Workplace News: AARP’s 2008 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Heart of a Woman in Business, Stories| 1 Comment »

Workplace News:
AARP’s Best Companies for Those Over 50

Reporting by Audrey Goodson, Posted November 13, 2008

AARP Magazine
Nov/Dec 2008 issue

After eight years of honoring great employers, AARP has become pros at identifying creative workplace practices that benefit 50+ workers. Innovations such as flextime, phased retirement, and tuition reimbursement become mainstays at age-friendly companies place them higher. According to the judges, "These awardees are commitment to the total health and well-being of their workers and families is further evidence that the 50+ employee has become a valuable asset worth nurturing and protecting. Our hope is that more forward-thinking employers will follow their example."

Ratings Guide
AARP evaluated each employer’s performance on a range of workforce practices beneficial to older workers. The five key criteria below are rated from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) in this article. These criteria, along with other criteria, influenced each employer’s overall ranking.

Recruiting Practices
We noted how companies seek older workers. Some measures: Does the company target mature workers in its recruiting efforts? Do recruiting materials reflect the diversity of the people the company hopes to hire, including mature workers?

Training and Development
An important part of any job is keeping skills sharp. AARP evaluated the companies’ skill-enhancing programs as well as how proactive companies were in encouraging employees to take part. Ditto for perks such as tuition assistance. T&D ratings also took into account whether the employer regularly conducts employee-opinion surveys and provides opportunities for new experiences, such as cross-training and temporary assignments.

Health Benefits
We assessed each company’s medical, prescription-drug, vision, and dental insurance coverage, including the percentage of the premium that workers must pay and whether these benefits are offered to part-time workers and retirees. In addition, we looked for extras such as long-term care insurance.

Pension Plans
Key measures: Do the companies offer traditional defined-benefit plans and/or defined contribution plans? Do they have other financial incentives such as stock options, profit sharing, or 401(k) automatic enrollment? Do they offer resources to help workers make informed decisions about retirement savings?

Alternative Work Arrangements
We looked for opportunities such as telecommuting and flextime, which are important to workers with caregiving responsibilities. Another grade booster: phased retirement, in which employees receive benefits while working fewer hours.

Here are the top 2 of the 10:

1. Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Higher Education
11,302 employees (43% 50+)
A comprehensive approach to caregiving is one reason Cornell advanced to the head of this year’s class. Besides having long-term care insurance for employees and their loved ones, the university now has a consultant to help workers find the right child-care and elder-care facilities for family members. Another benefit is a pre-tax savings account to help employees pay for dependent-care costs. One more reason Cornell makes the grade: its employees and retirees can take several classes a year at the prestigious university—for free.

2. Scripps Health
San Diego, California
Health Care
11,589 employees (32% 50+)
Scripps gives its workers the red carpet treatment, literally. After every five years of service, employees are treated to an Oscars-style dinner celebration, including a nine-piece band and a Joan Rivers impersonator (we’re not kidding). But Scripps is completely serious about protecting its employees and their families. Example: a new elder-care program, which provides employees with professional care managers who conduct in-home assessments of aging family members and recommend and help secure long-term care facilities if needed. A Scripps benefit to love? Six free 30-minute massages a year for interested employees.

Click here for more details on each of these Top 10:

  1. Cornell University (NY)
  2. Scripps Health (CA)
  3. SC Johnson (WI)
  4. Lee Memorial Health System (FL)
  5. Securian (MN)
  6. YMCA of Greater Rochester (NY)
  7. First Horizon National Corporation (TN)
  8. Stanley Consultants (IA)
  9. Bon Secours Richmond Health System (VI)
  10. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (IL)

Find 40 additional companies honored by AARP for valuing older workers here.
See the full story here.

Entries RSS | Comments RSS