ACB FrameworkChange Forces • Workforce Evolution

Workforce Evolution

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Changing demographics, experience gap, increased expectations for non-traditional work arrangements, increased competition for specialized skills, reduced tenure lengths/ increased workforce transitions

Workforce needs and associated capabilities are evolving in transportation agencies. Baby boomers (those born between 1946-1964) are retiring, leaving behind an experience gap. Retirements of senior staff also create opportunities for introducing new ways of working and thinking into the organization. Millennials (born between 1977-1994) are entering the workforce, with different core values that need to be considered by agencies wishing to attract and retain new talent. Millennials are (as a rule) highly tech-savvy and collaborative, and value work flexibility and work-life balance. Younger workers are not staying in one organization for their entire careers. As a result, new approaches for building and transferring institutional knowledge are required.

The younger workforce also brings new types of expectations. Notably, younger employees express a desire for quick upward mobility and seek transparency in agency expectations for how to achieve that mobility. Purpose-driven work is a good motivator for younger workers and a good work environment is a major factor in a younger worker’s decision to stay in an organization.

The labor pool available to transportation agencies is also changing. The competition for technically strong, management-oriented staff is increasing as technology companies and other sectors outside of transportation seek the same skillsets in their hires.