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5-1 Chapter 5: Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration In addition to the action plans and tools provided in Chapters 2â4 of this Guidebook, there are other best practices and techniques airports may find useful in addressing their workforce capacity needs. These can be used to supplement the detailed strategies presented within the action plans, or they may be used as standalone efforts to address specific airport needs. The previous three chapters of this Guidebook provided 12 detailed action plans that may be used to help airports adopt strategies that improve how they build a stronger talent pipeline by attracting new talent to the industry, building internal staff capacity, and planning for the future by predicting workforce gaps. The strategies described in those action plans were identified as the most promising opportunities to address airport workforce needs. This chapter notes additional strategies that received less emphasis in data collections but are nonetheless valuable for improving workforce capacity within airports. These additional strategies can also be used to address the three identified challenge areas (named in the introductory chapter) that airports are facing. This chapter consists of nine supplemental strategies that may be combined with action plans from Chapters 2â4 to create a more robust approach to workforce capacity building. Some of the techniques identified in this chapter may also be used in combination with other strategies to prompt a synchronized push for new talent or internal talent development for a particular job. Each of the strategies presented in this chapter aligns with one of the previously described challenge areas; specifically, five of these supplemental strategies align with Attracting New Talent, two with Building Internal Staff Capacity, and two with Planning for Future Workforce Needs. The strategies described in this chapter are presented in the following table. Overarching Capacity Challenge Supplemental Strategies/Best Practices Attracting New Talent 1. Improve Community Relations/Partnerships and Develop Positive Press 2. Hold Career Days/Airport Days 3. Conduct Outreach to K-12 Educators with Curriculum Supplements 4. Partner with Local Community Colleges and Universities to Identify Talent 5. Engage in Strategic Outreach at Conferences
5-2 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Overarching Capacity Challenge Supplemental Strategies/Best Practices Building Internal Staff Capacity 6. Send Employees to ACI/AAAE Training and/or Conferences 7. Provide Opportunities for Employees to Develop Personal Effectiveness Skills Planning for Future Workforce Needs 8. Implement Leadership Development Programs 9. Create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) For each of the supplemental strategies presented on the following pages, the challenge area and workforce capacity needs addressed by that strategy are identified. Further, each strategy includes a summary that details the facets of the strategy. When available, real-world examples from actual airports that align with the strategy are noted.
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-3 Real-World Example Long Beach Airport is able to participate in a city-run summer internship program funded by federal grants that provides high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to gain real-world government work experience and exposure to possible future career opportunities. Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: Airports are vital to their local communities as both a connection to the world and an economic engine. But while future airport employees are likely to come from that same community, many may not realize the value airports provide or consider them as exciting places to work. Spreading a positive message about airport jobs and building strong community relations can be an effective strategy to help the airport be seen as an employer of choice. Moreover, positive marketing and community relations can further other airport objectives such as maintaining and growing passenger demand or obtaining support for airport improvements, while potentially offsetting some of the negative impact an airport may have on the community (e.g., increased noise) (ACRP Web-Only Document 28). There are several ways an airport can engage the community, and all levels of the organization can get involved. For example: â¢ Senior leadership can engage with local leaders and businesses to showcase the value of the airport and provide exposure to exciting or innovative happenings. â¢ Airports can conduct outreach to local organizations to show their commitment to the community. Strategy Overview 1: Improve Community Relations/Partnerships and Develop Positive Press Strategy Highlights â¢ Demonstrates value of the airport as both a community service and an employer â¢ All levels of the organization can be involved in building community relations â¢ Requires coordination of CEO, HR, and Public Affairs staff Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-4 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Real-World Example Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) highlights its myriad community relations activities in a periodic newsletter covering its airportsâ involvement in educational programs, tours, community partnerships, and event sponsorship. Newsletters are available for both of the airports in the system: LAX and VNY. Past issues of LAWA Community UPdates can be accessed at: https://www.lawa.org/en/newsletter /lax-community-updates â¢ Communications and public affairs staff can participate in town halls or other community events to raise awareness about the airport as a civil institution and important employer. â¢ Other airport employees can be encouraged and provided time to volunteer at community events or with community organizations. â¢ Participating in community service activities (e.g., feeding the homeless, cleaning up the environment) can help the airport demonstrate its commitment to improving the community in which it resides. Through these efforts, job seekers in the area will not only be more aware of the airport as a potential employer, but they will see how the airport is investing in its people and the community, which subsequently makes the airport an even more attractive place to work. Of course, it is also crit ical to publicize these outreach efforts and include them in marketing materials and press releases to ensure the image of the airport as a valuable contributor to the community reaches as wide an audience as possible. Airport leaders seeking to improve community relations and develop positive press may find the following resources valuable: â¢ ACI, Airport Communications and Public Relations Course, http://www.aci.aero/Global- Training/Training-Information/Course-Categories/Leadership-and-Management/Airport- Communications--Public-Relations â¢ ACRP Report 16: Guidebook for Managing Small Airports, Chapter 5: Public Relations, https://www.nap.edu/read/14275/chapter/7 Strategy Overview 1 Contâd: Improve Community Relations/ Partnerships and Develop Positive Press
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-5 Real-World Example San Diegoâs Take Flight program allows 125 local high school and college students each quarter to get a âbehind the scenesâ look at work across the airport, including an airport tour and panel interviews with a variety of airport personnel. Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: The skills required for success in many airport careers are built on foundations like math and science, which must be developed at an early age. Exposing young people to airport careers that go beyond the familiar airplane cockpit offers an opportunity to influence their academic and career trajectory (e.g., pursuing STEM courses) and better prepare them for the demands of future airport jobs. Airport career days have been used by several airports, as well as state DOTs and public transportation agencies, to expose the public to transportation careers (Cronin et al., 2013; Cronin et al., 2012). Some common elements include the following: â¢ Invitations for students from local schools and community colleges to experience airport careers and participate in a panel interview with employees in a range of positions such as airline representatives, maintenance workers, and air service development staff. â¢ Separate âstationsâ where students can hear from employees in different fields and observe them performing the jobs in their work environment. â¢ Airport employees visiting local schools to present their experiences and the vast career opportunities available. Strategy Overview 2: Hold Career Days/Airport Days Strategy Highlights â¢ Focuses on exposing Kâ12 students to airport career opportunities â¢ Involves HR personnel and subject matter experts to discuss or demonstrate their work â¢ Hosted by local schools or at the airport itself Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-6 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Airport leaders seeking to implement airport career days can find a description of a career day event regularly held at Van Nuys airport at the following site: â¢ AOPA, Van Nuys Airport Welcomes Students for Career Day, https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/april/04/van-nuys-airport- welcomes-students-for-career-day Strategy Overview 2 Contâd: Hold Career Days/Airport Days Such a program can require support from multiple staff members to develop and sustain. For example, San Diegoâs program involved three staff members reaching out to other employers to learn about their programs, connecting with local schools, coordinating schedules, and facilitating the program.
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-7 Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: The airport environment can serve as a real-world laboratory of diverse learning experiences that would benefit children and teens with a wide range of educational interests. Providing educators with lesson plans, industry-based problem sets, or other curriculum supplements is a great way to develop STEM skills in local youth (Cronin et al., 2013), while opening their eyes to the interesting and complex challenges that airports encounter every day. Some steps airports should consider include the following: â¢ Conducting outreach to identify schools willing to incorporate aviation-related material into the curriculum or help develop it. (Note: technical, charter, or private schools may be more inclined to do so as they may have more focus on real-world experience and more flexibility.) â¢ Partnering airport staff with local educators or education consultants to develop a curriculum that reflects the exciting world of airports and adheres to pedagogical principles. â¢ Partnering with an aviation academy (e.g., West Michigan Aviation Academy located near Grand Rapids Airport) to include classes related to airport careers. The value of partnering with educational experts is that the resulting curriculum will likely be more engaging for the intended audience and more likely to achieve desired learning outcomes as a result of following proven instructional design methodologies. One example of a relevant Strategy Overview 3: Conduct Outreach to K-12 Educators with Curriculum Supplements Strategy Highlights â¢ Integrates airport-related challenges into K-12 curriculum, especially in STEM subjects â¢ Requires partnership of HR, airport subject matter experts, and learning experts â¢ Leverages employee networks to identify schools that might be willing to participate Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-8 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Real-World Example West Michigan Aviation Academy incorporates aviation concepts and even flight training throughout its curriculum, making it a natural partner for airports hoping to develop STEM skills in the talent pipeline. methodology is the ADDIE model, which stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. All five of these components are critical to providing educational material that makes an impact and improves over time. Learning needs must be analyzed, the structure and content of the curriculum must be designed in a logical way, engaging material must be developed and programmed (if electronic), the content should be implemented by an experienced instructor with knowledge of the material and the skills to teach it to others, and the course should be evaluated to understand what worked well and not so well in order to identify improvements. Throughout the ADDIE process of creating curriculum, it is important to consider the needs of those who will take the course and tailor the curriculum accordingly. For example, environmental science students may be interested in wildlife management, runoff, and noise abatement issues that airports face, while those with an interest in engineering or design could evaluate plans for a terminal expansion or develop their own designs. Consider the sophistication of the learner as well. For a younger audience, worksheets with word problems or basic math and science problems can be developed based on the airport environment. For college or graduate level students, case studies or full chapters on airport operations with complementary test or research questions may be appropriate. Airports seeking to conduct outreach or develop curriculum supplements may find the following resources valuable: â¢ The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies, Outreach Programs, https://aviation.osu.edu/outreach â¢ Boeing Corporation, K-12 Educational Resources, http://www.boeing.com/principles/education.page#/edu_resources Strategy Overview 3 Contâd: Conduct Outreach to K-12 Educators with Curriculum Supplements
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-9 Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: Airportsâ hiring/job centers and career fairs share a common goal of matching qualified candidates with exciting career opportunities. However, career counselors outside of an airport setting may not be aware of the opportunities within airports, so it is incumbent upon airport leaders and HR personnel to build connections with local institutions including vocational and technology schools, 2- and 4-year colleges, and training programs. Some key steps airports can take to do this include â¢ Building relationships with college career counselors in the region. â¢ Hosting a booth or table at a school or community career fair. (Note: This can provide access to a large number of individuals who would not initially seek out a career in airports.) â¢ Participating in a recruiting event. This can offer opportunity for more one-on-one conversations with those who have already expressed an interest in airport careers. These events can involve a significant time commitment from airport staff, typically including at least one recruiter and support staff to coordinate activities. For career fairs, it is important to have attractive visuals that will quickly capture the interest of job seekers and deliver the core message about the jobs available. Repurposing existing informational or marketing materials can be a cost-effective way to make an impact while on a budget. Partnering with airlines or airport concessionaires to host a career fair can also help to distribute the costs. For more targeted Strategy Overview 4: Partner with Local Community Colleges and Universities to Identify Talent Strategy Highlights â¢ Exposes future and recent college graduates to airport careers â¢ Recruiters are best positioned to identify applicants worth pursuing further â¢ Other support staff and subject matter experts may be beneficial for more targeted recruiting events Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-10 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Real-World Example Leaders at St. Louis Lambert International Airport conducted a career event at the University of Missouri at St. Louis with a focus on business, engineering, and accounting. Representatives of those airport departments attended to share their experience and identify potential future talent. Both print and electronic visual aids were used to attract the attention of participants. recruiting events, it may be helpful to pair a recruiter or HR representative with someone that has subject matter expertise in the appropriate field to best judge candidate potential and fit. These events also require a significant investment of resources on the part of the host institution, so the airport may need to persuade them that the airport will be a valuable contributor to the event and that students will be interested in airport careers. One approach is to propose an ongoing relationship, perhaps involving several of the other strategies mentioned previously, including offering their students an opportunity to attend airport career days or providing the institution with curriculum supplements. It may also be helpful to explain how airport careers would appeal to their particular student base. For example, a business school may have students interested in management or financial positions, whereas students at a vocational or technical school may be more interested in operational and trade jobs that do not require a college degree. To learn more about different types of educational programs that align with mission-critical airport jobs, review ACRP Web-Only Document 28. Airports seeking to partner with local colleges or universities may find the following resources valuable: â¢ National Association of Colleges and Employers, Prepare for the Fair: Eight Best Practices for Career Fair Success, http://www.naceweb.org/talent-acquisition/best- practices/prepare-for-the-fair-eight-best-practices-for-career-fair-success â¢ Brainstorm Strategy Group, The Ultimate Career Fair Checklist for Employers, https://mwsu.edu/Assets/documents/career/The%20Ultimate%20Career%20Fair%20 Checklist%20For%20Employers.pdf Strategy Overview 4 Contâd: Partner with Local Community Colleges and Universities to Identify Talent
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-11 Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Strategy Overview 5: Engage in Strategic Outreach at Conferences Summary: The local community surrounding an airport often does not offer sufficient talent to build a solid pipeline of candidates with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in specific airport jobs. This is particularly true for trades or highly specialized operational airport jobs. To create a talent pipeline for those âhard to recruit forâ jobs, airports need to broaden their reach for potential candidates that will bring forth needed skills. One way to do this is to implement a recruitment strategy that includes outreach to candidates at industry conferences or events where it is likely that qualified individuals will be in attendance. Industry conferences or other professional events are good places to seek out candidates for a particular job for a number of reasons. Specifically, the value of these types of professional events includes the following (Sullivan, 2006): â¢ High-performing employees are typically the ones selected to attend conferences, especially from organizations that have limited travel or training budgets. â¢ Professional conferences often attract individuals with a similar set of skills, allowing airports to reach a larger number of candidates all in one place. â¢ The airport does not have to fund travel for potential candidates to participate in interviews since the candidates are often already paying to attend the conference. â¢ By serving at the conference in some way, airports can often receive a lower registration fee, offsetting recruiting costs even further. Strategy Highlights â¢ Cost-effective way to utilize events employees will already be attending to identify new talent â¢ Industry conferences include attendees with specific knowledge or skill sets, so they can be targeted to recruit employees for hard-to-fill positions Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-12 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity This is a strategy that has proven success in airports. For example, an executive leader in a small hub airport stated that expanding recruitment avenues to include events like the AAAE annual conference or chapter conferences as well as different job listing platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Indeed), allowed the airport to find much needed talent. Airport leaders who may be interested in attending conferences to help identify new talent can find more information about industry conferences at the following links: Many conferences also have a job center or dedicated recruitment space that may be used for formal recruiting and interviewing of candidates. While recruiting is a key part of strategic outreach at conferences, other forms of outreach could include developing relationships and making connections with leaders and employees of other airports. Following the conference, these connections can serve as a resource and support outreach for future recruitment needs. Strategy Overview 5 Contâd: Engage in Strategic Outreach at Conferences â¢ AAAE Annual Conference and Professional Development Meetings, https://www.aaae.org/annual https://www.aaae.org/meetings â¢ ACI-NA Conferences, http://annual.aci-na.org/ http://www.aci-na.org/conferences
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-13 Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Strategy Overview 6: Send Employees to ACI/AAAE Training and/or Conferences Summary: Both ACI and AAAE provide valuable developmental opportunities for airport industry employees. These types of sessions are especially beneficial for increasing airport- specific knowledge because they are offered by organizations designed to benefit and support the airport industry. As such, their training and development programs allow airport employees to meet with and learn from those who work in other airports and who may have dealt with similar challenges or knowledge requirements. Similarly, conferences offer the opportunity to learn from others in the industry about how to be successful in an airport career. One benefit of industry conferences and trainings is the opportunity to network and build connections with employees in similar positions at other airports. When these personal connections are built, they allow for follow-up conversations and the potential to share best practices or success stories. Participating in networking opportunities that are facilitated through conferences and training attendance brings employees in contact with people in the industry who likely do similar work whom they might not have otherwise met. Strategy Highlights â¢ ACI and AAAE, as well as other industry organizations, offer conferences and trainings â¢ Conference networking opportunities create opportunities for future knowledge growth â¢ Permission/support to attend conferences communicates to employees that they are valued, which in turn builds commitment to the airport â¢ A key to success is budgeting in advance â¢ Scholarships to attend trainings/conferences can be offered to employees Real-World Example Long Beach Airport provides opportunities for staff to participate in seminars and conferences to increase their knowledge and skills. In September 2017, 13 staff members from the airport received their Certified Member designation from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-14 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Strategy Overview 6 Contâd: Send Employees to ACI/AAAE Training and/or Conferences To ensure airports are able to benefit from conferences and trainings offered by organizations such as ACI and AAAE, planning is key. In most airports, supervisors or others in leadership positions will need to include a line item for attendance expenses in their annual budget. Typically, organizations will offer a certain dollar value per year for employees to participate in external trainings or conferences. Employees can then work with their supervisors to choose the event most suitable to their needs based upon their desired career path and what developmental experiences may be most meaningful. In other cases, budgetary restrictions limit the number of employees that are able to attend conferences. Priority may be given to more senior employees, while junior employees miss these opportunities to learn more about the industry and network with other professionals. One strategy for dealing with this challenge is to develop a structured scholarship program that provides a mechanism for employees at all levels to apply for funding to attend developmental opportunities such as training and conferences. In establishing such a program, it is important to develop â¢ A clear application process, â¢ Straightforward criteria for eligibility and selection, â¢ Guidance on the likelihood of selection to assist in managing expectations, and â¢ A communication plan to promote employee awareness. Overall, providing greater access to trainings and conferences through an employee scholarship program of this nature can help to build the skill sets of employees while also having a positive impact on employee morale. Airports interested in sending employees to ACI or AAAE training or professional development programs can learn more at the following links: â¢ AAAE Professional Development, https://www.aaae.org/aaae/AAAEMBR/PD â¢ ACI Global Training, http://www.aci.aero/Global-Training Real-World Example According to the Airport Director of a Regional Airport, training programs offered by organizations like AAAE are valuable experiences because employees often want to receive these types of developmental opportunities. When the airport supports them and helps to pay for attendance at these trainings, the employees feel valued and also bring back important knowledge that will help the airport. Real-World Example A small-hub airport sends one employee with a leader each time the leader goes to AAAE, to allow the employee exposure to the industry and networking and learning opportunities. Real-World Example Scholarships provided by the local AAAE chapter of Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport have provided the means for both students and professionals already working in the field to attend conferences. Similarly, training programs offered by industry organizations can help the airport workforce adapt more quickly to new demands such as technology or safety management systems. To promote learning at the event (training or conference) and to facilitate the extension of that learning to other colleagues, airports should require their employees to provide some type of debrief or summary of lessons learned at each session.
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-15 Strategy Highlights â¢ It is important to focus on not only the technical skills of employees, but also personal effectiveness skills â¢ Providing opportunities to develop personal effectiveness skills and clearly advertising and promoting relevant training will benefit airports as employees develop needed skills Example Personal Effectiveness Skills Important for Airport Jobs â¢ Emotional intelligence â¢ Communication â¢ Time and stress management â¢ Organization â¢ Problem solving â¢ Adaptability Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: Although technical skills are important for all occupations, airports and training and education (T&E) providers often overemphasize the importance of technical skills at the expense of developing and enhancing the personal effectiveness of employees. Personal effectiveness skills help employees better engage with one another and with airport customers and tenants, as well as community stakeholders. As the airport landscape becomes increasingly complex, developing and building personal effectiveness skills is important for all employees, from entry-level staff to airport leaders. Airports should work to identify a set of core competencies that represent key personal effectiveness skills that are important for job performance across all positions and levels. In addition to communicating the importance of these core competencies to employees, airports should also encourage the development of personal effectiveness skills through various developmental opportunities, including participation in internal or external training courses, participation in mentorship programs, involvement in cross-training programs, volunteer work assignments, participation on a board/committee, completion of a 360 assessment, or other self-directed learning. Strategy Overview 7: Provide Opportunities for Employees to Develop Personal Effectiveness Skills Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-16 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Overall, a focus on enhancing the personal effectiveness of employees will benefit airports in numerous ways. In addition to increasing the effectiveness of the workforce in general, it can also aid airports in developing future leaders who are ready to enter mid-level and senior leadership positions, as well as lead to better informed hiring and promotion decisions. Real-World Example Los Angeles World Airports brought together 135 top organizational leaders for a 2-day session on biases, stereotypes, and the beliefs people bring into the workplace. Led by Dr. Steve Robbins, the session dealt with breaking down beliefs and stereotypes from a psychological perspective. The presentation helped individuals learn how to interact positively with others in the workplace, regardless of age, gender, or racial differences. Due to the widespread applicability of personal effectiveness skills, a variety of training courses are offered by third-party providers. For example, topic areas include interpersonal skills and developing effective relationships, effective communication, and influencing and negotiation skills. Airports seeking to provide employees with continuing educational opportunities to develop their personal effectiveness skills may find relevant courses at the following locations: â¢ AAAE Professional Development, https://www.aaae.org/aaae/AAAEMBR/PD â¢ ACI Global Training, http://www.aci.aero/Global-Training â¢ Lynda.com, https://www.lynda.com â¢ Embry-Riddle Professional Development, http://proed.erau.edu Strategy Overview 7 Contâd: Provide Opportunities for Employees to Develop Personal Effectiveness Skills Airports should actively advertise the availability of developmental opportunities and resources related to enhancing personal effectiveness skills. In addition to increasing awareness, this also helps to communicate the value and importance of growing these skills.
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-17 Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: Given the dynamic nature of the airport industry, airports have a tendency to focus exclusively on filling current vacancies versus proactively planning for future vacancies. This reactive mode takes the focus away from equipping more junior employees to take on greater leadership opportunities in the future. Often, when positions become vacant, entry- and mid-level staff lack the leadership and management skills necessary to fill those roles. During Phase I focus groups, several airport leaders shared that many of their current executives are approaching retirement, yet their airports lack leadership development programs for entry- and mid- level employees. Further exacerbating this challenge, it can be difficult for airports to attract and recruit senior-level candidates because many potential candidates lack the technical and contextual knowledge to operate immediately within the airport ecosystem. Also, candidates with leadership skills are often attracted to jobs that are higher paying or that offer more promotional opportunities than airports may be able to afford. In addition to the operational risks associated with vacancies in critical leadership positions, the lack of investment in current employees also negatively impacts employee retention. Employees are more likely to stay with an organization that provides them with meaningful developmental experiences and opportunities for growth. By acting proactively and investing in leadership development for entry- and mid-level employees, airports can experience both short-term and long-term benefits. In the short term, leadership development will mitigate the current risks that exist with regard to baby boomer retirements and the resulting vacancies. In the long term, airports will be reducing the likelihood of future workforce gaps occurring at the leadership level by developing a pipeline of high quality internal candidates equipped with both the airport experience and the skills needed to advance. In this way, implementing leadership development also supports succession planning. Strategy Overview 8: Implement Leadership Development Programs Strategy Highlights â¢ Prepares employees for future advancement to leadership positions â¢ Reduces risk of vacancies as baby boomers begin retiring Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
5-18 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Real-World Example The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority offers a 9-month Destination Leadership Program to develop individuals at the middle- manager level. Participants develop new skills and leadership competencies they can apply to leadership positions in the future (Young et al., 2013). There are multiple ways airports can implement leadership development, depending on the resources available: â¢ Create an internal leadership development program, such as those offered to employees at San Diego International Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. As many airport leaders become eligible for retirement in the coming years, it is imperative that airports offer diverse experiences to employees that can broaden their perspectives. In addition to possessing effective leadership skills, airport leaders must understand how to effectively and successfully run business operations, how to conduct meetings and negotiations with stakeholders, how to navigate the political environment, how to engage the community, and other such skills that must be developed outside of the classroom and on the job. To meet these needs, a leadership development program should include the following: o Critical leadership competencies and relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) o Training aligned with leadership competencies o Experiential and on-the-job learning opportunities through mentoring, job shadowing, and job rotations, so that entry- and mid-level employees can learn directly from current leaders â¢ Airports may also consider partnering with other airports that have existing leadership development programs or that may be interested in developing a shared model. For example, airports with limited resources may choose to partner with an airport that has already developed leadership and management training courses and send emerging leaders to receive training at that location. Multiple airports could also consolidate resources to establish a leadership academy that provides a convenient alternative for all of the partner airports and provides web-based training through the use of shared resources. The partnership model could serve as a more cost-effective alternative to developing a program in house. â¢ Encourage and/or sponsor employees to participate in external leadership development programs, such as those offered by ACI and AAAE. Depending on resources available, airports may choose to sponsor employees to attend external programs to supplement existing internal programs. For example, a large independently operated airport and a small government- operated airport both sponsor employees to attend leadership training provided by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). CCL is a top-ranked, nonprofit global organization that provides research-based leadership development programs (see www.ccl.org). Strategy Overview 8 Contâd: Implement Leadership Development Programs
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-19 â¢ Incentivize employees to enroll in academic airport or aviation management degree programs, such as those offered by the University of North Dakota and Florida Institute of Technology. Academic degree programs can provide more in-depth knowledge of airport operations and management and can supplement the hands-on experience employees gain in the industry. Airports seeking to develop their own leadership development programs or explore established programs in the industry can find more information from the following sources: â¢ ACRP Report 75: Airport Leadership Development Program, http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/168958.aspx â¢ Harvard Business Review, âHow to Really Customize Leadership Development,â https://hbr.org/2016/02/how-to-really-customize-leadership-development â¢ AAAE Accredited Airport Executive Program, https://www.aaae.org/aaae/AAAEMBR/PD/AC/AAE â¢ ACI Airport Executive Leadership Program, http://www.aci.aero/Global- Training/Programmes/Airport-Executive-Leadership-Programme-AELP Strategy Overview 8 Contâd: Implement Leadership Development Programs While industry experience remains a critical component of any effective airport leader, leadership development programs, training, and education can provide current entry- and mid-level employees with the leadership and management skills needed for future leadership positions. Ultimately, investing in leadership development enables airports to develop bench strength in preparation for upcoming retirements and helps to improve employee retention (Young et al., 2013).
5-20 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Challenge Area Workforce Capacity Needs Increasing awareness of airport career opportunities Investing in early development of talent pipeline Embracing a far-reaching strategy for new talent Addressing new skill gaps from industry change Increasing airport-specific knowledge Preparing employees for advancement Engaging in workforce planning Summary: It is often difficult for airports to attract high-demand employees, as competing organizations in other industries and/or in the private sector may have the flexibility to provide better benefits and compensation. This is particularly true for many airports within a municipality system that are confined to the government requirements that guide compensation. Once airports are successful in attracting and hiring employees, retaining them can often become the new challenge if the airport is not thinking strategically about how to keep employees long term. While retention can be impacted by compensation challenges, turnover also frequently occurs because airport employees do not perceive there to be promising career opportunities available in the industry. One way to influence employeesâ perceptions and cultivate an invested mindset is by introducing individual development plans (IDPs) within airport jobs. IDPs are personal action plans that help employees plan for the future by clearly outlining opportunities and providing defined guidance and expectations regarding career development. IDPs also identify specific training and experiential opportunities that an employee should complete to meet their goals, increase knowledge and skills, and advance to new, desired roles and positions. IDPs can have many airport-wide benefits. They provide airport leaders with a greater understanding of the workforce and any existing or emerging gaps. This allows leaders to effectively Strategy Overview 9: Create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) Strategy Highlights â¢ Provides clearly defined guidance and expectations regarding career development â¢ Improves perceptions of career opportunities in the airport industry Attracting New Talent Building Internal Staff Capacity Planning for Future Workforce Needs
Additional Practices and Strategies for Consideration 5-21 plan for the future and provides employees with the training and developmental opportunities necessary to close workforce gaps. At a time when rapid changes are occurring in the airport work environment due to emerging technologies, a shift toward more entrepreneurial business models, and new policies and regulations, IDPs can help airports ensure that the workforce is equipped with the capabilities needed to achieve and maintain effective airport-wide performance and operations. The flexibility and adaptability that IDPs offer further support the dynamic nature of the industry. IDPs also have the potential to support succession planning, as they can include goals and developmental activities that help develop employeesâ leadership and management skills. IDPs also demonstrate an airportâs willingness to invest in its employees. This can increase levels of employee engagement, ultimately leading to greater retention (Harrington-Hughes and Associates, Inc., 2010; Markos & Sridevi, 2010). Airports may also promote IDPs externally to demonstrate the career opportunities available to external candidates. Because IDPs help employees develop and advance in their careers, they can be supplements to career pathways. Career pathways serve as a broad reference guide, providing visual depictions of different pathways an employee may consider, jobs within those pathways, and relevant training and education for progression. IDPs provide a more customized road map and specific steps an employee should take to progress through the career pathway of his or her choice. Typically, IDPs include the following information: â¢ Basic information about the employee â¢ Assessment of personal strengths and weaknesses, including a description of how to overcome weaknesses or use strengths to progress toward goals â¢ The employeeâs career goals and professional development areas of interest â¢ Specific developmental objectives based on the employeeâs career goals â¢ A timeline by which various goals or developmental opportunities will be completed â¢ Commitment and expectations statements from the supervisor and employee IDPs should include both short-term and long-term goals linked to professional development areas and career goals. Encouraging employees to think long term will help increase awareness of the career opportunities available, which can serve as a potential retention strategy (e.g., âI need to complete X activity within the next 3 years to become a successful Airport Operations Managerâ). Strategy Overview 9 Contâd: Create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) S.M.A.R.T. Goals Goals included in an IDP should be S.M.A.R.T. goals, meaning they are Specific Measurable Attainable Results-oriented Time bound
5-22 Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity Additionally, it is best practice for IDPs to be aligned with an organizationâs strategic mission, goals, and objectives (Croteau & Wolk, 2010). Not only does this help improve the overall airportâs performance, but it also helps employees better perceive the impact their jobs have at the airport. Successfully implementing tailored IDPs for each employee also involves training supervisors on how to facilitate ongoing developmental discussions with employees regarding career interests and populate IDPs based on the discussions. They can then help employees identify opportunities to guide their development. Supervisors should also ensure employees are equipped with the resources needed to effectively pursue goals outlined in their IDPs. For example, supervisors should support employees in managing their workload to allow time to complete development activities. They should also provide employees with on-the-job tasks that allow employees to utilize and exhibit what they have learned during developmental activities. Finally, IDPs can be linked to the airportâs performance management system and can be used by supervisors to supplement performance appraisals, though the two should not be combined. Supervisors can then encourage employees to identify criteria required for advancement, focus on accomplishments, and develop in areas for improvement. Airports seeking to develop IDPs for their employees can find additional information and resources at the following sites: â¢ U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Individual Development Plan Wiki, https://www.opm.gov/WIKI/training/Individual-Development-Plans.ashx â¢ Insperity, 5 Steps to Creating Employee Development Plans that Truly Work, https://www.insperity.com/blog/5-steps-to-creating-employee-development-plans-that- truly-work Strategy Overview 9 Contâd: Create Individual Development Plans (IDPs)