“I begin my day with a prayer of gratitude to help center my mind and be grateful for the little things that can have a big impact on the frequency I communicate with others for the rest of the day,” said Service Representative II Ashlee Franklin, who has been a member of the Division of Aviation’s Human Resources Department since December 2019.
“Once I was interviewed here, I ultimately decided to accept the position at the airport because I felt a great sense of growth opportunity, valuing of team members, and willingness to develop and not just actively recruit prime talent,” said Franklin. “The most meaningful part of my job is being able to instill confidence into team members who feel better equipped to accomplish their professional and personal goals after receiving training from our HR unit.”
Franklin’s vibrant personality exudes positivity in all the trainings and meetings she presents, especially the “Thurs-yay Water Cooler Conversations,” a bi-weekly meeting she assisted in developing to provide a virtual platform for employees to connect socially. The main objectives of the Water Cooler Conversations are to build positive company culture by providing an inclusive environment for all PHL and PNE employees, building employee morale, improving employee rapport and engagement within the Division of Aviation.
Franklin also assists with ensuring that all airport employees are compliant with all City-wide mandated training courses and Division of Aviation mandatory courses by actively tracking their statuses. The airport’s HR Department provides employees with diverse trainings in Microsoft Excel and Word, communication skills, financial preparedness, wellness, presentation skills, and much more. Franklin and her colleague Latia Hayes present several trainings at PHL including the City-wide mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention training.
“Latia and I work as a team,” said Franklin. “We don’t always think alike and agree, but each of us can often expect to ‘play a different instrument’ that can welcome a unified blended, ‘one band sound.’”
Like many HR units across the country, Franklin and Hayes have learned to take on the additional role of championing each other, in the HR Training and Development unit and guiding the department through expected and unexpected COVID-19 related disruptions.
“We have become more agile in the way in which we offer essential or key services that our peers have become accustomed to receiving from our unit, making decisions faster through improved collaboration, and providing training in various formats,” said Franklin. “One of our department’s biggest strengths is the ability to build relationships, and I think the challenge is how to continue to build those relationships as the nature of our work and our role in HR changes.”
Franklin's overall goal in the HR unit is to provide mentorship to incoming team members in training and beyond. She also believes team members within every department should always encourage better performance from one another.
“The thing I enjoy most about the airport is how much the Division of Aviation invests in the personal wellness and professional training and development of its team members,” Franklin said. “The level of investment into its team members in both areas is evidenced by resources provided for us such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which encourages maintaining a healthy work/life balance and also provides a myriad of other wellness resources at no cost to members.”
Franklin has recently been recruited by the Talent and Development Office for the City of Philadelphia to join the Training Council, a diverse collaboration of various City departments and employees who are training influencers, designers, and leadership strategists to find cross-functional and uniform training opportunities for every City employee.
“As a trainer, it is and has always been my passion to coach, train, and develop talent,” she said. “There is nothing more professionally fulfilling than recognizing talent in newly recruited team members and to coach them, harness their talents, and watch them grow into efficient and confident professionals!”.