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110 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce 15.1 Workforce Challenges. Programs related to "Developing Knowledge Management Systems" are typically designed to address challenges associated with retaining critical institutional knowledge that is often lost during transitions. These challenges should be carefully considered before selecting the program that would best fit the needs of your agency. For example, these are common challenges agencies face: Lack of Knowledge Transfer. Results indicated that organizations are challenged with finding a way to facilitate transfer of knowledge from older workers who are retiring to younger workers. When knowledge transfer does not occur and an employee leaves an organization, the individual filling the position will take longer to become as productive as the original employee due to a learning curve with the process of coming on board. This leaves employers constantly "reinventing the wheel," thus costing valuable resources such as time and money. Fleeting Institutional Knowledge. Transportation participants indicated that the average age of their employees is around 45. Individuals at the higher end of this spectrum are retiring. Because there is such a large number of potential retirees, organizations are concerned with the amount of institutional knowledge that will be lost from the organization as individuals retire. Organizations are challenged with having an overabundance of unskilled workers and a lack of skilled workers. Participants acknowledged that transportation companies can only support a limited number of unskilled workers as permanent staff. One cause of this issue is the fact that the training required to obtain a skilled position seems to take a significant amount of time to complete. Employees who do not feel they have the time to invest in training in order for advancement to occur also contribute to the retention challenge. 15.2 Industry Strategies. Researchers and program managers identify the following programmatic strategies when describing industry efforts in "Developing Knowledge Management Systems" (see Exhibit 15-2). While these strategies represent the general direction of human resource (HR) departments across the nation, it is important that the specific needs of your agency are used to guide the development and implementation of a program in your agency. Exhibit 15-2 Industry Strategies: Developing Knowledge Management Systems Strategy Strategy Description Create People-Focused During the past decade, the focus of knowledge management (KM) initiatives Knowledge has shifted from a strategy of capturing data and explicit information in portals Management Systems and databases to a strategy of promoting knowledge sharing among people (Cross et al., 2001; Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Parise, 2007). The main advantage of a people-focused strategy is that it enables the sharing of more relevant inferred knowledge, such as employees' experiences, know-how, and other similar or complementary expertise that cannot be captured in documents (Parise, 2007). Implement Some organizations use "communities of practice," where every individual in Communities of the state who performs a unique function or provides a certain service to one Practice local area comes together with other individuals doing the same tasks in other locations in the state. They share ideas, give presentations, solve problems, and develop relationships. They meet in person and online to discuss initiatives and at times influence the direction of policy that directly affects the way they perform their tasks. It is important to keep these meetings structured and well-