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104 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Exhibit 14-2 (Continued) Industry Strategies: Succession Planning Strategy Strategy Description factor in building a succession plan is to determine a standard and verifiable way of selecting the high performers. The designation of high potential should be made by more than one supervisor. Establish Diversity In order to ensure diversity is upheld within the highest levels of the Goals organization, it is important that agencies are intentional about their plans for including minorities in their succession planning and that top management fully supports those plans. 14.3 Workforce Practices. Nine workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of "Succession Planning" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified two workforce practices that were the most noteworthy within this context: Minnesota DOT Succession Planning for Supervisors and Leadership Pennsylvania DOT Succession Planning for At-Risk Positions For these two practices, we conducted a case study. Summaries of the two case studies are presented below. The full case studies can be found on the TRB website at http://trb.org/Main/Blurbs/164747.aspx as part of Volume II: Supplemental Materials. The full case study descriptions detail each practice's background, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and transferability.
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Succession Planning 105 Minnesota DOT Succession Planning for Supervisors and Leadership. Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) employs 5,033 people in a variety of employment conditions (i.e., temporary, unlimited, full-time, part-time). Slightly more than three-quarters (76%) of the agency's workforce is Minnesota DOT Succession Planning for above the age of 40, while only 8% are 29 years or Supervisors and Leadership younger. The majority of Mn/DOT's workforce is Job Type: All Caucasian and male, 93% and 79% respectively. As ROI: Long-term described on Mn/DOT's website, the agency's Generation: Older mission is to "provide the highest quality, dependable multi-modal transportation system through ingenuity, Key Program Highlights: integrity, alliance, and accountability." o Executive-level process designed to develop and/or externally recruit This program is an executive-level process designed employees to support targeted to develop and/or externally recruit employees to leadership positions support targeted leadership positions. The succession o Led to the implementation of planning model consists of a competency-based, programs that supported the developmentally driven executive staffing model to succession planning process including identify a talent pool of successors who can move into job-sharing, job-switching, and crucial positions without unnecessary operational classroom training disruptions. The program has directly influenced o Helps agency utilize talent in more than 20 senior executive management leadership positions and align appointments. leadership with the strategic direction of the department The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) estimated in the early 1990s that 90% of their engineering workforce and key leadership positions would be eligible for retirement or retired in the next 15-20 years. As a result, in 1994, the agency began to explore a Succession Planning program. The intent was to create a model for identifying essential executive-level positions and then developing internal candidates or recruiting externally to support those positions. The program ensures that future leadership aligns with the department's strategic goals and objectives and that the department can take advantage of Mn/DOT's talent pool. As a first step in developing its succession planning model, the Mn/DOT Senior Executive Management Team created a steering committee of senior managers to develop the process. As a result, Mn/DOT identified 37 succession planning positions and the competencies needed to fill them. Mn/DOT also had identified seven core competencies that support the mission, vision, and goals of the department. These seven core competencies guide Mn/DOT HR functions and provide a framework for accountability throughout the department. Most recently the competencies have been reviewed and revised. Position profiles were developed that included the general purpose of the position, education requirements, licensure requirements (if any), and competencies ranked from A to C in terms of the most critical. Mn/DOT started the implementation process by gathering data such as environmental scanning with the Commissioner and staff and retirement/turnover data, soliciting participants, conducting assessments of people in the process/program, and providing feedback to employees. Mn/DOT used the identified competencies and qualifications to assess each individual's knowledge and experience and determine if the employee would need further development to prepare him/her for the next level. High-potential employees were determined based on a rating of "ready now," "ready in 3 years," and "ready beyond 3 years." This evaluation led the Succession Planning program to put a prime focus on leadership development within the department. Programs that supported the implementation of this succession planning process included job sharing, job switching, and classroom training.
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106 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce The costs associated with implementing the Succession Planning program have primarily consisted of time and effort. Additionally, there were costs related to lost time because the Succession Planning program involves development time and relocation costs based on job sharing and/or job switching. Mn/DOT also undertook a thorough communications process to inform employees of the Succession Planning program. The agency drafted newsletter articles and utilized meetings to share information with employees. Mn/DOT drafted and administered an interest survey to managers, which assessed their interest in advancement and in becoming participants of the succession planning process. All managers were responsible for supporting the process in some way; they were either directly involved or supportive through encouraging their subordinates to get involved. Since fully implementing the program in 2003, Mn/DOT has been able to fill most executive-level positions in a timely fashion. Mn/DOT uses the Succession Planning program to determine whether they have a sufficient pipeline of potential leaders and hires for these positions, or if they should look outside the agency (e.g., finance staff). The Succession Planning program also increased the transparency of hiring for high-level positions by communicating the expected qualifications for those positions. Support for the program is dependent on the commitment from the Mn/DOT Commissioner and staff. The significant outputs from the program include a well-rounded performance management process including performance feedback in the organization; leadership development through classroom and on- the-job training; development programs such as job sharing and job switching; ability to utilize Mn/DOT talent in leadership positions; and the ability to align leadership with the strategic direction of the department.
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Succession Planning 107 Pennsylvania DOT Succession Planning for At-Risk Positions. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has approximately 12,000 employees, not including consultants or contractors, of which roughly 10,500 are engaged in maintenance, restoration, and expansion of the Pennsylvania DOT Succession Planning highway system. The agency is divided into six main for At-Risk Positions divisions, known as deputates, which include highway Job Type: All administration, safety administration, planning, aviation and rail freight, local and area transportation, ROI: Long-term and administration. Generation: Older Key Program Highlights: In order to address PennDOT's struggle with retention o Focuses on "at risk" positions, due to employee retirement, PennDOT implemented a critical organizational positions that Succession Planning practice. The practice focuses on may soon become vacant due to "at-risk" positions, critical organizational positions impending retirements, promotions, that may soon become vacant due to impending or transfers retirements, promotions, or transfers. In addition to identifying "at-risk" positions, PennDOT identifies a o Candidates identified, may enter a pool of current employees who are capable of mentee/mentor program or job completing the duties associated with the "at-risk" training to be prepare them for the position. Once these candidates are identified, future roles they may occupy PennDOT may enter them into a mentee/mentor o Assessment of the program will be program or job training so they can be prepared for the based on whether at-risk positions future roles they may occupy. are identified efficiently and effectively; ability to identify PennDOT developed a Retirement Project Report, candidates to fill the vacancy; and which they distribute to regional decision-makers, as ability to fill the vacancy swiftly well as a Workforce and Succession Planning Report Tool to guide decision makers at the district and county level. Additionally, PennDOT created an Organization/Job Class Workforce Planning Worksheet to help district decision makers think about future work requirements, analyze current resources and projects, and develop an organizational action plan to address future vacancies. The Succession Planning program was developed in the central office at Penn DOT and then implemented by PennDOT's HR department. PennDOT's HR department researched best practices in other states, gathered information on related data systems, and collaborated with PennDOT's Workforce Development Division to develop training to prepare employees from the central office to travel to the districts and explain the Succession Planning program to local employees. All costs associated with implementing PennDOT's Succession Planning were internal and required only employee time. Because Succession Planning has only existed at PennDOT since 2007, PennDOT has not yet formally evaluated the practice. PennDOT anticipates evaluating the practice by considering whether they have identified at-risk positions efficiently and effectively, identified candidates to fill the vacancy, and filled the vacancy swiftly. Regardless of measurable results, PennDOT's leadership almost universally supports Succession Planning as a necessary practice, and the reaction of most PennDOT employees has been positive.
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108 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Succession Planning," we have included a list of other practices that transportation agencies have implemented for this purpose. Additional information on each of the following practices can be found in one- to two-page summaries within the supplemental materials. Career Path State DOT Succession Planning Programs Diversity Succession Planning Succession Planning Best Practices Minority Development Practices Workforce Planning Program Staffing Plan Database The practice summaries include information, such as the lead organization, practice description, practice purpose, targeted participants, return on investment (ROI) timeline, influence of the economy, innovativeness, and resources to find out more information on the individual practices.