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90 Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce 12.1 Workforce Challenges. Programs related to "Leadership Development" are typically designed to address challenges associated with developing supervisors' communication and management skills needed to maintain healthy relationships with their employees. Furthermore, identifying and implementing training that teaches these skills to supervisors is a major challenge due to their expense in time and resources, stringent training budgets, lack of buy-in from top management, and resistance to change. 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: Interviewing Skills. Participants indicated that some supervisors at their organization do not possess the skills necessary to determine whether a candidate is qualified for the job or to compare candidates in different skill areas. Organizations struggle to ensure that applicants are getting an unbiased and valid evaluation. Difficulty Choosing Leaders. Our findings suggested that poor management or relationships with supervisors can force employees who like their job and perform well to leave an organization to seek better leadership. Poor management often results from internal recruitment practices that place individuals in supervisory positions based on technical skills rather than managerial skills. While it is helpful for individuals in management to have institutional and technical knowledge, this knowledge does not substitute for effective leadership skills. Lack of Training for Leaders/Supervisors. The phrase "employees don't leave companies, they leave supervisors" was commonly mentioned among focus group participants. Organizations struggle to convince supervisors that they must communicate in a way that each can hear or to improve skills. This issue of mismanagement is not only concerned with the frequency of direction or feedback but also related to the clarity and applicability of the communication. Participants indicated that their organizations do not provide enough training programs that specifically teach supervisors how to communicate, motivate, and lead employees. Some supervisors do not have regular one-on-one conversations with their employees because the supervisors do not realize the benefit of communicating and motivating employees differently when needed. Organizations are challenged with evaluating managers and finding ways to transfer "soft skills." The organizations also struggle to get managers to frequently recognize, and in some cases not feel threatened by, employees who exceed performance expectations. Exit interviews show that the majority of employees decide to leave because they feel under-appreciated, while still others feel they are being overworked without recognition. 12.2 Industry Strategies. Researchers and program managers identify the following programmatic strategies when describing industry efforts in "Leadership Development" (see Exhibit 12- 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 12-2 Industry Strategies: Leadership Development Strategy Strategy Description Provide Leadership Organizations have begun to provide new managers with not only technical Training training, but also training regarding how to motivate, evaluate, and provide recognition to employees. These courses convey to supervisors that the organization wants to provide them with the right skills necessary for success