Rail Control Leading in the New Normal of COVID-19.

COVID

A summary of the key themes, lessons learned, ideas and best practices adopted by our Company during this period of unprecedented disruption.

Response

Business Continuity Planning
Rail Control was immediately responsive in March 2020, reliant on our Business Continuity Planning regime which included being ready to prevent and recover from a potential threat to the success and growth of our Company. The plan ensured that our Company’s personnel and assets were protected and we were able to function quickly as the announcements of COVID-19 became a national priority.

Staff Retention
The health and wellbeing, culture and engagement were considered and calculated as part of our response plan.  This planning has resulted in full staff retention in the last quarter of the 2020 financial year.

Shift to Working from Home (WFH)
Shift to WFH has been seamless for Rail Control, and we already have plans in place for the shift back.  We will continue to promote some of our core values of flexibility, autonomy and inclusiveness but instilling our versatile working from home policy, that of course has corporate boundaries.  We as an organisation have proven we can work from anywhere with good productivity and this is why a strong lesson learned from COVID-19 was to continue this as part of our ongoing culture.

The shift to WFH was also supported by our ability to support our employees with adequate property, plant and equipment where it was otherwise not available, and virtual technology platforms to promote and continue a culture of collaboration and team work.

Supply Chain Becoming Expensive
The airline industry has been one of the worst impacted supply chains and thus had an impact on our interstate project travel commitments.  Quick and responsive continuity planning has resulted in Rail Control chartering its own commercial aircrafts.  In addition to the financial benefits of chartering our own Commercial Aircrafts, we have also benefited from being able to implement COVID-safe travel plans for our FIFO workers with less contact points by reducing airport thoroughfares, controlled cleaning procedures and pre flight health and wellbeing checks.

Recovery

Building Requirements
Rail Control has three office locations in Melbourne VIC, Brisbane QLD and Banyo QLD, that all have COVID-safe building requirements that had to be considered.  This included navigating social distancing in lifts, factory and office desk placements, as well as health and wellbeing checks, contact tracing capabilities and regimented hygiene practices for shared equipment and services.

COVID Engagement Survey
An internal Employee Engagement Survey was performed at the height of the federal government restrictions.  For a part of our organisation, not being in the office and not working together physically could makes things a little more difficult and unmotivating however the survey results suggested that we have continued to manage the process quite well.

As an organisation we were really encouraged by the results. Some of the most notable ones were;

  • 85% either strongly agree or agree that Rail Control has been dedicated to staff health and wellbeing over the last two months
  • 94% either strongly agree or agree that their Leader has maintained open communication channels over the last two months
  • 89% either strongly agree or agree that you are satisfied with your overall job security
  • 89% either strongly agree or agree that you and your co-workers have maintained a good working relationship
  • 92% either strongly agree or agree that Rail Control has offered adequate workplace flexibility over the last two months

Reform

Refurbishment of Offices / Facilities
Office Planning has been one of the key areas of our shift back to office plan.  We have taken the opportunity of having relatively quiet offices to implement, refurbish and reinvigorate our office culture and dynamics. This has not been a cost burdensome exercise however has involved creativity and lots of fun.  We are looking forward to welcoming back our employees to our offices in the new environments as restrictions are eased nationally.

Permanent Expense Reduction

  • Year on year impacts to our travel costs, effective and productive meetings can be held virtually.
  • Employee engagement can be maintained virtually via show and tell initiatives, knowledge sharing and social activities.
  • Task efficiencies including recording of virtual meetings to ensure completeness and accountabilities maintained.

New Business Models
We are set up to succeed to operate and navigate new and existing projects with our clients and stakeholders in this virtual reality.

As a Company we have pride our ability to keep on top of government announcements and focusing on continuing to protect the health & safety of our employees and managing the business for the long-term.

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