Employee retention

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Mark Dean, the 2010 Transdev Yellow Bus employee of the year (a private bus service out of Bournemouth, England). Source: www.bybus.co.uk

Introduction

Retaining transit vehicle operators is especially important for ensuring cost-effectiveness because it reduces the costs of training new drivers and because experienced drivers improve efficiency and safety. Of course, retaining managers and other employees of transit systems is equally important, but vehicle operators generally interact most with passengers and affect their experience of the transit system.

Strategies

One of the most reliable ways to retain employees is to ensure that you recruit and hire people who are a good fit for the position and organization. Agencies should craft job descriptions that adequately inform applicants of the organization’s expectations and work to hire people who can make a long-term commitment. Other reports recommend offering competitive benefits to ensure long-term commitment, but in fiscally restrained times, this has become more difficult. Schedule flexibility may also be an attractive element of transit jobs that can help in recruiting and retaining employees.<ref>Anderson, L. et. al. (2010). “Guidebook for Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transit Managers for Fixed-Route Bus and Paratransit Systems.” Transit Cooperative Research Program. </ref>

References

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Additional Reading

Anderson, L. et. al. (2010). “Guidebook for Recruiting, Developing, and Retaining Transit Managers for Fixed-Route Bus and Paratransit Systems.” Transit Cooperative Research Program.

This guidebook from the Transit Cooperative Research Program examines the importance of recruiting and retaining transit managers. It also highlights methods of recruiting and training transit managers. The guidebook also includes ideas for rewarding high performing managers and developing a positive organizational culture. The appendix highlights 20 case studies conducted to establish effective practices for attracting and retaining transit managers. Most of the lessons learned are applicable across different-sized systems, but they are specifically geared toward smaller agencies.


Weiner, R. et. al. (2010). “Vehicle Operator Recruitment, Retention, and Performance in ADA Complementary Paratransit Operations.” Transit Cooperative Research Program.

This report, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration, specifically focuses on retention of employees involved in provision of paratransit services because this part of the industry experiences very high rates of turnover. Because ADA complementary service is different from typical fixed-route service in the demands placed on drivers, this TCRP Report offers necessary insight into strategies for retaining those drivers. In ADA complementary service, drivers must navigate complicated shared-ride routes and assist passengers with a wide variety of needs. Retaining these employees is especially important for ensuring ADA compliance and efficiency. This report uses the results of a national survey and findings from a focus group to inform its recommendations. Case studies from California include a private paratransit operator in Los Angeles and public transit systems in San Mateo, San Diego, and Orange County.