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Utilities Need to Appeal to Younger Workers

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Around 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day. Utilities need to replace these older workers with new, young and technology-savvy job entrants. However utilities have a problem: this is not a exciting choice of career for many young people and companies like Amazon, Tesla and Google are looking to recruit them too.

The need for young talent with digital skills is heightened by the aging technology and obsolescent infrastructure hampering the industry - especially now we are emerging from the pandemic to face greater climate pressures than ever before. Modernizing the USA's utilities infrastructure requires a robust workforce with strong technical competencies. Utilities need to bring on board digitally savvy talent now more than ever. Emerging technologies such as battery energy storage, electric vehicles, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming the industry, so more technical skills are required across nearly every job role.

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What can Utilities do to to improve this situation?

  • Create a good work environment

  • Develop outreach recruiting strategies

  • Invest in workplace technology

  • Aim for continuous improvement and upskilling

  • Align with modern values

 

Create a Good Work Environment

 

Aside from the obvious increase in worker satisfaction, which would result in improved talent acquisition and retention, better employee experience can also yield substantial business benefits. A positive employee experience not only improves productivity but also increases retention and improves morale which ultimately provides better customer service benefiting both utility and customers.

 

Develop Outreach Recruiting Strategies

 

Today's young people are very socially aware, and constantly using social media, interacting in many ways. They are unlikely to scan the Jobs Section of the local newspaper to find employment. Innovative and pro-active recruiting will be necessary – but also can reach more candidates more quickly than before.

 

Invest in Workplace Technology

 

Utilities need to update internal workplace technology. Investments in tools for collaboration, multi-channel communication, analytics, community development, and remote work can boost overall employee efficiency, productivity, and job satisfaction.

 

    Aim for Continuous Improvement and Upskilling

     

    More than ever the work environment is in constant flux. New technologies emerge and older ones are no longer useful. Who remembers fax machines? So employees need to have a program of continuous training and upskilling to ensure they are able to keep on top of fast-moving technological advances.

     

    Align with Modern Values

     

    This is perhaps the most difficult for somewhat staid companies, in a backbone sector of the economy. However a large proportion of young people have embraced different values to the collar-and-tie office cubicle image of the average worker. Their values are open, inclusive, and usually pro-environment and LBGTQ+ positive. So companies need to ensure that they are open to these values too, or potential workers will find career openings elsewhere.

    The more dynamic utilities are already adapting to the new working environment and this will have benefits for companies, workers and consumers.

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