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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Central Florida Health Alliance

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Leesburg, Fla.
2008 Rank: 12

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Central Florida Health Alliance (CFHA) employees who are phasing into retirement are offered numerous flexible-scheduling options, such as moving from full- to part-time status, working in the “Summers Off” program, working six months on and six months off, and taking as-needed or pool status. The health alliance’s Caring & Sharing committee provides assistance to employees experiencing a temporary financial setback. Forty percent of CFHA’s employees are age 50+.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: CFHA uses placement agencies for older job-seekers to target mature workers and retirees.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: CFHA offers the following learning and development programs to full- and part-time employees: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, certification classes, loan forgiveness programs, home-study modules, grant programs, and an on-site National Louis University Bachelor’s and Master’s Program. The health alliance offers tuition reimbursement exclusively to employees working at least 20 hours per week. During the past 12 months, 100 percent of CFHA employees participated in at least one of its training opportunities with an average of eight hours spent in training.

The health alliance celebrates long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, gifts, and awards. CFHA has made the following benefits enhancements, which employees have requested: reinstating the Sniffles and Snuggles sick-child care program, adding new computers on wheels for the nursing department, supplying new seating in patient rooms, providing on-site Spanish classes for all employees, implementing multiple-shift options to break shifts into four, eight, and 12 hours, on-site refresher courses, Retaining Your Winners Program, and Rounding With a Purpose Program.

Employees gain experience and develop new skills by working on temporary assignments in other departments and on team projects, and via access to formal job-rotation programs. In addition, senior leadership participates in trading jobs with employees in other departments, which gives all employees an opportunity to job shadow.

CFHA accommodates employees with special needs. For example, the company helped a visually impaired employee by implementing computer modifications to enhance communication and visibility and by providing a seeing-eye dog while at work. Hearing-impaired employees receive vibrating pagers and specialized phones, and employees with mobility impairments have motorized wheelchairs. In addition, CFHA modifies work areas, allows flextime  (for instance, people move from full-time to either part-time status, the “Summers Off” program, or to weekend flextime), makes job reassignments, and provides long-term or temporary parking privileges.

Benefits/Health: Employees working at least 20 hours a week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, individual and family long-term care insurance, and short- and long-term disability. CFHA offers flexible-spending accounts to employees to assist with out-of-pocket health care costs.

Benefits/Financial: CFHA offers a 401(k) retirement savings plan, with an employer match, to its full- and part-time employees. All new hires are automatically enrolled in the plan, employees may invest in lifecycle funds, and age-50+ employees can make catch-up contributions. Employees receive financial-planning information from the firm that administers their 401(k) plan and from external experts not associated with their retirement plan.

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