Anastasiya Bondarenko: “When it comes to motivation at work, I think it lies in a simple word that each of us is familiar with – happiness. If each person could find this type of happiness, it would have a multiplier effect on our economy”
The session ‘Global Energy Challenges: Focus on Talent’, held on 4 October 2019 as part of Russian Energy Week was a logical continuation of the global initiative proposed by Russia called ‘Mission: Resetting the Talent Balance’ (better known as the ‘Kazan Declaration’), supported by 38 countries in August 2019.
BCG Partner Anton Stepanenko presented the research study ‘Mass Uniqueness: A Global Challenge for One Billion Workers’, which shows that over 1.3 billion people occupy positions that do not match their skills, which leads to a 6% decrease in labour productivity, which in turn led to a global GDP loss of USD 5 trillion in 2017.
Experts call misalignment between a person’s competencies and the work they do a ‘skills mismatch.’ “Skills mismatch is a global problem: the higher the discrepancy, the lower the labour productivity. That's why we need to transition to the concept of ‘mass uniqueness,’ which is based on three main blocks: each person's capabilities, motivation, and opportunities. Countries with a high level of human centricity see less skills mismatch and higher labour productivity,” said Stepanenko. “Just like any other country, Russia has a skills mismatch with its own unique combination of challenges. From the point of view of capability – there’s more of it, and from the point of view of access to real, high-quality retraining ¬¬– there’s less – because we have a lot of retraining options available, but they are fairly superficial. However, the situation is changing. Russia is middling when it comes to motivation. In the case of opportunities, it's hard to call Russia a leader, because that would involve the active dissemination of information about available opportunities, what competency models they require, and how those competencies will be developed. This is still coming into shape in our country, but it's coming into shape very quickly, you can see this in government programmes and national projects. I am certain that Russia will make a lot of progress in this area over the next few years.”
Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation HR Director Tatyana Terentyeva’s presentation served as a confirmation of the ideas presented by Anton Stepanenko. Terentyeva discussed the company's best practices in providing opportunities for career growth in the nuclear industry. “People play a key role in nuclear energy. This is tied to complex technological processes. Rosatom operates in 12 countries around the world and, accordingly, has encountered the issue of qualified candidates on the international market due to different approaches to education and training requirements for specialists in various countries. This problem is difficult to solve as a single company or a single country. This is why Rosatom supports the Mission: Talent initiative, which aims to facilitate the exchange of experience and best practices with international partners. The new technological era and new digital technologies provide us with the opportunity to cooperate in solving complex problems that would be impossible to solve alone,” said Tatyana Terentyeva. “Since 2009, we have been able to build a system for finding and preparing talented individuals, starting from Rosatom schools to partner universities, career days, internships, and support of high-profile universities. We consider it important to support young people's interest in mathematics, physics, and other exact sciences, and to improve the quality of training in these subjects. It's important to us that young people are able to make a conscious choice about where they go.” Terentyeva noted the importance of creating projects focused on fulfilling human potential in Russia. She also noted Rosatom’s latest initiatives to make sure that any of the corporation's employees had the opportunity to realize their potential. “In the past, it would be hard to imagine how someone’s career could go from geophysicist to general director in seven years. Now, each of our employees has this opportunity, given that they have the appropriate skills and competencies,” said Rosatom’s HR Director. Tatyana Terentyeva paid particular attention to the importance of businesses’ relationship with higher education. “Just five years ago, it was hard to imagine that we would be holding joint strategic sessions with universities in order to give ourselves a competitive advantage in the future. The higher education institutions are vital to foresight, to understand where technologies are going and what competencies will be in demand in the future,” she said.
State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Anastasiya Bondarenko thanked Rosatom State Corporation and BCG for their research. “The research study is ‘mass uniqueness: developing each person's uniqueness, but developing it in everyone’ – that’s how I might title this study. This research is in complete alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Bondarenko.
According to Bondarenko, the fuel and energy industry is set apart from other industries by the levels of technology involved in its processes. Many company processes are uninterrupted cycles and an individual and creative approach to technological processes that are so intertwined with safety is difficult, but necessary.
Anastasiya Bondarenko noted that fuel and energy companies are not the only ones putting people at the forefront, creating individual career programmes, corporate universities, and numerous forms of cooperation with higher education institutions. The Ministry of Energy is doing the same in considering consumer demands when developing regulation.
“The idea of the consumer as the primary subject of legal relations in the power industry is catching on. We are creating regulation based on how these changes affect consumers, how timelines can be shortened, how red tape can be reduced, and how we can create more flexible forms of interaction at the regulatory level. There are a lot of examples: this includes load aggregators, when consumers can unite to build their own timetables, this includes the implementation of smart technology, all of these are cross-cutting issues that start as tech and then make their way to legislation. We are always thinking about the consumer,” said the State Secretary.
The Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation noted that there are no current industry statistics with regards to how many industry university graduates end up working for fuel and power enterprises. “A total of 2.5 million people are employed in the fuel and energy sector. Approximately 20,000 specialists with higher and vocational technical degrees graduate from industry educational institutions annually. However, it's unclear if they make it to the industry since there is no data collected on the subject, but we plan to start collecting it,” she said.
Anastasiya Bondarenko compared modern education to a Lego construction set and noted that institutions have become more flexible in their relations with employers. “Education is becoming Lego-like. You start off with a fundamental base and attach various additional skills, remove what is no longer required, and pay close attention to what may become useful in the future. Here, we see uniqueness come up again, of a person who has customized their education programme to include the skills and competencies required. Higher education institutions are also becoming more flexible, listening more to employers when it comes to which higher and, especially, professional education programmes need to be developed, what they need to offer students so that they can prepare as much as possible for their career,” said Anastasiya Bondarenko.
“When it comes to motivation at work, I think it lies in a simple word that each of us is familiar with – happiness. If you are satisfied with your job, if solving a complex problem brings a smile to your face at the end of the day, and you go home happy and satisfied – that's the best motivation! However, to find this happiness, you need to experiment and be closely involved in charting your career. If each person could find this type of happiness, it would have a multiplier effect on our economy,” concluded State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Anastasiya Bondarenko.
General Director of the Association of Electric Energy Employers Arkadiy Zamoskovny took on the role of sceptic at the session. Following BCG’s presentation, he asked a number of questions about integrating the proposed models. Do major corporations need multi-talented people with comprehensive expertise? Does each employee need to create their own individual trajectory and how much would that cost companies? Which subdivision will be responsible for developing human centricity and wouldn't this create a systemic conflict between this structure and the classic human resources department? Will the costs of this conflict be greater than the additional income resulting from investment in human centricity?
“I definitely think that it is important to look forward and identify promising professions and skills. In the Russian Federation, this objective has been identified and is implemented as part of the national system of professional competencies. However, the system is not perfect. There is a lot of bureaucracy, but progress is being made. I am glad that the main conclusions of the Mission: Talent study conducted by our colleagues at Rosatom and BCG largely correlates with the goals and objectives of the national system of professional qualifications,” concluded Arkadiy Zamoskovny.
Head of the Department of Organizational Development and Career Management at PJSC LUKOIL Yury Pikhtovnikov said, “Finding talent is not quite management. Now making that talent get effective results – that's management. Accordingly, the main objective in talent management is currently creating the appropriate living, work, recreational, educational, and family conditions in the regions where a company operates, thereby facilitating the attraction and retention of a trained workforce. So that as many talented people as possible are in the company. Life consists of time for work and time for other interests. Creating an active, cultural industrial ecosystem, identifying capabilities, and tracking results is how we try to manage the talents that come to our company.”
Director of the Department of HR Policy and Organizational Development at Rosseti Dmitriy Chevkin talked about two of the company’s projects that help identify talent for the energy industry: the Rosseti All-Russian Olympiad for Schoolchildren and the ‘Energy Leaders’ competition. Thanks to these projects, the company is able to find the most valuable labour resources among people of all ages, who can look forward to individual career programmes in the future. “If a person is talented, we will find them! For example, we help young people who were victorious at our Olympiad, but unfortunately enrolled in a university that wasn’t a high-profile energy institution. We don’t lose them; we guide them and support them. In part, we are currently helping them implement millions of roubles of scientific research at Rosseti Moscow Region. The project they created is a technological system allowing for the deep analysis of energy use on the levels of buildings and flats. This information makes its way to a mobile application. This development could have a practical application and may end up used everywhere. So, we continue to work with the youth after they finish school as well,” said Dmitriy Chevkin.
Summing up the discussion, National Research University "Moscow Power Engineering Institute” Rector Nikolay Rogalev noted that the National Research University MPEI worked closely with partner companies to create and implement a unique system for selecting, motivating, and preparing talented youth for the energy industry, which helps effectively solve the issues of developing labour potential in order to achieve national project objectives.