One of the more pressing problems facing utilities today is the knowledge drain associated with an aging workforce that gradually erodes the aggregate experience of utility talent over time. The Baby Boom generation is retiring, and many younger people, especially millennials, do not have much of a burning desire to work for a utility. The industry-wide result is an ongoing gradual decline in institutional knowledge and experience.
The Key to Utility Talent Retention
Luckily, not all is lost. There is a way to improve talent acquisition as well as talent retention: internal job rotation. In a nutshell, this involves a formal program where employees are rotated to different roles after a certain period of time.
The idea is that keeping employees in a state of constant learning and knowledge-gathering will enable a greater percentage of the workforce to achieve career aspirations without having to jump from company to company. This in theory would boost employee retention, which should allow the company to keep its talent acquisition and onboarding costs low, and should also result in an overall smarter organization since many employees will acquire multi-functional or multi-positional experience over time. Click here for a detailed overview of how to use this type of approach to reduce employee turnover.
As you can tell, I like this idea! Anything that can be leveraged to increase the knowledge and experience of utility talent and workforces can only enhance emergency outage restoration effectiveness. So, if you are responsible for succession planning, give this one some thought. Keep in mind that some within the organization might push back, simply because this is not the traditional way employees are nurtured – especially when it comes to utility talent. Therefore, you might need to start with a plan to tweak the company culture. Not the easiest thing in the world, but trust me, it can be done. Good luck!