The energy field, as well as the whole Romanian labour market, experience significant shortage of staff, especially experts. However, owning intelligent recruitment programs and, especially, training and orientation programs for young people at early ages, in school, to a future job, it is proven to be an efficient solution.
In this context, employees’ motivation in a multi-generational work environment becomes the real challenge, but also the main satisfaction of a HR specialist, as Simona Popovici, Group Human Resources Director KMG International (Rompetrol) explains.
Which are the HR job characteristics in the energy field?
To take care of people! To shape strategies which should be relevant and cover several generations, nationalities and cultural identities. Most of the workforce is located in Romania (66%), considering the large-scale operations conducted by the Group at the local level. However, the whole Rompetrol family encompasses 17 different nationalities. This number reflects our commitment to a work environment characterized by inclusiveness and diversity.
To what extent is the respective field affected by the shortage of staff in the labour market?
As in all other companies, no matter the industry that they represent, we also suffer from the shortage of staff in the labour market in all areas where we carry on our activity. It is a fact that it is much more difficult to find people suitable for our roles, however, based on my experience so far, I learnt that every difficulty must lead to a change in the approach manner. Therefore, besides the fact that we have diversified the recruiting channels and techniques, we have also rethought the employer branding strategy and we further invest in young people from the beginning of their career.
Training, but also transition programs
How do you manage recruitment and turnover in this context?
By motivation and building up added value for people. It is important for employees to feel the satisfaction of a competent, flexible work environment, which provides them challenges from the professional point of view. Therefore, we have developed training programs targeted at the specificity of their job and needs.
We offer long-term careers, being proud of our employees’ loyalty. We have employees who have been working within Rompetrol since the incorporation of the company, for more than 40 years. Moreover, we invest time and effort in the selection and employer branding field and we are searching for the most suitable platforms to be able to address separately to each category of candidates. We are close to our prospective candidates – either newly high school graduates, students or experienced professionals in their field of activity – and we accept the challenge to be creative. For example, we have started to address to middle-school students as well, in order to support them to identify their passions earlier and to encourage them to make efforts to pursue them.
From the very beginning, we have the transition programs, designed to facilitate the continuous employment and the management of the end of career resulting from retirement or termination of the individual employment agreement. These programs included initiatives for the transfer of knowledge in order to maintain the information and key-skills within the organization – by the transfer of knowledge from employees who get close to retirement, to the selected internships –, but also to extend the employees’ knowledge and expertise field and their training to take over new roles.
Rompetrol has been among the first companies to identify the opportunity to attract and train young people in this field. With an 18-year history, the Internship program was launched in Rompetrol on the Metromedia and Vega platforms and in the recent years, it has been extended in Bucharest. To this end, we have developed partnerships with the Petroleum and Gas University in Ploiesti, Ovidius University in Constanta, Polytechnic University in Bucharest and the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. Over 1,300 high school and college graduates have attended our internship programs and more than half of them have become colleagues in member companies of KMG International in different sectors of activity.
Moreover, we have developed Cross-Training programs (within the Refining Division), which contributed to the improvement of the share of knowledge through “job shadowing”, an increase of the employees’ flexibility and availability to pass to a new role, they developed the technical skills and improved the employees’ efficiency with operational roles.
People are willing and motivated to discover their potential. Therefore, within all entities of the Group, focus has been on the potential, competencies and managerial skills of employees, providing them with continuous development tools, and each year, all managers within the Group participate in managerial skills and leadership courses.
All these initiatives and many others support us in our intent to recognize the Rompetrol employees with outstanding results and to show them off.
Which are the categories of employees within Rompetrol?
Rompetrol operates in the energy industry and we benefit from a large diversity of positions. We have more than 200 types of different jobs within Rompetrol: from diver, pilot vessel captain, engineers with different niche specializations up to supporting positions, with may be found in most companies, as well as those in the procurement, financial, human resources or IT field. Moreover, we have the colleagues in the stations, who interact directly with the end consumer and have a major impact on his or her satisfaction.
6 generations, under the same umbrella
Which are the HR areas that bring to climax all your labours?
Motivating employees in the context of a multi-generational work environment. Within Rompetrol, we have 5 generations working together and we prepare for the sixth generation, the future employees who will join us. This is a challenge, as these generations are motivated by very different elements. It is our role to motivate them all, in different stages of their career and life.
Which was the greatest challenge in your HR activity within Rompetrol? But which is your greatest satisfaction?
The biggest challenge and, at the same time, the greatest satisfaction consists of the development programs within the refinery, of the transition and knowledge transfer programs. These work together as an integrated gearing. Employees within the refinery are special and impress every time by the manner in which they respond to every challenge, including the people development. The feedback of those employees directly involved in programs is the most important for all of us and the engine that drives us go further in this direction.
Likewise, everywhere we have presented the programs included under the umbrella “6 generations at work”, we have obtained prizes in the human resources industry: First prize at CEE HR Transformation Challenge supported by SAP Success Factors and the third prize at the HR Club competition.
Which are the mechanisms by which a new employee embraces the employer brand, the company values?
We integrate them into the team at once, and they have immediate contact with the business fields in which they operate, we organize visits for them within the Rompetrol stations and Metromedia and Vega refineries, so that they could understand right away the specific nature of our business. Based on our experience, this is the most efficient manner by which they could feel integrated and become aware of their role and impact in the organization. The induction schemes are added, of course, within which we, employees of the Human Resources department, shake hands with the team and manager of the new fellow, but also with the other departments, in order to create a pleasant experience just from the first day.
What kind of programs do you develop to keep your employees healthy?
We understand how important are our employees’ health and welfare for the development and maintenance of a sustainable workforce. Therefore, besides the existing payment and benefit system, we have developed the global platform Well Station, designed to integrate all our initiatives in the well-being area (employees’ well-being).
Being inspired by the company profile – the fuel stations being one of the most known symbols – Well Station is a platform which inspires energy, a pit stop where employees could recharge with a feeling of well-being, obtain information about health and mindfulness, a source of energy for a better life. The Well Station platform is structured on three pillars: an emotional and social, physical and material well-being.
Within those three pillars, we have developed various programs, such as: events intended for the family care, mindfulness and stress management, hobbies and cultural activities, thematic workshops, health related education and prevention, nutrition and hydration, financial training and education, financial contributions for special life events.
Moreover, we encourage employees to practice sports and we try to create them contexts to meet each other as often as possible, to share their passions and join the competition.
Sports Academy is the main internal event conducted within Rompetrol Group, and more than 700 employees participate in this competition. With a tradition of 9 years, Sports Academy registered a record number of participants in 2018, and more than 750 employees of all countries and companies of the Group have enrolled in a number of more than 20 competitions in the preliminary and final stages of Sports Academy tournament. The sports included in the competition are: football, table tennis, chess, swimming, doubles tennis and badminton, for the preliminary stages, followed by weight lifting, arm wrestling, lawn tennis, basket and volley in the final stage. Over time, both the number of employees and the number of sports included in the competition increased from 3 sports in the first edition, in 2010, to 10 sports in 2018.
Which are the challenges of the year 2019 in the HR field?
First, our major challenge is to be better than ourselves, to continue and improve the programs that we develop for employees on an ongoing basis, to offer them memorable experiences, to appreciate their professional life and respect their personal life, to come with new ideas and always meet their needs. In this way, we know that we have created a strong nucleus and that no matter the challenges which unavoidably will come from outside, from the market, we will be prepared to cope with them.