The National Academies

ACRP 06-06 [Final]

Cultivating Talent in the Airport Environment

  Project Data
Research Agency: ICF Incorporated
Principal Investigator: Jessica Jenkins
Effective Date: 5/24/2019
Completion Date: 11/23/2020

ACRP Research Report 232: Cultivating Talent in the Airport Environment developed a “playbook” for airport leaders and managers, to provide inspiring, proven, and readily implementable techniques to enhance talent cultivation and knowledge transfer within airport organizations. Knowledge transfer refers to measurable, on-the-job transfer of both skills and training to keep a workforce prepared, productive, innovative, and competitive.
The playbook is designed for quick, easy application with key talent planning ideas that can be used by airports of different types and sizes, addressing all levels of the organization from entry level through leadership. It includes approaches that are tactical, strategic, and structural in nature. Attention has been given to strategies and techniques that focus on an organization’s culture and workplace environment by addressing integration of talent cultivation into the airport’s vision and strategy, alignment of organizational objectives and individual’s goals, job satisfaction, enrichment, engagement, and fulfillment. It considers diversity and inclusion, and competitiveness within the airport industry and with other industries for talent, as well as identification of emerging trends and future talent roles.
The airport environment is facing a shortage of individuals who can lead, guide, manage, and carry out airport-centric initiatives to support the aviation industry. In an environment where attracting, inspiring, and developing the airport workforce is becoming increasingly challenging, a vision for talent planning is needed.  This is a critical endeavor as we consider the negative economic impact of potentially diminished aviation activities in our communities.  
Today’s talent pool is looking for a dynamic career path. The aviation sector is filled with many vibrant career opportunities, and the challenge is to develop talent cultivation techniques and strategies that align the talent pool with the evolving needs of airport organizations. 
Previous research in the area of workforce development has created guidebooks and reports that, while helpful to the industry, should be augmented with readily implementable solutions. Different from a “best practices” guidebook, a “playbook” uses experiential and inspiring techniques to energize airport employees to embed talent cultivation within their organizational cultures. This playbook partners well with ACRP Research Report 186: Identifying and Evaluating Airport Workforce Requirements.
ACRP Project 06-06 was led by ICF Incorporated in association with VHB.  ICF has also included a presentation, available at https://www.nap.edu/download/26178, that will help communicate the findings to the airport industry, as well as case studies of various airports that provide examples that airport leaders and managers can reference to see how airports have been successful in creating an environment that enhances talent cultivation, supporting employee growth, and preparing the airport to meet future talent needs.  

STATUS: Research Report 232 is published



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