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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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Salzburg AG

Winner: 2010 AARP International Innovative Employer Award

Salzburg AG

Winning Year: 2010
Industry: Energy and Infrastructure
Location: Salzburg, Austria
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 life 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.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Lifelong Learning and Training: Lifelong learning and training is an integral part of Salzburg AG's "Genera-Generation-Management" program. The Genera program is designed to accompany all employees through their careers at Salzburg. There is no age limit for any of Salzburg's educational or training opportunities.

Special programs are available for new employees, to help develop leadership abilities and give support. New hires may also participate in mentoring programs with older workers. Technical staff participate in a specialized knowledge transfer program prior to retirement, to ensure critical information is properly passed down.

Courses are designed to benefit older workers who may not enjoy a typical classroom. Three separate approaches are taken to explain new tools and techniques: on-the-job training, off-the-job training and courses.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Salzburg AG offers over 50 time systems, allowing employees to adjust their work schedules to balance their home life. Salzburg AG's HR department works with employees facing difficult situations, such as a sick spouse or child, to construct a schedule that will allow them to balance the challenges they face. The flexible time models are available to all employees, regardless of age.

Sabbaticals are also extended to all employees, with three available models: off-record sabbaticals, educational or training sabbaticals, or sabbaticals for family issues.

Working from home is also a possibility for certain job types. This is beneficial to employees who may have long commutes, or who are caring for a family member.

Health Promotion and Protection: Salzburg AG offers a broad range of support to their employees through a systematic corporate health-management scheme. A holistic approach is taken to promoting health at Salzburg AG. The focus is not merely on physical health, but also mental health.

Salzburg AG recently launched the "Giving Energy-Living Energy" program designed to increase the number of healthy lifestyle options at work. Beginning with an employee survey, Salzburg AG was able to construct a program that addressed and met employees' needs. Workshops and courses are now offered that touch on a variety of topics, including work and stress, Qigong, kinesiology, maintaining a balanced diet, avoiding addiction, yoga, and many more. Special screenings and check-ups are also regular occurrences within the workplace.

By promoting a healthy lifestyle and healthy work environment, Salzburg AG hopes to increase productivity, communication and cooperation.

Diversity Promotion: Salzburg AG understands diversity as a broad-minded approach to widen narrow minds. The organization believes no individual should be discriminated against because of age, gender, religion, politics, race, sexual tendencies or ethnicity.

Salzburg AG has been particularly active in promoting cultural diversity. The company offers schooling assistance to children of migrant workers and offers German courses to newly hired employees from other countries.

In the future, Salzburg AG would like to further promote gender diversity both within the company and the community.

Recruitment: Salzburg AG has no age limit for recruiting employees. The company seeks qualified, motivated employees, regardless of age.

Salzburg AG uses competence tests and assessment examinations to determine if a new employee will fit the company's needs. Upon hiring a new employee, Salzburg AG works to enrich the new hire's job experience and incorporate them into the team.

Miscellaneous: Salzburg AG has been awarded honors for both its family-friendly policies and its promotion of health in the workplace. In the future, the organization will continue to create and implement plans to maintain a healthy, family-oriented work environment.

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