Digitization is the answer to the major social and economic upheavals in the utilities industry
Merely integrating digitization initiatives into business processes is not enough to overcome challenges such as demographic change and to hold one’s own in the market. A (re)design of the working environment is needed to acquire or retain and develop those top talents who will implement and drive the digitization strategy. This is the reason, together with the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), we interviewed managing directors and HR managers of German utilities and also conducted a quantitative survey with utilities of all sizes.
People at the center of digitization
The current study shows that the human factor plays a central role in digitization. For example, more than 90% of the utilities surveyed consider the impact of digitization projects on the workforce in their corporate strategy. At the same time, three out of four utilities see the qualification of their employees as the answer to the consequences of digitization. This is also necessary because the utilities expect significant role changes in the workforce, which also goes hand in hand with new competence requirements.
The pressure to act and to shape the working world of the future is growing
Nevertheless, the energy sector is characterized by uncertainty regarding the concrete orientation of goals, the definition of future competence requirements for the workforce, and the design of personnel transformation. This is also reflected in the fact that the majority of current training programs are not yet geared to new fields of activity. In this context, the tendency to drive digitization forward holistically and to implement it in HR management, in particular, is also becoming more firmly established (73 percent of respondents). In addition, it became clear in the interviews that the days of HR as a service provider are (have to be) coming to an end and the path to becoming a strategic partner must be paved. This also requires that current structures and processes be put to the test and that solidarity between management, departments, and HR be ensured.
This is no easy task, but it is essential if we are to proactively and profitably shape the digital transformation and the working world of the future.
The complete study with numerous other results is available for download free of charge.