THE CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created to ensure the safety of the traveling public, and nearly two million passengers are screened every day by its highly trained workforce. The work is challenging and requires a wide range of skills, from law enforcement to technology to security operations and management.

TSA is faced with unique challenges as it hires and retains people with the skills and desire to protect transportation security—everything from poor public perception, to varying security threats, to the introduction of collective bargaining. These challenges combined with a lack of consistent processes and procedures and frequent leadership turnover makes it difficult for TSA to attract, retain, and develop the workforce needed to successfully carry out its mission.

The agency wanted to proactively identify current and future workforce challenges, and set 5-year goals for evolving and enriching its human capital strategy. Eagle Hill was brought on board to help achieve these goals.

A NEW VIEW

First, Eagle Hill set out to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the workforce and TSA leadership’s vision for its future. We conducted a series of surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with representatives from the approximately 60,000-person field and headquarters workforce to understand the strengths and areas for improvement across all stages of TSA’s employee lifecycle (e.g., attract, recruit, develop, and transition). We also surveyed leading best practices within the federal government to identify relevant, innovative, and leading-edge workforce solutions.

From this, we captured approximately 1,000 data points and organized them to identify the high priority challenges. We also evaluated the changes that would need to be made at the enterprise level to create alignment with leadership’s vision for the future. In addition, we led a cross-organizational working group with representatives from each Program Office to brainstorm and develop initiatives that addressed the highest-priority challenges to create an integrated, agency-wide 5-year Workforce Strategic Plan. The working group members became true change champions, enabling agency-wide buy-in for TSA’s first ever 5-Year Workforce Strategic Plan.

Eagle Hill authored the plan, which included three primary objectives:

  • Integrate strategic workforce planning
  • Create a compelling employer brand
  • Align training and development to career paths

We also created an implementation roadmap for the plan, including project plans, performance metrics, a governance structure and list of owners for each initiative; and a communication plan outlining stakeholders, channels, and timelines to foster broader organizational awareness and support for the rollout.

UNCONVENTIONAL CONSULTING—AND BREAKTHROUGH RESULTS

TSA’s first-ever 5-Year Workforce Strategic Plan was ultimately approved by TSA’s Senior Leadership Team, setting in motion a repeatable process for workforce planning, the examination of workforce impacts stemming from a shift towards an approach to risk-based security, and the expansion of career path initiatives to Mission Critical Occupations. In addition, Eagle Hill’s implementation and communication plan supported the enterprise rollout of the workforce strategy across TSA’s 400+ field locations.