Skills Recognition - to become a rail employer of choice

Becoming an employer of choice is increasingly important to the rail industry and some of the following approaches for Skills Recognition can be useful.

Wellness via increased morale

Skills Recognition is important from the employees perspective for a number of reasons. Job applicants and employees can gain a feeling of self-esteem and self‐confidence which can encourage them to further upgrade their skills, knowledge and level of qualifications. Showing interest in employees is a key factor in motivating employees and maintaining morale by supporting staff development and fostering a learning culture. 


Tana migrated from Singapore with experience in finance administration but no formal qualifications. Her experience and aptitude helped her find a job with a rail company. As she lacked formal qualifications, however, Tana was originally employed as an office assistant. While her English was good, she was not familiar with local communication practices and benefited from participation in a communication training course run by the diversity management section of the rail company. Through this course, the company recognised Tana’s excellent finance administration skills and her potential to excel in this area. Her manager supported Tana to gain certification in auditing. The qualifications and success in her studies boosted Tana’s confidence and interest in her work. She later completed a commerce degree and is now doing very well in a finance management role.

Labour flexibility and work/life balance

Labour flexibility is linked with work life issues, employee wellness and job satisfaction. For future commercial sustainability, organisations need to ensure they not just encourage but mandate a practical and workable work/life balance policy, benefiting and meeting the needs of both the organisation and its employees. And importantly, if organisations do not provide real opportunity for employee work/life balance, they are opening themselves up to having increasingly dissatisfied and unproductive employees and hence increased attrition rates.

Merely creating a work/life policy framework is not enough; fostering an organisational culture that supports the use of available policies is also of great importance.


Over the years Bob, an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, has had many family and community responsibilities to attend to and has subsequently taken leave from work. An appropriate skills recognition process could enable the rail company to locate suitably skilled employees to fill in for Bob as required, and to support him, as a valued worker, in taking leave when needed. A cultural awareness program at the rail company is helping non-Indigenous colleagues accept that Bob has genuine reasons for taking leave.


Strategies to assist employees in balancing their work and private lives include flexible work options, specialised leave policies, dependent-care benefits, compressed work week, flexitime, job sharing, shorter work days for parents, re-entry schemes, phased retirement and professional counselling