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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

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Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

The 2010 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Hansgrohe AG

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Metal Products
Location: Schiltach, Germany
URL: www.hansgrohe.com
Employees: 1,786; Percentage over 50: 21.8%

Through Project MUMM, a venture designed to increase the participation and motivation of 50+ workers, Hansgrohe AG promotes a diverse work environment where all employees are actively included. Based on employee feedback, Hansgrohe has launched several programs designed to address the needs of older workers, including computer training, health promotion efforts and flexible work schedules. Project FILM, another Hansgrohe initiative, works to better integrate underperforming employees, some of whom are older workers providing care for family members. Hansgrohe's corporate health management efforts include an extensive array of exercise classes catering to all levels of physical fitness; ergonomic training; and an initiative to reconfigure the workplace to make it more age-friendly.

Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Industrial Sector
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
URL: www.henkel.com
Employees: 43,400; Percentage over 50: 17.5%

Henkel offers a wide variety of flexible work arrangements to accommodate the needs of all employees. To help retiring employees transition, Henkel offers a five-year, part-time retirement schedule that allows participating employees to work part time while Henkel continues to pay social contributions requisite with a full-time schedule. Employees also benefit from individualized sabbatical options. Henkel's work in health promotion ranges from on-site emergency assistance and physical therapy to ergonomic and safety consulting and yearly skin cancer checks. Henkel actively promotes the transfer of knowledge between generations at the workplace through a knowledge database and roundtable discussions.

National University Hospital

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Health Care
Location: Singapore
URL: www.nuh.com.sg
Employees: 5,540; Percentage over 50: 10.6%

National University Hospital partnered with Healthcare Services Employees' union in 2008 to launch "Active Edge," a program designed to increase the employability of older workers. Moreover, 60+ employees benefit from a comprehensive training program on financial planning, health and post-retirement re-employment opportunities that aims to encourage older workers to stay with NUH as long as they are able to. NUH is offering re-employment offers to 100% of employees past the statutory retirement age of 62. Another innovative NUH initiative is the hospital's Back to Nursing program, which provides re-certification training for nurses who have taken a break from nursing for five or more years.

PUB Singapore

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Utilities
Location: Singapore
URL: www.pub.gov.sg
Employees: 3,095; Percentage over 50: 45.4%

PUB offers extensive flexible work options to its employees, including part-time employment and telecommuting. Moreover, PUB employees benefit from three paid days of leave a year to care for a family member. Employees approaching the statutory retirement age of 62 receive individual pre-retirement consulting sessions and are re-employed whenever possible. Staff may be re-employed in the same position or trained for redeployment in a different, less physically straining position. PUB's health promotion efforts include bone health workshops, customized health checks for older workers, and a Work-Life Balance Ambassador program.

Salzburg AG

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Energy and Infrastructure
Location: Salzburg, Austria
URL: www.salzburg-ag.at
Employees: 2,153; Percentage over 50: 33%

Salzburg AG has adopted a lifecycle approach to employee management through project GENERA, an initiative that aims to accompany employees through different phases of their lifetime at the workplace. Salzburg AG further places significant emphasis on health promotion. "Giving Energy-Living Energy," an initiative created to help address critical fields of action identified by employees, has led to a variety of recreational offerings ranging from Qigong classes to smoking-cessation and healthy cooking programs. Salzburg AG also runs "Health Circles," a program aiming to solicit older employee's feedback and suggestions on how to improve the workplace.

Sick AG

Winning Years: 2008, 2009, 2010
Industry: Industrial Equipment / Commercial Machinery
Location: Waldkirch, Germany
URL: www.sick.de    
Employees: 1,852; Percentage over 50: 19.5%

Mature workers at SICK AG serve as mentors for younger employees through mixed-age training groups and project teams. Moreover, the company maintains strong ties with retired employees by inviting them to company functions. SICK AG also places strong emphasis on employee health through such initiatives as a project addressing how healthy aging can be achieved in the workplace, and through comprehensive flexible work options. SICK AG also offers a combined working time and retirement investment account system that allows employees great flexibility in using overtime credits. Overtime work can be monetized, converted into pension contributions, or used to plan extended leaves of absence or temporary schedule changes.


Sozial-Holding der Stadt Mönchengladbach GmbH

Winning Years: 2009, 2010
Industry: Hospitals / Health Care
Location: Mönchengladbach, Germany
URL: http://www.sozial-holding.de
Employees: 740; Employees over 50: 35 %

With 35 percent of its staff falling into the 50+ age group, Sozial-Holding operates under the motto, "We are older, so what?" Sozial-Holding's annual working-time accounts and individual working-time models are of particular benefit to older workers with caregiving responsibilities. The organization also offers a variety of courses specifically aimed at helping its older workers, including holistic mnemonic training and preparation for the transition to retirement. Various career training programs are available for workers with no or little professional qualifications, many of whom are older women.

University of Central Lancashire

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Education
Location: Lancashire, United Kingdom
URL: www.uclan.ac.uk
Employees: 2,800; Percentage over 50: 38.3%

To support employees 50+, the University of Central Lancashire created the "Fresh Steps" program. "Fresh Steps" is a holistic program meant to give participants a look into their whole lives. The program highlights the many positive contributions older workers make through their experience and allows older workers to serve as mentors to younger employees. The direction of "Fresh Steps" is guided by feedback from older workers. Dealing with grief was one area identified as important by older workers. In response the university launched "Pause for Thought" sessions to encourage reflection, and discuss issues faced by family caregivers. Fresh Steps also encourages older workers to mentor younger employees.

Honorable Mention

HessenChemie

Industry: Chemical
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
URL: http://www.hessenchemie.de
Constituency: 294 chemical industry employers

A nonprofit member organization for chemical industry employers in Germany, HessenChemie has introduced a range of innovative solutions to help its members address demographic challenges facing the workforce. Innovations include toolkits designed to allow companies to conduct their own demographic analyses; programs to enhance work-life balance and the compatibility of work with caregiving responsibilities; managerial training on a variety of topics related to an aging workforce; and the incorporation of standards aiming to meet the challenges of an aging society in the industry's collective bargaining agreements.

Assessment

Based on application responses, AARP selects international companies and organizations that have demonstrated the most positive workplace policies for their older workers.

The assessment considers a number of factors, including: recruiting practices; workplace culture; lifelong learning, education, and job training opportunities; opportunities for continued success and career development; alternative work options, such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting, job sharing, and flexible retirement; employee benefits that support the health and financial security of employees; workplace design, such as ergonomic work stations or facilities; and retiree relations. AARP’s selection of winners is informed by recommendations from a panel of international expert judges. 

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