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CHAPTER 5 Needs Framework 5.1 Introduction In response to NCHRP Project 20-72, "Tools to Aid State DOTs in Responding to Workforce Challenges," the Spy Pond Partners team reviewed current tools, assessed available resources, and developed and built a toolkit designed to help state DOTs overcome current and future workforce challenges. Specific tasks associated with this two-phase project are explained in Chapter 3.1. This section provides more detail on the research and development that supports the Workforce Toolkit. The following section (5.2) establishes and defines the major categories of needs. The remaining three sections of this chapter map these categories of needs first to specific workforce scenarios that might precipitate a search for resources in the Toolkit (Section 5.3), then to current trends (Section 5.4), and finally to likely future trends (Section 5.5). 5.2 Needs Categories The research team developed a needs framework that defined the scope of resources for inclusion in the Toolkit and provided the fundamental set of categories to be used to match information resources to workforce needs faced by state DOTs. The framework was developed based on the guidance provided in the research statement and supplemented by analysis of current workforce issues and trends--both near term and future. Components of the needs framework are described in Section 2.3. The categories were chosen because they reflect the most pressing and continuing current and future (510 years) workforce needs of state DOTs. These categories also reflect a manageable number of areas of focus and thus should help assure that state DOT users of the database will find these categories responsive to their needs. Additional categories can be identified and added to the data base as future needs emerge. 5.3 Current Workforce Needs Scenarios Table 5.1 presents a set of scenarios that illustrate some of the more common and pressing workforce needs currently facing state DOTs. The category section of the table maps each scenario to the applicable need categories defined in Section 5.2. The Resource Needs column lists par- ticular resources that are likely to be useful in addressing the need. The first two scenarios are used as real-world examples in Sections 3.3.1 and 3.3.2. 39
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Table 5.1. Current workforce scenarios and associated resource needs. Scenarios Workforce Need Category (s) Associated Resource Needs The Legislature has passed a retirement Recruitment, retention, knowledge Competency identification. incentive bill that gives a 6-month window management, training, succession Competency based training to address for eligible employees to retire. The state planning, competencies the gaps. personnel office estimates that about 5% of the highest paid employees will be eligible. Protocols to retain needed knowledge and Based on their employees' tenure, the DOT ways to make it usable to others. knows that up to 19% of their experienced Methods to determine which of the employees could retire. To complicate departing knowledge needs to be retained. matters, a major layoff several years earlier Systems to retain existing key employees. due to budget cuts has left the DOT with few employees experienced enough to take the Succession plans, guides, and procedures. retirees place if they leave. Methods to target recruitment strategies. Guidelines for creating a human capital plan. Consultants who pay higher salaries are Competencies, training and Identify required competencies, apart from making it difficult to recruit engineering development recruitment, job titles. technicians. State salary policies limit what succession planning, outsourcing Look for key competencies for these the DOT can pay and traditional sources for positions in other career types. new engineering technicians can't educate enough people to supply the consultants and Identify other employees in the DOT, the DOT. other agencies or graduates that are likely to have the needed competencies, and consider recruiting them. Identify competency gaps in design, and deliver training that addresses the competencies. Develop mentoring and cross-training to accelerate learning. Evaluate the position requirements and working conditions and consider changes that make the career more attractive to the workforce. Target recruitment to attract desired candidates. Develop a succession plan and career ladders with competency-based promotions. Consider using contracted services to supplement existing workforce if recruitment is unsuccessful. Management is complaining about not being Competencies, recruitment, training, Interview supervisors and workers to find able to recruit and retain qualified commercial retention out what the satisfiers and dissatisfiers vehicle compliance officers. The employees of the job are. who are still working in these positions Using collected data in the interviews, complain that the job isn't what they thought are there changes that can be made to it would be. The job requires completion of improve working conditions? Make part of the law enforcement academy, but they reasonable changes. don't get to do real law enforcement work and some of the locations are in isolated areas. Create career ladders and cross-training What are the required competencies and how opportunities to build skills and retain employees. does the DOT find people who are more likely to be satisfied with the work? Identify the key competencies for these positions and determine what training would be best. (Does the training atmosphere at the police academy lead the candidates to believe the job is traditional law enforcement?) Target recruitment to attract candidates likely to be satisfied with the work.
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Needs Framework 41 Table 5.1. (Continued). Scenarios Workforce Need Category (s) Associated Resource Needs An outstanding systems analyst has been hired Competencies, leadership Identify key competencies for the position. to manage her former work unit. Her selection development, succession planning, Use a targeted selection system to was based on performance reviews and her recruitment, performance determine which candidates have the extensive knowledge of systems analysis and management desired competencies and experience. computer science. Three month into her tenure as manager, the unit's production has slowed, Offer orientation to management classes to a harassment suit has been filed, and turnover let interested employees learn about what has increased significantly. Frustrated with being a manager entails. her subordinates' poor performance, she works Create a succession plan with appropriate long hours to finish projects. At least there's experiences and training to prepare the satisfaction of a tangible accomplishment. employees for management positions. Establish a performance plan for the new supervisor to reinforce desired management skills. The DOT has implemented career ladders so Performance, competencies, Competency assessment. employees in particular classifications can be training and development Resources to assess questions for reliability promoted based on their competencies rather and validity. than waiting for positions to open. The benefit to the DOT is having a more versatile and Position requirement experts to provide experienced workforce. Promotions are based input on question content. on testing. A review of the tests shows that Resources and technology for a question some questions are vague; others are not well bank for each position's test. matched to the position's skill requirements. Protocols for developing and evaluating The tests are used to promote large numbers performance tests if physical skills are of employees and are neither valid nor required for the job. very reliable. The training director wants to redo Competencies, leadership Competency identification in collaboration management courses because he believes development, training with management. that some of the material needs to be updated Competency gap assessment at each level to be competency based. He decides to identify of management. desirable management competencies, ways to address them in training and determine ways Competency-based training, mentoring to get better application of skills learned. and other activities. His investigation shows poor correlation Marketing skills to involve management in between what gets a manager promoted in the course development and training of DOT and what's taught in the management managers where possible. classes. The DOT brings in a subject matter expert to Training, performance Resources or guidelines to identify provide entry-level project management competencies covered by the training and training to employees who are learning to expected level of participant expertise. manage projects. The only time the trainer is Assessment process to determine which available is in August--construction season. employees need to acquire the The managers don't think they can spare the competencies. employees who would benefit most from the class on the job. One of the districts sends an Nomination process for appropriate experienced project manager who isn't as busy participants. that week and a designer who wanted to take the class. They were asked to come back and tell the others what they learned. (continued on next page)
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42 Tools to Aid State DOTs in Responding to Workforce Challenges Table 5.1. (Continued). Scenarios Workforce Need Category (s) Associated Resource Needs The DOT has a few employees that have Knowledge management, training , Identify key competencies. specialized knowledge that can't be found at retention, competencies Develop competency-based cross training any price. When they leave or retire how can to employees that are interested in learning they be replaced? If you can't keep the the work. workers, why not keep their expertise? Coaching protocols to help others learn. Desk manual for the position. Develop a formal knowledge management system. Retention strategies--part-time work for retiring employees, formal deferred retirement plans. The state budget is extremely tight and the Outsourcing, strategic planning Business plan development and Legislature has put agencies under pressure to implementation tools. save the state money and support the economy Guidelines for determining what to by outsourcing work. It seems logical to outsource (written resources or peer DOT outsource less essential functions and the recommendations). HRIS, job classification and training functions are outsourced. The cost is lower, but the Data to evaluate effectiveness of the remaining human resources staff spends service. significant amounts of time to keep the Marketing plans to promote value of consultant on track on the classification and services. training. Some outsourced functions require the vendor's Outsourcing, performance, Identify roles of both staffs. employees to work side by side with DOT organizational development Facilitation methods to get the merged employees. The work environment may be group to sort out working relationships. tense if the function was outsourced as non-essential or the vendor employees may be Develop common performance goals. a welcome addition to share the workload or Consistent monitoring system to ensure complete specialized projects. Either way, effective performance. employees from different corporate cultures must work together. How can this relationship be made more effective and easier for the workers? An experienced manager has been assigned to Performance, leadership Guidelines for evaluating and correcting work with a new unit. Most of the workers are development, organizational performance problems. young professionals who want to make an development Leadership development activities targeted impact on the job. The manager is accustomed to the problem (e.g., coaching). to having workers who just do the job. He isn't excited about having to listen to these Facilitated meeting to address problems "kids'" suggestions about improving the work. . and develop acceptable solutions. Turnover has increased dramatically. A manager is not pleased with an employee's Performance, leadership Methods to identify performance belligerent behavior and asks the training development deficiencies. director to recommend training for the Evaluation of effectiveness of prior employee as part of the discipline process training. with the expectation of improvement. The employee has been sent to similar training Coaching methods for supervisor to get before. employee compliance. Coaching or training in effective discipline.
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Needs Framework 43 Table 5.1. (Continued). Scenarios Workforce Need Category (s) Associated Resource Needs The human resources manager learns about the Succession planning, strategic Succession planning resources and benefits of succession planning as a means to planning, competencies, leadership guidelines. have a pool of qualified employees in critical development Assistance from peer DOTs that have positions. A significant number of managers effective plans. and experienced technical and professional employees could leave over the next few years. Resources and methods for collaboration How do you decide what skills are and will be with management to identify critical critical and how do you design a system that positions and related competencies. builds competencies without appearing to play Strategic human capital management plans. favorites? Gap analysis. Competency based training and other learning activities. Processes that allow open application and fair selection of succession plan participants. The new CEO wants to address managers' Strategic planning, competencies, Human capital planning protocols and concerns about the anticipated large number of leadership development, HRIS, guides. retirements and the increased difficulty in organizational development Key competency identification. finding adequate numbers of qualified employees. The CEO comes from a private HRIS database to capture competencies, business and has seen progressive human gaps, forecast workforce needs. resources managers working as partners to Leadership development for career management in workforce development with managers and human resources staff. great success. The career managers see the Facilitated meeting process to develop human resources as compliance and record common goals and a strategic plan keeping office and aren't excited about the including workforce. prospects of getting human resources support in building the workforce. When the CEO asks the human resources director about his office's role in executing the DOT's business plan, he's met with a blank stare. Decisions about workforce qualifications, Strategy, HRIS, competencies, Resources to create a human capital and competencies, training needs, recruitment, training, leadership development workforce plan. and selections are often made with limited Tools to select HRIS software that meets data, on gut feelings or in response to political DOT needs. pressures, sometimes resulting in human resources functions being outsourced. Without Competency identification. solid HRIS data and effective analysis, human Marketing skills. capital planning is weak or non-existent and Data-based decision making. decisions made aren't necessarily the best ones for the agency. Human resources professionals are not always conversant with business plans and often don't appreciate the power of data in decision making and the necessity for marketing their services. (continued on next page)