Workforce Retention Study in support of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center human capital management strategy
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In Fiscal Year 15, the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) experienced an attrition rate of 10.4% of its civilian workforce. Without mitigation, the current employee turnover could result in a loss of organizational knowledge, reduction in the number of highly skilled test center employees, and a failure for ATC to meet mission objectives, namely the execution of rigorous testing to support Department of Defense acquisition programs. A Workforce Retention Study (WRS) was conducted to analyze and address current ATC attrition trends and to provide recommendations on strategies to improve retention. To determine the most suitable recommendations, the WRS Research Team conducted a comprehensive literature review and collected data from existing sources. In addition, surveys were designed and deployed to current and former ATC employees to collect data regarding job satisfaction, motivation, demographics, leadership, suggestions for improvement, and future plans. The WRS identified that, in general, ATC civilian employees stay employed at ATC because of the organization's meaningful mission, work/life balance, and effective supervisor-to-employee relationships. Factors contributing to employee dissatisfaction include a lack of career growth opportunities and competitive pay, inefficient organizational processes, ineffective leadership, lack of a flexible telework program, and poor facility/work conditions. In order to retain high-performing employees, the WRS Research Team recommends ATC increase career growth opportunities; streamline and simplify organizational processes; improve leadership training, accountability, and empowerment; implement a more flexible telework program; and prioritize infrastructure improvement.
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