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2011 Best Employers - International

DB Services

This railway services firm offers part-time retirement

Winning Year: 2011
Industry: Railroad Services
Location: Berlin, Germany
Employees 10,160; Percentage over age 50: 45

DB Services, a subsidiary of Germany's railway system, promotes older workers through DB Services Academy, a training camp designed to help older job applicants and the long-term unemployed re-enter the workforce. In addition, DB Services maintains an administrative business unit, called ZusatzServices, specially designed to employ workers who are no longer able to work in their physically demanding original positions.

See also: How the 2011 Best Employers winners were selected.

Lifelong Learning and Training: DB strategically relies on the in-house development of specialists and executives. As a consequence, around 90 percent of specialist and executive positions are filled internally. In 2010, staffers participated in an average of 36.3 hours of lifelong learning and training programs. DB Services has further developed "DB Services Academy," a specialized training center for older employees, which is also oriented on the placement of so-called "long-term unemployed" individuals.

ZusatzServices faces even more opportunities and challenges in the area of lifelong learning and training. The program offers office jobs to employees who are no longer able to work in physically demanding fields. Most of the current jobs in ZusatzServices involve a personal computer. Many of its employees, though, bring either no or very little previous computer experience to their job. Initial training and orientation of one month allows each new employee to adjust to the field.

With an average age of 53.4 years for employees in ZusatzServices – and 45.9 years in DB Group –ZusatzServices' measures are specifically tailored for employees at a higher age.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Since 1998, all DB employees have the right to reduce their working hours. DB Services offers a wide range of flextime models, which are always individually tailored to suit both the needs of the employees (work-life balance) as well as the demands of the company. It is possible to work fewer hours per day, fewer days per week and to take time off the job for a longer period of time.

Employees can collect the hours they work overtime and credit it on an account for their flexible time, which they can use to take hours or days off. DB Services offers, among other programs, job sharing, sabbaticals and home office workplaces. They target parents with young children or those who have the responsibility to take care of older family members, to ease their work-life balance or aim at helping the re-entry into the workforce after sabbaticals. Specific flexible work arrangements exist for employees older than 55.

Since January 2010, DB Services offers a model for part-time retirement, tailored part-time programs, the opportunity to work from a home office as well as working time on trust arrangements for managers.

Health Promotion and Protection: DB Services has integrated programs combining health courses near people's homes, occupational health management, and health services. Also, the company offers fitness equipment for common rooms.

Next: Retraining the long-term unemployed for jobs. >>

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