TSA employee morale at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, and its spoke airports is on the rise, thanks in large part to an employees’ group called the Employee Advisory Council (EAC). Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, TSA’s National Advisory Council (NAC), made up of 20 TSA employees from across the country, recognized the Burbank EAC as one of the top five EACs in the nation for several programs aimed at improving the work environment.
Burbank’s spokes are Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, Santa Maria Airport and San Luis Obispo Airport.
“Low morale at TSA, in general, has been a concern for some time,” said Burbank and the spokes in a joint EAC statement.
The Burbank EAC tackled the morale issue by launching an anonymous Positive Improvement Prioritization Survey, a new career development webpage and a creative program called Meet a Vet, which features local TSA military veterans in its local newsletter.
The survey was designed to gauge employee interests and areas the local TSA team could improve such as workplace appearance, training and development, communication and recognition. “The survey gave employees an opportunity to provide direct feedback to leadership and see leadership working toward solutions,” said the EAC. “As a result, we were able to enact several initiatives including breakroom enhancements, new vending machines with better options, news channel rotations, more accessibility to information and additional mentoring and training opportunities.”
The new website offers a career development toolkit to consolidate job resources for employees in one online location and includes leadership strengths development training; public speaking, resume writing and job interview tips; and details for employees to map their careers.
“Employees routinely rate career advancement as unsatisfactory,” the EAC said. “One of the primary reasons is lack of knowledge from the workforce. Many don’t know what resources, opportunities and programs are available from TSA or outside entities. The creation of the toolkit gives individuals the power to take career advancement into their own hands.”
The EAC started the Meet a Vet program to show appreciation to current and former military service members and build comradery among airport teams.
Since launching these programs, employee morale is on the upswing.
The Burbank EAC appreciates efforts at the top to improve morale in the workplace. “The Administrator has done an exceptional job of making his commitment to the people of TSA well known,” said EAC members. “He has shown his commitment through support and the creation of programs and committees at a national level.”
EAC members call it an honor to be recognized by the NAC. “It was validating to see our efforts recognized at a national level. We hope sharing these programs and best practices will inspire other EACs (around the country) to take what is working for us and use it to make their local EACs the best they can be for their employees.”
“Our amazing EAC would not be possible without the incredible hard work and dedication of our management personnel, staff members, and most importantly, our frontline officers,” said Burbank Federal Security Director Anita Minaei. “It is the hardworking committee members who have the difficult job of working the issues and brainstorming the solutions and processes. I am so grateful for our amazing team who has ensured the success of our EAC and made this recognition possible.”