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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Deutsche Bahn AG

Winner: 2008 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Winning Year: 2008
Industry: Transportation Services
Location: Berlin, Germany
Website: db.de
 
Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

 
Deutsche Bahn has taken a proactive approach to mitigating the effects of demographic change through 10 special human resources initiatives and programs. One such initiative, DB Experience, focuses on preserving and enhancing the employability of older employees through qualification and advanced training. This is accomplished through seminars to promote the value of older workers and to achieve a balanced composition of work teams by age to ensure appropriate knowledge transfer and intergenerational cooperation.
 
Additional Policies and Practices:
 
Lifelong Learning and Training: DB Training is one of Europe's largest qualification and consulting providers, with 1,500 different seminars for all vocational groups in the company. The DB Academy offers special training courses and programs for senior executives, while every member of staff is given an average of 43.9 hours off each year for training. DB also grants educational leave for private advanced training courses, which can be organized by, among others, the company's own Academy for International Mobility.
 
Among the 10 initiatives in DB’s human resources strategy is the initiative DB Experience. The focus of this initiative is a training program to preserve and enhance the employability of older employees through qualification and advanced training. To this end, the current employment and qualification situations of older employees in the company has been analyzed, identifying focus groups and areas of activity, and introducing initiatives to preserve the employability and qualification of older employees.
 
In another, DB JobService, qualifications for new vocational areas are offered specifically to employees who have lost their previous job or whose job is at risk in the future. Employees are given new employment chances as personnel executives, dispatchers, forwarding clerks, and security staff. These qualification measures are aligned to the personnel demands in the company.
 
Older employees in particular are being provided with a new chance to contribute their know-how and experience. Employees age 50+ who used to work as switch cleaners, block keepers, or supervisors, now can find activities in security or service.
 
DB also offers senior executives and employees special seminars for promoting experienced older members of staff. The seminar, "Leading Mixed-Age Teams," focuses on different experiences and roles in the team and how they can be brought together successfully. The aim is to enhance leadership skills in the face of the challenge presented by mixed-age teams, with knowledge of age-specific team roles and their impact on the team.

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