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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Best Employers

Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation

Winner: 2009 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning Years: 2009, 2008, 2007
Industry: Engineering/Research
Location: Huntsville, Ala.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

In 2009, Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation makes its third appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Intuitive offers its employees many alternative  work arrangements, such as flextime, compressed-work schedules, and a formal phased-retirement program. One-third of Intuitive's staff is age 50+, and the average tenure of these employees is three years.

Recruiting: Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation uses job fairs for veterans and referrals from current employees to target and attract mature workers. The company also hosts a "Careers" Web page containing opportunities that are designed to appeal to the senior-level and experienced workforce.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: All employees at Intuitive are eligible for development opportunities, such as in-house classroom training and online training. Full-time employees are also eligible for tuition reimbursement and certification classes. In 2008, all employees at Intuitive took part in at least one of the company's educational opportunities, with the average employee spending five hours in training.

The company celebrates its employees' long-service anniversaries with announcements, awards, eligibility for full tuition reimbursement, extra time off, and individual recognition at the Year-End Business Review.

Intuitive has also used employee surveys as the basis for improving organizational communication and the company's 401(k) retirement plan.

To help employees gain professional experience and new skills, the company offers the following career-development opportunities: temporary assignments in other departments, leadership-development assignments, group projects, and assignment to task groups.

Intuitive is committed to maintaining an accommodating workplace. The company assists employees with physical limitations by offering ergonomic work stations, flexible scheduling, flexible worksite locations, and access to accommodating technologies.

Benefits/Health: Intuitive offers all its employees individual and family medical, prescription-drug, vision, dental, and short- and long-term disability coverage. The company also offers employees flexible spending accounts (FSA) to help them cover out-of-pocket medical expenses with their own pre-tax dollars.

Benefits/Financial: Every employee is eligible for a stock-option, profit-sharing plan and an employer-matched, defined-contribution 401(k) plan. Intuitive encourages participation by automatically enrolling all employees. They are also eligible to invest in life-cycle funds, and those over 50 can make catch-up contributions. Representatives of the financial services firm that administers the retirement plan offer retirement planning information. There is also a helpful Web site to train employees in financial and retirement planning.

To help employees with caregiving responsibilities, Intuitive offers all employees unpaid short- and long-term leave. Employees also have access to referral services for child care, grandchild care, and eldercare.

At Intuitive, full- and part-time employees are eligible for the following wellness benefits: flu shots, health-risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, discounts at local health programs, physical activity programs, weight loss programs, and stress management trainings. 

Benefits/Alternative-Work Arrangements: The company offers all employees the following alternative work arrangements: flextime, compressed-work schedules, and a formal phased-retirement program. Full-time employees can move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

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