Knowledge transfer a must
In the natural resources industry, companies are faced with the daunting challenge of maintaining current production levels despite an industry-wide shortage of skilled workers. For example, the lack of college graduates specializing in mining operations and widespread retirement are the main reasons for this latest trend. To offset the shortage, executives must make sure knowledge from more experienced, soon-to-retire workers is transferred accordingly. This will make the transition of a new crew change much less taxing because less-experienced team members will be fully prepared to carry the torch once their senior colleagues retire. Having the foresight to share the knowledge of a veteran workforce will allow companies to operate efficiently with fewer skilled employees and grow faster and easier when new talent is acquired.
Existing initiatives not enough to attract new talent
The natural resources industry is doing everything it can to attract highly skilled workers, such as developing differentiated employee value propositions and incorporating enhanced incentive pay structures. However, these efforts alone are not enough to establish a distinct advantage in the marketplace. A renewed focus on training and efficient practices is needed to neutralize the effects of an otherwise shallow talent pool.
Training and skills development are keys to success
As the ability to identify, attract and retain critical operational skills becomes even more vital, it is imperative for natural resource companies to bridge the knowledge gap between new talent and senior leaders while the window of opportunity exists. Companies that have the foresight to acquire a partner that understands how to develop employee and supervisory skills on every level of the corporate ladder are more likely to withstand potential talent shortages without any major disruptions.
Winning over the hearts and minds of people is often cited among senior executives as the most formidable barrier to success. Effective training programs and one-on-one coaching can inspire people to take greater pride and ownership in their work. Both of these methods are extremely effective in gaining the acceptance of consistent work practices that generate predictable results. Keeping front line employees informed, especially during the initial stages of the transition process, can set the stage for a smooth and seamless buy-in.