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Lost Productivity Costs Utility Teams More than $490,000 Annually

Dec. 10, 2021 -  A recent sampling of data reveals that teams working in the utility industry are only 63% efficient when it comes to communication, giving and receiving feedback, and handling stress.

The lack of productivity is causing those teams to lose an average of nearly half a million dollars every year, according to training and workforce-development consultant Okos Partners LLC.

Okos believes the lack of productivity raises the question of whether utilities and contractors are ready for the work that will come with approval of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIB).

BIB sets aside $15.7 billion for electric grid infrastructure, and additional funding for wind, solar, nuclear, and hydropower. On top of that are grants for expanding the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Improving teamwork increases productivity as well as safety. Consequently, strong teamwork also creates an organizational environment that makes it easier to recruit and retain people.

Okos, using Team Assessment software from Vivo Team, surveyed employees representing utilities and rural cooperatives, engineering and utility contractors, power plant services, unions, suppliers, and others that work in or alongside the utility industry.

During assessments that Okos gathered at a recent utility industry trade show, volunteers answered 14 questions about communication, meetings, ability to handle stress, and similar topics.

Four of six key indicators for this industry group contributed to the average team being unproductive 37% of the time. They struggle with communication, providing feedback, being accountable, and working in cohesion with each other.

“Imagine a person who loses five hours of productivity a day. If that person is paid $50,000 a year, their lost productivity would cost the company about $32,370 annually. Does five hours a day sound high? It’s not as hard as you think,” says Renee Safrata, CEO and Founder of Vivo Team.

Safrata explains:

·         Two hours could easily be lost from confusion due to poor direction and communication.

·         Have you ever sat in a meeting you didn’t need to be a part of? There's another hour or two.

·         Inefficiencies from lack of structures or processes could mean tasks take twice as long to complete. There’s another hour. 

“Leaders may know that part of their job is to drive improvement but are often at a loss as to how to make changes that are effective. But significant results can be achieved if the leader focuses on a small list of specific areas — improving communication, feedback, emotional intelligence, cohesion, accountability, and structures,” said Peter Krammer, senior partner at Okos.

Okos Partners and Vivo Team can help utilities and utility contractors identify the areas that are hurting productivity and implement strategies to increase profitability. Take your own assessment here:


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.