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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Deutsche Bahn AG

Winner: 2008 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Flexible Work Arrangements: DB has offered flexible working hours since 1998. Employees reduce their working hours on an individual basis. Many different variations are possible, starting from reducing the daily working hours via fewer days in the week or month to being seconded for a longer period of time. There are also possibilities for flexible daily working hours while maintaining the full number of working hours in the end (for instance, an employee working 10-hour days for four days a week, would have the fifth day off). There are also opportunities for working from home under certain conditions.
 
Health Promotion and Protection: DB implements comprehensive health management with an HR strategy aiming to preserve the employability of all its workers. Professional advice is provided by the Healthy & Active project, in which health consultants organize specific programs, such as courses on how to lift and carry loads to protect the spine, yoga, Nordic walking, relaxation, giving up smoking, healthy nutrition courses, etc.
 
Major company sporting events, such as the DB Indoor Football Cup or the JP Morgan Chase Company Run, enhance motivation and employee loyalty. For five years now, DB has been involved in the Smoke Free campaign with the Central Health Education Agency and the Federal Ministry of Health, Germany's largest no-smoking campaign. The company health fund Bahn-BKK offers special health-prevention programs for employees age 50+, including regular tests to prevent colon cancer, prostate cancer in men, and breast cancer in women.
 
A special health-care program for shift workers has been in place for two years, through which they can spend a long weekend in the sanatorium facilities run by the company’s health fund. Here they find advice on healthy nutrition and stress management, beginners' introductions on keeping fit and Nordic walking, and various forms of treatment such as massages or baths. Through cooperation with fitness providers, employees also benefit from lower rates at local gyms and fitness studios. The company credits their health management focus for lowering sickness levels from 4.7% in 2001 to 4% in 2005.
 
The company also provides a seminar called “Leadership in Balance: Being Healthy and Successful Together,” which helps make senior executives aware of the impacts of creative leadership and behavior on motivation and health of their employees.
 
Diversity Promotion: Through the HR initiative “Demographic Development,” extensive measures are being developed to cope with the challenges of demographic changes in the company. Concrete measures are initiated and implemented based on an analysis of the situation in the individual occupational groups and locations.
 
As an international company, DB sees respect and tolerance as the basis for sustainable and effective profitability. For this reason, Diversity Management was firmly anchored in the HR strategy in 2004. In the HR initiative DB Experience, know-how is transferred from older to younger employees at the workplace under controlled conditions with a balanced composition of teams working together in everyday working situations.

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