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How to create an irresistible organization in times of change

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Right now, the energy industry is going through a seismic shift as it navigates regulatory change, increased price pressures, and consumer expectations. In the past 12 months, the energy transition has accelerated too. But none of this has stopped EnergyAustralia from creating a work environment that people want to join and stay in.

Circle In’s Content and Marketing Manager, Sarah Gildea, chatted to Angelique Amor, Head of People Operations, Diana Jovcevska, Strategic BP, and Jason Lee, Maintenance Leader at the Yallourn Power Station to find out how EnergyAustralia is leaning into the change.

For them, the focus has been on creating an irresistible organization: for their people, customers, and potential employees. Read on to discover how they are going about it.

Facing into the change

The energy industry is experiencing unprecedented change as it moves toward a clean energy future. The entire energy system is being reimagined and redesigned. While the size of the change poses a range of challenges, Diana explains that there’s also no other more exciting or purposeful sector to be working in right now. 

As part of the huge changes underway, the Yallourn Power Station is set to close in 2028, which will naturally impact a large number of employees. In proactive steps, EnergyAustralia has made a conscious decision to drive the transition rather than sit back as a passive observer. As part of this, Jason, together with the Yallourn transition team are designing a best-in-class support package that includes supporting people to retrain and transition out of their current roles at the station. As he says, “we have this real cumulative effect of all these externalities and pressures that we really need to help and support our people through.” For him, it’s not just about helping people get jobs in the future, it’s about helping them develop the soft skills to manage disruption and change. 

Aligning change with purpose

For EnergyAustralia, having a compelling and aspirational vision is key to managing challenges, changes, and opportunities. This vision has also formed the bedrock of their overarching plan to become an irresistible organization. “The plan is exciting, it’s progressive, it’s meaningful, and it’s deliberate,” says Angelique. As an organization, EnergyAustralia has been really mindful of developing a plan that is unique to them; one that reflects their vision and purpose and the people within the organization. “A really deliberate piece of that plan was our partnership with Circle In,” she adds.

Energizing at EA

As part of the plan to build resiliency internally, EnergyAustralia has focused on the way people work. They call it Energize at EA, and it’s where teams come together and agree amongst themselves on how they work, where they work, and when they work. Given the diversity of the workforce, this tailored approach works really well. The aim of this is to create the best outcomes for our customers, for our stakeholders, and for ourselves,” Angelique says. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion 

Another way EnergyAustralia creates an irresistible organization is through the employee experience, especially when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is led entirely by people from within the organization; people and managers that are passionate about making a difference. Angelique explains that anyone can nominate themselves to join a particular focus area. These include groups like LGBTI+, cultural and linguistic diversity, reconciliation, the women’s network, and the family and domestic violence group. 

Best-in-show policies

Supporting people through key life stages has been a key priority for the organization in its efforts to attract and retain quality talent. This includes a gender-neutral paid family leave policy that offers 20 weeks of paid leave that can be used flexibly over two years. Superannuation payments are paid on a full-time basis during family leave, including both paid and unpaid periods. EnergyAustralia goes a step further to also pay full-time super for parents returning to work on a part-time basis until their child reaches school age. “If we think more broadly this absolutely makes a contribution towards gender equity and also improves super balances for women,” Angelique says. Creating policies like this ensure organizations are not only having the best impact on their own workplace but on society as a whole.

One size doesn’t fit all

As Diana says, most people want to do meaningful work and be part of high-performing teams that contribute to something bigger. Every person is different and every team is unique, so EnergyAustralia has made concerted efforts to tailor their employee experience through flexibility and choice. They’ve developed a framework that supports people to achieve great outcomes. “It helps them grow, learn, and be at their best. It’s about having meaningful and quality growth and development opportunities,“ Diana says. The framework also encourages people to give and receive feedback frequently at times throughout the year that suit their own growth. Diana says EnergyAustralia has stopped end-of-year ratings to encourage people to focus on things that are most important to them, their work, and their team.

Building muscles in its leaders

A key focus for EnergyAustralia has been on really defining a successful work culture, especially amongst leaders. The organization did a lot of work to understand its culture and what it needed to change for it to be as good as it could be. This unearthed the benefits of having leaders who are strong on care, connection, and trust. Part of this included building those soft skills. “For us, you support your leaders with empathy by articulating what a great leader looks like,” says Diana.

Catch up on the full conversation, ‘How EnergyAustralia is creating an “irresistible organisation” amid rapid industry transformation’ here.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can support your employees, click here to talk to us today.

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