What is your biggest challenge, or what “keeps you up at night” as a human resources professional in the energy industry, and what are you doing to address it?
Retaining millennial talent is a huge concern I have at this time. For the most part, this group has only experienced the boom. We have seen an exit of talent in some areas, especially engineering, moving their transferable skills to industries that are less volatile. We are going to need this talent when prices stabilize, so it’s important that we retain our A players.
We took some missteps initially, and didn’t recognize that companies in other industries were willing and able to use financial incentives to attract this talent. In response, we have been more proactive in identifying those key players and ensuring we are providing adequate compensation and incentives to retain them.
How do you attract new and qualified talent?
At Koch, we focus on hiring people with values and beliefs similar to ours. Our hiring process can seem intense and intimidating, however we have a fairly good success rate and very few people voluntarily depart within the first couple of years of employment.
How do you create opportunities to increase employee engagement?
This past fall, employees in Koch Pipeline had the opportunity to participate in a culture assessment survey. We used the results of this survey to focus on key areas where we may not be doing as good of a job in employee engagement as we thought we were. The results were broken down by operating and capability area, so each group leader can focus on the things that matter most to their employees.
How do we invest in developing talent now while production is low to prepare for Future Growth?
Koch Pipeline has used this time of low production as an opportunity to revamp and bolster our talent management tools and succession planning process. We are making a deliberate effort to identify future leaders and provide them training and development opportunities to enhance their skill set.
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Who is your hero? And why?
My hero is my Dad, who passed in 2008. He immigrated to this country from Germany in the 1950’s, after living through WWII. He spoke very little English, but was able to graduate high school and put himself through college. My Dad went on to have a successful career as a chemist in the plastics industry. He was the epitome of the American Dream.
What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?
Everything happens for a reason. The why may not be clear at the moment, but it all works out the way it is supposed to.