nurturing each other better equips us to nurture our patients,” Shapiro says.

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Suspend all prejudices for a minute, and try to understand why these fresh young thinkers do what they do. It’s all about the economy.

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Just as it encourages employees to have their medical checkups, the city of Winter Park, Fla., pushes its staff to complete an annual financial well-being checkup.

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