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2011 Best Employers - International


This German organization offers mixed work options to employees age 45 and older

Winning Years: 2011
Industry: Municipal Government
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Employees: 1,904; Percentage over age 50: 32.3    

As part of its efforts to encourage older workers to stay in the workplace, DSW21, a public transportation agency, offers retraining or alternate positions to employees who are no longer able to perform their original jobs.

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

All employees benefit from a wide range of physical and mental health promotion benefits, including health check-ups, in-house psychological and addiction counseling, anti-bullying workshops, and stress management training. Further, the company's PRO AGE, or "Program for Age-Friendly Workplace, Health and Development" promotes regular age structure analysis and raises awareness of demographic change in the workforce.

Additional policies and practices:

Lifelong Learning and Training: DSW21 offers educational programs to employees of all ages. An annual, mandatory all-staff event helps to identify new and existing opportunities for promotion, sabbaticals, education and professional development. Employees are able to voice opinions on existing opportunities and offer input for future ones.

The company also offers retraining or alternate careers for employees with physical disabilities or who may no longer be able to perform their current job requirements.

A number of employees are also trained as facilitators and are responsible for assisting fellow employees through management changes.

Flexible Work Arrangements: DSW21 maintains flexible working hours for administration and several other departments. Working time accounts are also available to allow for maximum individual control over working hours. Drivers are offered a flexible service plan allowing them to select their own shifts. This program benefits all employees, including older workers who may not wish to take on night shifts. As a result, satisfaction levels are over 80 percent.

Mixed work options are also available to employees age 45 and older. Workers can choose a combination of driving and customer service activities.

For commercial activities there are teleworking opportunities available. Employees can work from home or pursue other flexible work arrangements to accommodate their needs.

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