Aligning Strategy and Talent to Keep an Energy Company’s Competitive Edge
A multibillion-dollar energy company was growing fast on the back of a compelling strategy and positive energy environment. Operating in a business with eye-watering capital requirements, our client had no problems raising the capital required to execute its business strategy. However, a lack of specialized human capital was beginning to threaten the organization’s ability to execute its strategy. Remarkably, some critical roles, if left unfilled, could literally halt operations at the cost of tens of millions of dollars per day. Furthermore, the organization was struggling to attract and retain talent in an extremely competitive labor market, and was resorting to writing ever-bigger checks in an attempt to stem the flow of talent.
We helped client leadership think about how and how much to invest in people to support the business strategy, in a similar way to how they thought about their other assets. To overcome the default tendency to pay higher and higher wages and incentives, we worked with management to define a unique employee value proposition that could differentiate the company in a competitive market for talent, and guide investments in people in a very targeted way.
We started by understanding the organization’s vision and business strategy, and their total rewards strategy, both of which would inform the employee value proposition. We benchmarked both their competitors, and leading organizations in other industries, to identify the client’s areas of strength and opportunities for differentiation. In parallel, we engaged a broad range of stakeholders from around the world, including corporate executives, divisional leaders, high potentials, key influencers, and workers in the field.
What emerged from this analysis and engagement was a crystal clear employee value proposition, one that resonated with the existing workforce and was compelling and differentiated for both candidates and the broader market for talent.
Executive leadership were so convinced by the opportunities and focus the EVP would provide that they framed it as six promises to their people, beneath which the CEO signed his name. From that point forward, all investments in people and the organization’s HR strategy were designed to fulfill these promises, and to ensure that the organization’s talent would become an enabler of their business strategy.