Energy industry talent development stategies

Milestone approach


An obvious action area is the 'milestone' approach, in which employees are acknowledged without fail when they reach significant stages in their length of service, pass grading levels both internally and externally recognised, perform some exceptional action (especially if it's health-and-safety or training related), make a helpful suggestion – or even celebrate the birth of a child.

Time after time recruitment professionals have noticed that it is acknowledgement of these personal achievements in an appropriate way that is just as important as something extra in the pay packet. So an excellent idea is initiating an 'employee of the month' programme, with details being circulated on the company's intranet. The actual financial cost on the wages bill can easily be kept below 2 per cent of basic pay; time and attention account for far more.

Memorable rewards

Part of the reasoning for this comes from HR fieldwork overseas where what successful employees actually did with their bonuses – the traditional form of reward – has been laboriously tracked. Most spend the extra cash on household bills like mains power or credit on the cellphone. A few weeks later one in five can't remember what they did with it. Only about one in ten or so actually go out and treat themselves or loved ones to something memorable. This is why voucher schemes and gift cards are so popular in the industrialised countries.

Only in SA is this very sophisticated industry with its various types of 'loops' (prescribing how coupons can be exchanged) well established, although with the growing popularity of net-based mail order and the ready availability of call time and handset upgrades it could easily take root elsewhere.


Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W:

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