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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

MidMichigan Health

Winning Years: 2009, 2007, 2006
Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Midland, Mich.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year, MidMichigan Health makes its third appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Through the innovative use of technology, epitomized by the Web-based staffing program for retirees, known as “MyTimeGold,” MidMichigan has been able to bring retirees back into the workforce and has kept them engaged with the health-care system.

The company's wellness program, which includes extras, such as health coaching, massage therapy, and smoking-cessation products, helps to attract and retain mature employees. Thirty percent of MidMichigan employees are age 50 or older, with an average employee tenure of 14.8 years.

Recruiting: MidMichigan Health uses placement agencies for older job seekers and the annual senior expo to target and recruit matures workers. MidMichigan also uses the “MyTimeGold” program to invite retirees back into the workforce. This program gives retirees an easy, convenient way to find open shifts at the health system by reviewing and signing up for openings from the comfort of their home computers.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: MidMichigan offers its employees a number of development opportunities, including scholarships, tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. In 2008, 97 percent of all employees took part in a development opportunity, with the average person spending four hours in training.

The company celebrates its employees' long-service milestones with announcements, awards, parties, gifts, and during an annual awards ceremony.

To accommodate employees who have become temporarily or permanently disabled, the hospital system has instituted the Temporary Transitional Work Program. This incremental program allows the hospital and its employees to modify job duties to accommodate the physical or emotional needs of each employee.  

Benefits/Health: Full- and part-time employees are eligible for individual and family medical, prescription-drug, vision, short-term disability, and individual dental coverage.

Full-time employees are also eligible for long-term disability and family dental coverage.

Retirees under and above age 65 are eligible for individual and spousal medical and prescription-drug coverage and the services of an employee assistance program (EAP). To help employees with out-of-pocket health-care expenses, MidMichigan offers  flexible spending accounts (FSA).

Benefits/Financial: Regardless of the number of hours they work, employees are eligible for an employer-matched, 403(b) defined-contribution plan. Employees working at least 23 hours per week are also eligible for a cash-balance plan. In order to encourage employees to participate, the company enrolls all staff in the 403(b) plan. Employees also have the option to invest in life-cycle funds, and those age 50+ have the option to make catch-up contributions. Members of the MidMichigan staff and an on-site representative of the financial-services firm that administers the retirement plan provide financial-planning information to employees.

MidMichigan offers its employees paid time off specifically for caregiving, in addition to unpaid short- and long-term leave. Caregivers can also take advantage of referral services for child-, grandchild-, and eldercare.The health system offers its staff a number of wellness benefits, including flu shots, health screenings, health-risk appraisals, weight-loss programs, physical-activity programs, discounts at local health clubs, and stress-management training. During the past 12 months, 74 percent of employees took part in at least one of the health system's wellness benefits.

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