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2011 Best Employers - International

Lam Soon Edible Oils Sdn Bhd

Allows older workers to use their expertise in training roles

Winning Year: 2011
Industry: Food
Location: Shah Alam, Malaysia
Employees: 1,456; Percentage over age 50: 20.1

Lam Soon Edible Oils pursues a variety of strategies to ensure an age-friendly workplace. Among other best practices, older workers in each function are designated subject matter experts. Their role as facilitators and trainers has helped raise the profile of older workers and contributed to a culture shift in the organization. Flexible work arrangements and opportunities to remain employed beyond the statutory retirement age are attractive to older workers.

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

Additional Policies and Practices:

Lifelong Learning and Training: At Lam Soon Edible Oils, training programs are financed through the HR Development Fund as well as an additional training budget to ensure ongoing training and development. Older workers have improved their skills through training, thereby increasing their career choices.

Training and education are open to all employees regardless of age. The company also offers training courses to employees who have retired and to those approaching retirement.

The company uses their Training Needs Analysis that synthesizes employee feedback to create targeted training programs. As a result, several programs such as their Team Building Program have been retooled to accommodate the needs of older workers.

Lam Soon Edible Oils is also pursuing a knowledge management strategy through a Knowledge Management Library. The objective of the library is to create a readily accessible knowledge environment where staff can access the necessary resources to improve their work performance.

Older workers are often selected to serve as instructors for internal training needs. The company hopes that by utilizing older workers in this role it will raise the profile of older workers and shift the organizational culture.

Flexible Work Arrangements: Open and ongoing communication provides the basis for creating flexible working arrangements at Lam Soon Edible Oils. Such continuous communication means managers are aware of employee needs and employees are kept abreast of available options.

The company offers a variety of programs to accommodate employee needs. Staggered work hours spread out employees' starting and ending times. The flexible schedule meets operational needs and shifts some of the workforce before peak commuting hours.

Next: Health initiatives, re-hiring retirees. >>

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