MoDOT Senior Right of Way Specialist David Bower and his students at Avila University partnered recently with MoDOT Chief Financial Officer Roberta Broeker to examine employee compensation within the department.
Bower, who’s also an adjunct professor at Avila’s School of Business when he’s not negotiating right of way for MoDOT, taught a Recruitment & Selection directed study at the university this fall. Four senior students, two of whom were international, gained some real-world experience in evaluating solutions to pay discrepancies and other compensation challenges when they delved into MoDOT’s system.
“They took MoDOT’s compensation areas, whittled them down and looked for opportunities to improve,” Bower said. “They produced a final report that went to the department’s senior management team in December. It’s a rare opportunity to do something like this. It gives students exposure to actual workplace challenges and offers MoDOT a fresh perspective.”
Rebekah Capeder, Trenton, Mo., who also is a member of Avila’s women’s basketball team, said the course helped the students understand MoDOT’s challenges and led them to narrow down the most important issue to employees. They examined the employee satisfaction results, select Tracker measures and historical compensation data to help them focus on key areas of concern. The students also weighed the employer’s perspective, and how they value their best employees.
“In our generation . . . you need to do something quick to try to retain them,” Capeder said.
Bower said he was pleased with the support and enthusiastic response from Broeker, and the cooperation between her and the students.