The incentive programs will cover what Bi-State Development calls “quick hits” designed to help team members feel more valued.  -  Photo: Canva

The incentive programs will cover what Bi-State Development calls “quick hits” designed to help team members feel more valued.

Photo: Canva

The St. Louis Bi-State Development board approved a $2.6 million plan to invest in new and current programs to attract and retain top talent.

Bi-State Development said it has been struggling with significant staffing shortages. The effort will impact team member amenities, employee benefits and wellness, learning and development, company culture, and recruitment, according to Bi-State Development's news release. The incentive programs will cover what Bi-State Development calls “quick hits” designed to help team members feel more valued.

The Gateway Arch and Riverboats operations, which are two of Bi-State Development’s enterprises, have had a challenging time finding seasonal workers this year, according to the company. The staffing shortage at Metro Transit has been compounded by higher-than-normal turnover rates. During the first three quarters of FY2022, Bi-State Development said it hired 368 people, but lost 469.

“We have to make some dramatic changes in how we compete for talent, both through recruiting and retention, so we can maintain the levels of customer service needed to keep our region moving forward,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development president/CEO. “It is imperative we create and sustain the most effective and efficient work environment we can support.” 

According to Bi-State Development, the new programs are aimed at directly addressing known challenges. In the benefits and wellness area, it will support paid parental leave, provide a subsidy for childcare/eldercare, cover the cost of tuition reimbursement and student loan subsidies, and pay for onsite mental health professionals to be available for employees in need of such services.

A new Wellness & Advocacy Center is being created, and team members will have new HDHP/Health Savings Account medical plan options, according to the news release. Family transit passes will also be available to team members to encourage them to bring their families onboard Metro Transit

Bi-State Development added that issues negatively influencing company culture will be addressed through a new management development initiative and anti-bias and anti-racism training, while the company-wide deployment of an app will help to improve direct communication and engagement with team members who do not have access to email.

“The competition for talent has never been more intense. We are optimistic this incentives package will go a long way toward stabilizing the exceptional team we already have in place, and toward attracting top talent who will help us build a brighter future,” Roach said. 

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