I have personally worked here for 31 years and there are many MCTS staff members who are in the multi-decades club. Our average retention rate is 17 years and we have one employee who has been with the organization for more than 40 years!
We retain employees by providing good, family-supporting jobs that allow individuals to become productive and respected members of the community. Our employment and benefits packages are attractive and the provision of pension benefits encourages individuals to remain with the organization over the long-term. This retention rate reduces replacement and training costs and develops a work force that is invested in the success of the organization.
I think it is also important to let employees know they are valued. More is needed beyond the paycheck. Employee appreciation day, long-term service recognition, an open-door policy and respectful day-to-day interaction are important ways to be inclusive and let individuals know that their work is appreciated.
Beyond this, good communication is extremely important, particularly during these challenging economic times, when services are being reduced, and the future of their jobs is discussed every week in the newspaper. This is no easy task with 1,200 employees, most of them working independently out on the street. Several years ago, we initiated an e-Newsletter that is delivered to employees’ work or home email every two to four weeks. Tough discussions happen in this venue. Employees are given firsthand knowledge about budget, legislative issues, route cuts and personnel changes. We are also exploring other options, such as electronic displays at the stations, to improve our connections.
Finally, we continue to remind employees of our ultimate mission. We make it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to get to work, school, shopping and all of the services essential for life. Despite the day-to-day challenges, people are proud to work here and to know that they are making a difference in our community.
Santa Barbara, Calif.
CHK America is a leader in planning and designing customer information for transit agencies across the United States. We are a subsidiary of Cook, Hammond and Kell, a UK-based specialist providing customer information for more than 150 years for trasport agencies throughout Europe. When we established the U.S. division 10 years ago, our company mandate was to bring European standards relating to customer information to the U. S. transit industry. While there are many reasons that we are able to attract and retain top-level talent to our team, our commitment to excellence is the overarching philosophy that draws key job seekers with “A” level talent to CHK America. Our in-house team of planners, researchers, editors, designers, cartographers and production staff, many of whom are former transportation agency specialists, come to work with us at CHK. Our employees set high standards for themselves knowing that tens of millions of riders a day will be using their information designs to navigate the nation’s transit systems. Developing an effective customer information program is a team effort and all the members of the team take immense pride in the finished product.
Of course we have other general programs and policies that are important to the well-being of our employees.
To remain competitive with business in general, health care is of utmost importance to our employees, and therefore, to date, CHK America has been able to pay 100 percent of the health insurance coverage for each of its employees. Our plan is comprehensive and offers diverse benefits. Not in the plan, but something our employees seem to like is the free supply of vitamins we keep on hand. Better for you and more energizing than endless cups of coffee!
We encourage our employees to grow in their careers and managers are encouraged to attend training programs at least once a year.
One benefit of being part of an international company is that we are able to organize employee overseas work exchange programs. CHK America maintains an exchange program with our London office for cross training — and as a perk for excellent performance.