Employee Development

Growing leaders from within PG&E—at all levels and in all roles—is a priority for PG&E’s long-term sustainability, especially given that 40 percent of our current workforce will be eligible to retire in the next five years. Through our holistic, integrated approach, we are addressing this challenge head-on by developing a next-generation workforce with the skills and expertise needed to operate our business safely, reliably and affordably, while meeting our customers’ evolving energy needs.

Our Approach

Our goal is always to be cultivating the next generation of emerging leaders within PG&E. Toward that end, we are committed to investing in our people, providing extensive technical training and fostering career growth through an expanding set of leadership and employee development opportunities. Continuous improvement is a priority as we work to ensure that our employees have the necessary skills, knowledge and qualifications to complete their work safely and efficiently.

As a result, we are benchmarking with the best companies and deploying proven best practices to deliver results. In fact, PG&E was recognized in 2015 by the White House for our programs to help workers gain skills to advance into better-paying jobs as part of the administration’s effort to highlight the importance of the private sector in developing the capabilities and leadership skills of their team members.

Technical Training

We provide a range of technical training to equip our employees with the knowledge and skills to perform their jobs safely using approved work procedures. These courses help prepare our workforce as we integrate new technologies, systems and processes into our operations.

Much of this training is provided at our two primary training facilities: the 44-acre Livermore Training and Qualification Center and the San Ramon Valley Conference Center. Beyond these facilities, we bring the classroom to employees through virtual training options and two mobile training centers that allow for on-site instruction. In 2015, we plan to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art Gas Operations Technical Training Center in Winters, which will provide employees with about 36,000 training hours per year, with 100 to 150 students on site each day.

Career and Leadership Development

PG&E is committed to fostering career development and integrating succession planning and professional development into our long-term strategic planning. In fact, PG&E has a goal to fill 75 percent of leadership vacancies from within by 2019, up from about 60 percent in 2014.

Our efforts begin on an employee’s first day on the job through a robust onboarding program that is designed to engage and inspire. Throughout their careers, employees have access to more than 25 career development courses, an active mentoring program, tuition reimbursement for qualifying education expenses and other tools to help them grow in their current roles and advance at PG&E. For example, our MBA Fellows Program awards full scholarships to select emerging PG&E leaders to attend a top executive MBA program, helping expand their skills and knowledge base, which they then bring back and apply at PG&E.

Other development opportunities include temporary rotational assignments that allow employees, with the support of their supervisor, to vary their experiences and further their careers. In addition, we offer two formal rotational programs:

  • 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.
  • Engineer Rotational Development Program, an 18-month program in partnership with Stanford University, which gives employees the opportunity to earn a PG&E Engineering Management certification.
IBI logo

In 2015, PG&E was named to Training Magazine’s Top 125 list, which ranks companies on employer-sponsored training and development programs. The assessment considers factors such as total training budget; goals, evaluation, measurement and workplace surveys; and hours of training per employee annually.

2014 Milestones

PG&E crew victorious at International Lineman’s Rodeo

(Photo by David Kligman)

A three-man PG&E crew from Grass Valley won the top prize at the 2014 International Lineman’s Rodeo, a competition that pits the best line workers in the world against each other to test their skills in pole climbing and other difficult feats. The crew has worked together for years in Nevada and Sierra counties, providing service to 100,000 customers in some of the toughest, most mountainous terrain in PG&E’s service area.

Highlights from our training programs last year include the following:

  • Introduced a Crew Leadership Program, a highly interactive course with an emphasis on hands-on learning and peer discussion. Approximately 450 electric operations crew leaders have completed the program, and in 2015 we plan to offer a similar program to more than 150 gas operations crew leads.
  • Developed Leading Forward, an integrated framework designed to develop leaders at every level. Participating employees will build their leadership effectiveness through self-assessments, on-the-job experience, education, coaching and feedback. More than 2,500 PG&E team members will have an opportunity to participate, helping PG&E meet its goal of filling 75 percent of leadership vacancies from within.
  • Continued specialized training that enables employees to learn to operate equipment in a virtual setting, such as our backhoe simulator. This approach improves safety and reduces overall training time, travel-related emissions and wear and tear on equipment.
  • Developed a new four-step training governance process that enabled us to reduce unneeded training and identify areas where employees require additional training.
  • Expanded our Summer Intern program, a key way to help develop a talented new generation and provide a view of PG&E to prospective employees. We are on pace to hire 255 interns in 2015, up from 140 in 2013.

Measuring Progress

Our commitment to invest in our people is clear; in 2014, we delivered more than 100,000 student days of training.

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. Additionally, we require employees to pass a knowledge-and-skill assessment for each course or program that involves high-consequence tasks.

In 2014, we introduced a new metric to gauge the effectiveness of training courses offered at PG&E Academy, our in-house organization charged with enhancing employees’ skills and qualifications. The metric measures training effectiveness on a five-point scale through client surveys from employees on their ability to use training on the job. In 2014, training effectiveness measured 4.29, which exceeded our goal of 4.11.

Looking Ahead

We remain focused on building and sustaining the skilled and qualified workforce PG&E needs to thrive. And while many employees are nearing the end of their careers, turnover at PG&E remains low. In 2014, just 4.25 percent of employees left PG&E voluntarily.

One continuing area of focus is capturing the institutional knowledge of key personnel before they leave PG&E. We have identified critical positions within PG&E that rely upon experience-based knowledge and have taken steps to retain that information by building it into formal work practices and training, or by directly training other personnel.







Economic Vitality