Our strategic approach to maintaining and developing the best talent starts with supporting and retaining our existing leadership and workforce talent.
We regularly monitor the labour and industry markets in which we work to:
- Understand national and State-based skills shortages
- Benchmark and adjust employment packages
- Align our talent development and succession programs to business needs
- Understand our workforce planning needs across the entire business to ensure right place, right skill
- Direct our workforce development strategy and plans.
Our talent attraction strategy continued to focus across generations and gender in FY20. Building a pipeline of diverse and inclusive leaders for the future and transforming the culture of our business to be more inclusive relies on strong talent management processes. Although there was an overall decrease in new hires, there was an increase in the rate of females and workers under 30 years old who were hired in the FY20 period, supporting our commitment to improving diversity in our workforce.
There was a slight decrease in overall headcount in FY20, owing to the impacts of the pandemic as well as business re-sizing. These impacts are also reflected in the increase in temporary/ part-time/casual arrangements across the Group, as well as an increase in turnover rates.
At Downer, we apply a Talent Management and Succession Planning (TMSP) framework across the Group, which guides the review of current business challenges and opportunities, and ensures workforce plans meet Downer’s strategic objectives.
We are progressing our approach to set up consistent talent practices related to hiring, development and succession planning for the top layers within the business, down to CEO-3.
Succession plans are in place for our critical roles, however, COVID-19 interrupted the review of this practice. Therefore, an update will occur in FY21.
People who receive development opportunities are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Our training priorities are to build strong leadership that welcomes diversity of thought and critical project capability delivery skills. In FY20, internal courses were delivered either by Downer or through
Downer-approved facilitators and covered a range of subjects including company compliance, technical skill development, soft skill development, cultural development, project compliance and trade certificates. In FY20, Downer delivered over 145,000 hours of internal courses. These total hours of training exclude external training, such as courses delivered by TAFE or another Registered Training Organisation, university or other forms of mandatory or licensing training.
Downer has a framework for employee-instigated Performance Development Plans (PDP) for employees to identify career goals and develop structured career pathways.
Downer is committed to investing in new skills to ensure our people are ready for the jobs of the future. Over the past five years, we have invested in developing leadership capability, as these qualities are critical to guiding our people and navigating changes to the industry.
Employee remuneration and benefits
Downer implements an employee remuneration and benefits strategy which focuses on market competitive packages to attract and retain industry-leading talent.
By leveraging our organisation’s size, we are able to access a range of benefits with large discounts to help our workers and their families.
All employees receive access to benefits including:
- Professional development: Study assistance, training, mentoring and secondments across the business
- Financial and other benefits: Salary sacrifice superannuation, novated leasing, leave entitlements, banking discounts and offers, and employee recognition
- Health and wellbeing: Flexible work arrangements, discounted health insurance, and health check-ups
- Lifestyle benefits: Travel and accommodation deals, discounted vehicle rentals and leasing deals, discounted technology products and a wide range of shopping offers.
Parental leave is available to eligible employees. In FY20, a total of 258 employees took parental leave, a decrease of 24 per cent compared to FY19. In both reporting periods, the vast majority of employees who took parental leave were female.
Parental leave figures reflect leave taken by the primary carer only. There are a number of male employees who have taken secondary carer’s leave, who are not captured within this report.
For the first time in FY20, Downer tracked the return to work rate and retention rate for employees who took parental leave. Strong results were recorded. Downer will continue monitoring these figures and provide comparatives for the first time in FY21.
Downer’s sixth annual organisation-wide Employee Engagement Survey (EES) was due to be conducted in April 2020. However, the survey was placed on hold due to COVID-19 as the business focused on continuing our operations to ensure our people had ongoing employment.
The survey is an important opportunity for people at all levels of our workforce to provide honest feedback on how Downer performs across a range of key areas including leadership, career development, recruitment and selection, rewards and recognition, Zero Harm, cross-unit collaboration, and technology. Downer will conduct a pulse check survey in November 2020.
- The return to work rate is calculated as: The number of employees who returned to work in FY20, divided by the number of employees who took parental leave in FY19.
- The retention rate is calculated as: The number of employees who returned to work after parental leave and were still employed 12 months after return in FY20, divided by the number of employees returning to work in the reporting period after parental leave ended in FY19.