Discerning what utility employees consider important.
Dan Mode (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been a senior performance consultant with PLS Consulting for 22 years. He has conducted leadership and teambuilding workshops for more than 25 utilities, including TXU, Con Edison, SCE, Xcel Energy, Bonneville Power and Peoples Gas.
Since organizations have existed, managers have struggled to create an environment that will motivate employees—especially field personnel, plant workers, and operations staff. How do I reward, recognize and praise employees in ways that are meaningful? What about those few workers who simply don’t care about themselves or others?
During the past three years, representative individuals among more than 350 participants attending leadership and team building workshops were asked to identify techniques that have meaning to them. Recent studies indicate that people from various generations—i.e., Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials—each require a different set of motivators, but those age gaps seem less important to utility employees who depend on their colleagues for creating a safe work environment.
More than 1,500 examples of critical incident data were collected, analyzed, and organized into commonly mentioned motivators and demotivators. Data reliability continually increased as many of the observations, statements, and comments were exactly the same or similar.
These are the employees who literally are on the line, in the trenches and dealing with customers every day. Their remarks indicate they know precisely what is important, what adds value, and what gets in the way of their success.