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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation

Winner: 2008 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Winning years: 2008, 2007
Industry: Engineering/Research
Location: Huntsville, Ala.
2008 Rank: 44

Highlights of 2008 Winning Strategies

Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation, INTUITIVE, maintains a bench list of retired employees who want to work on a limited or temporary basis. The company can accommodate employees interested in phasing into retirement because it has many government contracts for part-time hours. Twenty-seven percent of the company’s employees are age 50+.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: INTUITIVE uses resources such as military-retiree assistance agencies and professional organizations of retired personnel to hire mature workers and retirees.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: INTUITIVE offers the following learning and development programs to its employees: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, and certification classes. The tuition reimbursement program and certification classes are offered exclusively to employees working at least 40 hours per week. During the past 12 months, 100 percent of INTUITIVE employees participated in at least one of its training opportunities, with an average of four hours spent in training.

The company celebrates long-service anniversaries with awards.

Responding to employee feedback, the company has made the following improvements to its policies and benefits: improved communication by adding a Web-based portal page with information on policies and procedures, forms, travel information, an activity calendar, announcements, IT support, and benefits information; improved benefits; redesigned meeting structure; and improved the 401(k) plan with better investment options.

Employees gain new experiences and develop new skills by working on temporary assignments in other departments and on team projects. INTUITIVE accommodates employees with unique needs by purchasing ergonomically appropriate chairs for older employees and by purchasing special wireless headsets to prevent neck strain.  INTUITIVE also provided a job redesign for an older employee who was visiting too many local sites in a day.

Benefits/Health: All employees, with no minimum hours of work required per week, receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, and short- and long-term disability. The company offers employees flexible spending accounts to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs.

Benefits/Financial: INTUITIVE offers a 401(k) plan with employer match and stock options to its full- and part-time employees. All new hires are automatically enrolled in the 401(k), 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.

The company offers short-term time off without pay and long-term leaves of absence without pay to allow for caregiving. In addition, with client and manager approval, employees are allowed to work from home in an emergency caregiving situation.

The following wellness programs are offered to full- and part-time employees: flu shots, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, weight loss programs, stress management training, and an on-site fitness center. The company offers referral services to assist with childcare, care for grandchildren, and eldercare, to its full- and part-time employees.

Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: INTUITIVE offers alternative work arrangements such as flextime, compressed work schedules, and a formal phased-retirement program, to its full- and part-time employees. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

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