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Establishing an agile and future-ready workforce

TMR is focused on ensuring the department has the right people to carry the organisation into the future and the right skills mix. The department understands the importance of creating a safe and supporting working environment and having a positive culture where TMR’s people feel supported and empowered. 

Strategic Workforce planning

The department’s TMR Strategic Workforce Plan 2019–2022 sets the vision and roadmap for TMR’s workforce. This plan, along with the people-focused strategies and plans, aligns to the Strategic Plan and aims to equip employees to meet future business challenges to deliver the transport network of the future. Strategic workforce planning considers our workforce needs and is developed at the departmental level covering a three-year timeframe. Workforce planning is also undertaken at the operational level, focused on determining immediate workforce requirements for the next twelve months to deliver outcomes of the current business plans.

Actions are developed at each level to ensure the department has the right people, with the right capabilities, in the right places, at the right time to support organisational objectives. 

Capability Blueprint

The department progressed its Capability Blueprint final report. The report does not present recommendations, as its focus was a self-assessment that considered our organisational capabilities in the key areas of leadership, strategy and delivery.

The department commenced reviewing the findings of the report with a view to develop a stand-alone range of recommendations around continuing to improve on our leadership, strategies and delivery of our program of works. These recommendations will form part of 2019–20 OneTMR Culture Program.

Digital capability uplift

The department continued to invest in developing our workforce to ensure we have the skills and capabilities required to deliver customer-focused solutions with agility, in line with the TMR Digital Strategic Plan 2016–20.

In partnership with industry experts, TMR delivered a range of formal training activities aimed at building our people’s capability in specific digital thinking techniques such as Design Thinking, Agile and Customer Journey Mapping.

Multiple large-scale events complemented these targeted activities, helping to build widespread awareness and understanding of new and emerging technologies, and collaborative and customer-centric design capabilities. More than 1200 employees participated in these events, which included:

  • What’s Possible - putting Artificial Intelligence to work (August 2018)
  • Agile in Action (December 2018)
  • Design Thinking Week (June 2019).

Alongside these activities, in August 2018 the department established a Digital Capability Development Network (DCDN) to connect employees to support one another, share learnings and strengthen their skills through on-the-job development opportunities. The network now comprises of more than 550 employees from across the department with an interest in uplifting their own and the department’s collective digital capability.

The department’s Customer Oriented Registration and Licensing Program has benefited from this learning and development approach by using a DCDN member to support and guide their adoption of Agile ways of working. The benefits were twofold with the DCDN member acting as mentor to help the program establish its Agile processes, while also using the experience as a personal development opportunity to build their own confidence and capability.

The department also strengthened its digital capability through the delivery a range of Proofs of Concept as part of our Digital Incubator initiative. These Proofs of Concept considered the value of new and emerging technologies such as applying machine learning to drone footage, robotic process automation and augmented reality, while upskilling employees in agile and iterative delivery approaches.

In recognition of the criticality of new and different problem- solving and collaboration approaches to the department’s future, in February 2019 the department established a Digital Capability Development Partnership Agreement as a whole- of-government Standing Offer Arrangement. This agreement supports Queensland Government agencies to more quickly and easily procure professional services from external suppliers to help their teams grow and strengthen their capability in a range of digital thinking approaches such as Design Thinking, Lean, Customer Journey Mapping and User Experience.

Industrial relations

During 2018–19, the department experienced an increase in complex case management issues and situations requiring management of employee performance, medical conditions and long-term absenteeism. This increase can be attributed to the reporting requirements under the Public Service Commission’s Conduct and Performance Excellence framework, as well as supervisors and managers being made aware of their obligations under the Public Service Act 2018 to proactively manage employee performance.

There was also an increase in the number of matters referred to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, including promotion appeals and fair treatment appeals.

The vast majority of these matters have been resolved in the department’s favour with no detrimental outcomes.

The Industrial Relations team worked closely with senior management, key departmental employees and unions in planning, negotiating and finalising the three certified agreements applicable to the majority of employees within the department.

The department continues to engage and work collaboratively with other Queensland Government departments, the Public Service Commission, the Office of Industrial Relations and applicable unions to ensure compliance with whole-of- government policies, directives and Award provisions.

Redundancy and retrenchment

No redundancy, early retirement or retrenchment packages were paid during the period.

DG, Neil Scales talking at a podium in front of a group of staff

Director-General Neil Scales presenting to the 2019 Graduate cohort.