As the world transitions towards a low-carbon future, the industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and invest in clean energy. It is an exciting time to be in energy, yet, energy companies face a skills gap as a significant portion of the baby boomer workforce is set to retire in the next few years. There is a necessity to hire talent that is fresh and innovative, including Gen Z, to fill this gap.
Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is the largest generation in history and will soon make up a significant portion of the future workforce. They are a generation whose job satisfaction matters as much to them as remuneration and other benefits. This future talent pool is highly conscious of social issues and environmental stewardship and seeks purpose and authenticity compared to the current workforce. For the energy industry to meet its goals, it must attract and retain top talent from this generation.
To do so, the energy industry must understand the values and priorities of Gen Z talent and take actionable measures to create a workplace that aligns with their values. This article explores five actionable measures the energy industry can take to attract Gen Zers to the future workforce.
Understanding Generation Z
Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a highly connected, diverse, and rapidly changing world. They are digital natives, and technology has shaped their values and priorities. As a result, Gen Zers are highly conscious of social and environmental issues and believe that businesses are responsible for positively impacting society and the environment.
For Gen Zers, work is not just a means to an end. This generation of employees seeks purpose and authenticity in their work and wants to be part of something meaningful. This means they are more likely to work for companies that align with their values and prioritise social and environmental responsibility.
They also value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and expect their workplaces to reflect these values. They want to work in an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued. They also prioritise transparency and honesty and expect their employers to communicate openly and honestly about their values, goals, and impact.
The energy industry needs to understand these aspects of Gen Zers. It must embrace Gen Z's values and create a workplace culture that aligns with their priorities. This includes promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, prioritising sustainability and social responsibility, and communicating transparently about the company's goals and impact during and after the company's recruitment process.
Build a diverse and inclusive workplace
Gen Z prioritises diversity, equity, and inclusion and expect their workplaces to reflect these values.
To create a diverse and inclusive workplace, the energy industry can take the following actions:
Recruit fresh talent from diverse backgrounds
The energy industry can attract talent by creating inclusive job descriptions, contacting diverse talent pools, and using various recruitment methods. It is also essential to eliminate unconscious biases from the recruitment process and ensure all candidates have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Promote diversity and inclusion
The energy industry can encourage diversity and inclusion by creating employee resource groups, hosting training sessions, and implementing a diverse and inclusive culture. These initiatives can help employees feel valued and included, improving retention and productivity.
Foster a culture of belonging
Creating a culture of belonging means that every employee feels valued, respected, and included. The energy industry can foster a culture of belonging by promoting open communication, celebrating diversity, and providing opportunities for employees to give feedback and shape the company culture.
Offer equal opportunities
Gen Z seeks workplaces that provide equal opportunities for all employees. The energy industry can ensure that all employees have an equal opportunity to succeed by offering fair pay and benefits, providing training and development opportunities, and promoting from within.
Invest in sustainability and innovation
As the first generation to grow up in a world threatened by climate change, Gen Zers are highly concerned about the environment and expect businesses to take responsibility for their impact. The energy sector can take the following steps to invest in sustainability and innovation:
Develop green energy technologies
The energy industry can invest in research and development of clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar, and hydropower, that can reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and help meet global carbon reduction goals. Companies can partner with universities and research institutions to accelerate innovation and development.
Reduce carbon emissions
The energy industry can reduce carbon emissions by investing in carbon capture and storage technologies, implementing energy-efficient practices, and transitioning towards low-carbon energy sources. By setting ambitious targets for carbon reduction, the industry can show its commitment to sustainability and attract top talent from Gen Z.
Adopt sustainable business practices
Companies in the energy industry can adopt sustainable business practices, such as reducing waste, recycling, and minimising water usage. They can also implement sustainability reporting frameworks to track and report their sustainability performance to stakeholders.
Embrace circular economy principles
The energy industry can embrace circular economy principles, which involve designing products and processes to minimise waste and ensure that materials are used for as long as possible. By doing so, companies can reduce their environmental impact and attract talent that values sustainability.
Embrace new technologies
As a digital generation that has grown up with cutting-edge technologies at their fingertips, Gen Zers want their workplaces to embrace digital transformation and adopt new technologies. The energy industry can take the following steps to embrace modern technologies:
Adopt artificial intelligence
The energy industry can adopt artificial intelligence (AI) to improve operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. AI can optimise energy use, predict maintenance needs, and automate routine tasks, freeing employees to focus on more complex and strategic work.
Utilise the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical devices, vehicles, and other items embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity that enable them to exchange data. The energy industry can use IoT to monitor energy usage, track equipment performance, and automate energy usage, improving efficiency and cost savings.
Implement blockchain technology
Blockchain technology can increase transparency and traceability in the energy industry. For example, it can track renewable energy credits and carbon offsets, giving customers greater visibility and assurance of the energy's sustainability.
Enhance the customer experience
The energy industry can use new technologies to improve the customer experience, such as developing mobile apps that enable customers to manage their energy usage, pay bills, and receive personalised recommendations.
Provide purpose-driven career opportunities
As a future workforce that values purpose and authenticity in their work, Gen Zers are looking for careers that align with their values and enable them to impact the world positively. The energy industry can take the following steps to introduce purpose-driven career opportunities into the job market:
Develop careers in renewable energy
The energy industry can develop careers in renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, to attract talent passionate about sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.
Focus on sustainability and innovation
: The energy industry can develop careers focused on sustainability and innovation, such as developing new technologies that reduce energy consumption, improving supply chain sustainability, and implementing circular economy principles.
Create a culture of purpose
The energy industry can create a culture emphasising purpose and values, demonstrating to potential employees that the company is committed to positively impacting the world. This includes opportunities for employees to volunteer, promoting work-life balance, and investing in employee training and development.
Emphasise the impact of the industry
The energy industry can emphasise its positive impact on society, such as providing access to energy in developing countries, improving energy efficiency, and reducing carbon emissions.
In conclusion, the energy industry must understand Generation Z's unique professional and personal values and priorities to attract and retain top talent. This generation is highly conscious of social and environmental issues and seeks purpose and authenticity in their work.
They also prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion and value transparency and honesty. By taking actionable measures that align with the values and priorities of this generation, the industry can sustainably move forward and meet its goals.
Companies that prioritise sustainability can not only reduce their environmental impact but also improve their brand reputation and attract and retain top talent. By reducing waste, recycling, and minimising water usage, companies can take actionable steps towards a more sustainable future.
Airswift is ideally suited to work with companies in the energy industry looking to adopt sustainable business practices. With a focus on sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint, Airswift has implemented several sustainability initiatives.
Airswift's talent solutions and mobility services experts can help companies overcome these challenges and develop a sustainable, global workforce. Whether finding the right talent for a project, managing a global workforce, or navigating complex immigration laws, Airswift is the ideal partner for any company looking to expand its operations globally while maintaining a commitment to sustainability.
This post was written by: Diyaa Mani, Content Marketing Coordinator