Change Management in Utilities

Introduction

To reap the full rewards of digital transformation, utilities must embrace far-reaching internal change. But inspiring a workforce to embrace and enact this change can be a challenge.

The utilities industry is traditionally risk-averse and for good reason. An overarching imperative to maintain impeccable safety standards may make some hesitant to try new things. Running complex, large-scale operations across a network of high-value infrastructure in a highly regulated market doesn’t exactly incentivise a change mindset either. And that’s before considering cultural factors, sometimes outdated yet deeply embedded systems and a natural scepticism about changing ways of working.

But the simple truth is this: for an organisation to truly adapt and become future-ready, change initiatives need to successfully change behaviours over the long term. And right now, many are failing because they’re not engaging the very people they need to inspire – the workforce.

A changing workforce

While it’s true that large numbers of utilities field teams are ageing, with many approaching retirement over the next decade, there is also an influx of younger fieldworkers who are generally more digitally savvy and naturally open to newer ways of working.

As we’ll see, success lies in taking a nuanced approach to change management – one that simultaneously respects the valuable experience of the older generation whilst appealing to the intuitive digital sensibility ingrained in younger workers.

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