Career Development and Learning

We continue to develop leaders from within PG&E, at all levels and in all roles. Through new strategies and training programs, we are working to create a culture where the next generation of leaders is always emerging behind the current one.

Engaging Our Employees

For PG&E to be successful, it’s critical that we engage our employees to drive better business outcomes, including improvements in safety, customer satisfaction, financial performance and environmental leadership.

Engaged employees connect to PG&E’s vision, feel a sense of ownership for PG&E’s success and actively contribute to improve business performance. Creating a work environment high in engagement requires the participation of all employees—sharing ideas and solutions, supporting one another and maintaining an active dialogue help us make and implement the best decisions for PG&E.

In 2011, we continued to refine and simplify our employee survey, which provides the metric by which we evaluate employee engagement, so that it provides results that can be benchmarked. We achieved a record response rate to the voluntary survey, and our employee engagement score showed a favorable response from more than 67 percent of survey respondents, indicating engagement.

While comparable to the previous year’s result, it fell short of our target. Based on statistical analysis of the survey data, employee learning and development is one of our greatest opportunities to improve employee engagement—better addressing employees’ desire to learn, to be challenged on the job and to pursue growth opportunities. In response to this feedback, team leaders developed targeted employee engagement "action plans" that are currently being implemented and include actions to address employee learning and development. We now have engagement plans from workgroups across PG&E.

We have established a 2012 goal of 69.2 percent, an increase over last year’s results. We have also set a goal specific to diversity and inclusion.

Employee Perspectives

Towerman Manuel Guerrero talks about PG&E’s use of helicopters to better serve our customers.

Learning and Development Opportunities

Our training programs are led by PG&E Academy, a centralized learning organization committed to enhancing workforce skills, qualifications and career development. Important highlights for the Academy in 2011 included:

  • Technical Training: We continued to provide our employees with training on technical topics. This included updated training programs for employees performing work on our electric transmission and distribution lines and hands-on training for employees responsible for maintenance and construction, power restoration and substation maintenance. We also offered training for new gas engineers, for technicians on new valves being installed and for hundreds of other employees on documentation and record retention.
  • In 2011, we introduced a new Supervisor Leadership Program, which works with supervisors to develop their leadership skills. The program focuses on four main areas—safety, supervisor fundamentals, business fundamentals and performance management—and it covers topics such as communication skills, working with diverse styles, leadership and how to create a work environment that reflects our core values.

    More than 200 of our supervisors participated in the program in 2011; a majority of our supervisory team is scheduled to complete the program by the end of 2014.

    We continue to expand our leadership development and will complement the supervisor program with manager- and crew-led level programs in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

    Career Development: We continued to focus on professional development, offering more than 30 courses on a range of topics—including effective communication, teamwork, supervision and project management—which provide skills designed to grow leaders from within and, at the same time, foster greater alignment with PG&E’s vision, values and business strategy. We also collaborated on a new one-stop-shop for online career resources for all employees and launched a leadership program for front-line supervisors.
  • Mobile Classroom: We created a new mobile training center that allow PG&E to conduct brief, on-site trainings with employees in a convenient manner, rather than having to bring those employees to one of our training centers.
  • Enabling Technologies: As we deploy new tools and technologies for our workforce, we are focused on making sure we have a smooth transition for our employees. This includes training for new radio systems and updated field technology (such as tablets and leak detection equipment) for our field employees. To properly prepare PG&E for these changes, we are developing management, training and communications programs to improve the ability of our employees to use the new technologies.

Last year, we delivered approximately 41,000 student days of training at PG&E’s Livermore Training and Qualification Center and the San Ramon Valley Conference Center. The Livermore facility is a 44-acre, state-of-the-art training complex designed to provide hands-on learning experiences for transmission and distribution employees. The San Ramon Valley Conference Center offers a variety of additional technical courses in a classroom setting.

To gauge the success of our training program, we survey participating employees to measure the overall quality of the training, as well as their increased level of knowledge. We are using these survey results to improve our training programs.

We are also building careers at PG&E through our MBA Leadership Program, a two-year program that enables graduates from the nation’s top business schools to work on some of our toughest business challenges.

We continue to expand our mentoring program as a tool to help employees build leadership skills and grow professionally. We also strengthened our Employee Resource Groups, which contribute to the personal and professional development of thousands of employees and provide opportunities to engage employees in service to our communities.

Looking ahead, we are increasing our focus on succession planning to prepare for the workforce of the future, and we will pilot a program to develop high-potential employees for critical positions in our business.

Capturing the Knowledge of Our Workforce

As a portion of our workforce approaches retirement, we are working to capture the knowledge of key personnel before they leave PG&E. We have worked to identify the most critical positions within PG&E that rely upon tacit knowledge and take steps to retain that information and reinfuse it back into work practices, training or other personnel.

We start with positions where employee knowledge is essential to safe electric and gas operations. We then use a variety of products, services and tools to identify, capture and prioritize the specific knowledge and skills required. We use that information to develop concrete, actionable responses to facilitate the smooth transfer of knowledge.