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October 13, 2022

Social Policy for Companies: Added Costs or an Investment in Personnel?

KEY CONCLUSIONS
 
Russian companies in the fuel and energy sector rely on human capital
 
“The topic of building relations with human resources, implementation of HR policies, strengthening the human resources potential of companies, including fuel and energy companies: this topic is always relevant. <...> Human capital and our employees are a huge value for our companies, for the fuel and energy sector,” Arkadiy Zamoskovny, General Director, Association of Electric Energy Employers.
 
“Our state has proclaimed client centeredness as a fundamental principle for itself. A huge federal project ‘State for the People" is being implemented. The decisions are based on the value of each individual and, most importantly, satisfaction with the services the state provides. <...> Our aim is to create a comfortable environment for employees to ensure their full involvement in work processes,” Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
 
Trade unions play a meaningful role in the work of fuel and energy companies
 
“The union is interested in business as such. <...> The union is a sincere partner of the employer who is interested in efficient business. It is interested in the operation of the company, in it being profitable. They want to make sure there is profit and an opportunity to improve the welfare of workers, increase wages and the social package. <...> Companies are stable in their work and actions if trade unions are present. In this case companies are profitable, efficient, the social package is full, wages are high,” Alexander Korchagin, Chairman, Neftegazstroyprofsoyuz of Russia.
  
PROBLEMS
 
Staff shortages in the fuel and energy sector
 
“We are forced to train [employees, – Ed.] because today there are no ready-made specialists for the system operator on the labour market. Universities do not train qualified specialists for us on a mass scale. <...> Every year, about 2 thousand employees undergo training at licensed centres,” Bayrta Perveeva, HR Director, System Operator of the United Power System.

“Recent studies indicate that the workforce is ageing rapidly, and the average age of workers is rising. <...> The average age of workers in the fuel and energy sector is 42. <...> We see that over the last three years there has been a negative trend for young people. The number of young people in companies is decreasing by about 3%,” Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation. 
 
“Today, companies are competing and fighting for such personnel as welders, installers, operators of imported equipment and cranes because these are highly qualified people, and there are fewer and fewer such people. Unfortunately, at some point we missed the format of the primary training for blue-collar jobs. Now it is being made up for with the participation of the companies themselves,” Alexander Korchagin, Chairman, Neftegazstroyprofsoyuz of Russia.
 
Heterogeneity in the scope of social policies in fuel and energy companies
 
“Our hydro generation facilities, especially those in the Far East, are located in very remote areas from major urban centres. Their healthcare and leisure infrastructure is, to put it mildly, underdeveloped. All this has a very strong negative impact on the task of attracting and retaining people at the facilities. A town like Zeya could be an example. The nearest regional centre is 650 kilometres away. <...> We need to bring in personnel from the branch or from affiliated companies to ensure the reliability of this energy facility,” Alexey Tkachev, Director, Department for Human Resources Management and Organizational Development, RusHydro.
 
SOLUTIONS
 
Increase investment by fuel and energy companies in training and recruitment
 
“Investment in staff is an investment in the training and development of that staff. The System Operator starts investing in future personnel from as early as school age by organizing vocational guidance events for schoolchildren. To ensure an inflow of the required number of qualified young professionals adapted to the system operator’s activities, we cooperate with leading energy universities, which train such specialists for us using our special programmes, which we develop ourselves,” Bayrta Perveeva, HR Director, System Operator of the United Power System.
 
“We have at least 90% of our staff undergoing... training every year. <...> We implement projects for schoolchildren, such as energy clubs and energy classes. There are specific events for gifted children, Olympiads for schoolchildren, a project shift, which we implement at the Orlyonok camp. At the same time, we provide them with expert evaluation practically until they enter vocational and higher education institutions. We guide them in their studies within their major,” Julia Kuznetsova, Acting Deputy General Director for Human Resources, Rosseti.
 
The need to focus on extending social support measures for fuel and energy employees
 
“In the labour market, it is not just the employer who chooses the employee, but also the employee who chooses the employer. <...> Employers have to compete for employees. You need to understand the expectations of employees, especially young people. And we need to respond to their expectations. Companies’ social policies are now trying to catch up with these demands. Companies have been offering extensive social support measures. They have recently been targeted more and more. <...> Employees are free to choose – additional health insurance, corporate mortgage housing programmes, or transport costs,” Anastasiya Bondarenko, State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
 
“The most popular social programmes are the corporate support and housing improvement programme, which includes mortgage interest reimbursement and rent reimbursement. Also, an interest-free special-purpose loan is available. <...> Another support programme is the private pension scheme. We are mainly focusing on the development of a parity plan, with about 36% of the staff covered,” Alexey Tkachev, Director, Department for Human Resources Management and Organizational Development, RusHydro.

For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System roscongress.org   and the official Forum website rusenergyweek.com.