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Building a 21st Century water workforce - v.13

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Ten steps towards building a water workforce that reflects the needs and conditions of the 21st Century

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Building a 21st Century water workforce - v.13

  1. 1. Building a 21st Century Water Workforce Brian Gongol DJ Gongol & Associates, Inc. November 8, 2017 Nebraska AWWA Fall Conference Kearney, Nebraska
  2. 2. 1. Opportunities for growth and development
  3. 3. If you're standing still, you're falling behind
  4. 4. 2% improvement doubles quality in 35 years
  5. 5. 5% improvement doubles in 14 years
  6. 6. Continuous improvement really adds up "Every signifcant advance I or my company has ever made has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary: small earned steps -- not big lucky hits." - Michael Bloomberg
  7. 7. Don't become Fred the Baker
  8. 8. Do you schedule development time weekly?
  9. 9. Do you have the tools for development?  Books  Laptop  Kindle  WiFi  Cutaways
  10. 10. Fluidity between public and private sectors
  11. 11. 2. Social status
  12. 12. Public water: Essential and irreplaceable
  13. 13. You're as critical as the Weather Service
  14. 14. Public water utility is generally a monopoly
  15. 15. Other monopolies: Power company
  16. 16. Other monopolies: Police
  17. 17. Other monopolies: Fire department
  18. 18. Public water is the front line in public health
  19. 19. Public-health protection commands respect
  20. 20. Is it really OK to be invisible?
  21. 21. Are "turd herder" jokes really OK?
  22. 22. Status is earned: Insert yourself in conversation
  23. 23. When drinking water is in the news, share it
  24. 24. Specifcity can make a job sound better
  25. 25. Titles matter Specialist Director Team Leader Program Manager
  26. 26. Look to parallel titles in the military
  27. 27. 3. Pride in branding
  28. 28. "If you see something, say something"
  29. 29. Anything/anybody public-facing needs identity
  30. 30. Labeled vehicles
  31. 31. Embroidered shirts and uniforms  Conveys exclusivity  Says "We value your eforts"  Signals membership and belonging
  32. 32. Nothing wrong with personalized choices Most places charge a one-time digitization fee for embroidery, after which each additional piece is quite reasonable
  33. 33. Removable nametags vs embroidery
  34. 34. Participation in parades
  35. 35. Signs on property
  36. 36. If churches can have message signs, you can
  37. 37. Construction signage (Take credit!)
  38. 38. Are you the nicest monopoly in town? "In the regulated utility feld [...] Berkshire hopes to be the 'buyer of choice' of regulators." Warren Bufett FY2008 Letter to Shareholders
  39. 39. 4. Start young
  40. 40. Labor force demographics
  41. 41. US population pyramid
  42. 42. Nebraska population pyramid
  43. 43. Iowa population pyramid
  44. 44. Sample urban population pyramid (Lincoln)
  45. 45. Sample rural population pyramid (Grant Co.)
  46. 46. Consider unemployment rates
  47. 47. Do you remember Y2K?
  48. 48. Your next hire may have been born after Y2K
  49. 49. What did you want to be when you grew up?
  50. 50. Do young people tour your plant? So what if it's not the Vatican?
  51. 51. Do young people interact with you?
  52. 52. Do you wear your mission "on your sleeve"?
  53. 53. Which career is this for you? (Often it's #2/#3)
  54. 54. 5. Competitive working conditions
  55. 55. Is it clean?
  56. 56. Is it safe?
  57. 57. Is it sheltered?
  58. 58. Do you have the right tools?
  59. 59. Do the owners take pride in their assets?
  60. 60. Public facilities refect community values
  61. 61. If it looks like an afterthought, it probably is Pretty courthouse, right?
  62. 62. Afterthoughts stick out
  63. 63. 6. You don't marry a spouse, you marry a family
  64. 64. Everyone wants to please their parents
  65. 65. What would a new hire tell Mom and Dad?
  66. 66. Would you bring kids to the workplace?
  67. 67. Would a spouse like to visit the workplace?
  68. 68. If it's not good enough to show a spouse, is it really good enough?
  69. 69. Get community leaders inside the plant
  70. 70. Entice them with lunch if you have to
  71. 71. 7. Good uptime beats bad downtime
  72. 72. 25% of your hours are spent at work
  73. 73. Does it look like something's getting done?
  74. 74. Can you automate mindless parts of the job?
  75. 75. Can you outsource low-value parts of the job?
  76. 76. Are you maximizing time on fulflling work?
  77. 77. Does every day include problem-solving?
  78. 78. 8. Your competitive advantage as an employer
  79. 79. Probably isn't pay
  80. 80. Benefts aren't the only thing
  81. 81. Stability
  82. 82. Pride in community service
  83. 83. Status is an untapped human resource in water
  84. 84. It's not good enough to be invisible Out of sight is out of mind
  85. 85. Banish generic trucks & generic logos
  86. 86. Create an identity
  87. 87. Put the mission front and center "Come fy the friendly skies" "We bring good things to life" "Better living through chemistry"
  88. 88. A slogans is free -- you just have to mean it Delivering fre safety and protecting public health 24/7/365
  89. 89. 9. Safety frst
  90. 90. Trained in frst response
  91. 91. Advertise frst aid/AED skills
  92. 92. Are you a designated child "safe space"?
  93. 93. A safety mindset always starts at the top
  94. 94. Don't waste mental energy on stupid dangers
  95. 95. Railings and life preservers
  96. 96. Belt guards and lockouts
  97. 97. Toxic gas detection
  98. 98. Corrosion is ever-present
  99. 99. Would your 22-year-old kid be safe on the job?
  100. 100. 10. Don't be afraid to let go
  101. 101. Be a launching pad to great future jobs Even if you're not the perfect destination, you can make good use of great talent on the way up
  102. 102. People play D1 football to get to the pros
  103. 103. Distinguish between seniority and expertise
  104. 104. High-performance workers vs. managers "[W]hen a company rewards the role of manager more than the act of creating value, employees strive to become managers (and increase the number of people they manage), even when leading people isn't their strength." - Charles Koch
  105. 105. Summary  Not everyone wants into this industry  Those who do deserve status  Don't hesitate to make your workforce better  Make sure the community knows why you matter  Never pass up an opportunity to infuence the young
  106. 106. Questions? Thank you for your time and attention!  Brian Gongol  DJ Gongol & Associates  515-223-4144  www.gongol.net  info@gongol.net  @djgongol on Facebook and Twitter
  107. 107. Credits  All photographs are original work of Brian Gongol  US population pyramid is public-domain work from the Census Bureau:  https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/random-samplings/2016/06/americas- age-profle-told-through-population-pyramids.html  Population pyramids for City of Lincoln and Grant County taken from CensusScope.org  Used per published terms at http://www.censusscope.org/usepolicy.html  Unemployment rate data and chart from the Federal Reserve bank of St. Louis:  https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/UNRATE  Photo of Bill Clinton from Library of Congress (public domain work):  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/95509403/  Copyright reserved; use by others of any images is forbidden without written permission

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