Industry: Government Location: Flagstaff, Ariz. Website: www.coconino.az.gov
Winning Years: 2013
Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies
Coconino County implemented the following programs based on employee requests: the Vacation Sell Back Program allows regular status employees the opportunity to sell back a portion of accrued vacation time; the Personal Day Purchase Program allows full-time regular status employees the option of purchasing up to 10 personal days; the Wellness Incentive Program provides employees with the opportunity to save money on their medical premiums by participating in wellness activities; and the 2 Young 2 Retire program, a retirement transition course for employees getting ready to retire, covers issues related to money, work, volunteering and wellness.
Additional Policies and Practices
- Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Learning and development opportunities offered to employees include reimbursement for professional membership dues, in-house classroom training and online training. In a recent 12-month period, 86 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of two hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties and awards. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on team projects, and by having access to formal job rotation and mentoring programs. An accommodation for a hearing impaired employee was made by providing the individual with a more efficient and faster laptop as well as a software program that converts speech to text.
- Benefits/Health: Employees working 30-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage, individual and spouse vision and dental insurance, as well as individual and spouse life insurance or other death benefit coverage. Retirees age 65-plus receive individual and spouse vision and dental insurance. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Wellness programs offered to full- and part-time employees include flu shots, health fairs, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, and stress management training. Health screenings and health risk appraisals are offered to full-time employees. Fifty-one percent of Coconino employees utilized at least one of the wellness programs in a recent 12-month period. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.
- Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a defined-benefit plan and a 457 deferred compensation plan. Staff from the financial services firm that administers the plan and external financial planning experts provide financial planning information and training to employees. Employees are offered short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay for caregiving needs. Employees can receive donations of annual leave from other employees to care for a family member under the Leave Sharing Program. Employees are offered referral services to assist with child care and grandchild care.
- Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing and telecommuting are alternative work arrangements offered to all Coconino employees. Full-time employees can participate in a formal phased retirement program. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
- Opportunities for Retirees: Coconino has 224 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The organization stays connected with its retirees by communicating on a regular basis, inviting retirees to organization events and by formally acknowledging employees upon their retirement. Coconino provides presentations to its retirees on topics such as The County’s Wellness Incentive Program, Open Enrollment for Benefits, and Open Enrollment for Retirement Systems. Work arrangements offered to retirees include temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, and full- and part-time work.
- Age of Workforce: Forty-one percent of Coconino employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 11.2 years.
Also of Interest: More AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50