The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S06-06 [New]

Supporting Employee Well-being through Workforce Programs
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 10/23/2018 -- estimated
Comments: Persons interested in conducting this research may submit a letter of interest.
Fiscal Year: 2019

Tentative Scope
Airports are facing many challenges that can create stress for employees. Changes such as new technological developments, increasing competitive and financial pressures, and changes to the workforce due to employee retirements are all impacting the airports industry. These changes together with the urgent situation inherent to working at an airport create a demanding workplace environment for employees. In addition, traumatic events that can occur in an airport setting have the potential to cause significant stress for employees. Overwhelming workplace demands and stressors can take an emotional toll on employees and can also affect their physical health and personal well-being. Organizations that can decrease stress for employees will create an environment in which employees want to work, therefore attracting new employees and retaining current employees, which can help keep airport operations steady and thriving.
A key element of attracting new employees is being a place that people want to work. If employees see that stress levels are overwhelming and the airport is doing nothing to ameliorate issues leading to stress, they may begin to seek other employment opportunities. Employees today want to work for organizations that understand their needs and are willing to create a workplace environment with their best interests in mind. As such, it would benefit airports to assess the well-being of their employees and implement strategies to reduce stress and create a work environment that supports employee physical and emotional well-being. To successfully achieve this, it is necessary to conduct research to better understand common stressors experienced in airport jobs and determine the most effective ways to overcome those challenges.
While focusing on employee well-being may be perceived as a daunting task for individual airports that do not possess the knowledge and resources to effectively implement it, a simple, user-friendly compilation of current practices would assist airports in identifying specific employee stressors and provide strategies to alleviate them. Research has already identified some best practices for reducing employee stress and improving workplace outcomes. Identifying issues that are impacting employees and increasing stress can assist airports in prioritizing workforce development initiatives to address noted issues and improve employee well-being in the future. Armed with the right tools, airports can focus on employee well-being to create a stronger workforce and keep employees healthy, satisfied, and in their airport jobs. 
The objective of this compilation is to provide a resource that describes the common sources of airport employee stress and identifies existing successful workforce programs for improving employee well-being by mitigating those sources of stress. The audience for this compilation is airport human resource and other managers responsible for employee well-being.  Research will document the current state of the practice and provide an overview of resources and tools available to help airports implement workforce programs to support employee well-being. The information gatherer and complied in a concise report should include, but is not limited to:
  • Identifying common workplace stressors for airport employees
  • Identifying benefits of improving employee well-being and reducing stress
  • Identifying current innovations and workforce programs used at airports or used in other industries but applicable to airports
 This research intends to assist a range of different types of airports improve employee well-being and workplace outcomes. Data collection should include a minimum of 15 airports (five large hub, 4 medium hub, three small hub, and three general aviation).
Partial Information Sources
ACRP Report 22 (2009). Helping Airport and Air Carrier Employees Cope with Traumatic Events. Washington D.C., Transportation Research Board (ACRP Project 06-01). Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/download/14302#

Cronin, C. B., Alexander, A. Majumdar, E., Riches, DC., Jenkins, J., Van Beek, S., Bisker, A., Heinen, B., & Lewis, C. (2016). ACRP Web-Only Document 28: Identifying and Evaluating Airport Workforce Requirements. Washington D.C.: Transportation

Research Board (ACRP Project 06-04). Retrieved from

American Psychological Association (APA) (2018). Mind/Body Health: Job Stress. Retrieved from

Bauer, T. & Erdogan, B. (2015). Organizational Behavior (2nd ed.) Flatworld Knowledge.

Clark, A. D. (2008). The new frontier of wellness. Benefits quarterly, 24(2), 23.

Holland, A. R. (2013). Workforce Excellence Program: Comprehensive Workforce Planning Model for Transportation Agencies. Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2013 (Paper #13-1088).

SIOP - Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (2018). SIOP Announces Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2018. Retrieved from  

Cho, J. E., Choi, H. S. C., & Lee, W. J. (2014). An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Role Stressors, Emotional Exhaustion and Turnover Intention in the Airline Industry. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 19(9), 1023-1043. doi:10.1080/10941665.2013.837398

Rosenbloom, T., Malka, Y., & Israel, S. (2016). Job burnout of security guards of aviation company. Personnel Review, 45(3), 557-568.

Chung, E. K., Jung, Y., & Sohn, Y. W. (2017). A moderated mediation model of job stress, job satisfaction, and turnover intention for airport security screeners. Safety Science, 98, 89-97.

Hu, H. H., Hu, H. Y., & King, B. (2017). Impacts of misbehaving air passengers on frontline employees: role stress and emotional labor. International Journal of  ing effects of supervisor, coworker, and organizational support on the link between emotional labor and job performance. Brq-Business Research Quarterly, 20(2), 124-136.

van Drongelen, A., Boot, C. R. L., Hlobil, H., van der Beek, A. J., & Smid, T. (2017). Cumulative exposure to shift work and sickness absence: associations in a five-year historic cohort. BMC Public Health, 17.

Lee, J., Ok, C., Lee, S. H., & Lee, C. K. (2018). Relationship between Emotional Labor and Customer Orientation among Airline Service Employees: Mediating Role of Depersonalization. Journal of Travel Research, 57(3), 324-341.

Mulder, S., & de Rooy, D. (2018). Pilot Mental Health, Negative Life Events, and Improving Safety with Peer Support and a Just Culture. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, 89(1), 41-51.
Fraher, A. L. (2017). Intergenerational conflict at US airlines: an unresolved Oedipal Complex? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 32(1), 75-88.

Persons interested in conducting this research may submit a letter of interest to http://www.trb.org/SynthesisPrograms/ACRPSynthesisNewStudies.aspx. 
Topic Panel
TRB Staff
First meeting:  TBD
Teleconference:  TBD
Second meeting:  TBD

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