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84 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Exhibit 11-2 (Continued) Industry Strategies: Improving Culture/Climate Strategy Strategy Description likely to retain organizational information after a few months of learning their new job. Secondly, organizations have found that the 6 month point is a critical time in retention where employees are evaluating their job choice. Engaging them at this time may positively influence their decision to stay with the organization. For more tenured employees, organizations have found ways to connect front- line personnel directly with executives. This can be accomplished through anonymous web portals or face-to-face interviews known as "Stand-Up" or "Town Meetings." In some cases, representatives of corporate leadership travel from one office to another holding focus groups or interviews where, without their immediate supervisors, employees can provide feedback on the work environment, leadership, and climate of that office. Two important aspects of these tools are that employees cannot experience incidents where they are retaliated against actively or passively for providing feedback and action must be occasionally taken based on the feedback received. 11.3 Workforce Practices. Eight workforce practices that were designed to assist in making the process of "Improving Culture/Climate" within transportation agencies efficient and effective were reviewed, and we identified two workforce practices that were noteworthy within this context: City of Annapolis DOT (ADT) Inter-Office Committee (IOC) South Carolina DOT (SCDOT) Rehabilitation 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 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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Improving Culture/Climate 85 City of Annapolis DOT (ADT) Inter-Office Committee (IOC). The city of Annapolis Department of Transportation employs 106 people among three components, including drivers, mechanics, and administrators. The agency provides transportation City of Annapolis DOT (ADT) Inter-Office to recreational areas, shopping centers, educational Committee (IOC) and medical facilities, and employment hubs via three shuttle routes, a fixed-route system comprised Job Type: All of 11 routes, and a deviated fixed-route service ROI: Short-term offered to the elderly and persons with disabilities. Generation: All Key Program Highlights: The city of Annapolis Transit Department started developing and piloting the concept for the Inter- o Fosters inclusive decision making Office Committee (IOC) in 2005. The idea of the among employees allowing them to IOC came from a teamwork training course that the take ownership of problem solving agency's director attended. During this time, it within the Department became apparent to management that it was difficult o ~6 employees at each monthly to get everyone on the same page in terms of meeting following policy because messages from the director o Significantly increases employee would either not be received or be manipulated morale before reaching the front lines. Break-downs in communication caused some employees to become disgruntled and morale was dangerously low. The Inter-Office Committee (IOC) holds monthly meetings where two volunteer representatives from each of the department's three components discuss issues and develop solutions. The purpose behind the program is to foster inclusive decision-making among employees allowing them to take ownership of problem solving within the department. Representatives not only bring information to these meetings but also take information back to their components with the responsibility of disseminating the information to other co-workers. There are typically six employees at each meeting. Meetings last between 1 hour and 90 minutes. Representatives serve for a period of 6 months, at which time they are replaced and new volunteers serve. Volunteers commit to maintaining performance equivalent to other employees and to accepting the responsibilities that are delegated to them by the committee. The first step in implementation of the IOC was to meet with each agency component and disseminate information about the new program. The second step was to ask for volunteers. The third step was to hold the first meeting. Ongoing steps include holding meetings, recording minutes, briefing the director, solving problems, educating new volunteers on the program, and evaluating the program's success. The pilot program started in 2005 and lasted for 2 years. The result of the program has been a significant increase in employee morale. Employees express excitement to volunteer for the group. One specific example is that, in the past, memos with new information or policy changes were handed to employees in paper form and employees signed-off that they read the memo. The tendency has been for drivers to only pay attention to operational information and then feel uninformed when it came to administrative or mechanics component information. The group decided to supplement written notification with monthly "Driver Meetings," which are staff meetings for the driver component. The "Driver Meetings" and written memo combination has been more effective in making sure that drivers hear the necessary information. The drivers also decided that a portion of the meeting should be used to collect issues for the IOC to discuss. Drivers that have been part of the committee report that being part of the group gave them a better understanding of how the department works and how they fit into the big picture. It also gives employees a process by which to solve problems they encounter in the field as opposed to the common process before where they would just immediately fill out a grievance with the union. If their issue cannot be solved by the group, they are still provided

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86 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce with information on why the issue exists. Issues that are not addressed are commonly incorporated into training programs. Another workforce issue that this process has helped to alleviate is the tendency for employees who are performing below an acceptable level to go unidentified until after their probationary period. After this period, it is more difficult to terminate these employees. Now, with the IOC, poor performers are quickly identified and terminated.

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Improving Culture/Climate 87 South Carolina DOT Rehabilitation Program. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has approximately 5,000 to 5,300 people deployed across the state with about 900 people in their central headquarters, located in Columbia. In late 1997 and 1998, SCDOT had begun its strategic South Carolina DOT Rehabilitation Program planning process and the state was also experiencing Job Type: Maintenance robust economic growth. During this time, SCDOT ROI: Short-term experienced significant turnover and realized the need for work environment changes. SCDOT did not have Generation: All the financial ability to increase employee Key Program Highlights: compensation. In addition, many SCDOT facilities in o Prior to the program's initiation, more the districts were in need of significant refurbishing. than 46% of buildings were 30+ years At the time this program started, state government old and had yet to be updated also had a privatization push which led to an increased o Since 2000, SCDOT spent from one to use of contractors and moved some of SCDOT's two million dollars per year maintenance workers from field jobs to supervisory rehabilitating buildings jobs providing oversight to the contractors. This move to more desk jobs made facility improvements that o Helps decrease turnover and safety much more important since workers began spending violations, while improving more time in the facilities. SCDOT determined that environmental practices and employee making basic updates to the facilities would help to morale enhance the work environment for employees and hopefully maintain good employee morale. While the idea to make these structural changes to buildings began in 1998, the program (entitled the "rehabilitation program") officially launched in 2000. Prior to the initiation of the rehabilitation program, more than 46% of SCDOT buildings were 30+ years old and had yet to be updated. Some of the initial changes made to facilities included adding restrooms or improving existing restrooms. Initiatives focused on addressing basic human needs. Starting in 2000, SCDOT spent from $1 to $2 million per year rehabilitating buildings by making improvements to electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, the work space, replacing windows and doors, and generally improving the work environment. In the past 8 years, SCDOT has spent approximately 20% of its capital improvement budget on the rehabilitation program. Recently, due to a decrease in new construction projects, the rehabilitation program has accounted for approximately 50% of the agency's capital improvement budget. While direct measures of employee satisfaction with the rehabilitation program have not been utilized, "word of mouth" claims by employees, overall observance of employee morale, decreased turnover, decreased safety violations, and improved environmental practices all suggest this program has been successful.

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88 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce Other Example Practices To serve as an additional resource for agencies interested in "Improving Culture/Climate," 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. Annual Employee Surveys High Employee Involvement as a Strategy Employee Work Space Upgrade for Retention Florida DOT Uniforms for Maintenance King County Metro Transit Culture Change Workers Program Organizational Integration Survey 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.