Somebody isn’t going to retain everything he or she learns in training; learning from day-to-day experiences fills those gaps. “You don’t normally have major crises or natural disasters, but every transit system has a series of mini-crises weekly,” Johnson explains. “We look at how employees react to those events and highlight the proper responses to those and also look for retraining opportunities when we maybe didn’t respond to a mini-emergency as well as we could have.
“When a big disaster hits, you’re never really going to know if you are ready for it until it hits, but by looking at our response to the small events that happen, it highlights whether you are ready to respond to an incident or not.”
As these examples illustrate, there are a variety of considerations for your hiring and training practices. Your ridership and customer satisfaction surveys will tell you if your practices are making the grade. Looking for operators that want to serve the public and that appreciate the differences and similarities in their customers will give you the best start. And, as these programs illustrate, developing an interactive training program that gives operators effective skills they can use will create the positive, proactive workforce you are looking for.