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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Bon Secours Richmond Health System

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003
Industry: Hospitals/Health Care
Location: Richmond, Va.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year, Bon Secours Richmond Health System makes its seventh appearanceon the AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 list.

By staying connected to its mature workers through programs like ArtRageous 50+, the phased-retirement programs, and the “50+ School-at-Work Program,” Bon Secours has been able to maintain working relationships with its age-50+ workers long into retirement. Retirees are also highlighted and encouraged to rejoin the Bon Secours community through events like the retiree-volunteer fair and the Senior Expo. Currently 31 percent of employees are age 50+. 

Recruiting: Bon Secours Richmond Health System uses multiple sources to target and hire mature workers, including its 2008 Senior Expo and its annual retiree-volunteer fair.  

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Bon Secours offers a number of learning and professional development opportunities for full- and part-time employees, including tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. To be eligible for tuition-reimbursement, employees must work a minimum of 16 + hours per week. The health system’s remaining opportunities have no minimum hourly requirement. 

In 2008, Bon Secours offered 92 personal- and professional-development classes at what is known as its “50+ School-at-Work Program.” In 2008, 100 percent of employees took part in at least one training opportunity, with an average training time of 45 hours. Bon Secours also offers on-the-job development opportunities, such as temporary assignments in other departments, a formal job-rotation program, team-based projects, and volunteer opportunities in one of the health system’s outreach programs.

Bon Secours celebrates its employees’ long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, awards, and through its annual gala dinner. Based on employee feedback, the company has continued to invest in patient-mobility teams, has developed a comprehensive financial-education program (including seminars for unemployed spouses), and has increased internal communication about the economic-relief benefits the health system offers.  

Benefits/Health: Bon Secours offers health benefits to all full- and part time employees working at least 16 hours per week. Employees are eligible for individual and family medical insurance, individual and family prescription drug coverage, and individual and family vision and dental insurance. Full-time employees working at least 32 hours per week are also eligible for short-term and long-term disability coverage.

Retirees, whether under or above age 65, and new hires (upon retirement), and their spouses are eligible for medical and prescription-drug coverage, vision, dental, and life insurance. Retirees may also use the services of the employee assistance program. Bon Secours also offers employees a flexible savings account (FSA) so they can use pre-tax dollars to pay for expenses not fully covered by insurance.

Benefits/Financial: Bon Secours offers both a 403(b) and a defined-benefit savings plan to its full- and part-time employees. All employees, regardless of hours per week, are eligible for the 403(b) defined-contribution plan and have the option to invest in life-cycle funds. The financial-services firm that administers the plan provides information, external financial-planning experts, and a six-week “Lifestyle Planning” course.

Employees can take short- and long-term, unpaid leave for caregiving. Bon Secours also offers a 50 percent subsidy for CNAs, LPNs, or RNs to care for employees’ aging relatives. Employees’ relatives also receive discounts on respite care at a Bon Secours Retirement Community.

The health system offers wellness benefits offered to full- and part-time

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