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OCR for page 124
124 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce 17.3 Workforce Practices. Four workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of creating a positive "Work-Life Balance" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified one workforce practice that was noteworthy within this context: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Alternative Duty Location For this practice, we conducted a case study. A summary of the case study is presented below. The full case study 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 description details each practice's background, implementation, maintenance, evaluation, and transferability.

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Work-Life Balance 125 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Alternative Duty Location. The Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administration (FHWA) has approximately 2,900 Alternative Duty Location employees in its workforce, the majority of which Job Type: Professional are between 40 and 50 years of age. FHWA's ROI: Short-term Alternative Duty Location (ADL) program was designed in 2007, piloted in 2008/2009, evaluated in Generation: All late 2009 and adopted as a full program in April Key Program Highlights: 2010. For several years, the FHWA had struggled o Allows managers greater flexibility with resource allocation issues. The depth of the when advertising positions to obtain a candidate pool for vacancy announcements was very deeper candidate pool while also shallow. One of the specific resource allocation benefiting the applicant who may not issues was that the FHWA had technical and policy be able to move to Washington, D.C., positions in Washington, D.C., that remained vacant to operate out of offices in locations due to a lack of qualified applicants applying for that have a low cost of living while those positions. FHWA struggled to convince working with teams and supervisors qualified candidates to relocate to Washington, D.C., that operate out of offices in locations because this was a condition of accepting the that may have a higher cost of living position. The results of an employee survey o Aimed to increase the number of confirmed that one of the reasons employees were qualified applicants who apply to leaving the agency is because they felt they could positions in high cost of living areas not advance without moving to Washington, D.C. Adding to the challenge of relocation was the o Resulted in the ability to quickly fill continual spiral of the economy and the difficulty vacant positions, greater opportunity with selling a home that may have been purchased in for advancement, higher retention a higher economic market. This issue, the number of rates, increased exposure to issues and positions left vacant, and the duration of time policy at a national level positions were vacant was used to support the idea of strategically addressing resource allocation issues. At the conclusion of the study, the FHWA executive management team met and decided to pilot the ADL concept. The Alternative Duty Location (ADL) program is an initiative of the FHWA where employees operate out of offices located where there is a lower cost of living, while working with teams and supervisors that operate out of offices in locations that may have a higher cost of living, particularly Washington, D.C. The HR department and the Information Management Services department researched existing offices to determine their feasibility as an alternative duty location. To date, 26 locations have been identified as "cost desirable" and approved as ADL. As part of the implementation of the ADL program in April 2010, the FHWA established an ADL Coordinator position to develop, manage, track, and educate the managers on the use of the ADL program. Annually, each FHWA program office will be required to look at their potential future job vacancies and assess if they should be advertised as ADLs. The manager then works with the ADL Coordinator and HR to advertise the position in one of the approved ADL locations. Once hired, the new employee performs his/her daily tasks just as if he/she were in the office with the exception of daily face- to-face contact. The major objective of this program is to increase the number of qualified applicants that apply to positions in high cost of living areas. As of July 2010, there were 38 ADL employees in the program. The majority of these are HQ employees that would have otherwise been located in Washington, D.C. Vacant positions are now being filled shortly after they are advertised. Employees have suggested that they are less likely to leave the agency because there is no longer a lack of opportunity to advance without

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126 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce relocation to a higher-cost area. Employees may still be required to relocate but just not into Washington, D.C. Employees in field offices are becoming exposed to issues and policy at a national level that they would not have been exposed to before. Non-ADL employees can use ADL employees in their office as a resource to gain a more national perspective on FHWA or on the initiatives at headquarters The ADL program has proven to be a win/win for both the agency and the employees. Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Work-Life Balance," 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. Google's Recruiting Culture Job Sharing Instituting Worker-Friendly Personnel Policies 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.