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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

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The 2010 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Welcome to the 2010 AARP International Innovative Employer Award.
Now in its third year, the award recognizes non-U.S.-based employers whose innovative workforce and/or human resource practices address issues of concern to 50+ workers and create roadmaps for the workplaces of tomorrow.
 
As the proportion of workers age 25 to 44 declines, attracting and retaining mature, experienced employees is becoming increasingly important for employers seeking to retain their competitive edge in today’s marketplace. By recognizing employers around the world that have demonstrated innovative ways to address issues relevant to older workers, AARP encourages all employers to create mutually beneficial work environments in which the potential of younger employees and the capabilities of mature workers are both valued.

2010 Winners

Adecco Employment Services Limited (Adecco Canada)

Winning Years: 2009, 2010
Industry: Service Sector
Location: Toronto, Canada
URL: www.adecco.ca
Employees: 331; Percentage over 50: 13.9%    

Adecco actively recruits 50+ job seekers through its Established Worker Career Connections Program and collaboration with the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP). To ensure that the hiring process is free from age discrimination, paper applications are available for candidates who do not feel comfortable with computers. Job candidates who are re-entering the workforce after a prolonged hiatus are trained on standard interviewing practices and techniques for marketing their transferable skills.

BT

Winning Years: 2008, 2009, 2010
Industry: Telecommunications
Location: London, United Kingdom
URL: www.bt.com
Employees: 97,655; Percentage over 50: 30.7%

BT employees benefit from a variety of flexible work arrangements through the company's "Achieving the Balance" program. These arrangements help older employees make the transition from full-time employment to retirement. The Career Life Planning Tool, another innovative BT program, helps employees develop their careers at every stage and accounts for changes that may emerge during employment. BT operates a Diversity Centre of Excellence whose employees reach out to all lines of business to manage their diversity agendas. This centre includes a staff member dedicated to promoting BT's age diversity strategy.

Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency)

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Government
Location: Nürnberg, Germany
URL: www.arbeitsagentur.de
Employees: 86, 700; Percentage over 50: 35.2%
Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BA) offers over 500 flexible work schedules to accommodate the needs of its employees.  Moreover, employees benefit from long-term working time accounts, which provide opportunities for extended leaves of absence. These options are especially beneficial to older workers caring for family members, or transitioning into retirement. BA also regularly re-employs retired staff members with specific skill sets on a temporary basis for projects. BA's comprehensive health promotion strategy includes a mental health task force, smoking-cessation classes, and structured re-integration programs to allow employees to return to the workplace after long-term sick leave.

Centrica plc

Winning Years: 2008, 2009, 2010
Industry: Energy
Location: Windsor, United Kingdom
URL: www.centrica.com
Employees: 27,564; Percentage over 50: 14.8%

Centrica's efforts to create an age-diverse workforce include an Age Action Group, which convenes managers from across business units to create a detailed action plan addressing the company's aging workforce. Centrica also has an Age Awareness e-learning package for managers and employees to raise awareness about age-diversity issues. The company supports work-life balance through comprehensive, flexible work policies and a caregivers' network. Centrica's Working Well program promotes innovative solutions to deliver information covering a wide-range of health issues.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Transportation Services
Location: Hesse, Germany
URL: www.lufthansa.com
Employees: 81,331; Percentage over 50: 21.5%

Lufthansa offers multiple flexible work arrangements including part-time schedules, job sharing and telecommuting. Employees with caregiving responsibilities also benefit from individualized elder care solutions offered through the company's Family Service. Preventative health measures are a top priority for Lufthansa, and the company emphasizes engagement in individual health through a variety of means, including counseling services for employees facing personal challenges or crises. The company is committed to continuous learning and training and maintains several methods, such as e-learning, to allow employees to take advantage of such opportunities. Lufthansa supports several research projects dedicated to assessing the effects of demographic change on the workplace.

GALERIA Kaufhof GmbH
 
Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Service Sector
Location: Cologne, Germany
URL: www.galeria-kaufhof.de
Employees: 23,300; Percentage over 50: 37.4%

A bevy of programs geared toward older workers at Galeria Kaufhof creates an environment in which lifelong learning and training is a priority. In 2007, Galeria Kaufhof launched "Fit for Future," a program that provides individualized on-the-job training to enhance the qualifications, employability and confidence of older employees. Galeria Kaufhof's holistic health promotion program offers ergonomic training, health days dedicated to 55+ workers, and a smoking cessation program. The company also recently created the position of a demography officer in an effort to ensure that corporate decision-making is informed by demographic analysis.

Guernsey Post

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Utilities
Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom
URL: www.guernseypost.com
Employees: 292; Percentage over 50: 30.4%

To accommodate the changing needs of older workers, Guernsey Post redeploys postal delivery workers to indoor positions when their delivery rounds become too physically demanding. Guernsey Post further offers pre-retirement training through an external service, which educates employees on areas such as taxes, pensions, well-being, benefits, managing finances and working beyond retirement. Over the past two years, the organization moreover increased its focus on occupational health promotion and now offers in-house physiotherapy. This particularly benefits older members of the delivery staff, who frequently suffer from musculoskeletal problems.

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