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Reducing Voluntary Turnover 63 Exhibit 8-2 (Continued) Industry Strategies: Reducing Voluntary Turnover Strategy Strategy Description Reward Employees To directly combat turnover issues, some organizations are implementing programs where cash bonuses are provided to employees who have accomplished 5, 10, or 15 years of service. More typically, organizations are providing employees with cash bonuses for either performance that goes above and beyond their current job description or for having the lowest number of safety incidents during a designated period of time (e.g., 1 year). It is important to connect workers to their accomplishments and, depending on the person's personality, recognize them publicly. Organizations post pictures of award winners where they can be seen by other employees. It must be noted that public recognition may not be as motivating for employees who are more introverted and those employees may prefer more silent forms of recognition (e.g., individual email from supervisor). Take Care of Employees One way to retain employees is to find out what their work- or non-work- related needs are and determine if the organization can do anything to provide assistance to the employee in balancing their work and personal life demands, to free them up more for work. For example, organizations have found that providing resource and referral services that locate available childcare, provide legal counseling, and identify eldercare resources allows individuals to address personal needs that might otherwise distract from work performance. Furthermore, organizations have found success when they have provided legalization and immigration counseling to employees who may otherwise contribute to attrition if forced to leave the country to avoid deportation. Focus on Retention Research has found a curvilinear relationship between company tenure and Early and Learn From turnover such that turnover rates are high during employees' first year, higher Mistakes in years two and three, and then steadily decrease the longer an employee stays at an organization (Hom, Roberson, and Ellis, 2008). Thus, organizations must focus on retaining employees during their first 3 years of service. 8.3 Workforce Practices. Eight workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of "Reducing Voluntary Turnover" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified two workforce practices that were noteworthy within this context: Regional Transportation District (RTD) Champions of Transit Program Missouri DOT Employee Solutions at Work (SAW) Program 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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64 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Regional Transportation District (RTD) Champions of Transit Program. The Denver metro area's Regional Transportation District (RTD) has approximately 2,600 employees in its workforce with average age of 48 years. RTD struggled with recruitment and retention efforts for several years, an ongoing challenge of retaining employees working split shifts, nights, and in jobs that can be stressful and physically demanding. When RTD was losing an average of 20 employees per month, they decided to implement a program that demonstrates the agency's appreciation for employee involvement in community, organizational, and personal development activities. Champions of Transit integrated community Regional Transportation District (RTD) involvement, employee wellness, and employee Champions of Transit Program recognition activities into one program. The program's mission is to provide excellent service Job Type: All and support in the areas of wellness and ROI: Short-term rehabilitation. By implementing the Champions of Generation: All Transit program, RTD anticipated its employees Key Program Highlights: would become more aware of their health and as a result would remain on the job longer by avoiding o Integrated community involvement, injuries and disability leave and learning how to employee wellness, and employee manage the stress of the job. The Champions of recognition activities Transit program communicates RTD's o On-site physical therapist has saved commitment to being a positive force in the "millions of dollars" community and to employee health, well-being, o Positively impacted agency operations and development. The agency describes the and helped improve performance program in a colorful glossy catalog, Get Involved, Get Healthy, Get Rewards, Get Recognized. This catalog describes the benefits of participation for the employee and the community, steps to get involved, and the rewards for each type or level of involvement. To implement the practice, point values are assigned to each of three types of Champions of Transit activities: Community Outreach, Personal Development, and Hooked on Health. The Community Outreach Program includes RTD promotion booths at fairs and festivals, internal RTD employee events, and community races. The Personal Development component includes wellness center participation and a resource center. The Hooked on Health component is the Employee Wellness Program, which promotes fitness and self-improvement. The initial cost of equipping each district with the appropriate machines and resources for the program was around $200,000. In addition, RTD spends approximately $150,000 in staff salaries and another $40,000 to operate the Champions of Transit program each year. The program also funds an on-site physical therapist, which alone has saved RTD "millions of dollars" in absenteeism, disability leave, and workers' compensation costs. Staff can attend physical therapy daily and must be certified before they return to work, to ensure they are well. RTD monitors health data on prescription costs too, to better understand its employees' health needs. Strengths and weakness of the program are evaluated with feedback obtained from various surveys, including the year-end survey and exit surveys. RTD's Champions of Transit program has impacted agency operations and helped improve performance levels, generating the highest rates of return through its ability to help participants return quickly to work following an injury and reduce absenteeism.
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Reducing Voluntary Turnover 65 Missouri DOT Employee Solutions at Work (SAW) Program. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) employs 6,289 people with an average age of 42 years. MoDOT wanted to foster a culture that supports employees' input and ideas, but struggled with transforming this idea and desire into practice. Additionally, MoDOT employees were unsatisfied with static salaries, and the agency wanted to find a way to recognize employees for performing above expectations. Thus, in 2006 MoDOT established their Solutions at Work (SAW) program, which recognized employees for implementing performance practices that improve daily operations. SAW allows the agency to collect, evaluate, document, and communicate best practices that are Missouri DOT Employee Solutions at Work delivering improved results. Each division (SAW) Program encourages its employees to identify and implement Job Type: All improved processes or new pieces of equipment that ROI: Short-term would make operations more effective, more Generation: All efficient, or safer. Once a best practice has been implemented in a division and has shown improved Key Program Highlights: results, the responsible employee(s) can submit it to o Collects, evaluates, documents, and the SAW program for review. The review process communicates best practices that entails multiple steps, including: (1) an idea advocate deliver improved results who ensures submissions qualify and are complete, o Employees responsible for (2) the division manager who confirms improved submitting best practices that get performance or results, (3) technical reviewers who implemented are awarded 2 days ensure the best practice will have a positive impact leave or $300 on the agency's resources (e.g., time or money) and o 70% and 80% of best practices on organizational performance, and (4) an employee implemented positively impact field advisory counsel member who serves as an objective operations and maintenance last check of feasibility and fairness in the previous performance reviews. Best practices that pass the review process are implemented throughout MoDOT and the responsible employee is awarded up to 2 days of leave or $300. The majority of costs related to the SAW program were incurred during design and implementation. The implementation of SAW required approximately 25 percent of one full-time employee for 7 months, the assistance from an IT programmer to develop the interface for the database, and the support of several staff within the agency to create the Intranet page. Since implementation, the only costs for maintaining the program involve the time it takes to review each practice, which has continued to decrease with experience. Additionally, many best practices that have been implemented throughout MoDOT have saved the organization millions of dollars. MoDOT tracks organizational performance as a result of best practices implemented from the SAW program, and they have observed SAW's ability to continually provide significant improvement and success. For example, MoDOT estimates that between 70% and 80% of the best practices implemented positively impact field operations and maintenance performance. Furthermore, these best practices improve the agency's efficiency and effectiveness by allowing employees to do their work better, faster, and safer in the field. The program also conveys that the agency cares about its employees and ideas, is listening, and will act on them. The program helps the agency foster and reaffirm a culture of innovation and accountability and successfully engages employees.
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66 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Reducing Voluntary Turnover," 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. Arizona DOT Exit Survey Program Idaho Department of Transportation's Employee Engagement, "Your Voice" (IDT's) Non-Managerial Career Ladder Employer Recognition Program Program Realistic Job Preview Recruitment and Attrition Lifecycle 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.