Typical strategic management strategies include:
Identifying workforce composition based on retirements, hiring, and other organizational and environmental trends. Best for expertise, coordination, and change challenges.
Talent Acquisition and Retention
Creating hiring and retention practices and a corporate image that successfully attracts and retains the interest of target employees. Best for expertise and change challenges.
Proactively planning for successors to existing senior employees, and, where allowed, pursuing dual incumbency to ensure critical positions remain filled. Best for expertise and change challenges.
Developing onboarding, career development, organizational ladders, leadership training, and performance review practices to ensure staff have opportunities to identify and build upon current skills and address areas needing development. Best for expertise, coordination, and change challenges.
Talent Management References
Below are key references available if a deeper understanding or application of talent management is needed.
- Vermont Agency of Transportation: Employee Retention and Knowledge Management
- NCHRP Synthesis 323: Recruiting and Retaining Individuals in State Transportation Agencies
- TRB Special Report 275: The Workforce Challenge
- NCHRP Synthesis 362: Training Programs, Policies, and Practices
- Alaska Department of Transportation: Serving Future Transportation Needs
- NCHRP Report 685: Guide to Implementing Strategies to Attract and Retain a Capable Transportation Workforce
- Transportation Research Record: Millennials in the Transportation Workforce
- NCHRP Synthesis 543: Transportation Workforce Planning and Development Strategies
Support the future sustainability and performance of the agency by anticipating workforce needs and planning to fill gaps in skills and expertise, ensuring the agency employs the right people, with the right skills, at the right time.
Start by identifying the current workforce composition of the agency, analyzing the organizational structure, composition, and rate of change (e.g. capturing number of entry level vs. upper management employees, amount of new hires vs. long term staff, and the percentage of the workforce that is likely to retire in the next 5-10 years). Next, assess the organizational trends, technology changes, and other external forces that may create gaps in skills and capabilities at the agency. Identify the current skills and capabilities that the agency must maintain in the future and the new skills and capabilities that will be needed as trends change. Based on the current workforce composition and the predicted gaps in skills, develop a plan for hiring people to fill those gaps in the coming years.
Support the agency’s workforce and mission by generating interest and enthusiasm in target employees and successfully acquiring and retaining the talent needed to effectively carry out its goals.
After developing a hiring plan to fill skills and capabilities gaps, perform a market analysis to determine the needs and desires of skilled potential and current employees. Analyze current agency policy, then determine the areas where improvement is needed to make the work environment more attractive to prospective and current employees. For example, allow for flexible work hours or remote working options, provide appealing technology options, streamline the hiring process, or work towards competitive salaries. As improvements are made, highlight these in the recruitment and retention activities.
Consider engaging local universities and provide opportunities for summer internships or part-time work during the school year. These can be either paid opportunities or for college credit. Raise awareness of jobs in transportation by attending career fairs and holding information sessions. Show the wide variety of work available in transportation and demonstrate the path toward full employment.
Additionally, evaluate the ways the agency stands out from private sector employers or other public sector agencies (e.g. benefits, work-life balance, flexible work hours, agency culture, agency mission, etc.). These should be highlighted in all recruitment activities. Develop a workplace identity/brand to appeal to employees that fit the culture of the organization. Use performance reviews to communicate progress and areas for further growth to employees.
Ensure that critical positions in the agency are filled and knowledge is transferred effectively as workers change jobs.
Identify the critical positions within the agency and develop a succession plan for these positions. Identify the skills and training required for these positions and work to build that experience in people who may be able to fill the role in the future. Succession Planning is an iterative process and the plan will change as new people fill different roles, as roles change, or as the skills required for the roles evolve.
Provide training and opportunities for growth to help engage employees, build skills, and prepare for the future.
Develop an onboarding training program to help new employees feel informed and prepared and also set the expectation of continued training throughout an employee’s time at the agency. Offer training classes to develop new skills and highlight the career development steps needed to move up in the organization. Hold regular performance reviews to communicate progress and areas for further growth to employees.