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2011 Best Employers - International

National Australia Bank

The MyFuture program helps older workers extend their careers and plan their retirement

Winning Year: 2011
Industry: Financial Services
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Employees: 27,460

National Australia Bank's MyFuture initiative helps age 50 and over workers extend careers and plan their futures through education on flexibility, work-life balance and managing personal change. MyFuture further promotes healthy aging through health check-ups, an interactive health portal providing online wellness programs, as well as a range of confidential support services to help employees with stress, depression and work-related issues. The initiative also includes training and education for managers to help them retain older workers.

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

Additional Policies and Practices

Lifelong Learning and Training: NAB provides all employees with experiences and tools to develop the skills they need to be successful in their role and to prepare them for future career opportunities. NAB does so through The Academy, a dedicated, approach to learning and development that provides experiences through virtual learning technologies, coaching and mentoring, formal curriculum, career and development tools, a dedicated online portal, and physical learning sites in each state in Australia

In 2011, NAB will be rolling out programs specifically for older workers and their managers. These programs, called MyFuture, were successfully piloted in the second half of last year.

The program strives to help employees over age 50 extend their careers through education on flexibility, balance and managing personal change. It also aims to create competitive advantage for business by increasing retention of valued employees and reducing loss of expertise and capability.

Twenty-seven managers attended a leadership forum on MyFuture to learn about the aging workforce and NAB's response to the changing demographics.

Other activities include individual coaching sessions for older workers. These sessions focus on career and retirement transition. Employees use the MyFuture website, which contains the tools, and the resources to support seminar learning.

Flexible Work Arrangements: NAB understands that flexibility is a key enabler for workers to extend their careers. Results from the pilot program indicated that 91 percent of participants would continue working for longer if they can work more flexibly. NAB identified key barriers to flexibility throughout the pilot.

NAB found that employees work with false assumptions about policies, including the belief that they would lose their position for taking advantage of certain flexible work arrangements. To combat this problem, NAB updated the Diversity & Inclusion intranet site along with an e-learning program designed to increase the understanding around implementing flexible work practices.

Feedback from studies indicated that there is a perception that as soon as one reaches 50, there are fewer opportunities to be promoted to a higher position. In response, NAB introduced a six-step process for Career & Development planning that will significantly change this mind-set.

Next: Healthy Aging program, diversity initiatives. >>

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