In Governor Bill Haslam’s 2011 inaugural address, he stated that the measure of effective government would be whether the state’s citizens are served well and at the lowest possible cost. The Governor initiated a “Top to Bottom” review in order to set priorities and establish measurable goals throughout state government. An extensive survey of employees and external customers and stakeholders was conducted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) as part of this review.
During the review of the survey results, TDEC recognized the need for a career track program for technically oriented individuals that did not require direct supervisory responsibilities. TDEC’s Bureau of Environment has developed, and is in the process of implementing, the Dual Career Track as a pilot for the rest of TDEC and all of Tennessee state government. The goal of the dual career track is to recognize the critical skills of our technical and other non-supervisory staff – as well as managers – to target training and allow for career advancement and, over time, higher levels of compensation in both supervisory and non-supervisory roles.
This Dual Career Track initiative is establishing a structured workforce where an individual’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies have been identified and aligned with the work processes and needs of TDEC. A team of TDEC managers and non-managers was assembled to create a “pilot” Dual Career Track program designed to enhance productivity, maximize exceptional customer service, and foster a workforce environment characterized by high job satisfaction, high morale, and low employee turnover.
Results to Date:
The implementation of the Dual Career Track initiative is nearing completion. It is already resulting in a flattening of the management structure of the TDEC Bureau of Environment. Positions have been reclassified into Environmental Managers, Team Leaders, Environmental Consultants, Environmental Scientists, and Environmental Protection Scientists. Pre-implementation, the ratio of managers to technical staff was approximately one manager to less than one technical staff person (1:0.6). Post-implementation, the ratio will be approximately one manager for every five technical staff people (1:4.7). The TDEC Dual Career Track is a pilot for the other state agencies with technically-oriented staff.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation