How One Utility Company is Using Training as a Tool to Support ESG Priorities
The utility industry has become essential to worldwide decarbonization efforts. Hence, there has been an increasingly sharp focus on environmental responsibility and broader environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) measures in this sector.
PNM Resources serves as a powerful example.
Parent company to PNM and TNMP, PNM Resources serves electricity to approximately 800,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas. From an ESG perspective, the organization has committed to achieving 100% emissions-free energy by 2040.
To accomplish this goal, PNM Resources is relying on one of its core values — ensuring everyone goes home safe — to ensure the well-being of its employees in every work environment. Healthy workers are productive workers who will be well-equipped to reach the organization’s goals.
Simultaneously, PNM Resources is working to create the workforce of the future — dedicating time and effort to ensure its team is skilled and knowledgeable in renewable energy resources and technology.
PNM Resources works under a Federated Training Organization Model — meaning that some training is centralized, but other courses are decentralized, or controlled by local offices instead of at the enterprise level. The centralized and decentralized groups collaborate, but historically it has been difficult to ensure that every employee at every location receives comparable training.
“Given the complex compliance requirements utilities face, our teams needed to be agile in responding to ever-changing demands,” said Kerry Foster, L&D program manager lead at PNM Resources. “We needed a solution that would provide standard, high-quality training opportunities to all our locations — but also allow each location to choose courses that are specific to their circumstances.”
The organization needed to free up resources to allow its internal teams to focus on creating new programs and developing new industry-specific hands-on delivery to ensure equipment handling proficiency and PPE standards.
Said Foster: “Our collective challenge has been making sure that every employee has the same understanding of our policies and safety procedures — no matter where they work geographically or what their role is. Beyond that, we aim to provide our team with the skills necessary to do their jobs well and advance into other roles within our organization if they are interested in doing so.”
PNM Resources turned to Skillsoft to enable them to maintain the level of training they require across the enterprise, ensuring that employees receive the information they need when they need it.
“Skillsoft makes it possible for us to provide quality training across the board in areas that may have federal requirements,” said Foster. “Leveraging Skillsoft’s compliance content helps us provide relevant courses — from entry-level to advanced — without reinventing the wheel. It provides a level playing field for all employees, regardless of location or role.”
She continued: “With that need being met, our internal training teams can create robust training sessions to address our additional needs. It also allows us to branch out into assisting with programs like launching new cultural beliefs, company orientations, leadership programs, and more.”
Foster also credits Skillsoft with helping PNM Resources stay current on industry standards, laws, rules, and regulations. She said: “The Skillsoft team is extremely knowledgeable about the types of courses available within the Skillsoft library and how they might be used to meet the complex compliance requirements in the utility industry.”
“Even better,” she expanded, “Skillsoft updates its content as new laws are passed or regulations change; this means we can deploy the most up-to-date training available to our team.”
PNM Resources leverages multiple styles of instruction — videos, scenario-based learning, interviews, text, and more — to reach every employee with its quality course content.
And since many employees work in the field, the organization often schedules in-office training sessions where employees may individually complete courses on company-provided computers or view them as a larger group. Setting aside dedicated training time conveys the importance of these sessions across the company.
The utility industry can be dangerous, with many workers spending most of their time in the field. Skillsoft Compliance Solutions has enabled PNM Resources to standardize complex utility compliance training so that every employee knows what is safe regardless of their role or where they work each day.
PNM Resources utilizes Skillsoft’s extensive tracking, auditing, and reporting capabilities for full program transparency. This has helped to eliminate many of the operational silos that previously existed at the organization so managers across departments can make informed decisions based on complete information about the readiness of their workforce.
And finally, the learning and development team at PNM Resources can contribute meaningfully to the organization’s ESG goals. Skillsoft supports these efforts with courses that educate employees on acting appropriately to achieve desired results and inform them of critical issues. From training on workplace safety and legal compliance to business skills and digital transformation, PNM Resources uses education and learning to support critical initiatives.
compliance courses available
adoption rate of self-directed development opportunities
Skillsoft has proven to be a trustworthy, knowledgeable resource by providing legally compliant, engaging, and on-demand Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) and Legal content. Having the ability to customize our content, such as the ability to edit and attach policies or procedures, is a key contributor to meeting our compliance training needs.
L&D Program Manager Lead, PNM Resources
In January 2022, PNM Resources launched Skillsoft Percipio as an additional learning platform. PeopleSoft’s Enterprise Learning Management (ELM) module currently houses the organization’s mandatory compliance training, while Percipio is provided to employees for self-directed development opportunities.
In less than a year, PNM Resources has achieved a 40% adoption rate and believes Skillsoft Percipio will support employee retention. According to Foster, “We’ve been performing awareness campaigns highlighting Skillsoft Percipio course links to support our employees in gaining knowledge and understanding on monthly focus topics such as neurodiversity, Black history, women, ESG efforts, and DEI&B communications.”
Foster shared that PNM Resources is working to create training roadmaps for employees that will need to acquire new skills in support of new technology in the year ahead. The organization is also integrating training content on renewable energy sources such as geothermal, sunlight, water, and wind, as well as developing best practices for reskilling.
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Has PNM's story inspired you? Learn how you can build a culture of learning and compliance at your organization by working with Skillsoft.
- Skillsoft's Legal and Ethics Compliance training can help you create an ethical, compliant workplace.
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LEARN MORE ABOUT PNM Resources
PNM Resources is an energy holding company based in Albuquerque, N.M., with 2022 consolidated operating revenues of $2.2 billion. Through its regulated utilities, PNM and TNMP, PNM Resources provides electricity to more than 800,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas. PNM serves its customers with a diverse mix of generation and purchased power resources totaling 2.7 gigawatts of capacity, with a goal to achieve 100% emissions-free energy by 2040. PNM Resources is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as PNM.