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The National Academies

ACRP 06-06 [Active]

Cultivating Talent in the Airport Environment

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
Research Agency: ICF Incorporated
Principal Investigator: Jessica JEnkins
Effective Date: 5/24/2019
Completion Date: 8/23/2020

BACKGROUND
 
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.
 
OBJECTIVE
 
The objective of this research is to develop a “playbook,” for airport leaders and managers, that will provide inspiring, tested, and readily implementable techniques to enhance talent cultivation and knowledge transfer* within airport organizations. The playbook should be 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. Attention should be given to strategies and techniques that focus on an organization’s culture and workplace environment by addressing, but not limited to, the following:   
 
  • Integration of talent cultivation into the airport’s vision and strategy;
  • Alignment of organizational objectives and individual’s goals;
  • Professional development and career growth, particularly, 
    • Cross utilization and lateral movement,
    • Knowledge transfer and sharing, and
    • Succession preparation and planning;
  • Job satisfaction, enrichment, engagement, and fulfillment;
  • Availability of rewards and perks; 
  • Outreach and communication of the employee value proposition;
  • Impact of airport governance on talent cultivation;
  • Consideration of diversity and inclusion;
  • Competitiveness within the airport industry and with other industries for talent; and
  • Identification of emerging trends and future talent roles.
 * Note: Knowledge transfer refers to measurable, on-the-job transfer of both skills and training to keep a workforce prepared, productive, innovative, and competitive.
 
The resulting playbook should include approaches that are tactical, strategic, and structural in nature.
 

STATUS: ICF is conducting the research
 
 

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