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Why growing your own resources can help your organization succeed in the evolving energy and utilities sector

Why growing your own resources can help your organization succeed in the evolving energy and utilities sector

7 Minute Read

Energy and utilities companies are facing a labour shortage as experienced employee retire from the sector — and focusing solely on recruiting new talent will not be enough to overcome this challenge. It is crucial for HR leaders to explore new ways to increase employee retention to reduce high turnover in entry-level positions.

Investing in your workforce — or growing your own resources — is a strategy to provide new growth opportunities to improve the skills of your workforce and boost retention within your organization. These steps can help you get started:

  • Communicate growth opportunities
  • Support different types of growth
  • Provide mentorship programs
  • Adapt to changing expectations
  • Promote career planning
  • Tap into overlooked talent
  • Measure your results
Consulting Leader, Energy and Utilities
Manager, Consulting Services

Energy and utilities companies are facing a labour shortage as experienced employees retire from the sector — and many HR leaders are struggling to find new talent to fill these empty positions. A report by Electricity Human Resources Canada states that almost half of the sector’s core occupations are projected to face shortages. How can you ensure that your organization has the talent it needs to remain competitive as the energy and utilities sector continues to transform?

You may be focusing your efforts on recruiting new talent. However, it is not enough to solely get more employees into your company. A strategy to invest in your workforce — or growing your own resources — can help boost retention and keep skilled employees within your organization. This approach is necessary to overcome challenges as the energy and utilities sector continues to experience a labour shortage and high turnover in entry-level positions.

What is the value of investing in your workforce?

On average, the cost of turnover is estimated to be three times the total compensation of the individual who is leaving your organization. This figure includes operational inefficiencies while your organization searches for a replacement — as well as the cost of recruitment.

However, high costs are not the only consequence of turnover within your organization. It also means that your organization may not have the skills it needs to remain successful as the energy and utilities sector continues to evolve. New technologies and the transition toward net-zero electricity are transforming the sector — and you need to keep employees with the right skills and competencies within your organization to stay competitive.

Looking beyond recruitment to explore new ways to increase employee retention can help both reduce the high cost of turnover and ensure your organization has the competencies it needs to succeed in a changing sector. Growing your own resources is a strategy to provide growth opportunities, invest in the skills of your workforce, and boost employee retention.

How to grow your own resources

Investing in your workforce involves assessing your internal structure and creating strategies to improve the employee experience. These steps can help you grow your own resources and increase retention within your organization: 

Communicate opportunities

Many employees will leave an organization if they do not see a path forward in their career. This makes it critical to examine how your organization provides professional growth opportunities — and how you communicate those opportunities to your employees.

Providing tools such as an internal job board can help raise employee awareness of new opportunities within your organization. Even if they do not apply for an open position, it can help paint a picture of the options available within your organization if they decide to explore a new career path.

Support different types of growth

According to a report from Statistics Canada, While some aim to grow into a management position, others may prefer to move to different roles or departments, such as shifting from the front line to the back office.

Explore ways that your organization can support both vertical and lateral growth, including the ability to connect with those in other departments to learn more about their roles. There may also be opportunities to allow employees to temporarily try out another position in your organization through expressions of interest.

Provide mentorship programs

Experienced employees are rapidly retiring from the energy and utilities sector — and taking their valuable knowledge and experience with them. Providing opportunities for these employees to mentor new employees will help preserve that knowledge within your organization.

These mentorship programs can also provide new employees with a greater sense of the opportunities available within your organization and potential areas they can move to in the future. This helps to increase their engagement with your organization and encourages them to stay with your company over the long term.

Adapt to changing expectations

Employee expectations are changing — and new employees entering your workforce may not fit into the same box as your previous employees. It is crucial to adapt to these evolving expectations to reduce high turnover in entry-level positions.

For example, the definition of employee wellness has expanded to include factors such as physical, social, emotional, financial, professional, and mental health. It is crucial to ask yourself how you can foster all aspects of employee wellness within your organization, such as by introducing monthly pulse checks to help recognize the needs of your employees and meet their expectations.

Energy and Utilities

Every business needs power to succeed. Whether you produce, generate, transmit or regulate the energy that keeps Canada — and the world — ticking, MNP has the expertise you need to keep pace with this dynamic market.

Promote career planning

It is also important to create opportunities to support career planning within your organization. Connect with high potential employees to ask questions such as what motivates and drives them in their position.

These stay interviews can help identify what is keeping employees with your organization — from training, learning, mentorship, or career development opportunities. This can help you offer more opportunities and support to ensure your employees reach their career goals,

Tap into overlooked talent

Experienced employees at higher levels within a company are most often responsible for decision-making. However, this traditional approach causes many organizations miss out on exciting opportunities to tap into innovation.

Different skills may develop at different times — for example, problem-solving skills are strongest in the mid-20s while emotional intelligence peaks at around 60 years of age. Inviting employees from different age groups to participate in decision-making conversations can lead to creative new ideas to drive your organization forward. It also helps increase employee engagement and supports a sense of belonging within your organization.

Measure your results

It is crucial to monitor your employee programs and initiatives to determine if they are working or if you need to refine your approach. Track whether you are fully utilizing your budget for employee growth initiatives — and whether those initiatives are aligned with your workforce planning requirements to support the future of your organization.

Metrics can also help you monitor how many internal leaders you are hiring to determine whether your mentorship and succession planning efforts are achieving the right results. Additionally, implementing monthly pulse checks can help measure the culture in your workplace and make adjustments to increase employee satisfaction and improve retention. The technology solutions listed below provide valuable data and analytics to help you measure your results.

Technologies to help you invest in your workforce

New technology is transforming the energy and utilities landscape. Solutions such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms can help support your approach toward investing in your workforce. These platforms can also help you measure your results to achieve successful outcomes.

• Support learning and development — ERPs can help you track employee training and certification to support growth within your organization.

• Gain insights into your workforce — ERPs can help you gain valuable insights into your workforce. These solutions provide dashboards to centralize, track, and analyze your human resources data to enhance workforce planning.

• Enhance the employee experience — ERPs can help support collaboration and communication between employees in your organization. This helps to elevate the employee experience and increase employee satisfaction.

Take the next steps

Taking the steps to grow your own resources and increase employee retention can help your organization overcome the current labour shortage in the energy and utilities sector. However, it is important to remember that leadership plays a crucial role in organizational transformation. It is vital to get leaders across all levels of your organization to champion these initiatives to transform how you invest in your workforce and achieve successful outcomes.

For more information about developing a strategy to increase employee retention within your organization, contact MNP's Consulting Team. We have the experience to help you create an effective strategy and ensure you reach your goals.


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