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2011 Best Employers - International

Jena-Optronik, GmbH

This aerospace company offers training geared to older workers

Winning Years: 2011
Industry: Aerospace
Location: Jena, Germany
Employees: 145; Percentage over age 50: 42

An aerospace engineering company, Jena-Oprtronik has created a workplace culture where fair treatment is the base for a positive internal working atmosphere. Jena-Optronik promotes the employability of its older workers through a comprehensive framework, "55plus." Features include flextime accounts available to all workers, training modules specifically designed for older workers and active promotion of mixed-age work teams.

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

Lifelong Learning and Training: Jena-Optronik has improved the workability of all employees through its "55plus" program.

Staff appraisals are conducted annually to discuss individual career tracks and focus on the employee's achievements throughout the year. The employee is able to make suggestions as to what kind of trainings they would find useful to further their career. If an employee states that age is preventing them from properly performing their job functions, the company will attempt to create an arrangement that will suit both parties.

The company also offers training geared specifically to older workers. These programs factor in the specific learning styles of older workers, especially in English language or social media oriented classes.

The HR manager and one other employee are also qualified as "Internal Demography Experts" allowing them to evaluate demographic changes and the needs of older workers.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Flexible work arrangements are available to all employees to ensure a proper balance between life and work.
Flexible work times allow employees to start their work day between 6:30 and 9:00 AM according to their personal schedules. Work days end between 3:00 and 7:00 PM accordingly.

Each employee is also given a flextime account with 30-60 (or more) hours of flextime. This account offers maximum flexibility to employees with sick children or relatives, or time-consuming medical issues.

Overtime hours can be used for taking hours off or full days. Employees are thus able to have free days without using vacation time.

Older workers can decrease their hours as they approach retirement to help ease the transition.

Health Promotion and Protection: Jena-Optronik focuses on preventive measures for staff of all ages. Every two years the company performs an analysis of the physical and mental stress factors in the workplace. Discussions are then held quarterly to identify preventive strategies and plan the implementation.

Next: Older workers can lecture at the local university. >>

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