AARP

AARP

Washington, DC

www.aarp.org

Grade: A-

SummaryStable organization, potential for leadership development training, solid community service record and advancement opportunities.
Intro: AARP is known for supporting our nearly 38 million members turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthening communities, and fighting for the issues that matter most to families. Everyone knows someone in the 50+ community (parent, grandparent, friend, or neighbor) and people come to work here to be part of the greater experience and to make contributions that will positively impact the community.

Impact statements:

  • AARP offers a renewal program for staff with seven years of consecutive service. Renewal is a four-week period of paid time away from work for employees to disconnect from the demands and responsibilities of the workplace.
  • AARP is dedicated to a progressive work environment where employees can grow in their current jobs and also build a career to meet their highest aspirations.
  • For some of our top hires we have offered leadership development trainings and professional coaching that will enhance their management style, self awareness and prepare them as they move up the career ladder.
  • AARP is a highly collaborative environment that requires engagement at all levels.
  • We foster a culture of innovation and autonomy for people to bring ideas to the table and execute towards them.
  • AARP is going through a renovation and transitioning to an open work space designed specifically to increase our collaboration and interaction.
  • Each year on 9/11 AARP hosts a Day of Service End Hunger campaign. The goal is to pack one million meals that will be distributed locally to struggling seniors, including veterans and first responders.
  • ITS focuses on creating an environment of empowerment and accountability by encouraging staff to take risks and use their best judgment with the information they have at hand.
  • In ITS we provide advancement opportunities through stretch projects and assignments that allow staff to work on large scale initiatives and implementations.

Advancement Opportunities:

In ITS we provide advancement opportunities through stretch projects and assignments that allow staff to work on large scale initiatives and implementations. In addition to the HR dollars, ITS has their own budget for staff to take professional development courses and engage in learning opportunities. We work with vendors who provide instructor led training courses and we purchased a 24/7 on-demand learning management system (LMS) for staff to take technical and business skill training.

Medical benefits:

We offer a robust selection of benefits that are priced competitively in the market place.

Community service/charitable causes:

AARP has a Community Builders program that provides employees paid time—up to six days each year—to participate in community service activities that support AARP’s commitment to volunteerism.

Measuring satisfaction:

Every year AARP conducts an employee survey to measure engagement and provide an opportunity for employees to tell senior leadership what they think is working and what is not, where AARP excels as an employer and where they could do better. In addition to the quantitative survey, AARP has worked with third party vendors to conduct qualitative focus groups to identify more in depth feedback.

AARP is going through a renovation and transitioning to an open work space designed specifically to increase our collaboration and interaction. It is an exciting time and will be a culture change that improves how we work long term.

Creative meeting places:

ITS enjoys a good celebration and in the summer months we have a rooftop picnic to celebrate our mid-year successes. In 2016, after being awarded as a best place to work, ITS celebrated with an afternoon boat cruise around the DC area. It was a great event that allowed different groups to interact and engage.

Perks:

AARP has a cafeteria with various stations to meet the different dietary needs and requests of the staff.

We offer a lifetime AARP memberships for employees, discounted parking for employees.

We have relationships with local establishments that provide discounts for AARP employees.

Fun:

Each year on 9/11 AARP hosts a Day of Service End Hunger campaign. The goal is to pack one million meals that will be distributed locally to struggling seniors, including veterans and first responders. This is a fun organization wide event that allows different teams to interact, engage, and support a component of the AARP mission. AARP also provides an in-house gym where employees can work out, take lunchtime yoga or meditation classes, and pay for on-site personal training services. For important association initiatives, AARP hosts events with catered food and outside entertainment to increase engagement and participation (e.g. The yearly Health Wellness Fair, the Information Security Expo). AARP has brought in famous speakers for panel discussions on topics that impact our employees and that assists us in better engaging with our members. These events are open to staff and are web streamed for those outside of the local area. We have also offered viewing of documentaries related to our members, or local community, hosted Wednesday walking groups, held personal wellness seminars, and celebrated ethnically themed months. There is no shortage of ways to stay involved and connected with what is happening at AARP.

Collaboration tools:

We currently use tools like MS Lync, SharePoint, and WebEx as collaboration tools. The use of Lync and WebEx allow us to virtually meet across the various ITS office locations and engage in a way that supports collaboration. In the upcoming months we are moving to Skype for Business, which will provide a greater technology platform for engagement and collaboration. Finally as we focus on our future office renovation, various technology upgrades including implementation association-wide of 0365 tools and MS Surface Hub conferencing and computer technology will further advance our collaboration opportunities.

How corporate vision is communicated:

AARP leadership makes a conscious effort to cascade information to ensure that staff is aware and informed. They use Yammer, staff meetings, the daily newsletter, and emails memos to share messaging about initiatives impacting the association.

Empowering employees:

ITS incorporated open and honest communication as one of the critical cultural values. Our CIO has monthly pop-up topic meetings where staff are encouraged to share ideas and ways the department can enhance business processes. ITS uses Yammer as a collaboration tool for staff to openly share and weigh in on trends or topics that impact and affect projects and initiatives. Suggestions and input are not limited to a functional team, but we welcome ideas from outside the group too.

To support our culture of recognition, we encourage staff to use our 'AARP Recognizes You' program to send redeemable points or non-monetary cards to colleagues at the employee's discretion. In addition, ITS has its own monetary recognition for staff to recognize peers for individual and team projects. Both serve as a way for staff to receive and give recognition to each other.

ITS focuses on creating an environment of empowerment and accountability by encouraging staff to take risks and use their best judgment with the information they have at hand. We incorporated this into our cultural values to reflect our commitment to staff being in a position to make decisions with freedom and autonomy.

AARP openly shares the Association dashboard for staff to read and understand our goals and internal performance metrics. The overarching goals are also posted in conference rooms and other parts of the building to reinforce the messaging to staff. In addition, part of the performance management process focuses on individual performance objectives that tie into the corporate dashboard. This allows staff to identify how their specific role contributes to the organization's ability to meet its goals and objectives.

Ensuring well-being:

AARP does not have core office hours, but employee coverage is expected during the hours 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. AARP offers flexible alternatives to traditional on-site work practices and encourages managers and staff to work together to find creative ways to meet business needs.

Flexible work arrangements require manager and departmental leadership approval and depend on a partnership between the manager and employee to ensure that the needs of both AARP and the employee are being met.

In support of a healthy work/life balance, employees are encouraged to take vacation leave during the year to recharge both physically and mentally in order to maintain maximum productivity.

AARP offers employee access to a work-life consultation and referral service for advice and counsel on personal, family and work issues. Additional services include:

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Management Line
  • Health and Wellness

Longevity:

We have a range of tenure on our teams with many staff levels being here for 15+ years. Many in our ITS leadership and management ranks have been here for between 3-7+ years.

Closing company statements: We are a department that values high quality talent. We foster a culture of innovation and autonomy for people to bring ideas to the table and execute towards them. The output of our services is not just for the bottom line, but the contributions we make better the lives of the 50+ community, touches people in way that benefit wellness, and champions the rights and benefits of the members.

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