Utilities need to proceed with unwavering focus to simultaneously identify and fund a cohesive strategic plan that creates both the right skill sets and mindsets to power their digital investments.
Key questions to consider as you move forward
1. Set your strategy for transformation:
Do you have a comprehensive view of your needs and resources to strategically prioritize efforts and position your organization for success, both now and in the future? Are your leaders aligned on the value of and the pathway to digital, and around the process and priority of unlocking your workforce’s potential? If you wait to come out of the downturn to invest, you will likely sacrifice talent to more proactive sectors. Skills, adaptivity and continuous learning cultures will be a competitive advantage.
2. Identify your talent needs:
Do you have an accurate understanding of your employees’ current skills and development potential, and, therefore, a sense of how many will need to and can be reskilled or upskilled? What are the current maturity, availability and access levels of critical skills within your organization and local market? What systems are necessary to begin to consistently and accurately measure those levels? This is crucial for understanding where gaps exist between your digital and skill investments.
3. Determine how to reskill and upskill:
What tools, partnerships and other resources exist or are available to aid in this transformation, and which still need to be identified, forged or acquired? To build, encourage and incentivize learning, you can develop recognized accreditations such as learning badge programs and create curricula that curate open-source learning materials that align with on-the-job learning experiences.
4. Identify and eliminate roadblocks to change:
What structural and cultural barriers exist in your organization? These can include a lack of leadership support amid competing priorities, general resistance to change, entrenched standards and mindsets, and governance and organizational design elements that hinder flexible, rapid decision-making and innovation. As utilities implement new technologies and processes to meet consumer needs and decarbonization demands, focusing on workforce and culture issues can make a true transformation possible.
In January and February 2021, TRUE Global Intelligence on behalf of the EY organization fielded an online survey of 159 P&U executives across the globe who hold a breadth of functional roles, including IT, HR, operations, strategy and digital departments.
As power and utilities companies implement new systems, tools and processes to meet customer needs and evolving sector demands, focusing on the workforce and the alignment between talent and tech can make true transformation possible.