Phil Lenowitz works in Bethesda, Maryland, but a year ago he moved to Asheville, North Carolina. At age 63, Lenowitz spends three weeks each month in Bethesda, where he is deputy director of human resources at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and one week in Asheville with his wife Peggy, 62.
Lenowitz is on track to retire in Asheville – somewhere down the road. The current split schedule hasn’t caused any friction at work.
“My boss has no problem with it, so long as I’m not out of town for important events and meetings,” Lenowitz says.
The flexible work arrangement is no accident. Forty-seven percent of the NIH workforce is over age 50. And the renowned federal medical research powerhouse has developed an impressive arsenal of employee benefits aimed at retaining older workers.
On Monday, NIH was named the best employer for older workers by AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). NIH topped the organizations’ 2013 ranking of the 50 best employers for workers over 50 – an award that aims to recognize employer programs that help retain, retrain, engage and recruit older workers.
The list is dominated by healthcare organizations. This year, 41 percent of the top 50 employers are hospitals, health insurers or, in NIH’s case, a medical research organization.