Ad hoc approaches will fall short when the workforce crisis strikes.
Camilo Serna is a Chicago-based partner with management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utilities are feeling the pain from shortages of skilled employees who are critical to maintaining high quality in operations and building business for the future. These shortages will get worse, perhaps much worse.
Utilities find it increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent in tight labor markets; to accommodate younger employees with different approaches to life at work; to retain older employees considering early retirement; and to transfer critical knowledge within the firm. Though many industries face similar challenges, the situation faced by utilities is particularly acute, in part because of insufficient enrollment in feeder programs, large numbers of retirement-eligible employees, thin ranks at middle-management levels, and the growing demand for new generation and for infrastructure replacement.