National Center for Sustainable Transportation
Vermont Agency of Transportation Employee Retention and Knowledge Management Study
- Author(s): McRae, Glenn
- Vallett, Carol
- Jewiss, Jennifer
- et al.
Employee retention is a critical issue for organizations of all types. Public sector groups such as the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) are no exception. Not only can the costs of recruitment, training, and orientation approach 100% of the annual salary for the position being filled, but work disruption and loss of organizational memory can impact organization performance. Vermont is not alone in facing a transportation workforce challenge. A recent publication from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program for state departments of transportation stresses the importance of knowledge management (KM) in these organizations and provides guidelines for enhancing retention and talent management, two key issues to an effective workforce. As the report acknowledges, the constraints of retirements, departing mid-career employees, and the changing workplace expectations of the millennial generation all play into an organization that may face a steady decline in resilience, unless a clear plan is in place to address retention and implement KM practices. Recognizing these critical issues, VTrans leaders embraced an applied research project intended to assess the state of both retention and KM at the agency and develop pilot projects to address both areas. This policy brief summarizes the findings of that study.