National Academies Press: OpenBook

Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice (2004)

Chapter:Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages

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Suggested Citation:"Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2004. Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13736.
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Suggested Citation:"Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2004. Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13736.
Page 8
Suggested Citation:"Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2004. Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13736.
Page 9
Suggested Citation:"Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2004. Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13736.
Page 10
Suggested Citation:"Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2004. Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13736.

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• Answering questions and conveying “What’s In It For Them” (WIIFT) to the tar- get audience. • Developing metrics, revising accordingly, and reporting progress to management and employees regularly. • Capturing and sharing knowledge; begin by documenting anecdotal success sto- ries and lessons learned. • Participating and collaborating with other transportation agencies and industry opportunities. • Remembering that evolving to an EOC is a journey! 6 What is an Employer of Choice? An Employer of Choice is… Any public transportation operating agency that, because of its reputation, is able to attract, retain, and optimize a capable and committed diverse workforce that enables operational excellence, safety, and high customer satisfaction. ° Externally, an Employer of Choice has a reputation for quality of services and products. Because of this reputation, they are known for being a compelling place to work, where employees can build world- class skills and work with other high-performing employees. ° Internally, an Employer of Choice has employees who are proud to say they work for the agency that successfully delivers on its mission and vision. Employees know their contributions make a difference and that they can count on their leaders and co-workers to sustain the agencies reputation. Customer Satisfaction Safety and Reputation Operational Excellence Capable and Committed Diverse Workforce EOC E X T E R N A L I N T E R N A L What are the Fundamental Concepts for an EOC? ° Is a journey! An organization does not become an EOC overnight…and the path is different depending on where you start and where you want to get to. Like any journey, if you don’t decide where you want to go, you will never know if you have arrived. ° Requires alignment. Alignment of the business strategy and the EOC strategy…alignment of the HR program areas and activities with the EOC strategy. ° Is a moving target. Even organizations that display “best practices” are constantly reassessing how they are doing…especially as business and market conditions change. ° Takes commitment. This is not an “HR responsibility”. It requires engagement of leaders, managers and employees. It will involve resources and focus – maybe additional resources, maybe reallocation of resources…but definitely a focus. ° Depends on a plan. Because becoming an EOC requires energy and commitment, organizations embarking on this road want to have a plan to get there…a plan which is driven from business strategy and which considers the organization’s objectives and desired destination. ° Should be the way we do business. Becoming an EOC is not a program. It should describe, inform and lead how we address our human resources systems – how employees and potential employees see us…everything from compensation to performance management to culture. Exhibit A: Sample EOC Key Messages. 1 2

Sample EOC Key Messages (continued). 7 3 Why is a Capable & Committed Workforce Important? Issue 1: Even if an agency wants to stay the same, external forces will force change. The labor market is shrinking, customers, public constituents and taxpayers are seeking reliable and cost -effective services, and environmental and conservation forces are elevating the provision of transportation service to a national priority. In order to achieve our mission and continue providing services and products at current or increased volume and service levels, we need to maximize the talent and skills that we have in our workforce, attract new and different kinds of skills, and keep our most talented employees from walking out the door. ° ° Issue 2: New paradigms and models for public transportation organizations require aligning human capital systems with fundamental changes in strategy. The work done as part of TCRP Project J - 08B New Paradigms for Local Public Transportation Organizations concludes that reinvention in local public transportation has be come essential. This work done by the New Paradigms project calls for an evolution in thinking and strategy. This shift to a new business paradigm – systemically different ways of delivering products and services – means fundamental, strategic activity at both an industry and an individual transit agency level. As organizations begin to adopt components of the new public transportation model, the need to adapt and align human resources strategies and human capital infrastructure becomes apparent. Among other things, it will mean ensuring that employees have the most appropriate skills for the new ways of working, a consistency in performance measurement exists (among the community, the organization, the department and the employee), a tireless focus on the customer experience is maintained, and an environment of participation taps into the creativity and knowledge of employees at all levels. ° Issue 3: Individual organizations, not industries, become Employers of Choice. Becoming an Employer of Choice is fundamentally centered on infrastructure, programs, alignment and reputation at an individual transit agency level. Actual programs and ways of working that are practiced by each agency make it (or do not make it) an Employer of Choice. The American Public Transportation Association’s PT2 initiative can raise awareness of career opportunities among workers who would not have otherwise considered a career in public transportation. However, keeping and motivating employees most certainly depends on their day-to -day experiences at the agency where they work. 4 Why is a Capable & Committed Workforce Important? ° Issue 4: Human resource designs do not make an organization an Employer of Choice. It begins with an informed governing body, an executable strategy, credible, energetic leaders and a committed workforce. An employer of choice organization uses an integrated combination of designs to focus priorities and to create line of sight. Designs are selected to ensure the attraction, retention and optimization of the desired workforce and help communicate priorities and reinforce behaviors and results important for organizational success. ° Issue 5: Leadership sets the tone and pace and is the “make or break” underpinning to achievement of Employer of Choice Status. Becoming an employer of choice is not a Human Resources department responsibility. Although the Human Resources department may be a key resource in helping to develop, implement and maintain pieces of the EOC strategy and action plan, boards of directors, leaders, and managers throughout the agency must participate and be engaged at various stages of the development and deployment process. ° Issue 6: Each agency is in the driver’s seat. While a long-term vision of remaking the public transportation industry is being crafted, at a practical level each agency must continue to meet the challenges of daily operations. Every day customers need to get from Point A to Point B safely, reliably and in ways that meet (or exceed) their expectations. Although the capital investment in transit agencies often garners focus, to maximize your capital investment, you need to maximize your human investment. Attracting, keeping, and optimizing talent are challenges faced by agencies every day, whether they are on the road to reinvention or not. As expressed in the TCRP’s Research Results Digest entitled Identification of the Critical Workforce Development Issues in the Transit Industry: “It is universally agreed upon that workforce issues are critical to the continuing success of the industry. Every property interviewed identified particular, severe problems faced in recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce…”

85 What is an Employer of Choice Toolkit? Contents ° This toolkit is a compendium of materials to guide the journey in becoming an Employer of Choice (EOC). ° The materials in this toolkit: • Address the areas of greatest opportunity in the transit industry identified by research • Are like the toolkit of a mechanic –containing a variety of materials that can be used as appropriate throughout the process of troubleshooting, diagnosing and building an EOC organization. • Are customizable resource materials • Include best practices, strategies, assessments, processes, tools and templates that can be selectively applied where needed. • Should be tailored “fit” your agency’s needs. 6 Vision Strategy Key Performance Metrics Critical Success Factors Operational Excellence : Delivering results effectively, doing the right things at the right times Customer Satisfaction : Reflection of Workforce Success Safety & Reputation : Differentiating the organization through its brand…employees are the brand Capable and Committed, Diverse Workforce: The ability to attract, retain and motivate a capable and committed, diverse workforce Where are we going?e going? How do we get there? What do we need to do well? How do we measure? Purpose ° This toolkit provides a plan of action as well as supporting tools and tactics to prioritize and build an aligned, engaged and committed workforce. This toolkit is aimed at providing: • A framework to consider the interrelationships between the delivery of world class transit services and human capital practices • A process to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities, priorities and direction for your agency • Methods to stimulate dialogue and action in your agency to enhance your agency’s ability to attract, retain and optimize talent ° Ultimately, this toolkit should help the organization align employees with mission What is an Employer of Choice Toolkit? Sample EOC Key Messages (continued).

97 How was this Toolkit Developed? • Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a global human resources consulting firm, along with Focus Consulting Corporation, has worked closely with panel made up of transit agency experts to design, test and develop this toolkit • The toolkit is based on research and information from a variety of sources, including best places to work organizations and input and insight from transit employees and transit boards at selected agencies throughout the United States and Canada, including: • BC Transit • King County Transit • Bay Area Rapid Transit • Go Transit – Toronto • Iowa (representing various small Iowa organizations • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority • Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority • New Jersey Transit • Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority 8 How do we Use the Toolkit? ° Although you can move directly to any section of the toolkit, we recommend that you follow the sequence listed below. 1. Read the Introduction. It will orient you regarding the topic Employer of Choice and use of the toolkit. A table of contents is included at the beginning of the Introduction. 2. Review Section I: Employer of Choice Boot Camp.This section deals with the critical role of leadership in becoming an Employer of Choice. 3. Review Section II: Building Your Agency’s Employer of Choice Strategy and Complete the Employer of Choice Diagnostic. This section provides information, processes and tools to: develop an Employer of Choice strategy, diagnose you current state, identify priorities and track progress. By completing the Employer of Choice Diagnostic, you will be directed to other sections of the toolkit. 4. Proceed to the remaining sections and resources in the toolkit as appropriate. You may be directed to a section in the toolkit as a result of completing the EOC Diagnostic, or you may simply wish to review other sections as a reference. Sample EOC Key Messages (continued).

10 What is Our Agency’s Strategy for Becoming an EOC? ° Themes may include: • The agency’s vision, mission and strategy • How a capable, committed and diverse workforce contributes to the agency’s operational success, customer satisfaction and reputation in the community and with the public – how the agency defines its goal of becoming an EOC • The agency’s progress to date regarding building a capable, committed and diverse workforce • The priorities for the next year and what will get tracked • The role of leaders in making the organization an Employer of Choice • How workforce input will play a part • What employees can expect This message should be developed by each agency and will be dependent on their place in the EOC journey. Sample EOC Key Messages (continued).

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TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 103: Public Transportation Operating Agencies as Employers of Choice documents principles, techniques, and strategies that are used in workforce recruitment, development, and retention. The report includes a companion document, Communications Strategy and Implementation Plan: Positioning the Public Transportation Operating Agency as an Employer of Choice, which describes strategies and solutions that offer the greatest potential for positioning public transportation operating agencies as employers of choice.

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