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BMW Group

Winner: 2009 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Industry: Motor Vehicles Production
Location: Munich, Germany

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

With “Today for Tomorrow,” BMW Group has implemented a comprehensive package of measures addressing demographic change in the workplace. This program includes innovative initiatives in health management, training and knowledge management, the work environment, personalized retirement models, and others. When staffing a new production plant a few years ago, BMW Group specifically targeted unemployed, older job seekers to ensure a well-balanced age structure and to support the regional labor market.

Other Policies and Practices

Lifelong Learning and Training: Within the framework of its “Today for Tomorrow” initiative, BMW Group has established a training program with a special focus on demographic change and senior employees.

Regular analyses of the company’s age structure indicate when and what kinds of knowledge will flow out of the company when employees leave. These findings help departments address projected losses of competence in their operations.

Furthermore, BMW Group has a training program for managers, called “Demographic Development: Challenges and Prospects,” which seeks to dispel prejudices and raise awareness of an age-based leadership.

Opportunities to participate in training programs are available to all employees, irrespective of age.

Flexible Work Arrangements: BMW Group introduced flextime at most of its German locations in 1993. As a result, 25,000 employees are able to arrange their individual work times more independently and with a greater sense of personal responsibility.

At BMW, the wide variety of collective-shift models is supplemented by a broad range of individual work schedules. BMW Group maintains a principle of accepting every request for part-time work and promotes new work arrangements, such as temporary part-time positions, intermittent part-time work, and job-sharing among several employees. This is particularly beneficial for older workers, who often like to reduce their working hours.

Other flexible work arrangements include a sabbatical program and a new scheme called “Full-Time Select,” which gives employees the option to take up to 20 additional days off per year. This program was created within the framework of the “Today for Tomorrow” program, to give older employees the opportunity to preserve their performance.

In addition to tele-working arrangements, BMW also offers a formal phased-retirement program that allows employees to halve their weekly working time for a period of five years before retiring.

Health Promotion and Protection: Associates at BMW Group can choose from a range of opportunities to promote wellness or to recover their health on a lasting basis.

Examples of areas of activities and measures:

Ergonomics: BMW Group uses ABAtech to draw up individual workplace-requirement profiles for associates with special needs. The latter are then deployed on the basis of a restriction profile prepared by the company doctor (ABAmed). Fitness centers and physiotherapy facilities are available at almost all plant locations.

Moreover, BMW uses ergonomic workplace design in its production plants. These include: … Back to Article

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