Strengthening employee retention in the energy industry

Author: Cade Mueller

Energy Employee Listening Channels

Attracting and retaining talent is critical to the energy industry. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry witnessed high rates of turnover, disengagement, and unproductivity with energy employees. In the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report from NASEO and EFI, employee retention listed as a top priority for energy leaders. According to the report, 76.9% percent of employers across the energy sector reported difficulty hiring qualified workers over the last 12 months. In power and utilities, those numbers are likely higher; in a study from PwC, four out of five chief executives in the energy sector are planning to do more to strengthen employee engagement, and 63% say they will invest more in creating and fostering a skilled workforce over the next three years.

Now well into the COVID-19 pandemic, and this focus seems to be holding true across industries. According to Gallagher's Pulse Survey, 28% of companies listed talent retention as a top priority in response to COVID-19 challenges—surpassed only by employee health and safety and business continuity.

That begs the question: how exactly can energy leaders strengthen employee engagement and retention? Our answer: create listening channels.

The Impact of Listening Channels on Energy Employees

While COVID-19 has dramatically changed the work environment landscape in a short period of time, the need for employee listening channels are just as or more important than ever. After all, energy employees want to voice their opinions and concerns but may not always have the ability to be heard.


Workers said that they are more likely to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback.1


Surveyed employees said they would participate in an employee listening program.2

Energy employers and employees are facing new challenges with work and personal commitments. How energy companies respond to meet these new challenges will not only help meet the needs of their employees but also enhance business continuity.

Energy Consulting

From strengthening employee wellbeing to managing a geographically fragmented workforce, our team is here to help.

The inability to effectively understand what employees are looking for from their employer can lead to disengagement, lower productivity, turnover, and unnecessary increased costs. Understanding employee needs during the entire employee life cycle; from the time an employee was a candidate for a job to leaving a company is a complex and daunting obstacle. A company's ability to effectively plan and execute listening channels can strengthen culture and a real business advantage.

Technical Considerations

  • Identifying key insights to monitor during the employee life cycle
  • Designing the survey for employees to provide feedback
  • Identifying mechanism(s) to create listening channels
  • Anticipating administrative challenges and constraints
  • Analyzing and identifying key insights
  • Providing people leaders with the necessary insights
  • Creating synergy across listening channels to maximize insights

Cultural Considerations

  • Articulating what it means to build a company culture that listens
  • Fostering trust with employees to solicit honest feedback
  • Company’s readiness and willing to act
  • Creating data-driven strategies
  • Providing leaders the necessary tools, methodologies, and support to be effective

Listening Tools for Energy Employee Channels

There is not a one size fits all when it comes to creating listening channels for energy employees; it is important to identify what works for your company. Here are a few avenues for listening that might work for you.

HR practitioners who use multiple listening methods rated their organizational performance and reputation 24% higher than those who do not.2
  • Focus groups and stakeholder interviews
  • Employee email or phone hotline
  • Regular performance reviews
  • 1-on-1 conversations
  • Town halls
  • Team or department meetings
  • Employee surveys

Empowering Your Energy Employees to Be Their Best

Gallagher's energy team is your partner—establishing employee listening channels and beyond. Our team serves all facets of the sector to develop comprehensive HR and benefit strategies. In-house attorneys address compliance and risk mitigation issues. Actuaries and underwriters use advanced data analytics to keep your plan aligned with your workforce. Our multinational benefits and HR team helps you stay on top of evolving global mobility. And our communications experts provide single-source guidance to help you reach your employees. Through our comprehensive approach, we can help you create and sustain a destination workplace—where your people can thrive and perform at their best.

For questions about creating listening channels, contact your Gallagher team to learn more about our services.

Author Information:


1 Achievers. “2020 Engagement & Retention Report.” January 20, 2020.
2 Rasch, Rena and Sheri Feinzig. IBM. “Amplifying Employee Voice.”


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