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June 6, 2023

Navigate Top Workplace Challenges In The Energy & Utility Industry

Energy and Utility

The energy and utility industry is rapidly evolving; with technology advancements and an aging population, recruitment and development challenges are becoming more and more prevalent. Creating sustainable and scalable solutions prioritizing employee well-being and development is more critical than ever.

What Are The Biggest Challenges The Industry Is Facing?

The energy and utilities industry is quickly growing, and HR is essential in supporting this growth, especially in talent development and workforce planning. Developing its current workforce and finding the most qualified people to fill roles in this rapidly changing industry is critical to keeping that momentum going.

Challenge 1 – Workforce Shortage

With a large percentage of energy workers set to retire in the near future, knowledge transfer is crucial. In the next ten years, most energy sector companies will lose a significant chunk of industry knowledge. HR managers are scrambling to train employees and prepare their organizations for losing their more tenured workers.

Challenge 2 – Talent Development

With new technologies emerging, an aging workforce, and demanding schedules, talent development has become more crucial in the energy and utility industries than ever before. Yet we often see a lack of investment in employee growth and development from both a professional and personal level, even though today’s workforce has higher expectations and is looking for more human-centric work environments. Due to the demanding nature of the energy sector, HR must find agile and flexible ways to upskill and develop their workforce. The skills gap will only continue to grow with an insufficient investment in employee growth and development.

Challenge 3 – Attract & Retain Talent

The energy sector is experiencing a massive surge in growth with renewal and green energy. Hence the recruitment market continues to be highly competitive. HR faces the challenge of attracting and retaining talent with new technologies emerging and new generations joining the workforce. Transparency, sustainability, inclusivity, and flexibility are expected and necessary to retain high-potential employees. Energy companies must create an inclusive environment for new and diverse employees.

Challenge 4 – Build Resilience & Morale

Travel burdens, long shifts,  high pressure, and physical labor can create high-stress levels for employees. In addition to unpredictable crises, the energy sector also faces unique challenges from technological advances and a shortage of qualified workers. Employees who are stressed at work feel less productive and disengaged, which makes building resilience more challenging. To effectively leverage their workforce, HR departments must improve their ability to create and foster a more engaging work environment.

63% of nuclear professionals said lack of a clearly defined career progression path has the biggest negative impact on job satisfaction. The US Department of Labour has also estimated that as much as 50% of the current energy utility workforce will retire within the next ten years, and the average age in the industry is 50. 90% of power professionals would leave their current role. 48% would move to another energy sector.

TaskHuman’s Solutions

New generations of talent join the workforce and expect a different kind of workplace. With the TaskHuman platform, your organization can improve employee engagement, training, and talent development opportunities. An increased focus on people will allow the energy sector and its workforce to grow.

Resources for HR Leaders:

HR Leaders In The Front Seat Of 2023 Strategy

Solutions To Workforce Shortage:

With a large portion of the workforce close to retirement, HR departments must support knowledge transfer. Upskilling existing workers creates a more multi-functional and efficient workforce. HR departments can support this initiative by providing real-time access to mentorship and leadership development. To further enrich their workforce, organizations should prioritize expanding their hiring pool and embrace Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives. When done right, DEIB drives the organization’s culture, increases employee engagement, and empowers productivity.

Resources for HR Leaders:
Why Mentorship Matters To Company Growth 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging Checklist

Solutions To Talent Development:

The energy and utility industries are fast-changing and diverse fields requiring constant adaptation and innovation. Therefore, empowering an organization’s learning culture is vital. In today’s market, employees look to their employers for development opportunities. Due to the demanding nature of the industry, investing in flexible learning and development programs pays off in the long run, both in terms of employee retention and greater capability. HR departments can easily support employees by creating a talent development plan. Talent development plans include career pathing, coaching for new managers and leaders, and mentorship programs.

Resources for HR leaders:

A Guide To Developing An Adaptable Leadership Framework

Solutions To Attract & Retain Talent:

While career and professional development are crucial for attracting and retaining talent, most employees, especially younger workers, want to feel part of an organization that supports them. Energy companies must adopt culture and engagement strategies that do just that. HR departments can create a positive and supportive work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered through well-being programs and leadership development. 

Employees also value collaboration, diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility. They want to work with people who support, challenge, and inspire them. HR can help energy companies promote a sense of belonging and connection through Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and DEIB initiatives, such as organizing social events, team-building activities, volunteering opportunities, and networking events.

Resources for HR leaders:

Best Well-being Program Practices Checklist

The TaskHuman Guide To Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Solutions To Build Resilience & Morale:

Rapid growth in recent years brings exciting opportunities for innovation. However, it also faces challenges such as skills gaps and high turnover. Although the industry can be high-stress at times, a primary driver of motivation for employees is the sense of purpose from their work. Prioritizing transparency towards company values and impact is crucial for employees’ morale and workplace resilience. HR must also develop and implement engagement strategies that keep employees empowered, productive, and safe.

Effective engagement strategies include regular one-on-ones, consistent feedback and praise, tangible goals, and career development. Managers and leaders must be equipped with proper training to develop soft skills and implement such strategies.

Resources for HR leaders:
Lead and Succeed Through Uncertainty
Watch On-demand: Strengthen Company Culture During Restructuring

89% of L&D pros agree that proactively building employee skills will help navigate the evolving future of work. 82% of global leaders agree that the HR function is more critical now than it has ever been.

Employee Growth & Support At Scale

The TaskHuman platform connects a global network of professional expertise to your employees, unlocking their fullest potential, improving performance and engagement, and providing preventative support – instantly.

Sources: Airswift, Smart Energy International, Airswift, LinikedIn, LinkedIn

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