Our integrated talent management framework supports the workforce planning and development requirements across Downer. This strategic approach to maintaining and developing the best talent starts with supporting, developing and retaining our existing leadership, management and workforce talent.
We regularly monitor the labour and industry markets in which we work to:
- Understand national and State-based skills shortages
- Develop retention strategies for high risk casual workforces
- Retain and transition specialist and skilled workers across projects within Downer Group
- Involve our operational and HR/IR teams at the bid and tender stage of the project lifecycle
- Analyse tertiary education and school leavers’ choices and pathways (i.e. upcoming talent pipeline)
- Benchmark and adjust employment packages to remain competitive
- Embed our integrated talent management framework to provide company-wide strategy and governance
- Understand our workforce planning requirements across the entire company to ensure we have the right skills in the right places for successful delivery
- Direct our workforce development strategy and plans.
At a Group level, our talent attraction strategy focused across generations, gender, Indigenous and other targeted areas of diversity in FY21. In addition, the Business Units tailor programs that support their specific needs and provide further opportunity for targeted groups, such as ex-Defence personnel, pathway and semi-skilled programs for minority and culturally diverse groups, youth and ageing workforce groups, and programs that improve recidivism rates.
Building a diverse and inclusive workplace is key to achieving our workforce strategy and relies on a robust and functional integrated talent management framework. We recognise that the right culture provides a significant competitive advantage in not only attracting and retaining talent but supporting our people to reach their potential and to feel valued.
Talent Management and Succession Planning (TMSP) framework
We are progressing our approach to set up consistent talent practices related to hiring, development and succession planning for the senior layers within the business, down to CEO-3, with plans to review down to CEO-4 in FY22.
Our workforce is encouraged to participate in employee Performance Development Plans (PDP) throughout their careers to identify career goals and develop structured career pathways. The PDP is actioned and reviewed with the employee as often or as little as the employee wishes during the year and is formally assessed with a performance rating once annually.
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. COVID-19 necessitated the need to move our programs to online delivery to maintain our workforce development.
In FY21, 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 FY21, Downer delivered over 226,000 hours of internal courses. Based on our workforce profile of 34 per cent female and 66 per cent male, Downer estimates there were 77,108 training hours delivered to female employees and 149,681 hours to male employees. This equates to 4.87 training hours per female and 4.96 hours per male.
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.
Our approach to training is a mix of compliance and capability programs that meet contractual and employment development obligations and requirements.
We believe that the changing nature of the industries we operate in presents significant opportunity for Downer. Our approach is to invest in new skills, so 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.
Remuneration and reward
Downer implements a remuneration and reward strategy which focuses on market competitive remuneration packages to attract and retain industry-leading talent. This strategy draws on the collective remuneration experience of our team and includes a focus on industry competitiveness and further incentives.
Downer operates across several sectors in which female equality has traditionally lagged behind other major industries. We are committed to overcoming the challenges this presents by focusing on practical ways to attract, develop and retain female talent.
Downer believes that gender should not be a factor when we make decisions on rewarding our team members, and is committed to equitable remuneration practices across the Group. We will continue to drive this expectation commencing from the point of recruitment, at each promotion and annually via our Professional Development Plan program.
We understand that Downer employees are regular consumers. 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 full-time and part-time employees at Downer’s major Australian and New Zealand sites 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: discounted vehicle rentals and leasing deals, discounted technology products and a wide range of shopping offers.
Parental leave benefits
Parental leave is available to eligible employees. In FY21, a total of 226 employees took parental leave, a decrease of 12 per cent compared to FY20. In both reporting periods, the vast majority of employees who took parental leave were female.
Downer tracked the return to work rate and retention rate for employees who took parental leave for the first time in FY20. This has allowed us to provide comparatives for the first time in FY21.
In June 2021, Downer launched a Manager Toolkit for supporting primary carers on parental leave before, during and as part of their return to work.
Employee Engagement Survey
Downer undertook a shortened ‘pulse-check’ version of the annual Employee Engagement Survey (EES) in November 2020 to check in on employees following a difficult year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted a full EES in May-June 2021.
The annual survey provides our people with the opportunity to give feedback about current work practices at Downer and measure the outcomes of passion (employee engagement) and organisation progress. Research shows that more positive results on these outcome measures are associated with tangible outcomes in turnover, absenteeism, safety incidents and performance.
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.
This year, Downer’s overall engagement score (which measures the positive attitudes and emotions that contribute
to employee retention and productivity) is 70 per cent. While this score is down two percentage points on our last full survey in 2019, Downer still considers this a positive result considering the upheaval of the past 18 months.
There have been a number of improvements on Downer’s 2019 results. The largest improvements are in the areas of Risk Reporting (up eight percentage points) and Cross-Unit Cooperation (up six percentage points). There is also notable improvement in awareness of senior management’s vision for the future (up six percentage points) and the belief in Downer’s overall purpose (up five percentage points).
The results of this survey have also highlighted that Career Planning and Career Opportunities is an area of importance to our workforce and one that Downer will focus on over the next 12 months.
To address the valuable feedback from this survey, Business Unit leaders will consult with their teams to create and implement action plans.