Enhancing Transit Organizational Culture to Improve Employee Psychological Health and Safety, Recruitment, and Retention

BACKGROUND: The transit industry has recognized and acted on workforce recruitment and retention issues for decades. However, little attention has been paid to identifying and reforming components of organizational culture that strongly influence recruitment and retention. The current workplace research and literature have focused on various new concepts designed to address retention and employee well-being, safety, mental health, productivity, and creativity. Transit agencies can increase the retention and recruitment of workers by building organizational cultures that support employees’ psychological health and safety. The transit industry would benefit from research examining how this industry and others have begun implementing psychological health and safety, mindfulness-based practices, and similar initiatives. The results of this project need to align with scalable, actionable products. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to produce a guide for public transit agencies on building an inclusive, transparent, and responsive organizational culture that supports employees’ psychological health and safety and leads to improved workforce recruitment and retention. RESEARCH PLAN: The TCRP is seeking proposals on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to present a research plan that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. This research will produce practical information and interactive products to help transit agencies and other stakeholders implement the study results. Examples of products are fact sheets, toolkits, checklists, a resource guide, training curricula, interactive products and other information-sharing methods. A sustainability plan for the ongoing use of the products should be included. The research should, at a minimum: Define organizational culture and explain its importance to the success of the transit industry and how that impacts employee well-being, recruitment, and retention efforts. Review literature summarizing current practices to support culture transformation leading to improved employee well-being. These practices may include efforts to improve psychological safety, collective and social engagement, inclusion, values and principles alignment, mental health wellness, and emotional well-being. Identify, define, and quantify (if applicable) the relationship between psychological safety and an organization’s culture. Identify and evaluate innovative approaches and best practices from transit and other industries that have resulted in an organization’s cultural changes supporting employee well-being, recruitment, and retention. Based on the findings, make recommendations. 


  • English


  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project F-32

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Start Date: 20241130
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902056
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project F-32
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2023 12:06PM