Power for Progress… A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority
At an organization the size of the Grand River Dam Authority, there are always a lot of numbers to throw around.
For instance, there is 16; that number represents GRDA’s ranking among the nation’s largest public power utilities (based on total generation). Then there is the number 1200, which represents the approximate miles of high voltage electric transmission lines GRDA maintains in Oklahoma. There is also 70,000, representing the combined surface acres of lake waters managed by GRDA, at no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers.
There is 75; which represents the number of Oklahoma counties touched by the electricity GRDA generates. And there is 48; representing the average number of years GRDA has been a public power partner with each of its Oklahoma customer communities.
Another important number is 2.7. Granted, it is small in comparison to these other numbers but that’s a good thing for GRDA. The 2.7 represents the Authority’s classified workforce turnover rate, which is roughly five times lower than the Oklahoma state agency average. Finally, there is the number 50, representing the percentage of the GRDA workforce eligible to retire within the next five years.
The first few numbers listed here help to illustrate the scope of GRDA’s overall mission. However, these last two numbers represent a challenge and a front-burner issue the organization is already working to address. Though the turnover rate is low, a looming wave of retirements over the next few years means decades and decades of knowledge, experience and dedication to GRDA will be leaving the workforce.
At its February 2013 meeting, the GRDA Board took a major step to address this challenge by approving the development of a workforce management plan. Just as an investment in equipment upgrades can keep operations running smoothly for years to come, this investment in the workforce, which amounts to roughly $500 per employee, is intended to benefit Team GRDA of tomorrow by helping to retain the knowledge from yesterday’s workforce. Succession planning, recruitment, strategic workforce goals and performance measurement are also among the tools and solutions that will be delivered to GRDA once the work is completed.
But for now, the work is beginning. In early April, GRDA managers from all departments met with The AOE Group, the firm that has contracted with GRDA to deliver these tools, to begin the process. Over the course of several weeks, the work will continue as every employee will have the opportunity to give input.
The ultimate goal is for the real power behind GRDA – the workforce – to be prepared to always maintain, operate and achieve the successes behind the numbers. So whether it’s 1,200 or 75 or 48 or 16 or 70,000, or another number, GRDA is working to meet its mission for Oklahoma …100 percent of the time.
# # #