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3-1 Chapter 3: Building Internal Staff Capacity Building internal staff capacity is critical so airports can ensure their current workforce has the skills and knowledge required for the future. Skill needs are continuously evolving due to technology and regulatory changes, and the importance of certain capabilities such as airport- specific knowledge and personal effectiveness continues to grow. Chapter Overview This chapter addresses building internal staff capacity by developing the skills and enhancing the knowledge of the current airport workforce. It focuses on ways that airports can determine their greatest skill needs, as well as how they can implement methods to bolster the skills and knowledge of their staff. The specific workforce capacity needs related to this challenge include the following: D. Addressing new skill gaps from industry change E. Increasing airport-specific knowledge The research conducted to identify these workforce capacity needs is further detailed in the ACRP Web-Only Document 28. Within this chapter, four detailed action plans are included to address these specific workforce capacity needs. The strategies featured in these action plans include the following: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Establish Formal Mentoring Program Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Following the action plans, there are three separate toolkits that can guide airports through strategy implementation related to building internal staff capacity. They include the following: Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit Mentoring Program Toolkit Job Shadowing Program Toolkit Finally, the chapter concludes with two case studies that demonstrate how airports have successfully implemented strategies to address the challenge of building internal staff capacity.
3-2 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Description of the Workforce Capacity Challenge As described in Chapter 2, airports find attracting new talent to the workforce to be a major challenge. However, the challenge does not end once employees are hired. Once employees are in the workforce, it is necessary to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed for success on the job, which helps to position the workforce to meet future needs of the airport. One factor contributing to this challenge of building capacity in the internal workforce is that skill needs are constantly evolving. For example, several new technologies have emerged in recent years focused on enhancing the passenger experience, improving safety, and increasing efficiency of airport operations. The types of roles performed and the requirements of current airport jobs change with the introduction of these new technologies. Skill needs can also emerge from changes such as new regulations or updated organizational processes. Many of the new skill needs are related to technical aspects of the job. And while technical skills are important for all airport occupations, personal effectiveness and professional skills are equally critical and sometimes overlooked by airports in their developmental and training programs. Airport leaders described concerns regarding employee skill deficiencies in areas such as writing, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving. These skills are needed to succeed in the increasingly collaborative, dynamic, and complex airport environment. Further impacting this challenge is that airport personnel function within a complex ecosystem that includes airport personnel, airline and other tenant staff, federal employees (e.g., TSA, FAA), and the general public. Shared understanding of roles and responsibilities across these different entities contributes to the safe movement of aircraft, passengers, and equipment throughout the airport. It is vital that airport personnel quickly get up to speed on the current safety management expectations for airport employees so they can recognize potential hazards and promote safe operations. Approaches for airports to build internal staff capacity include the following: 1. Address new skill gaps from industry changes. New skills must be developed in the current airport workforce and/or embedded in curricula to facilitate skill growth. Focus needs to be on both evolving technical and personal effectiveness skill needs to fully prepare employees for the future. Employees who are flexible, able to adapt to new situations, and have strong interpersonal skills are in great demand across airports. Airports must take a proactive approach to ensure that their current workforce has the skills needed for future success. One industry expert noted some airports offer an âAirports 101â type of course that introduces board members and senior staff to the airport environment, but this type of course is not commonplace for staff positions. Of 746 airport stakeholders surveyed in Phase 1 of this effort: â¢ Over 50% indicated that personal effectiveness skills were a training and development challenge for six mission-critical occupations. â¢ 85% agreed that the most important requirement for the future workforce is industry- specific knowledge about airports.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-3 2. Increase airport-specific knowledge. Across jobs, airport workers need airport knowledge in addition to technical, job-specific expertise to be prepared for future success. Knowing how oneâs job fits within the larger airport ecosystem will be critical as new systems, such as safety management, grow in importance and technology applications become ever more integrated into all aspects of airport operations. The following infographics recap highlights and data contained in ACRP Web-Only Document 28 regarding the challenge of building internal staff capacity.
3-4 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-5 Action Plans for Building Internal Staff Capacity This section of the chapter includes four action plans that airports may use for improving internal staff capacity. Information describing the strategy, implementation steps, resource requirements, and alternate approaches is included in each action plan. The action plans described in this section are summarized in the table below. Action Plan Overview Page Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs A useful way to identify skill needs and gaps in an airportâs workforce is to conduct a gap analysis. Using this strategy, airports can make sure that their employees will have the skills needed to ensure success. This action plan includes guidance to help airports identify and prioritize skill gaps and shows various approaches to gap analysis ranging from formal to more informal. 3-6 Establish Formal Mentoring Program Mentoring programs support employee development programs and improve engagement levels. When mentors and mentees are paired purposefully, a high quality mechanism to support employees and share knowledge can be developed. This action plan highlights the benefits of utilizing formal mentoring programs and outlines how to develop and implement these programs effectively. It also provides alternative, less formal approaches to mentoring. 3-10 Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Communities of Practice (CoPs) provide an opportunity for members to meet and share work-related knowledge with one another, resulting in improved personal capabilities for participants. This action plan describes the type of structure required for a CoP and how it supports building internal staff capacity. The plan also lays out steps to accomplish implementation of this strategy. 3-17 Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Employee skill development can occur through the observation of various airport jobs or being given the opportunity to perform different job duties within the airport. This action plan describes both job shadowing and job rotation programs. While these types of programs involve different levels of effort, they both help employees learn about the airport more broadly and improve their skills by viewing other jobs within the airport. 3-24
3-6 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Pro Tip Refer to the Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit beginning on page 3-37 for resources to help throughout the gap analysis process. Description. Industry advances and growing business demands (e.g., regulatory pressures) are resulting in skill requirements that have yet to be developed in the current airport workforce. For example, across the airport industry, there are a number of new technologies being introduced to enhance the passenger experience or improve the safety and efficiency of airport operations. Technology is expected to permeate every functional area of the airport in the next 5â10 years. Both the types of roles performed and the requirements of current airport jobs are changing as a result of the introduction of these technologies. Once skill gaps have been identified, they should be prioritized based on the magnitude of the gaps as gaps with the highest priority should be focused on first. Strategies to address those needs can then be developed and implemented. For example, depending upon the nature of the need, it may require establishing new training programs, creating a new position, and/or updating recruiting and selection materials. Overall, conducting periodic gap analyses can help airports ensure that their employees possess the skills necessary to meet future requirements. Action Plan 5: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Overview of Strategic Recommendation Strategy Highlights â¢ Conducting a gap analysis can help airports identify and prioritize skill gaps in their workforce and ensure they are prepared for industry changes. â¢ Various approaches can be used ranging from a formal gap analysis to informally capturing new industry information. â¢ Action plans to address prioritized skill gaps should be developed from the results. To address these evolving demands, it is critical for airports to regularly assess job requirements, workforce needs, and skill gaps that may emerge. Depending on the time and resources available to conduct this type of analysis, several different approaches may be used. A traditional gap analysis involves measuring the current state of the workforce by assessing existing skill sets and skill proficiency levels, determining the required future state of the workforce by identifying the skill levels needed to fulfill future workforce requirements, and assessing the gaps between these two states. This approach will be the primary focus of this action plan; however, alternatives are also suggested, such as identifying key industry changes and trends by attending industry conferences or events and surveying the workforce about their greatest training needs. well as the urgency of skill needs to achieve the strategic and operational demands of the airport. The
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-7 K-12 Comm College 4-Year College Graduate School Early Career Mid-Career Late Career Retirees Other Key Stakeholder(s) â¢ Senior and mid-level leaders Action Plan Lead(s) â¢ Human resources leader Resources Needed: â¢ Data collection protocols (e.g., interview/focus group questions, survey) â¢ Online survey software (optional) â¢ Space to conduct focus group sessions (optional) â¢ Time commitment from all participants involved in the gap analysis 1. Develop detailed gap analysis plan, including the specific methods to be used for the current state and future state assessments. 2. Communicate the plan, objectives for the gap analysis, and required time commitments from all participants. 3. Ensure support for both the gap analysis process and actions needed to address the identified gaps. Target Career Stages Mission-Critical Airport Occupations Targeted Workforce Types Action Plan 5 Contâd: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Planning Features Engineer Financial Analysis & Planning IT Project Planning Airport Development Airport Ops Airport Security Electrician Pr oc es s fo r O bt ai ni ng B uy -In Target Audience Senior/Exec Leadership Frontline Workers Mid-Level Leaders Administrative Support Staff Technical Personnel First-Line Supervisors
3-8 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Implementation Lead(s) â¢ Human resources leader 1. Launch communication plan. Inform involved employees about the gap analysis process and objectives in advance of gathering data to circumvent any potential concerns about the intent of the effort. 2. Define the future state of airport job requirements. Conduct interviews and/or focus groups with leadership and supervisors to identify how existing jobs will be impacted by industry trends in terms of the types of tasks the workforce will be required to perform, which occupational areas (e.g., finance, IT, operations) will be the most affected by changes, and skill sets and proficiency levels that will be required to perform new job tasks within current and future roles. As part of this assessment, also consider future trends for the industry by reviewing resources such as ACRP Web-Only Document 28, attending industry conferences or events, or talking with industry experts. 3. Assess the current capacity of the workforce. Before estimating future gaps, it is important to understand current skill gaps and how those might grow or become less important as job roles change. Surveys or interviews with supervisors can be used to measure (1) what level of proficiency in a skill is needed to perform airport jobs effectively and (2) the proficiency level of current airport employees within specified airport jobs. Aggregate the data across employees within a similar job function. The goal of this assessment is to gain an understanding of overall skill gaps (i.e., needed levels and current levels across staff) and not to evaluate individual achievement. 4. Compare results between the current capacity and future state to identify gaps. Prioritize gaps to be addressed based on the magnitude of the gaps identified as well as the urgency of skill needs according to strategic and operational needs. 5. Develop action plans to close the highest priority gaps. Depending on the nature of the need, it may require actions such as developing or acquiring new training programs, updating recruiting and selection materials to identify new skill needs, or creating a new position. For example, it may become clear that the current workforce does not possess IT skills that will be needed to work with the increased use of technology at the airport. This would suggest that the airport emphasize recruitment of new employees with IT skills aligned to the identified needs, or that a training program for current employees could be developed to teach these skills. Estimated Time to Implement 0-3 months 3-6 months 7 months - 1 year More than 1 year Key Stakeholder(s) â¢ All involved employees, including senior and mid-level leaders at minimum, and potentially other employees Return on Investment Less than 1 year 1-3 years 3-5 years Implementation Factors Action Plan 5 Contâd: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Im pl em en ta ti on S te ps
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-9 Obstacles & Considerations Key Success Factors â¢ Immediate successful output will be a prioritized list of gaps with action plans to address those identified as highest priority â¢ Ultimate success will involve skill gaps that are closed as a result of the gap analysis action plans, ensuring that the airport is prepared to meet its future skill needs â¢ Sufficient participation from leaders and employees is required to gather input on the current and future state of the workforce â¢ Ensure sufficient support and resource allocation to act on gap analysis results, which could require actions such as developing new training or hiring for new positions Action Plan 5 Contâd: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Adapting to Industry Change â¢ Changing Technologies: Gap analysis can help airports ensure that their workforce possesses the skills required to be successful using changing technologies such as NextGen, cloud computing, social media, or analytics software. â¢ SMS Requirements: Similarly, gap analysis can help airports to identify any needed skill improvements to address SMS requirements related to safety factors and risks. â¢ New Business Models: New business models such as changes to the organizational structure or governance model may require the workforce to develop new skill sets that can be identified through gap analysis. â¢ Outsourcing Relationships: When large gaps are identified through a gap analysis, outsourcing certain job responsibilities is one approach for closing these gaps. Sustain Quantifiable Outcomes/Measures of Impact 1. Gap analysis should be conducted periodically, which allows the opportunity to monitor changes in employee proficiency levels over time. When action has been taken to close gaps, there should be a measurable improvement when the next analysis is conducted. 2. In the short term, leaders should be consulted about the impact of actions taken as a result of the gap analysis, including the degree to which proficiency of the workforce has improved. Alternative Approaches â¢ Identify key industry changes and trends by attending industry conferences or events and talking with industry experts, then assess how prepared the workforce is to respond to these changes. â¢ Survey the workforce about their greatest talent needs to identify the skills employees and supervisors perceive to be most in need of improvement. â¢ Conduct a gap analysis to identify needs other than skills. For example, the analysis could determine whether the policies, benefits, and support programs the airport has in place are motivating the employees and leading to positive work behaviors.
3-10 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity criteria that will ensure the compatibility of the pair as well as the growth of the mentee. Mentoring assignments are typically long term, often lasting 6 months to 1 year. This allows mentors and mentees the opportunity to get to know one another and develop a strong relationship. The intent of the one-on-one mentoring relationship is to provide general career guidance to less experienced employees and to help the mentee grow within his/her career as opposed to focusing on a particular technical trade or project requirement. However, if the mentee is struggling with understanding how to perform a task that could be familiar to the mentor, mentoring can offer the opportunity to seek valuable technical advice. While mentoring pairs should be provided with developmental exercises and guidance to prompt developmental discussion, ultimately each pair should own their mentoring relationship and determine how the relationship should evolve based on areas of need for the mentee. Action Plan 6: Establish Formal Mentoring Program Overview of Strategic Recommendation Strategy Highlights â¢ Through mentoring, new or junior employees learn from those with more experience. â¢ Mentoring helps create a culture of sharing and support within the airport. â¢ Formal mentoring programs require matching of mentors and mentees based on specific criteria versus selecting themselves. â¢ Mentoring programs should include developmental activities, frequent check-ins, and evaluation to make sure the program is effective. Description. Mentoring is a valuable tool to help employees develop in their career and prepare for future job roles. Mentoring programs pair new or junior employees with an employee who is more experienced or knowledgeable to develop a supportive relationship and enhance skill development for the employee. Mentoring initiatives can be successful as standalone programs or under the umbrella of other strategic workforce initiatives, such as succession planning. Mentoring involves two parties â the mentee and mentor. Mentoring programs tend to be most successful when mentors volunteer to participate. Still, the airport can incentivize participation by creating recognition programs, awards, and even competencies against which leaders are evaluated on their mentoring role. For mentees, assignment of mentors typically occurs upon hire or when the mentee enters a new role within the airport that presents unique challenges or career opportunities. Mentor-mentee pairs should be assigned by a division, program, or human resources lead based on specific
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-11 Pro Tip Refer to the Mentoring Program Agreement on page 3-50 to help when establishing new mentor- mentee relationships. Real-World Example An industry expert shared that a medium-sized regional airport authority launched a succession planning program. One component of the program includes mentoring for high potential candidates identified as potential successors to help prepare them for future leadership positions. Mentoring relationships are valuable for helping the mentee determine what he/she wants to do in the future, which can determine the best career track to pursue as well as the developmental opportunities to seek out to achieve the desired career outcome. Mentors guide mentees in how to successfully carry out their job responsibilities while helping mentees determine what they want to accomplish within their job or career and how. These personal relationships are a key means of ensuring that employees have the airport-specific knowledge, as well as relevant personal skills, needed to be successful within their job. Mentoring also helps employees learn effective ways to overcome obstacles to career success through structured, problem-focused dialogue with seasoned airport employees and leaders. Mentoring programs can also be used to socialize entry-level staff or employees who are new to the airport industry. The mentor is able to share with the employees how work flows within the airport, what leadership values, and who to engage to complete various tasks. Across industries, mentees in organizational mentoring programs display more rapid promotions, greater productivity, and higher competence and confidence than those who do not participate in mentoring. Research has shown that beyond the individual gain for employees, mentoring is an effective retention strategy for an organization and helps the employee feel like a valued member of the organization through the career-related support provided; career support then translates into increased employee commitment to the organization (Payne & Huffman, 2005). Because of the knowledge gained and career guidance, mentoring programs have also been shown to increase employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity (Allen et al., 2004; Payne & Huffman, 2005). Finally, mentoring programs often introduce employees from different parts of the organization thereby encouraging more communication across the airport; this increased communication helps cultivate a culture in which knowledge is valued and employees help each other learn and be successful. Many of the mission-critical jobs highlighted in the first phase of research for this project (see ACRP Web- Only Document 28) require sourcing employees from outside the airport industry (e.g., trade jobs). Thus, mentoring can guide these new hires through elements of the job that may be unique to airports. For example, mentors can ask their mentees about aspects of the job that they are finding to be most unfamiliar or challenging compared to their prior industry and help the mentee find ways to overcome those challenges. Additionally, mentoring relationships allow employees to see a more complete picture of the career paths that lie ahead through the vantage point of the mentor. So beyond building knowledge and skills, these programs can help airports and their employees prepare for future success. Airport mentoring programs should be established to support the career development of both entry- and mid-level staff in all airport occupations, to provide guidance and advice on how to successfully navigate a career within the organization and the greater airport industry, and to assist with overall career advancement. Whether using a formal or informal mentoring program, the key to this strategy is making sure that employees are able to learn about airport-specific information on the job from other employees within the airport. These opportunities focus on individualized experiences and developing relationships to support knowledge gain in needed areas. Action Plan 6 Contâd: Establish Formal Mentoring Program
3-12 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Other Key Stakeholders â¢ Mentors: Experienced mid-level and senior- level leaders â¢ Mentees: Entry-level through mid-level staff Action Plan Lead(s) â¢ Senior leadership â¢ Director of HR or senior HR manager â¢ Chief administrative officer Resources Needed: â¢ Senior leaders and senior management who recognize the importance of the mentoring programs and are willing to provide resources and support â¢ A sufficient number of potential mentors and mentees who may be interested in participating in program 1. Identify the most senior-level support that will be needed to implement and sustain the program. Prepare to outline the benefits and costs of implementing a mentoring program to this senior leadership. 2. Determine who should participate in the program; leadership may be more willing to support the program if it is first attempted with a small group and then expanded once successes are demonstrated. 3. Consider which divisions/functional areas will be impacted by the roll-out of the program (based on who will be asked to serve as mentors or mentees) and then elicit support from the division leads prior to making mentoring assignments. 4. Decide how the program will be evaluated and provide frequent updates (e.g., every 6 weeks, quarterly) on program milestones and achievements to leadership. 5. Market the program internally so that employees are aware of the program and know how to get involved. 6. Gather participantsâ testimonials about their experiences in the program to encourage others to get involved as the program expands. K-12 Comm College 4-Year College Graduate School Early Career Mid-Career Late Career Retirees Target Career Stages Mission-Critical Airport Occupations Targeted Workforce Types Action Plan 6 Contâd: Establish Formal Mentoring Program Planning Features Pr oc es s f or O bt ai ni ng B uy -In Target Audience Engineer Financial Analysis & Planning IT Project Planning Airport Development Airport Ops Airport Security Electrician Senior/Exec Leadership Frontline Workers Mid-Level Leaders Administrative Support Staff Technical Personnel First-Line Supervisors
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-13 Implementation Lead(s) â¢ Designated HR or training personnel â¢ Identified mentoring program coordinator â¢ Steering committee or working group for the mentoring program Estimated Time to Implement 0-3 months 3-6 months 7 months â 1 year More than 1 year Key Stakeholder(s) â¢ Senior leadership â¢ Airport employees across career levels Return on Investment Less than 1 year 1-3 years 3-5 years Implementation Factors Action Plan 6 Contâd: Establish Formal Mentoring Program 1. Develop a steering committee or working group for the mentoring program. The steering committee should include members of HR or training who may have experience with mentoring or other developmental programs, influential leaders with wide organizational visibility, and employees from different departments to ensure the committee has a broad picture of employee needs and can generate collateral resources that will promote development across mentoring pairs. 2. Establish the goals, intended outcomes, and milestones of the mentoring program. The goals should state how the program intends to develop employees, which employees the program will target, and what specific outcomes should be expected for each mentoring pair. The airport should then determine how and when it will measure success against both employee and organizational goals. 3. Establish a workplan and requirements for the mentoring program. When developing the structure of the program, consider timeline for implementation and commencing the program, how often mentor-mentee pairs will meet, requirements for participation, policies for the program (e.g., mentor and mentee responsibilities, rules of engagement/guidelines on appropriate behaviors and dialogue), the types of meetings or activities that will be planned for the pairs, budget, term of the mentoring arrangement, and any other necessary details. 4. Develop content for the mentoring program. The program content should be guided by the goals of the program. For example, if the airport seeks to achieve greater knowledge sharing across functional areas, mentoring activities should focus on how employees can develop within their own role as well as learn about other roles and collaborate with colleagues across the organization. Content often includes guidelines for how the mentoring should be conducted, planning templates to help identify what will be discussed in mentoring meetings and how frequently the pair will meet, guidance on identifying need areas for the mentee (e.g., reflective questions about strengths/weaknesses), worksheets that include simple assignments or problem-solving activities to complete in mentoring sessions, and plans for evaluating the success of the program. Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s
3-14 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity 5. Identify and secure the resources needed for the program. This step involves making sure that all of the needed resources are known and prepared for, so challenges do not arise after program implementation due to missing or unexpected resource needs. For example, it may be necessary to secure meeting space for the mentor-mentee pairs, funding for certain activities (e.g., lunch meet-ups), or resources for other initiatives to help mentors and mentees be successful in building rapport with one another. 6. Develop tools and practical tips for the program participants that will help them have successful mentoring relationships within the program. Examples of the types of tools that will be useful could include a mentoring program handbook that lays out key information such as roles and responsibilities, expectations, and intended outcomes of the program. Additionally, it can be helpful to have tools such as handouts that describe high quality communication in mentor-mentee pairs or tools that will help guide the mentoring relationship, such as a Mentoring Program Agreement that specifies how information will be handled (an agreement template is provided later in this chapter). 7. Match mentors and mentees. Pairs should be created in a way that matches them on important characteristics, such as interests, career goals, areas of expertise, experience level, demographic characteristics, or other priority characteristics. For example, if the goal of the mentoring program is to support underrepresented employees in their career progression, it might be beneficial to pair a new female engineer with a female senior leader in engineering. Alternatively, if the goal is to transfer knowledge, employees nearing retirement can be matched to mid-level employees who are one âstep backâ from the retiring employee on a career path. The matching process can be conducted manually, but there are also several tools that can be purchased (e.g., MentorcliQ, Mentoring Talent by Insala) to aid with mentor matching. 8. Check in with participants during the course of the mentoring program. This check in could be done during occasional workshops or focus groups to ensure the participants are making progress and walk them through activities to help strengthen communication and learn best practices in mentoring. Alternatively, program leaders can check in with participants individually to make sure they are seeing benefits and, if not, identify course corrections. 9. Evaluate the mentoring program. Once the mentoring program is complete, it is important to gather feedback from participants on the best parts of the program, what worked, and what did not work. This is valuable because it can then be used to make adjustments and improve the program before its next iteration. Additionally, an airport can gather data on desired outcomes to determine if the program met its goals, as well as benefits experienced by the mentor, mentee, and the airport as a whole. Action Plan 6 Contâd: Establish Formal Mentoring Program Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s ( Co nti nu ed )
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-15 Obstacles & Considerations Key Success Factors â¢ Mentor/mentee pairs should establish a set of goals to focus on during the program â¢ Mentor/mentee pairs should meet on a consistent basis â¢ Group activities should help build and reinforce mentor/mentee interactions â¢ Resource constraints may limit the number of individuals who can participate â¢ Employees not selected for the program may be angry or upset â¢ Care needs to be taken in matching mentor-mentee pairs to ensure that they will be a good fit and benefit one another Action Plan 6 Contâd: Establish Formal Mentoring Program Sustain Quantifiable Outcomes/Measures of Impact 1. Increased career progression for employees who participate as mentees 2. Improved mentoring program by gathering feedback from participants on the positive and negative elements of their experience 3. Strong relationships between mentors and mentees that provide interpersonal and career support 4. Improved interpersonal communication for program participants 5. Increased employee engagement and retention Alternative Approaches When a full-fledged mentoring program cannot be established due to airport size or resource constraints, airports could implement periodic knowledge-sharing forums. These forums could be conducted during the lunch hour and include leaders discussing their professional experiences as part of a panel. Employees may be encouraged to bring their own lunch to the meeting to avoid extra cost. These particular brown bag sessions could be structured similar to communities of practice (CoPs) in that a specific topic is chosen, employees are asked to read about that topic in advance, and leaders are encouraged to share experiences related to the specific topic. This approach ensures the brown bag sessions are focused and productive. Typically, leaders are encouraged to make themselves accessible following the sessions by offering specific hours they are available to employees for follow-up questions. Despite encouraging the leaders to be accessible, this approach does miss the relationship-building component that has proved to be highly effective with mentoring programs. Similar to this approach, mentoring circles involve a leader mentoring a small group of mentees in a group setting.
3-16 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Action Plan 6 Contâd: Establish Formal Mentoring Program Adapting to Industry Change â¢ Changing Demographics: Creating mentor-mentee pairs in which participants are matched based on demographic factors (e.g., race, sex) may increase the retention of underrepresented groups of employees in airports and help mentors and mentees to better connect. With increased demographic diversity in airports, this type of matching for mentoring relationships can show minority members how someone similar to them has been successful in the airport work environment. â¢ Compensation Competition: Research shows employees who participate in mentoring relationships have improved career progression, which can increase the money that they are able to earn. â¢ New Business Models: Mentoring relationships can help employees understand and work within new business models, specifically when a mentor who understands important business practices is selected.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-17 Description. A community of practice (CoP) involves a group of individuals who come together with a common purpose to engage in structured discussion and learn from one another (Meyerhoff, 2008). The ultimate goal of a CoP is for members to develop their personal capabilities and share knowledge, perspective, and information around a specific work-related topic with one another. CoPs are most effective when members participate because they are passionate about and committed to the topic and to developing their personal capabilities (as opposed to participating to fulfill a requirement). While CoPs are an open and relaxed environment in which members do not need to be formal in their interactions with one another, the development and organization of CoPs is quite structured in nature. Ensuring that CoPs are developed with best practices in mind will help airports realize the benefit of these communities. Best practices for CoP development include the following: 1. CoPs are most effective when they span units or functions. CoPs are formed based on the community membersâ common interests and desire to learn and grow around a specific topic area; however, not all members have the same background or career area and they likely come from different teams or units across the organization. 2. The community creates a schedule of when they will meet (e.g., the frequency of meetings, specific dates, timelines), with meetings occurring a minimum of one time per month. Having a plan for meeting frequency helps members to know when they will be meeting so they can prepare for and attend each community meeting. 3. The community identifies roles for its members. For example, for each meeting there is a facilitator and a recorder and these roles rotate among the community, based on the communityâs plan. Each member of the community will serve as a meeting facilitator at some time during the CoP, and the community determines the plan or schedule for taking on this role. For example, the facilitator might switch every meeting, every 2 weeks, or once a month, depending upon the meeting schedule for the community and the desires of its members. Action Plan 7: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Overview of Strategic Recommendation Strategy Highlights â¢ Opportunity for employees to share lessons learned and avoid repeating similar mistakes â¢ More collaborative, open, and self- directed in nature than other types of learning experiences, so employees often enjoy participating â¢ CoPs have sufficient structure to ensure knowledge transfer occurs and employees gain needed airport-specific knowledge
3-18 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Pro Tip Record insights shared during CoPs using a white board â whether it is a physical or virtual one. 4. The community creates a plan for how topics will be identified. In some CoPs, the facilitator selects the topic, meaning topic selection would rotate for each meeting or when the facilitator changes. Other times, topics are nominated and then members vote to select a final topic. In either case, community members are involved in the selection of topics to discuss in the CoP. 5. Once a topic is selected, it is shared with all of the community members. The topic is shared in advance of meetings, with members being provided sufficient time (e.g., at least 1 week) before the CoP meeting to prepare. Giving members this time to prepare and think about or study a CoP topic before their meeting supports knowledge sharing and transfer because members have time to consolidate their thoughts and determine the best way to share them with others in the community. 6. The community identifies factors to evaluate alignment with original intent, desire for continued participation, and to determine if other members should be invited. While a CoP may evolve during its lifespan, it is important to make sure that the community and its members are on track to achieve the goals that were selected when implementing the CoP and that it is in line with the strategic goals of the airport. This review can help to redirect the community, if needed. 7. The community has a reporting mechanism in place to report back what is learned to management or to specify how new knowledge will be applied. Sometimes the community takes on a capstone project to determine how to enhance an operation, service, or product for the airport. This reporting of the communityâs activities helps to build a case for the value of CoPs within the airport, to show the ROI of implementing the strategy, and to keep members accountable for meeting their goals and having a successful CoP. Communities need to have structure and these characteristics in place in order to be considered a true CoP. However, the real value in a CoP comes from the people who are involved. Interacting and learning with one another is the key element of a CoP (Wenger, 2011). When a CoP is developed that focuses on airport-specific knowledge that needs to be shared among employees, this strategy will be a valuable and cost-effective means for airports to build capacity across their workforce. CoP meetings are conducted in various ways. If all members of the community are collocated within the same area, meetings can be conducted in person in a conference room or similar setting. In this case, members would all come together in the same room at the same time. However, CoPs can also occur when employees are located in different locations. When members are geographically distributed or cannot physically come together for some reason, the CoP can be conducted using a web cam and video conferencing software so that members can see and interact with one another. After a CoP meeting occurs, members typically have a follow-up exchange where the facilitator will provide a debrief of the meeting, make sure that progress is accurately recorded, and summarize lessons learned from the meeting. These debrief exchanges help to document the actions and progress of the community and can be used to show leadership goal-related progress. Action Plan 7 Contâd: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-19 Real-World Example Southwest Florida International Airport instituted Lunch and Learn sessions where employees come together to learn about important topics and make sure that institutional knowledge is shared and disseminated. These sessions are less formalized than a traditional Community of Practice, but meet the same goal of sharing knowledge with employees. Employees are gaining an appreciation of the work that occurs across the airport, and they find the events to be enjoyable learning experiences. CoPs differ from other types of groups present within an organization because of their make-up and focus. For example, while employees may learn about airport-relevant topics as a part of a project team, these project teams differ from CoPs because they are designed to complete specific tasks whereas CoPs are in place specifically to develop membersâ knowledge and skills and are not task-focused (Wenger & Snyder, 2000). Similarly, employees may also participate in a formal work group that meets to discuss a particular project or strategic agenda item within the airport. The work group would likely be structured around the operational job or project requirements whereas a CoP comprises employees from across fields or who desire to achieve a larger sense of the functioning of the airport and build professional capacity at a more global level. For example, concessions staff, gate agents, security personnel, and airport customer service staff may all have an interest in improving their ability to deliver quality customer service. Further, a CoP is far more robust and structured than many organizational groups. There are many elements to a CoP in terms of accountability, selection of discussion topics, facilitation of discussion, and the mechanism by which a CoP occurs that require planning and deliberate implementation. However, this advance planning is beneficial because it ensures that all CoPs align with the airportâs strategic plan and specific workforce needs. CoPs are an excellent way to exchange knowledge within an airport because they can bring benefits to both employees and the organization through a learning setting that employees typically enjoy. Some benefits of CoPs are the following: â¢ Individual employees develop knowledge and skills in needed areas and are able to contribute to the airport and its operational successes in valuable ways. â¢ CoPs generate knowledge across the airport (i.e., because members come from different areas) and encourage continual growth and development in employees, which is supported by leadership. â¢ Employees may feel more invested in their work and the airport because they are able to collaborate with a group that is passionate about the same topic(s) they are. Learning and teaching about personally relevant topics keeps knowledge sharing fun and allows for innovative changes to benefit the airport because of the focus provided in the CoP. Because the purpose of a CoP is to develop individual members, CoPs are an excellent opportunity to increase airport-specific knowledge in employees as the employees are able to meet with others from the airport and discuss relevant topics. Action Plan 7 Contâd: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees
3-20 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity K-12 Comm College 4-Year College Graduate School Early Career Mid-Career Late Career Retirees Other Key Stakeholders â¢ Airport senior leadership Action Plan Lead(s) â¢ HR personnel or steering committee â¢ Training and development leads â¢ Airport functional area experts Resources Needed: â¢ Bulletin board or intranet page that lists Communities of Practice (CoPs) in the airport and contacts for each â¢ Resource guide to direct the actions of those developing and implementing the CoPs â¢ Representatives from various functional areas or departments to make sure that CoP topics are relevant and will provide the needed skill and knowledge development for employees 1. Provide details to airport leadership on the expected ROI and skill development that will be achieved by employees. 2. Share success stories of CoPs with employees to encourage participation and develop support and buy-in. 3. Involve employees in the planning process to make sure the topics of the CoPs are ones that employees are passionate about and that will benefit their careers. Target Career Stages Mission-Critical Airport Occupations Targeted Workforce Types Action Plan 7 Contâd: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Planning Features Pr oc es s fo r O bt ai ni ng B uy -In Target Audience Engineer Financial Analysis & Planning IT Project Planning Airport Development Airport Ops Airport Security Electrician Senior/Exec Leadership Frontline Workers Mid-Level Leaders Administrative Support Staff Technical Personnel First-Line Supervisors
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-21 Implementation Lead(s) â¢ Airport leadership â¢ HR personnel or training leads â¢ Supervisors or other employees willing to lead CoP sessions Estimated Time to Implement 0-3 months 3-6 months 7 months â 1 year More than 1 year Key Stakeholder(s) â¢ Airport employees across different departments and career levels â¢ Employees passionate about a topic, learning, and sharing their knowledge Return on Investment Less than 1 year 1-3 years 3-5 years Implementation Factors 1. Align the potential community of practice (CoP, or community) to staff knowledge and capacity needs. With an understanding of the current staff as well as of knowledge and capacity needs of the airport workforce, action leads who are working to develop a CoP can focus on the types of topics that would benefit employees in terms of developing capacity to meet the future needs of the airport. For example, with the knowledge that the use of safety management system (SMS) requirements will be increasing in the near future, developers can promote a CoP on the topic of the interface between safety and technology. Then, participants in that community could be encouraged to share thoughts on how they see this interface impacting their day-to-day work tasks and to exchange knowledge about how to best prepare for these changes. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the CoP program is aligned with the airportâs business strategy and that materials and discussion topics mirror current and near-future job demands. Further, it is important to ensure that there is appropriate funding available to implement the CoP in a way that will benefit participating airport employees. Funding could be needed to acquire licenses for technology to facilitate geographically dispersed CoPs (e.g., Adobe Connect, Skype), to purchase reading material or resources to support knowledge gain, or to cover employee time to participate. 2. Develop the airportâs approach to implementing a CoP. This focuses on the actual community that will be developed and implemented. Form a steering committee or development team that will be responsible for setting up the CoP and ensuring its success. This team will need to identify the final areas of focus for the CoP and ensure airport employees understand CoPs and are ready to participate. Additionally, involve IT, HR, or any other departments that will facilitate parts of the design or implementation process so that the CoP framework can actually be implemented within the airport. Action Plan 7 Contâd: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s
3-22 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity 3. Design the community to meet the airportâs needs. The next step in implementing a CoP is to create the community in a way that will benefit the airport. CoPs are most successful when they have a clear statement of the vision, mission, and goals of the community. As such, it is important to clearly lay out the parameters of the community so that members know what is expected of them and what the CoP will accomplish. This step also includes identifying roles and responsibilities for community members and making sure that there are measures in place to measure progress toward goals and evaluate the CoP. Finally, resources that will be needed to support the CoP should be fully identified and engaged at this point in time. 4. Launch the CoP by identifying and inviting employees to participate. Once the CoP is fully designed and developed, it can be rolled out to airport employees. When rolling out a CoP, it is important to find ways to engage new members and deliver immediate benefits. For example, the first time that employees participate in a CoP they should gain at least some piece of knowledge and grow an understanding of what they will learn in the CoP. 5. Grow the community. As the community develops and employees are participating, airports can expand membership in the CoP. To do this, they can engage members in collaborative learning and knowledge-sharing activities and networking events that meet individual, group, and organizational goals while creating an increasing cycle of participation and contribution. When outside employees see the value gained from participation in the community, they may be more likely to participate or see the value in this type of activity. 6. Evaluate the community. Over time, the community may evolve and change as business needs change or different employees join and participate. Thus, it is important to evaluate the community at regular intervals to make sure that it still meets the capacity needs of the airport workforce and is aligned with the overall airport goals and business objectives. Additionally, when planning for the CoP, desired outcomes should have been identified. It is important to measure progress toward meeting these to determine if the community has been effective as implemented. If goals are not being met, adjustments to the way in which the community operates or who is involved may be needed. 7. Sustain the community to ensure future success and knowledge growth. Once the status and progress of the CoP has been determined, any needed changes should be implemented to facilitate long-term sustainability of the community. The community should continue to cultivate and share knowledge, making sure that airport employees understand new technologies, needed skills, or future business models within the airport. Action Plan 7 Contâd: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s ( Co nti nu ed )
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-23 Obstacles & Considerations Key Success Factors â¢ Identifying topics that employees can be passionate about and thereby fully immerse themselves in the community. â¢ Supporting employees in their capacity and knowledge development will help produce employees with needed skills who are committed to the airport because of its investment in them. â¢ For CoPs to be successful, employees need to actively participate, share knowledge, learn together, and be committed. â¢ Leadership support is also essential to success as employees will need to be supported to continue developing their knowledge and capabilities. Action Plan 7 Contâd: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Sustain Quantifiable Outcomes/Measures of Impact 1. Increases in needed internal employee knowledge and capabilities 2. Dedicated opportunity to share knowledge and information among employees on important identified topics Alternative Approaches â¢ In some situations, it may not be possible to implement a full-scale CoP. In this case, an airport could implement a knowledge-sharing forum (e.g., monthly brown bag series) for employees. Knowledge-sharing forums can occur in meetings, discussions, or web-facilitated conversations and are a way to more informally share information about a specific topic area. These could be set up on a more ad hoc basis than a CoP and would not require the same level of resources and employee commitment. Adapting to Industry Change â¢ New Technologies: With new technologies that will be developed and utilized within airports in the near future, CoPs could serve a valuable role in creating a space where employees can learn together and the airport can facilitate knowledge sharing across the airport.
3-24 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Description. Employee knowledge of airport specific information and the types of work that occur in the airport can be increased by exposing staff to the jobs of different airport employees. One way to increase capacity and help airport employees build important skills is through the use of job shadowing or job rotational opportunities. Both job shadowing and job rotations provide employees with the chance to observe the functions of other jobs or better understand the interdependencies (i.e., relationships) across jobs within the airport. While these two approaches can expose employees to different types of airport jobs, they are somewhat different in their application and use. Each approach is described in the following text. Job shadowing involves having an individual follow another employee through the course of his/her day and observe that employee perform a specific job with the goal of seeing firsthand the details of the work, including the job tasks and the skills required to be successful in the job. These types of shadowing opportunities provide employees with the opportunity to gain a broader, cross-functional perspective of the organization (Martin, Kolomitro, & Lam, 2014). Not only do job shadowing opportunities provide valuable learning situations for employees, but job shadowing has been shown to relate to lower work- related stress, improved job performance, and positive attitudes about the organization (Kamau, 2014). Job shadowing can be used for varying purposes. Some of the uses of job shadowing are as follows: â¢ Develop a deeper understanding of how the airport functions. Employees are often well qualified to perform their own work, but may not fully understand what happens in other departments or areas within the airport. Through job shadowing, employees can begin to build professional capacity that extends beyond their own job and helps equip them to take on future roles within the airport by seeing the larger context of how the airport is operated and how different jobs contribute to that functioning. Action Plan 8: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Overview of Strategic Recommendation Strategy Highlights â¢ Opportunity for employees to see and experience other jobs within the airport â¢ Program supports the development of employee skills, both technical and those related to personal capabilities â¢ Valuable opportunity that can provide benefits to both the visitor (e.g., learning, increased awareness of airport jobs, personal development) and the sponsor (e.g., networking, coaching skills) â¢ Job shadowing and job rotation programs require different levels of effort and amounts of time, but both serve to expand the knowledge and experiences of airport employees and improve their skills in the workplace
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-25 â¢ Prepare employees for promotions or new jobs. Job shadowing provides an opportunity for employees to gain a realistic job preview (RJP) in terms of both opportunities and challenges likely to be incurred in a new job before the employee actually accepts the new role. Research on RJPs suggests that they reduce turnover intentions by equipping employees with necessary awareness about the job before the employee starts the job (Roth & Roth, 1995). Further, job shadowing helps an employee develop needed knowledge and skills before the employee is responsible for completing work for the job. â¢ Support knowledge management and information sharing. As employees retire from leadership or technical positions, they often leave without sharing important practical knowledge gained through time on the job about the intricacies of the work as well as historical information about the organization. This type of knowledge is called âinstitutional knowledge.â Gaps created in institutional knowledge from employee departures can result in inefficiencies. Job shadowing allows for the institutional-knowledge-sharing process to be more seamless by allowing employees to gain insights about the organization through the observation of soon-to- retire colleagues performing their daily work. â¢ Promoting leadership development. Job shadowing can be used for leadership development in two different ways. First, job shadowing allows employees to see the work that airport leaders do and experience firsthand what it means to be a leader in the airport before moving into leadership positions. This can prepare them to move into leadership roles. Additionally, it is important that leaders understand the work their employees are doing. Thus, if a leader shadows his/her employees, the leader can see the work that is done and better understand employee needs and how to support them. When designing and implementing job shadowing programs as a way to increase employee capabilities, airports must be intentional to ensure employees gain the perspective and skills that will be valuable for work performance. Thus, it is important that employees are matched with high performers and that the shadowing opportunity lasts for at least 2 days in order to permit viewing of all the specific duties of the job, including those that may not occur on a daily basis but are still important to the work (Plakhotnik & Rocco, 2011). Job rotational programs offer similar benefits to job shadowing in that they allow employees exposure to different types of jobs. However, job rotational assignments are typically longer in duration than job shadowing, and rotational assignments may or may not include working alongside the job incumbent. In fact, job rotations differ in that they require employees to perform work in a new job role, rather than just observe others performing the work. Thus, depending on the nature of the job, job rotations may require a specific set of technical skills before an employee may be assigned to one. Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs
3-26 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity K-12 Comm College 4-Year College Graduate School Early Career Mid-Career Late Career Retirees Pro Tip A clear plan should be in place that lays out who will work in which job and for how long, how many rotations each employee will participate in, expectations for performance in each rotation, and how arrangements will be made to cover the employeeâs primary job when he/she is on rotation. Job rotation programs have been shown to result in increased knowledge and skill acquisition, including administrative, technical, and business skills. Further, job rotations often help build personal capacity by developing coping skills and a richer understanding of oneâs personal strengths (Campion, Cheraskin, & Stevens, 1994). Employees who participate in job rotation programs experience an expanded personal network within the airport, which can help with skill development and career growth because they are able to interact with and learn from a wide variety of airport employees across job types. Finally, job rotation programs can help future leaders gain the perspective and skills they will need to be effective members of the senior leadership team. In this way, job rotation can be used as an element of succession planning by both preparing mid-level managers for advancement and potentially helping current leaders to identify those with the potential and perspectives to succeed in senior leadership. In addition to skill development for employees, job rotation programs have also been found to increase job satisfaction, employee engagement, and employee retention (Lanier, Jackson, & Lanier, 2010). Job rotational programs often last up to 1 year. It is important that employees are engaged in the process of determining which rotational assignments will be most valuable to them. If the employee is invested in the rotation, he/she is more likely to gain skill growth from the program. A key to ensuring the success of job shadowing and job rotational programs is to clearly identify who can participate in the programs; explain how that determination is made (to avoid causing perceptions of unfairness); and provide specifics on how the program works, its goals, and the benefits that will be gained through participation. It may be important to remain flexible and willing to adjust the length of a job shadowing or job rotational program if further skill development is needed. Target Career Stages Mission-Critical Airport Occupations Targeted Workforce Types Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Target Audience Engineer Financial Analysis & Planning IT Project Planning Airport Development Airport Ops Airport Security Electrician Senior/Exec Leadership Frontline Workers Mid-Level Leaders Administrative Support Staff Technical Personnel First-Line Supervisors
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-27 Other Key Stakeholders â¢ Airport senior leadership â¢ Experienced employees to be shadowed or who can support those on rotation Action Plan Lead(s) â¢ Human resources personnel â¢ Training and development leads â¢ Airport functional area experts Resources Needed: â¢ Organizational charts that show all airport jobs as well as interactions among job types to determine areas where shadowing or rotation programs would be beneficial â¢ Representatives from different airport functional areas to make sure that their work is well understood by those developing the shadowing or rotation program(s) 1. Explain to senior leadership the benefit of these types of programs and how they help employees develop skills and capabilities (examples of benefits provided in Job Shadowing Program Toolkit in this chapter). 2. Provide examples of the types of jobs employees could shadow or the types of rotational assignments that could occur to show the broad nature of these efforts. 3. Involve employees in the planning process to learn about the types of jobs they lack full understanding of or the people that they interact with whom it would be good to shadow to learn more about their work. 4. Create a âone pagerâ for distribution to various leaders and functional areas across the airport that describes how the programs work and the benefits to the organization, specific functional areas, and employees. Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Planning Features Pr oc es s fo r O bt ai ni ng B uy -In Implementation Lead(s) â¢ Airport leadership â¢ Job shadowing/Job rotation program coordinator â¢ HR personnel or training leads â¢ Supervisors or other employees willing to guide program participants Estimated Time to Implement 0-3 months 3-6 months 7 months â 1 year More than 1 year Key Stakeholder(s) â¢ Airport employees across different departments and career levels â¢ Employees who have been identified for potential advancement or who need to develop knowledge and skills regarding the broader work of the airport Return on Investment Less than 1 year 1-3 years 3-5 years Implementation Factors
3-28 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity 1. Determine the type of program needed to meet airport needs and resource availability. As a first step in this process, airport leaders need to determine the goals that they are trying to achieve through the implementation of a job shadowing or job rotation program and the resources available to support implementation. For example, if employees need to develop a high level understanding of the work that people they coordinate with in other jobs do, then a job shadowing program is likely the best fit. However, if employees need to fully learn to do a job so that they can fill an open position in the future or support employees in task completion, then a job rotation program is likely needed. Even though job shadowing and job rotation programs look different once implemented, the process to develop and deploy these programs is similar. As such, the steps laid out here can be used for both types of programs. 2. Define the program, focus areas, and goals. As a first step, it is necessary to determine exactly what the job shadowing or job rotation program will look like so that it can be developed to meet the airportâs needs. For example, criteria for participation need to be developed both for âsponsorsâ and âvisitors.â Sponsors are those employees who will have others view their job whereas visitors are the employees who will be shadowing the work of another. Additionally, this step should focus on identifying program details such as when the program will occur, the duration of program events, and how learning will be supported. â¢ Job shadowing opportunities should last at least a full day to make sure that visitors are able to spend time observing the job. They can also be scheduled to occur multiple times â for example, a visitor may shadow the sponsor once a month for 3 months as a way to gain a fuller understanding of how work in the job varies and the different types of tasks performed. â¢ Job rotation opportunities should be scheduled to last at least a few months up to a year to ensure that all tasks are fully understood and can be performed successfully by the visitor. Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-29 3. Gather input from employees regarding the types of jobs they would like to shadow, areas of the airport that they would benefit from learning about, or what they are interested in learning from shadowing. To ensure that the developed program meets employee needs and they will want to participate, it is important to assess their interests and developmental requirements before determining the jobs that will be shadowed or rotated into. Employees can be asked to complete a survey or submit ideas for sponsors to a common location (e.g., an âidea boxâ in a central location). These suggestions can be submitted anonymously, or employees can identify either themselves or their functional area so that program developers can better understand how interactions across the airport would be most beneficial. Based on program goals as well as this information, program developers can determine where the program will be rolled out within the airport. 4. Identify contacts in different airport functional areas who can coordinate job shadowing of their employees or the rotation in of different employees. Once airport areas or jobs that will be utilized as sponsors have been identified, program developers need to identify representatives within these areas who can serve as points of contact and support the program. These individuals will be the ones who ensure that the program is implemented correctly within their specific area and that the visitors are able to have a positive experience and learn from their shadowing or rotation opportunity. The point of contact will be responsible for identifying specific individuals to serve as sponsors for visiting employees or supervisors for employees on rotation into a new job. Functional area contacts will also be responsible for ensuring that an employeeâs original job responsibilities are covered when the employee is participating in a job shadowing or job rotation program. Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s ( Co nti nu ed )
3-30 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity 5. Invite employees to participate in the job shadowing program. Once the program has been fully developed and all materials created, it is time to invite program participants. Because the sponsors will have already been identified by the point of contact within the functional area, this step focuses on inviting participants to shadow jobs or to rotate into jobs. Employees should be selected to participate in these programs based on the criteria developed during the development phase. Identification of potential participants can happen in multiple ways, based on the goals and design of the program. Some examples of ways to identify potential participants include the following: â¢ Review succession plans or leadership development participants to identify employees who will likely fill leadership positions in the future and could learn about these jobs through the program. â¢ Identify functional areas of the airport that need to work together or coordinate efforts and select employees from these areas to learn about their counterparts in the opposite area. â¢ Ask employees to apply to shadow another employee or rotate into a new job. 6. Schedule job shadowing days. After participants have been identified, they should be matched with a sponsor and scheduling of the job shadow day(s) or job rotation time frame should occur. Scheduling needs to occur based on the established program and meeting time requirements (e.g., frequency, duration). 7. Support the sponsors and visitors during program implementation. During the actual program implementation (e.g., when an employee is shadowing another or on rotation), it is very important to have a contact identified who can answer questions and be available to support participants as needed. The area contact can serve in this role, but it is also helpful to have the program coordinator or another person external to the functional areas involved available to make sure that participants feel comfortable expressing challenges or concerns. The program coordinator or an HR representative should check in with participants to make sure that the program activities actually occur and that all elements of the program function as planned. Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Im pl em en ta tio n St ep s ( Co nti nu ed )
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-31 8. Evaluate the program. Once shadowing days or job rotations are complete, the airport needs to evaluate the program. This step has multiple goals: â¢ Helping to ensure that employees had a positive experience as both sponsors and visitors â¢ Evaluating the learning and development of participating employees â¢ Documenting ROI or gains experienced through the implementation of the program To evaluate the program, feedback should be sought from all participants. This can be done through a final survey that assesses experiences and knowledge gain. Alternatively, the program coordinator can conduct interviews with participants to develop a deeper understanding of their experiences and learning during the program. Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Im pl em en ta ti on S te ps (C on ti nu ed ) Obstacles & Considerations Key Success Factors â¢ Identification of areas of the airport that need to work together, but that may be siloed or have limited communication. â¢ Airport involvement of individuals in these types of programs can help employees develop needed skills and gain a better understanding of overall airport work and functions. â¢ Creation of opportunities for employee network expansion and interaction with new employees can support skill development and airport function. â¢ Employees who are not invited or selected to participate may feel resentful about their lack of opportunity. To overcome this, make sure that criteria for participation are clear and that employees understand there will be more opportunities to participate. â¢ Job rotations can increase the workload for employees who oversee those rotating in. It is important to make sure that workload is monitored so employees do not feel overwhelmed. Evaluation also involves making any updates to the program that may be needed to improve the experience or make future shadowing opportunities more beneficial for participants.
3-32 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Action Plan 8 Contâd: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Adapting to Industry Change â¢ New Technologies: With new technologies that will be developed and utilized within airports in the near future, job shadowing and job rotation programs provide an opportunity for employees to learn about how to use the technology in different jobs. Sustain Quantifiable Outcomes/Measures of Impact 1. Increases in needed internal employee knowledge and capabilities 2. Improved understanding of work outside of siloed functional areas 3. Employees who are prepared to take on leadership or new positions when they become vacant Alternative Approaches â¢ Job shadowing programs can be used as a type of realistic job preview, in which students from local schools or potential employees visit the airport to view the type of work that is conducted or see what various jobs look like in person. This can improve the quality of applicants and broaden the applicant pool for airport jobs. â¢ In lieu of a formal job shadowing or job rotation program, an airport could implement a monthly or quarterly activity similar to a grade school âcareer dayâ in which airport employees in different fields present some of the interesting aspects of their work to attendees from across the airport workforce. This could allow for more people to gain exposure to different activities at the airport without the lengthy time or resource commitment of a formal program.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-33 Practical Tools and Resources for Building Internal Staff Capacity In this section, tools to assist in implementing three of the action plans are presented, as summarized in the following table. Each of the tools and practical resources included in this chapter, along with the action plan with which they are associated and the page number on which they begin, are provided in the table below. Beyond these three tools, several links to publicly available resources that provide further information or effective practices for implementing these action plans have been identified. These resources are listed after the description of the tools. Page 3-37 3-44 Action Plan Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Establish Formal Mentoring Program Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Tools and Resources Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit Mentoring Program Toolkit Job Shadowing Program Toolkit 3-52 Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit â¢ This tool applies to Action Plan 5: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs â¢ The toolkit includes several components, including a handout to help employees understand the process, sample questions to ask when determining future needs, an example assessment survey to determine the current proficiency of the workforce, and templates that may be used during action planning workshops after skill gaps have been identified. Mentoring Program Toolkit â¢ This toolkit applies to Action Plan 6: Establish Formal Mentoring Program â¢ It provides guidance for establishing a mentoring program such as the types of goals to set and includes sample mentoring program activities, a template for a mentoring program agreement, and information about a mentoring program evaluation. Job Shadowing Program Toolkit â¢ This toolkit applies to Action Plan 8: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs
3-34 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity â¢ The toolkit includes various resources, checklists, and informational handouts that can be used in the process of developing a job shadowing program. The informational handouts are provided for both the visitor and sponsor participating in job shadowing. Links to Additional Resources In addition to the tools that have been developed specifically for this Guidebook, there are numerous publicly available resources that airport managers can access to find more information about different strategies or to support implementation of the associated action plans. A sample of resources to support airports in Building Internal Staff Capacity are provided in the following tables, organized by the action plan to which they primarily relate. Note: These links were active at the time the resource was identified. While the links may change over time, a browser search of the resource titles should lead to valuable materials. Action Plan 5: Conduct Gap Analysis to Identify Skill Needs Source Resource Description and Link SHRM How to Conduct a Training Needs Assessment This article discusses steps to conduct a training needs assessment, which is a skills gap analysis with the specific objective of identifying training needs. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and- samples/how-to-guides/pages/conduct-training-needs- assessment.aspx American Society for Training & Development A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment (Sleezer, Russ- Eft, & Gupta, 2014) This book provides a wealth of information on needs assessment and gap analysis, including a toolkit with templates and job aids. Available for purchase at: https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Assessment-American- Training-Development/dp/1118457897/ SHRM Overcoming Skills Gaps Takes Senior Management Support This article discusses senior managementâs role in addressing skills gaps in the workforce. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr- topics/organizational-and-employee- development/pages/overcomingskillsgapstakessupport.aspx Action Plan 6: Establish Formal Mentoring Program Source Resource Description and Link Infoline Tools for Effective Mentoring Programs This resource provides tips and tools for creating mentoring programs, including planning and developing the program, making effective matches, structuring roles and responsibilities, and evaluating the program. https://www.mhlc.com/cloud/InfolineTools_For_Effective_Me ntoring.pdf
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-35 Source Resource Description and Link OPM/ USPTO Mentoring Program Toolkit This toolkit provides 11 major steps in the process of developing a mentoring program, with corresponding tips, tools, techniques, and advice. https://www.opm.gov/Wiki/uploads/docs/Wiki/OPM/training/ Mentoring%20Toolkit%203-18-10.pdf ICFâs The Spark Make the Most of a Mentorship Program to Advance Your Career at any Level This brief article discusses guiding principles for getting the most out of a mentor-mentee relationship. https://www.icf.com/blog/mentor-program-benefits-career- growth AAAE Executive Candidate Mentor Program AAAE has a mentor program to help prepare executive candidates for the accreditation program. This provides an example of mentor program guidance for a program developed with a specific objective in mind. https://www.aaae.org/AAAE/AAAEMemberResponsive/PD/A C/AAE/A.A.E._Info_Center/Executive_Candidate_Mentor_P rogram.aspx Action Plan 7: Establish Communities of Practice for Employees Source Resource Description and Link Wenger- Trayner Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction This article provides an overview that explains communities of practice and why they are a useful approach. http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/07- Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf Community of Practice Network Communities of Practice Guide: Creating, Reinvigorating or Transforming a Community of Practice This guide provides an overview of communities of practice and the five phases in the CoP lifecycle, followed by a series of worksheets for developing or improving CoPs. https://www.talent.wisc.edu/home/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket= B6rgxakCMtI%3D&portalid=0
3-36 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Source Resource Description and Link Harvard Business Review Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge This book outlines models and methods of establishing communities of practice with research and organizational examples. Available for purchase at: https://hbr.org/product/cultivating-communities-of-practice-a- guide-to-managing-knowledge/3308-HBK-ENG Action Plan 8: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs Source Resource Description and Link Manchester Metropolitan University Job Shadowing Guidelines This guide provides an overview of job shadowing, including different types of programs, benefits, responsibilities, and practical considerations. https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/media/mmuacuk/content/document s/human-resources/a-z/guidance-procedures-and- handbooks/Job_Shadowing_Guidelines.pdf Fast Company How Shadowing Coworkers Can Make You Better at Your Job This article discusses the benefits of job shadowing using Work4âs âLive My Lifeâ program as an example. https://www.fastcompany.com/3033940/how-shadowing- coworkers-can-make-you-better-at-your-job SHRM How Do I Implement a Job Rotation Program in My Company? This brief article provides background on job rotation programs and tips for effective management. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and- samples/hr-qa/pages/whatisjobrotation.aspx HR Daily Advisor 12 Steps to Implementing an Effective Job Rotation Program This brief article provides an overview of the steps involved in starting a job rotation program. http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2012/12/04/12-steps-to- implementing-an-effective-job-rotation-program/
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-37 Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit This Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit contains the following sections: 1. What Is a Skills Gap Analysis? â Handout for employees to help them understand the purpose and process 2. Example Questions for Defining the Future State â Questions that may be asked of leaders and supervisors during interviews and/or focus groups aimed at defining the desired future state of the workforce 3. Example Current State (As-Is) Assessment â Example assessment survey to obtain ratings of the current proficiency of the workforce 4. Action Planning Templates â Templates that may be used during action planning workshops after skill gaps have been identified to prioritize skill gaps and needed actions Skills Gap Analysis Toolkit Tool to: Build Internal Staff Capacity
3-38 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity What Is a Skills Gap Analysis? A skills gap analysis is a process that involves comparing the current state of the workforce to the desired future state. We can then identify gaps that need to be addressed to help us ensure we are prepared to meet future needs. The process involves the following steps: 1. Define future state: Where do we need to be so that we can be successful in the future? 2. Assess current state: Where are we now in terms of the skill level of our workforce? 3. Identify gaps: How does the current state compare to the desired future state? 4. Develop action plans: How do we address the highest priority gaps? Gap analysis: Helps us gain a better understanding of the current proficiency of our workforce Ensures we have methodically identified where we need to go to address future changes and needs Allows us to prioritize and address the identified gaps to make sure we have a workforce that is prepared for success in the future Gap analysis is NOT: An assessment of individual performance â instead, it is focused on the workforce as a whole A process that will impact pay or promotion opportunities â it is focused on determining how to best develop the workforce Define future state Assess current state Identify gaps Develop action plans Communication Leadership Technical Skills Pr ofi ci en cy L ev el (e xa m pl e) Example Skills Desired Level Current Level How can we close the identified gaps?
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-39 Example Questions for Defining the Future State When working to define the future state, it is useful to conduct interviews and/or focus groups with leadership and supervisors. This section contains some questions that may be asked during future state data collection sessions. 1. What are the biggest changes you anticipate over the next 5â10 years? (This may include changes in the industry, your airport, new legislation, strategic plans, the way the organization or jobs are structured, etc.) 2. How will these changes affect the requirements of the workforce? 3. Which jobs will be most affected? 4. What new skills will be required? 5. How will required proficiency levels be affected? In other words, are there certain skills that employees will need to become more proficient in for them to be successful in their jobs? 6. When considering the current workforce, what are the greatest skill needs that should be targeted for development? Will these skills remain as critical in the near future? 7. Where have you been placing your emphasis in terms of development? To what extent does your training curriculum across classes emphasize particular skills that may not be as relevant versus the ones identified in the gap analysis?
3-40 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Example Current State (As-Is) Assessment This page contains an example assessment to obtain current proficiency ratings. This type of survey can be administered to supervisors of the job(s) being studied to understand the current proficiency level of the workforce in each of the desired competencies. Rating Scale with Definitions Rating Description N/A: Not Applicable This competency is not relevant to the work. 1: No Experience This competency is relevant to the work, but employees do not have experience using it. 2: Basic Proficiency Employees are able to use this competency with supervision. 3: Intermediate Proficiency Employees are able to independently handle nearly all types of assignments that use this competency, as well as assist others in the application of this competency. 4: Advanced Proficiency Employees are able to apply this competency to dynamic and complex work activities, as well as serve as a role model or coach for others in the application of this competency. Example Survey Participants should be asked to rate employeesâ current proficiency level, with a strong emphasis on the intended purpose of the assessment. The competencies shown below are examples, which should be replaced with the competencies needed for successful performance in the job(s) being studied. Depending upon the results of the future state assessment, some of the competencies included in the survey may be newly associated with the job(s). Competency and Definition Proficiency Level (select one) N o t A p p lic ab le N o E xp er ie n ce B as ic P ro fi ci en cy In te rm ed ia te P ro fi ci en cy A d va n ce d P ro fi ci en cy N/A 1 2 3 4 1. Communication - Respects opinions and views; fosters open communication; shares information; writes well; presents well; motivates and inspires others. 2. Continuous Improvement - Seeks better ways of doing work; finds solutions to own problems; helps others find solutions to work problems; supports change and is open to new ideas and ways of working. 3. Planning and Organizing - Plans and organizes work; manages time well; organizes multiple activities; sets goals and measures progress. 4. Self-Development - Understands personal strengths and weaknesses; delivers high personal performance; continuously trains and develops oneself. 5. Stakeholder Focus - Demonstrates dedication to meeting the requirements of stakeholders and customers. 6. Teamwork - Works cooperatively and collaboratively with others to achieve group goals and objectives; builds effective relationships; works well with all types of people irrespective of background. 7. Leadership - Directs, empowers, and motivates others; provides a strong example. 8. Decision-Making - Identifies options; considers consequences and risks; makes well-informed and timely decisions. 9. Project Management - Plans, initiates, and manages projects; leads and guides the work of staff; monitors progress to ensure deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-41 Action Planning Templates This section contains templates that may be used during action planning workshops after skill gaps have been identified. Prioritizing Skill Gaps After learning about gap analysis results, participants individually can rate the priority of skill gaps and consider potential actions that may be taken to remedy them. This information can then be discussed as a group. An example of completing this form is provided in the first row of the table. Low Med High â¢ â¢ Low Med High Low Med High Low Med High Low Med High Low Med High Skill Gap Priority (circle) Potential Actions
3-42 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Sorting Actions to Address Skill Gaps After identifying potential actions to remedy skill gaps, sort them by type. Determine which actions are priorities that require action plans. This worksheet should be used for brainstorming any potential actions to address skill gaps. Priorities An action plan is needed; implementation should begin within 1 year Low Hanging Fruit Simple fixes that can and should be made Practices for Future Consideration Solutions to assess over the next 1â3 years No Implementation Recommendation is not feasible or is not worth the burden/costs
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-43 Prioritizing Actions to Address Skill Gaps After actions have been sorted, prioritize them as a group. Discussion Questions to Help Prioritize Potential Actions What should this action look like? Steps, Parameters, Specifics What resources can be leveraged to implement this action? What (if any) existing programs can be adapted or expanded? How? Who should lead the effort and who are key people to involve? Are there union considerations? What challenges may exist during implementation? Category Action by Priority Priorities An action plan is needed; implementation should begin within 1 year #1 - #2 - #3 - #4 - Low Hanging Fruit Simple fixes that can and should be made #1 - #2 - #3 - #4 - Practices for Future Consideration Solutions to assess over the next 1â3 years #1 - #2 - #3 - #4 - No Implementation Recommendation is not feasible or is not worth the burden/costs #1 - #2 - #3 - #4 -
3-44 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity This Mentoring Program Toolkit provides multiple resources that can be used when developing and implementing a mentoring program within an airport. These resources include the following: Establishing a Mentoring Program â¢ Includes an overview of topics that airports need to consider when developing a mentoring program. Specifically, this tool provides information about determining the goals of the program, questions to ask when defining the program, mentor-mentee matching criteria, and benefits of a mentoring program for both mentors and mentees that can be shared with potential participants. Mentoring Program Activities â¢ A list of example activities that can be included in a mentoring program to facilitate knowledge sharing, relationship building, and celebration of program successes. Mentoring Program Agreement â¢ An example agreement that mentors and mentees can complete together at the beginning of their mentoring relationship to help set expectations and boundaries that will make the experience successful for both individuals. Mentoring Program Evaluation â¢ Provides information about a program evaluation, why one should be conducted at the completion of a mentoring program cohort, and example questions to include on the evaluation. Mentoring Program Toolkit Tool to: Build Internal Staff Capacity
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-45 Establishing a Mentoring Program This list details topics airports should consider when implementing a mentoring program. Each of these steps falls during the program development phase, before the mentoring program begins to be implemented. 1. Determine the goals of the airport mentoring program being developed. Having a clear understanding of the goals of the mentoring program will ensure that it is developed in an appropriate manner. Example mentoring program goals are provided in the following table. Airports should evaluate why they want to implement a mentoring program to help identify overall program goals. Program Goal Explanation of Goal Learning Mentees are provided with an opportunity for partnerships that enhance career development, foster learning, and encourage growth. Knowledge capture Program ensures continuity of specific knowledge for future generations â critical knowledge stays in the organization long after senior staff retire through mentors passing along important information and sharing significant career experiences with their mentees. Diversity Mentoring helps promote diversity by facilitating developmental relationships for individuals who might otherwise lack access to informal mentoring relationships. Career coaching To provide participants with an outlet to discuss career-related concerns, receive honest and constructive feedback, and coaching. New hires To help socialize and help new hires get acquainted with an organization and its culture, people, and norms. Retention of high- potential employees Workers who have been identified as future leaders are paired with successful mentors to help groom and develop their leadership skills. New supervisory mentoring Providing talented individuals with appropriate developmental opportunities can position them for advancement and reduce their desire to leave. 2. Define mentoring program elements and design. Before rolling out a mentoring program, it is necessary to determine how the program will be structured and implemented. Program elements can be defined by asking a series of questions regarding intentions for the program and identifying the needs of the airport. Questions that can be asked to help define the mentoring program and its elements include the following:
3-46 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity â¢ How long will the program last? â¢ How will mentors and mentees be recruited and from where? â¢ Will participation in the program be mandatory or optional? â¢ What are the incentives to participate? â¢ What are the expectations for participants? â¢ How often are mentor and mentee expected to meet? â¢ Will mentor-mentee pairs have specific duties and tasks to complete? â¢ How will a mismatch between mentor and mentee be dealt with? â¢ What will they have to demonstrate in order to successfully complete the program? â¢ What criteria will be used to screen mentors? â¢ Will mentor and mentee need to be in the same vocation or career field? â¢ How will the program be marketed? â¢ How will conflicts of interest be addressed? â¢ Who will own the program and who will support or partner with the program? â¢ What will be the role of the program coordinator/administrator? â¢ Will involvement in the program be monitored? â¢ How will confidentiality rules be disseminated? The answers to questions such as these will determine how the airport should develop and implement the mentoring program. 3. Determine how matching of mentors and mentees will occur. Once the program goals and structure have been developed, the method for matching mentor-mentee pairs can be determined. Different matching strategies can accomplish different goals, so each mentoring program may choose to match pairs in varying ways. Example mentoring program matching criteria are provided in the following table. Matching Criteria Explanation of Criteria Competency Matching Mentees are matched based on their weak areas. Mentors are selected based on their strengths or level of proficiency on competencies so that mentors can help a mentee âfill in competency gaps.â Job Type Matching Mentees are matched with mentors who have at least 5 years of experience in the same job type and who have demonstrated excellent performance of the job tasks. Demographic Characteristic Matching Mentees may be matched with mentors across jobs or lines of business based on sharing common characteristics with the mentor such as age, race, or gender. Combination Approach Matches occur based on a combination of factors. Typically the factors are prioritized so that the first âcutâ for matching occurs along the most important dimension and then within that dimension, and additional factors are considered prior to making a match.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-47 Matching Criteria Explanation of Criteria Input from Mentors The senior-level staff participating as mentors often see relationships that would be most conducive to mentoring based on criteria that are very qualitative or âsoft.â Self-Directed Matching Mentors create short bios (1â2 paragraphs) that describe their work experiences, strengths, and areas of expertise. The mentees are able to view mentor bios and select their top three preferences. They are typically instructed to select mentors whose skills match their interests. To effectively create matches, information will need to be gathered from both potential mentors and mentees to ensure that matches along selected criteria can be made. For example, potential participants may need to be asked to identify: â¢ Areas of professional strength â¢ Areas of needed growth â¢ Mentor/mentee preferences (e.g., characteristics, type of employee) â¢ Location of office â¢ Current job assignment â¢ Any factors that could impact a match or the mentoring program 4. Articulate benefits of the program for participants. After the mentoring program is designed and its goals are clear, development should also include articulation of the benefits to be experienced through participation in the program. Specific benefits to the mentor and mentee will vary based on the airportâs individualized mentoring program. Example benefits, which can be used as a starting point for a list of benefits to program participants, are provided in the following table. Benefits to Mentor Benefits to Mentee â¢ Professional and personal fulfillment and renewed enthusiasm through increased investment in the organization â¢ Building new professional skills, such as coaching, advising, and developing others â¢ Establishing and expanding professional networks â¢ Facilitating knowledge transfer and supporting succession planning efforts â¢ Learning about other parts of the airport and the work that other employees do â¢ Gaining new perspectives from interactions with others â¢ Building a reputation as a leader and subject matter expert â¢ An effective, safe environment for learning while benefitting from the successes of others â¢ An opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback in a non-threatening relationship â¢ An opportunity to gain competencies outside of a formal training process â¢ Increased likelihood for career advancement and subjective and objective indicators of career success â¢ Personalized development opportunity â¢ Opportunity for support in times of change or transition in the airport â¢ Improvement of interpersonal communication and relationship skills â¢ Opportunity to develop a network within the airport
3-48 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Mentoring Program Activities Mentoring programs can include a variety of structured activities or ideas for activities in which mentors and mentees can participate. Regular structured activities ensure that the program stays active, that participants have new goals and skills to work on at regular intervals (e.g., each month) and that the mentorships are being supported by structured learning activities relevant to participants. Some of these potential activities are described in this tool. Program Orientation Goal: To ensure that program expectations are understood and to increase the likelihood that mentorship relationships will be successful. Timing: To occur at the beginning of the mentoring program, before mentors and mentees begin meeting with one another. Activities: Orientation activities could include the following: â¢ Overview of program structure, roles and responsibilities for each participant, and program expectations â¢ Identification of available resources (e.g., counseling, example meeting agendas) and support personnel (e.g., mentoring program coordinator) â¢ Participation in ice breakers or other activities so pairs can begin to develop their relationships Mentor topics to cover: â¢ Review of program expectations and activities â¢ Basic mentoring skills â¢ How diversity affects mentoring relationships â¢ Effective interpersonal and communication skills related to coaching and providing feedback â¢ The mentorâs role in helping the mentee set and achieve developmental goals â¢ How to be an effective mentor â¢ Tools for building a relationship with mentee â¢ Suggestions and ideas for future meeting topics Mentee topics to cover: â¢ Review of program expectations and activities â¢ Identifying personal mentee goals â¢ How diversity affects mentoring relationships â¢ Situations where seeking assistance from a mentor would be appropriate â¢ Tools for building a relationship with mentor â¢ How to be a proactive mentee
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-49 Activities to Build Camaraderie Between Mentorship Partners Goal: Support development of strong relationships between mentors and mentees. Timing: To occur throughout the length of the mentoring program. Participants may benefit from these activities being more frequent at the beginning of the mentoring program frequent when relationships have already been established. Activities: Camaraderie building activities could include attending guest speakers on career Mid-Program Check In Goal: Evaluate progress of mentoring program pairs and redirect pairs that are not progressing well or learning from their mentoring relationship. Timing: Check in should occur halfway through the scheduled mentoring program. For example, if the mentoring program is scheduled to last 1 year, the mid-program check in should occur after approximately 6 months. Activities: The mid-program check in can be a meeting similar to the orientation that brings together all mentor-mentee pairs or it can occur with each pair individually. Participants should be asked to share what they have learned, how they have learned from one another, and the activities or conversations that have been most beneficial to personal development and meeting program goals. Mentoring Program Graduation Ceremony Goal: Formally mark the conclusion of the mentoring program and recognize participants for the time and effort that they dedicated to it and each other. Timing: Should occur at the conclusion of the mentoring program, typically as the final event during the program time frame. Activities: Provide mentors and mentees with a certificate celebrating their successful completion of the program. Participants value these events when a senior-level organization leader recognizes the effort put into the program by participants and (e.g., once a month) while the relationships are beginning to form and then less development together, group lunches, trainings, job-related conferences or networking events, job shadowing between mentor and mentee, inviting a mentee to a meeting the mentor is holding, shared volunteer opportunities, or other activities that bring the mentor and mentee together for a structured activity that will benefit the mentoring relationship. the valuable experiences and knowledge gained by both mentors and mentees. This can also serve as an opportunity to gather feedback from participants regarding the program, its policies, procedures, and implementation successes.
3-50 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Mentoring Program Agreement Who: Mentor: _________________________________ Mentee: _________________________________ When and Where: What We Are Working Toward: How: â¢ Partnership expectations for the mentor: â¢ Partnership expectations for the mentee: â¢ Ground rules to follow: â¢ How will we communicate outside of meetings? Agreement We agree to work together to make this mentoring partnership a success. We will honor this agreement as outlined above, and evaluate our progress toward goals throughout this mentoring program. Additionally, we agree that anything discussed during mentoring meetings will remain confidential unless otherwise specified. Mentor Signature: ___________________________________________________ Date: ____________ Mentee Signature: ___________________________________________________ Date: ____________ Length of Mentoring: Start Date: Mid-program Check in Date: End Date: How often will we meet? How long should our meetings last? Where will we meet (e.g., office, phone, coffee shop)? Goals to Achieve (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound): What will the mentor pass on to the mentee? Who will be responsible for setting meetings?
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-51 Mentoring Program Evaluation At the end of each mentoring program cycle (i.e., each cohort of mentoring program pairs), an evaluation of the mentoring program should occur. Evaluation of the mentoring program determines whether the objectives and intended results of the program were achieved. Evaluations can be conducted verbally, but often provide the best information when a brief online survey is presented to participants for them to complete. In a program evaluation, the following topics should be covered: â¢ Assessment of participant satisfaction â¢ Details of program implementation, such as meeting frequency â¢ Skills acquired and transferred to the jobs â¢ Other factors to measure progress toward program goals Results allow coordinators to understand how well matches worked and which features should be modified or changed in future administration of the mentoring program. Example Questions to Ask During a Mentoring Program Evaluation This section provides example questions that can be asked of mentoring program participants following completion of the program. Questions should be selected that allow for evaluation of the program compared to its stated goals. The evaluation survey should be kept short; it should take participants no more than 10 minutes to complete. â¢ How many times/how often did you meet with your mentor/mentee? â¢ What goals were set as part of the mentoring program? Did you accomplish these goals? â¢ How supportive has your supervisor been during the mentoring program (possible response scale: Very Supportive, Somewhat Supportive, Not Supportive, and Not Sure)? â¢ What have you learned from the mentoring program? â¢ What activities provided the greatest developmental opportunities? â¢ What aspect of the program would you like to see improved in its next iteration? â¢ How would you rate your mentoring program match? â¢ After participating in this mentoring programâ¦(Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree scale) o â¦I feel more connected to others in the workplace than before. o â¦I feel more certain of my career path and job opportunities. o â¦I understand the work of the airport and how different groups interact. o â¦I have stronger technical skills than I did previously. â¢ I feel that this mentoring programâ¦(Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree scale) o â¦was a valuable use of my time. o â¦was a high quality program. o â¦provided valuable opportunities to develop my skills. o â¦facilitated strong relationship building.
3-52 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Purpose and Overview As described in Action Plan 8: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs, the ability for employees to follow another employee during their work day and see firsthand the work performed creates benefits in terms of building a deeper understanding of the airportâs work and preparing employees for promotions and new jobs. However, to fully experience these gains it is necessary to plan for the job shadowing events. Not only does the airport need to develop and implement a strong job shadowing program, but participants also need to be ready for the experience and understand their roles and how to gain the most from the job shadow. This toolkit provides guidance for airports and job shadowing visitors and sponsors to help create an effective, informative job shadow experience. Contents of the Job Shadowing Program Toolkit This toolkit includes resources for the organization, the job shadowing sponsor, and the job shadowing visitor. Specifically, it includes the following items: â¢ Checklist for Establishing a Job Shadowing Program â¢ Getting the Most Out of Job Shadowing: For the Visitor â¢ Getting the Most Out of Job Shadowing: For the Sponsor The Checklist for Establishing a Job Shadowing Program can be used by the organization to guide leaders through the process of setting up a job shadowing program. The Getting the Most Out of Job Shadowing tools can be provided to participants as handouts to help increase the value of their experiences in the job shadowing program or can be used to create materials to guide them through the job shadowing experience. Job Shadowing Program Toolkit Tool to: Build Internal Staff Capacity
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-53 Checklist for Establishing a Job Shadowing Program To gain the greatest benefits from a job shadowing program, it is important to be detailed and intentional in developing and implementing the program to ensure that learning occurs and information is shared between sponsors and visitors. This checklist can be used in conjunction with Action Plan 8: Provide Job Shadowing or Job Rotation Opportunities to Expose Employees to Different Jobs and lays out activities that should be completed to develop, implement, evaluate, and sustain a job shadowing program. Develop Job Shadowing Program [ ] Define the job shadowing program, its focus areas, and goals. Questions to Answer When Developing a Job Shadowing Program â¢ What is the timeline/frequency of job shadowing visits? â¢ Who will be eligible to participate as a visitor? â¢ What will qualify someone to be a sponsor for job shadowing visits? â¢ How will visitors and sponsors be selected to participate? â¢ What will the approval process for job shadowing look like (e.g., approvals from supervisors in both functional areas/departments, HR approval)? â¢ Who will support participants and answer questions about the program? â¢ What elements must be included in the job shadow (e.g., orientation meeting, a specific percentage of job tasks viewed by visitor)? [ ] Create the job shadowing program so that it can be applicable across different parts of the airport. For this task, it is valuable to gather input from different areas on what will and will not work in terms of conducting job shadows within their area. [ ] Identify contacts across the airport who can support the job shadowing program. It is important that there are contacts in each functional area/department so that a full range of participation in the program can be supported. [ ] Provide information on the job shadowing program to employees so that they are familiar with the program, understand the details about it, and know that it is available. Implement Job Shadowing Program [ ] Identify potential job shadowing program participants. [ ] Invite employees to participate in the job shadowing program. Participation can be encouraged by highlighting the benefits of being a sponsor and a visitor for a job shadow event. Example benefits are provided in the following table. Benefits to the Sponsor Benefits to the Visitor â¢ Network with employees from different areas in the airport â¢ Fine tune personal skills by teaching another employee about your job â¢ Share your work experiences with others â¢ Opportunity to experience another airport job firsthand â¢ Understand how other departments in the airport function and the work they do
3-54 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Benefits to the Sponsor Benefits to the Visitor â¢ Develop personal coaching and mentoring skills â¢ Opportunity to support the development of other airport employees â¢ Ability to share work experiences with potential successors â¢ Help the airport to retain knowledge and prepare employees for future positions a desired job â¢ Gain insight into how work is done in a different job â¢ Learn from the experiences of another airport employee â¢ Increase awareness of job tasks in other airport jobs â¢ See potential career pathways within the airport [ ] Select visitor participants based on program eligibility requirements and the airportâs needs in terms of succession planning and employee development. [ ] Match visitors with a sponsor in a job that the visitor wants or needs to learn about. [ ] Work with the sponsor and the visitor to schedule job shadow days that will not negatively impact either participant or their job. [ ] Have job shadowing program representatives available during the job shadow days to provide support and answer any questions from participants. Evaluate and Continue the Job Shadowing Program [ ] Ask the sponsor and visitor to each complete job shadow evaluation forms or surveys. â¢ Examples of evaluation questions for sponsors could include the following: o Through this job shadow, I gained a new perspective about my job. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] o This experience was beneficial to me and my functional area/department. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] o I enjoyed the job shadow experience and would be willing to do it again. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] o What did you like best about the job shadow experience? o How did this job shadow experience benefit you or your functional area/department? o How could you have been better prepared for the job shadow? o What additional resources do you need to facilitate an effective job shadow? â¢ Examples of evaluation questions for visitors could include the following: o Overall, I would grade the job shadow experience: [Choose one: A, B, C, D, F] o The job shadow experience was beneficial in learning about the target job. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] o I was able to observe a great deal of work in the target job. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] o The job shadow experience helped me understand the skills I need to develop to move into the target job. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] â¢ Learn about what is needed to move into
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-55 o I have a better understanding of available trainings and developmental opportunities after completing this job shadow. [Rate: Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree] o What did you learn through this job shadow experience? o What did you like best about the job shadow experience? o What did you like least about the job shadow experience? [ ] Provide resources to participants to support open communication following the job shadow. â¢ Example resources could include employee directories, scheduled meetings for follow up, or communication templates to check in on employee learning [ ] Promote the success of the program by having employees share what they learned and how they benefited from participating in a job shadowing event. This could be done in a newsletter format, or employees could create a short video testimonial about their experience and its value to them. [ ] Create a list of needed changes or improvements to the program for use in future iterations.
3-56 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Getting the Most Out of Job Shadowing: For the Visitor The opportunity to participate in a job shadowing experience is one that can be valuable to your career and personal development. To get the most out of this experience, you as the visitor to another job should prepare for the visit, be intentional and thoughtful during the visit, and reflect on lessons learned during the visit. This worksheet provides guidance to help you get the most out of your job shadowing experience. Pre-Job Shadow Activity: Preparation Before your scheduled job shadowing visit, it is important to prepare so that you will be ready for the experience and able to learn from it. Consider the following before your job shadow to ensure that you are best situated to learn from the experience: â¢ Examine the organizational chart and where the job you are shadowing falls so that you can understand how it fits within the airport. â¢ Review any available materials about the job, such as a job description, so you have a basic understanding of the job and what it entails. â¢ Develop a list of questions that you want to ensure are answered during your job shadow. â¢ Inform your manager and other employees in your job area that you will be out so they are prepared for your absence and able to cover your normal job requirements, as needed. â¢ Consider what you would like to gain from the job shadow and be prepared to verbalize this to your sponsor. During the Job Shadow: Focus While you are participating in a job shadowing event, it is important that you focus on the experience and learning from your sponsor. The following activities can help with focusing on important information during the job shadow: â¢ Turn off your phone (if you are able to) and focus only on the job you are shadowing and not what needs to be done in your current role. â¢ Ask questions to help you understand the job, its tasks, and what is required to be successful in the role. Examples of questions that can be asked are as follows: The Job Itself o What do you spend most of your time doing? o Which tasks do you perform on a daily basis? What are other important tasks that occur less frequently? o How typical is today of a normal day in this job? o Who do you work with and what do those relationships between jobs look like? o What is the most challenging part of this job? o Ask for further explanation or clarification if job tasks are unclear or not understood.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-57 Preparing for the Job o What training or education was most helpful in preparing you for this job? What internal training opportunities have been helpful in this role? What external training or education programs provide the greatest benefit to success in this job? o How has your career path led you into this job? o What knowledge, skills, or abilities are most important to success in this job? The Future of the Job o How is this job changing based on industry changes and how work is evolving in the airport? o How do you see this job continuing to evolve in the next 5â10 years? â¢ Keep a record of topics covered and key learning points. Because the job shadow can serve as a valuable learning experience, it is important to make note of lessons learned. â¢ Create a list of useful numbers, emails, facts, and resources gathered during the job shadow to maximize learning and future information use. â¢ Show enthusiasm for the experience and appreciation to the sponsor for participating in the job shadowing experience. Post-Job Shadow Activity: Reflection Reflecting on your experience and what you learned will help to better prepare you for future work in this area or coordination with people in the job. Following your job shadowing experience, think about and answer the following types of questions: 1. What job tasks and work activities did you observe during the job shadow? 2. How was the job different than you expected it to be? 3. What did you gain through this job shadowing experience? 4. What did you learn about the job and what is required to be effective in this role? 5. What skills do you need to develop before being fully prepared to take on this job? 6. What other personal learning needs have you identified through this job shadowing experience? 7. How has this experience influenced your thoughts on future career directions and roles for you within the airport? 8. How can you utilize what you learned during the job shadow on your current job? Be prepared to provide a brief report describing your experience and what you learned so that information can be shared with others on your team or across the organization.
3-58 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Getting the Most Out of Job Shadowing: For the Sponsor The opportunity to host a job shadow participant can help you share best practices and allow for self-development by teaching another employee about your job. To ensure successful job shadowing events, you as the sponsor should prepare for the visit and work to create an experience that is open and educational. This worksheet provides guidance to help you create a valuable job shadowing experience for your visitor. Planning for the Job Shadow To ensure a successful job shadow that benefits employees and the airport as a whole, it is important for an employee who will be hosting another to take the time to thoroughly prepare. One valuable way to prepare before a job shadow is to create a checklist of topics and information that are important to cover regarding the job. This could include a timeline of what the job shadow will look like and specific points to cover during each part of the experience. During the Job Shadow Experience While the job shadow is occurring, the sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the visitor can see many aspects of the job and has a valuable learning experience. To achieve the goals of the job shadow, consider the following guidance: â¢ Start with introductions. Introduce yourself and your role and give a high-level overview of your job and what you do on a daily basis. Learn about the visitorâs current job in the airport and why they are interested in shadowing your job. â¢ Give your visitor a tour, showing them around your workspace including equipment and tools used on the job and people with whom you interact. When introducing your visitor to coworkers, explain the roles of each person with whom you interact. â¢ Explain what you are doing and why throughout the job shadow so that your visitor understands the various parts of your job. â¢ In addition to explaining the work you are doing during the job shadow, make sure to inform the visitor about other parts of the job that they might not be seeing or that occur at different times or less frequently. â¢ As possible, allow the visitor opportunities to participate in hands-on tasks or parts of the job to help them gain a better understanding of your work. â¢ Answer questions from the visitor as they come up during the job shadow. If needed, follow up with additional information or detail following the event. After the Job Shadow Is Complete Even after the job shadow experience is complete, the visitor may have questions about the experience or what was seen. Sponsors should be available to the visitor to answer questions or provide clarification about the job and what was seen following the job shadow experience. Keeping a relationship with the visitor will ensure that any needed information is shared and the airport can continue to benefit from the job shadow events.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-59 Case Studies Related to Building Internal Staff Capacity The two case studies in the following table present examples of creative ways airports are implementing strategies to build internal staff capacity. Case Studies Airport Characteristics Page Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) Small, airport authority, board of directors 3-60 Bishop International Airport (FNT) Small, airport authority, board of directors 3-64 Overview of Case Study 4: Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport provides skill development opportunities to employees in multiple ways and encourages staff to pursue available education and training sessions to improve their individual skills. Overview of Case Study 5: Bishop International Airport recognized the importance of identifying employee skill development needs before selecting training strategies to implement. Once needs were identified, the airport rolled out strategies in a deliberate fashion so as not to overwhelm employees, but rather to create an environment where new training would be successful. Case Studies for: Building Internal Staff Capacity
3-60 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Strategy in Action Programs: Airport-Specific Training and Developmental Activities Size Large Mid-size Small Additional Characteristics â¢ Located in an area where the population is rapidly growing â¢ Airport employs fewer than 50 staff members; janitorial and heavy maintenance work are outsourced Governance Model â¢ Airport authority, comprising multiple counties in the state â¢ Area cities and counties appoint board members Airport Features Case Study 4: Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Bentonville, AR Summary of Strategy: When considering a focus on the challenge area of Building Internal Staff Knowledge and Skills, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport takes multiple approaches to support employee training and development. Various strategies that have been effective in helping employees develop in the needed areas are further described below. Support Employees in Attending Training and Education Programs â¢ To implement a strategy such as this, it is important to involve senior management at the onset of the program. â¢ Preparing employees for these opportunities involves making sure that they have access to the policies and procedures that guide education and training. Additionally, it is important to make sure that supervisors talk about the opportunities and the educational reimbursement policy and that they understand the support provided and how it is accomplished. â¢ It is necessary to have clearly laid out policies to guide implementation and use of this strategy. For example, this airport provides reimbursement to employees who attend Strategy Highlights â¢ Provides skill development opportunities to employees in multiple ways â¢ Encourages staff to pursue available education and training sessions to improve their individual skills by offering education reimbursements.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-61 the following criteria must be met: o Employees must be involved in a class or program that will benefit the airport, but the employee does not need to be degree seeking o The employee must pay for the class up front o Employees are reimbursed based on their course grade. Full reimbursement is provided if the employee receives an A in the class, with lower levels of reimbursement for lower grades. â¢ Encourage employees to pursue an education; this helps with retention because employees feel supported and that the airport cares about them. â¢ Positive outcomes of this effort are that employees are able to stay at the peak of training and abilities and they are able to meet others who work in similar areas and network with them. Support Employee Attendance at Conferences, External Training, and Networking Opportunities â¢ To support employee development and growth, the airport encourages employees to be involved with professional organizations in their area of expertise and to attend meetings and conferences related to these organizations. To further support this, the airport will pay employeesâ dues to their professional organizations because it is seen as a growth opportunity. Employees are also encouraged to be a part of the local community, such as on the local chamber of commerce, in addition to being involved in the aviation community. â¢ Through organizations such as AAAE, airport employees are able to receive external training and certifications that are needed to do their work. â¢ Employee coaching is supported, with some employees who would benefit from coaching being sent to the Center for Creative Leadershipâs 1-week intensive training program. â¢ When external training is needed (e.g., new equipment acquired that employees need to learn about) or when a supervisor and employee identify a beneficial training opportunity for the employee, the airport may pay for the identified training. To be eligible for training or travel funding, an employee must have been with the airport for at least 4â6 months. The supervisor must then make sure that the needed funding is included in the budget to be approved. As such, planning must happen in advance so that funds will be available to support training opportunities. Identify Needed Areas of Training for Airport Employees and Support Employees in Those Areas â¢ Training and development for employees will be most successful if employees are able to receive training that they need, and they can see that the airport is investing in them. â¢ Providing needed training opportunities has helped the airport keep long-term, knowledgeable employees because they feel valued and have the needed skills. â¢ Necessary training opportunities can be identified in different ways. For example, the airport director or HR may identify an area in which employees are struggling. In this case, outside trainers may be brought in to make sure that all employees receive accurate, high-quality training in the identified area. When offering mandatory training in this manner, the session will be offered three to four times to ensure all staff can attend. Examples of this type of training could include customer service skills or appreciating individual differences. classes or programs outside of the airport. Specifically, to be eligible for reimbursement,
3-62 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity â¢ Needed training opportunities can also be identified by supervisors. Supervisors may hear of a training opportunity that would benefit their employee, and they could recommend an employee for attendance at the training. Sometimes, these training opportunities are driven by changes and updates in the airport facilities and equipment. â¢ The airport also has existing DVDs that employees can use to build skills in topic areas such as Microsoft Excel, learning Microsoft Office tricks, or similar things. Additionally, if an employee requests a book on a specific topic that is related to their work, the airport is able to purchase that book to facilitate their development. â¢ Opportunities for individual development can also be identified for employees. For example, they may be invited to sit in on a meeting in which executives or leaders will talk about a topic they are familiar with. Attending various meetings and seeing the airport business from different angles can be a great learning experience for employees. Involve Students in Paid Internship Opportunities â¢ When a successful employee is identified during an internship, special roles can be laid out for them to capitalize on their expertise. For example, if an intern is especially skilled in computers or another technical area, they can be given assignments that will benefit from that expertise and be prepared for future jobs within the airport. â¢ Interns can be assigned work that the airport needs completed. Although some of this may be busy work, it is important to make sure that interns are also given meaningful work to accomplish. This will provide the best learning environment for them and give a better introduction to the airport work experience. â¢ The airport leaders who work with interns should make sure that they leave the internship with knowledge that is applicable to the aviation industry. Often times, interns will move around the airport to gain a variety of experiences. Interns have indicated that they enjoy this model and the internship experience at the airport. â¢ The internship program is partially supported by the Southeast chapter of AAAE; the airport pays half of the internâs salary, and AAAE pays the other half. When additional interns are hired, the airport covers the entire salary. For the internship program, interns commit to work with the airport for 10 weeks, 8 hours per day, and they are paid $12.50 per hour.
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-63 SolutionsChallenges Encountered â¢ In municipal airports, it can be more difficult to get funding for things like training and traveling to conferences. â¢ At times, leadership will question the amount of money budgeted for training opportunities. This can be overcome by explaining why the money was budgeted as is, why the training is needed, and the value that planned opportunities will provide to the airport. â¢ Training your employees is a key element in being successful. Airports can look at what other airports are doing and find ways to adapt those strategies and implement what their specific airport can afford. â¢ When supervisors are empowered and able to send employees to needed trainings, they are able to set their teams up for success. â¢ Begin by implementing what you can afford, and then as the airportâs financial resources grow or the financial situation improves, it is possible to build upon current practices and offer more resources to employees. â¢ Airports must be nimble and able to compromise. Having the ability to think outside the box in planning, being innovative, and being perceptive will help to get ahead of trends and be successful. â¢ Providing training and education to employees can help with employee retention. Employees value being able to develop their skills and make connections with others in their fields. When you have the right people, keeping them at their peak will benefit the airport as well. Lessons Learned
3-64 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Program: Conducting a Training Needs Assessment Summary of Strategy: When considering a focus on the challenge area of Building Internal Staff Knowledge and Skills, Bishop International Airport utilized multiple strategies to support employee training and development. Leadership realized that there were some employees without a strong skill set in needed areas, such as technology and its uses in the airport. Therefore, as a first step in their process, the airport recognized that it needed to gain a better understanding of staff needs for training and technology-related areas in which they were lacking skills. As such, the airport conducted an informal needs assessment to identify employee capabilities in using technology. While this was an informal process, leaders focused on training that had been previously provided and the skills employees already possessed. Then, the focus moved to identifying areas in which employees felt they needed additional information and training support. The goal of this effort was to encourage employees to think beyond what they were currently capable of doing and to consider areas of potential knowledge and skill improvement. Strategy in Action Size Large Mid-size Small Additional Characteristics â¢ Airport is 1,100 acres with two runways; one primary runway with instrument capabilities â¢ Airport has 52 employees, both full-time and part-time Governance Model â¢ Airport authority formed in 1987 â¢ Operates with a nine-member board Strategy Highlights â¢ Bishop International Airport recognized the importance of identifying employee skill development needs before selecting training strategies. â¢ After identifying needs, the airport rolled out strategies in a deliberate fashion to create an environment where new trainings would be successful without overwhelming employees. â¢ Having a champion for the strategy and employee buy-in were critical to the success of this strategy. Airport Features Case Study 5: Bishop International Airport, Flint, MI
Building Internal Staff Capacity 3-65 To gain employee buy-in for the needs assessment, the airport found it valuable to let employees know that they were the experts in what they needed. Involving employees in the need identification process and having an open door policy regarding the suggestion of ideas for needed changes made employees more invested in the process and more willing to participate and improve their skills. Besides the investment of time from those coordinating the needs analysis, the resource investment to implement this strategy was minimal. The implementation of this informal needs assessment only required an influential person to champion the idea and start gathering information from employees so that training needs could be identified and relevant offerings provided. Once employee training and development needs were identified, the next step was to identify the best way to implement training to meet those needs. An important consideration for the airport was ensuring that new technology, changes, or information were offered in a measured fashion so as not to overwhelm the staff with too much change or new knowledge at one time. Additionally, identifying a champion for any changes or new technology implementations or trainings ensured that there was someone to guide the process and support successful adoption. As a way to make sure employees bought into the trainings offered and wanted to participate, the airport made sure to seek their input. The goal was to show employees that the trainings were not a mandate or ruling coming down from the top of the organization, but rather that these training opportunities were identified and developed based on employee needs and input. This also included providing guidance on the trainings, resources, and tools available. When implementing new software, it was important to give the employees sufficient lead time to learn about the technology, ask questions, and practice using it so that they would be comfortable and have a positive response to using it.
3-66 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Solutions Challenges Encountered â¢ Sometimes, there is not enough money to do everything that you want. A lack of a training facility with dedicated computers means that there is no location where employees can sit and work on training or skill development. â¢ Identifying a time that training will be best accepted can help to increase its impact. For example, asking employees responsible for snow removal to learn new skills during the busy winter season would lead to less buy-in and ultimately decreased learning. Instead, waiting until the spring to offer training allows them to do so at a time that is better suited to their work situation. â¢ Showing employees the benefits to them of learning new technology or skills, such as electronic rather than paper-based tracking of incidents, can increase participation and buy-in. â¢ Providing training across departments has increased the airportâs ability to communicate with others who may quickly need information because employees can speak a common language and understand one another. â¢ Take your time. It is helpful to spend time determining needs and planning for implementation. When implementing, the best time to do so might not be the current time. So do not rush into solutions, make sure you have the right solution implemented at the right time. â¢ Try to identify someone you can rely on as a champion for whatever you are trying to implement, be it software, a new procedure, or some type of new training. Gaining buy-in from the director or senior leadership will make implementation more successful. â¢ When sending employees to conferences or trainings, ask them to take notes and prepare a brief presentation to other employees when they return. This helps the whole airport to gain knowledge and benefit from the opportunity and helps to reinforce the concepts learned. Lessons Learned