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2011 Best Employers

Pinnacle Health System

This employer offers a phased retirement program

Winning Years: 2011, 2009, 2007, 2006
Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Harrisburg, Pa.

Pinnacle Health System recognizes the value of keeping their retirees on staff and offers an appealing formal phased retirement program to those looking to reduce their work hours yet remain a part of the system. The program allows employees to retire and draw full pension and be rehired the next day at a 16 hour per week status while maintaining group health benefits on medical, dental and life insurance.

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

Management and leadership classes are offered to employees at Pinnacle Health System's Leadership Development Institute (LDI). LDI is an in-house professional development series with over 400 supervisors and senior management (with 51 percent being age 50 and over) participating in critical aspects of leadership development, motivational speaking, evidence-based best practices and system communication.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: Pinnacle Health posts job openings on as well as The Retired Enlisted Association, which reach military retirees.
Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Pinnacle Health offers its employees the following learning and development programs: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, certification classes, external seminars, workshops and conferences. Employees must work at least 16 hours per week to be eligible for the tuition reimbursement benefit.

Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties, gifts and awards.

Feedback from Pinnacle Health's employee engagement survey led to the following improvements: increased maximum amount of reimbursement for tuition assistance program, added benefits for post-graduate degree programs and expanded eligibility into the program, added benefit of allowing employees the option to cash in paid time off accruals at 100 percent to reduce education costs, and established the Employee Engagement Council, which trains select employees in employee engagement facilitation, mentoring and coaching to support leadership in utilizing the employee engagement survey results. These individuals work with department leadership to identify opportunities, implement training and development needs and improve work life satisfaction.

Employees gain new experiences by working on team projects and in temporary work assignments.

Accommodations are made for employees at Pinnacle Health to provide specialized computer equipment for the visually impaired and specialized audio equipment for those with hearing loss. An Ergonomic Specialist evaluates workstations and, if needed, makes adjustments and equipment purchases.

Since the CPR recertification training is such a rigorous class, the health system has broken the course up into several days so those with carpal tunnel syndrome can be recertified without injury.

Next: Health benefits, wellness program, phased retirement. >>

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