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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Hanson Professional Services, Inc.

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009, 2008
Industry: Engineering
Location: Springfield, Ill.
Website: www.hanson-inc.com

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

2009 is the second year that Hanson Professional Services has been on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. One-third of the workforce at Hanson Professional is age 50 or older. Employees age 50+ have an average tenure of 12.5 years at Hanson Professional. The company offers full- and part-time employees access to individual and family long-term care coverage.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: Hanson Professional’s full- and part-time employees who work 20 hours or more per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement and certification classes. All employees have access to in-house and online training. In addition, employees who work 20 hours or more per week can also participate in project-manager training and new-employee orientation. In 2008, all employees participated in at least one of the company's training opportunities, for an average 40 hours of training per employee.

In addition, to help employees gain new experiences or develop skills, the company offers temporary assignments in other departments and opportunities to collaborate on team projects.

Hanson Professional celebrates employees' long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, and awards. The company also calls on its mature workforce to mentor less experienced employees.

To respond to its surveys of employees' opinions, the company has enhanced recruiting efforts, first-aid equipment and training, and instituted wellness fairs. 

Benefits/Health: Hanson Professional offers full- and part-time employees who work 20 hours or more per week the following health benefits: individual and family medical, prescription-drug, vision, dental, long-term-care, and short- and long-term disability coverage. Employees can also participate in health flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help with out-of-pocket health-care costs.

Benefits/Financial: Hanson Professional offers full- and part-time employees an employer-matched 401(k) plan and a stock-option or profit-sharing plan. Employees may choose to invest in life-cycle funds to reallocate assets based on their ages and proximity to retirement, and those age 50+ can make catch-up contributions. Representatives of the financial-services firm that administers the defined-contribution plan provide financial-planning information and training to employees. Annually, the financial-services firm offers financial-planning classes, individual counseling, and webinars.

Hanson Professional offers employees unpaid time off to care for children or family members. Full- and part-time employees receive wellness benefits, including flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, health-facility discounts, exercise programs, a weight-loss program, and stress-management training. The company provides healthy snacks, reimbursements for employees' investments in wellness, a walking program, and a "biggest loser" contest. During the past 12 months, 96 percent of all employees used at least one of the company’s wellness benefits. Employees who work at least 20 hours per week have access to referral services to assist with child/grandchild and elder care.

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements: All full- and part-time employees are able to telecommute. Employees working at least 20 hours per week can enjoy flextime and compressed schedules. Full-time employees can move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

Opportunities for Retirees: Hanson Professional currently has 50 retirees, and the company assigns a staff person direct responsibility for managing retiree relations. The company stays connected to its retirees through regular communication, invitations to company events, and by formally acknowledging employees when they retire. The company maintains a roster of retirees who are available for work and offers them temporary assignments, contract and telecommuting opportunities, and part- and full-time work.

Age of Workforce: Thirty-three percent of Hanson Professional employees are age 50+, with an average tenure of 12.5 years.

 

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