FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560, firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of major multi-national corporations are demonstrating that enlightened policies toward 50+ employees make good business sense, based on the 2007 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50.
SC Johnson, the consumer packaged goods company based in Racine, Wisconsin, with operations in more than 70 countries, is the top finisher. Along with other forward-looking practices, the company offers a range of flexible work arrangements that enable workers to balance their professional and personal lives.
SC Johnson provides generous health benefits, including an on-site medical center and various wellness, fitness and recreation programs; an on-site education program that provides lifelong learning and college credits; and paid sabbaticals to experienced employees. The company also offers comprehensive financial benefits and retirement planning tools.
Other large, successful companies, including the Principal Financial Group (# 9) and Michelin North America (# 44), gained honors in what is the seventh year of AARP's annual Best Employers search.
"International companies that take a world class approach in their policies toward 50 and over workers understand that the result is more productive employees," said AARP CEO Bill Novelli in announcing this year's winners.
"Focusing on the employee's personal needs pays dividends," added Novelli. "It is important that more employers - both large and small - recognize what tremendous assets 50 and over employees represent because of their experience and motivation."
The Best Employers winners will be honored at a dinner in New York, NY, on September 26, 2007. A CEO roundtable discussion focusing on the international best practices report, developed by global professional services firm Towers Perrin, will take place earlier that day. An international conference - titled "Profit From Experience" - will follow on September 27, 2007, also in New York, NY.
AARP The Magazine will feature the Best Employers winners in its November-December issue.
Last year's leader, Mercy Health System of Janesville, WI, was a top choice again this year, finishing second. The not-for-profit provides a variety of alternative work arrangements, including nursing "float" options (work at different facilities or departments), and "seasonal work" programs that allow employees to go on leave for lengthy periods while maintaining benefits eligibility.
Among the major corporate firms, The Principal, based in Des Moines, Iowa, allows flexible scheduling choices and has an ambitious "Working Caregiver Leave" program that allows employees the option to work a part-time schedule for up to 12 weeks a year while maintaining job security and full benefits. Virtually all employees are eligible for both a pension and 40l (k) retirement plan; the company maintains automatic enrollment in its 40l (k) program.
Michelin North America provides flexible work schedules, temporary assignments for workers in other departments, and access to formal job rotations. A part-time work policy is in place for retirees.