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Chat retirement strategies with AARP’s Jean Setzfand today, Oct. 24th, at 2:00 p.m. ET

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Royal Plaza on Scotts

Winner: 2009 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Industry: Hotels/Lodging
Location: Singapore
Website: royalplaza.com.sg

2009 Winning Strategies

Royal Plaza on Scotts has a re-employment policy that allows employees reaching the official retirement age to be retrained for hire at their last-held positions with the same remuneration and benefits package. The company’s diversity efforts also include hiring initiatives targeted at older workers who have been out of the labor markets for a while. Executives at the Royal Plaza receive training on managing  a multi-generational workforce. A buddy system that matches younger workers with older ones allows for a two-way knowledge transfer.

Lifelong Learning and Training:
Royal Plaza on Scotts invests heavily in the development of all its employees, including retirees. Each year, each employee has an individual development plan, which may include on-the-job training, participation in a dedicated trainee program, or coaching.

Royal Plaza on Scott’s WSQ Service-Guest-Room training program provides employees an overview of the national-skills standard in housekeeping and offers a national certification. This program has particularly helped older workers, who are more employable after receiving the training and are better able to adapt to new job demands.

Moreover, Royal Plaza on Scotts recently implemented a buddy system that matches existing employees with older new hires so that they can adapt to their new workplace.

In view of the changing workforce demographic, Royal Plaza on Scotts has also implemented executive-level training for managing a multi-generational workforce.  

Flexible Work Arrangements: Royal Plaza on Scotts’ proved its commitment to flexible-work arrangements at a recent job fair, for which job vacancies were created to fulfill the needs of the job seekers and their preference for working different hours. The company worked closely with government agencies to target mature workers who had been economically inactive for some time and who sought to return to the working world. Employees hired under this arrangement are only required to work 22 hours per week, but they enjoy the same benefits as regular employees on a prorated basis.

Another arrangement that benefits older workers is job sharing, which the company has implemented in some of its departments. Royal Plaza on Scotts also accommodates its employees’ requests for specific work schedules to enable them to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities.

Health Promotion and Protection: Royal Plaza on Scotts recognizes that each employee has different needs, so the company aims to provide the resources and environment that allow employees to navigate through their unique work and life challenges.

The company maintains a recreational room for its employees, which is equipped with massage chairs, PC terminals with Internet access, Sony PlayStation consoles, and a reading corner.

The company also has a recreational committee called the “Fun & Health Ministry,” which runs a healthy-lifestyle campaign. The campaign’s messages keep employees informed about a variety of health topics, including coping with changes and crisis, balancing life and work, health awareness, and boosting the immune system. The Ministry also offers smoking-cessation training, health screenings, and more. It organizes and hosts a variety of monthly recreational activities. The recreational campaigns help create a relaxed business environment, which fosters good relationships among all the staff members, and particularly among the different generations.

The Royal Plaza on Scotts has also taken steps to ensure workplace safety. To this end, the company replaced manual ladders with hydraulic platforms, introduced a pallet jack to ease heavy lifting, and upgraded the housekeeping and luggage trolleys to minimize work hazards.

Diversity Promotion: Royal Plaza on Scotts has a re-employment policy that allows staff reaching the official retirement age to be retrained for hire into their last-held positions, with equal remuneration and benefits packages. Staff members who retire receive a counseling session on career or retirement planning.

The human resources department collaborates with the relevant government agencies to encourage homemakers and mature workers who have been out of the workplace to re-enter the working world.

Recruitment: Royal Plaza on Scotts’ recruitment strategy actively targets older workers with flexible work arrangements, shorter working hours, and a benefits package specifically tailored to a mature audience. The company recently collaborated with outside organizations (for example, NTUC, Women Back to Work, and WDA) in holding a job fair for flexible jobs specifically targeted at economically inactive job seekers (such as retirees and homemakers) in search of second careers. The job advertisements explicitly encouraged mature job seekers to apply.

Finally, Royal Plaza on Scotts recently revised its job-application forms to eliminate the age field.

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