''The quality of engineers is one of the key factors of the state’s competitiveness''

ТГК-16 staff as a strategic resource: how TGC-16’s staff policy

''The quality of engineers is one of the key factors of the state’s competitiveness'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Today the country is feeling a severe lack of engineers. Moreover, it's rather a global tendency. At the same time, the performance of the whole production to a certain degree depends on the level of qualification as well as professional training of workers, think representatives of industrial enterprises. Officials of TGC-16 PJSC share the same opinion. The energy company sees the staff as a strategic resource, while its officials are convinced that production successes without social support are impossible.

''Our country has always been famous for its engineers''

2019 was announced in Tatarstan as the Year of Work Skills. The capital of the republic will host WorldSkills championship in the summer, the level of preparation for which President of Russia Vladimir Putin praised.

The first and main goal of the world championship is to make work skills popular. Today the tendency is so that the world lacks mid-level specialists, while competition among workers is considerably lower than in the market. The shortage is especially notable in construction and industry.

''Now there is a problem of imbalance in education when everyone switched to IT, moreover, both in the West and in our country. While one just need to know how to design, build, assemble, install equipment and manage these works. A shortage of such specialists appeared everywhere,'' head engineer at the Kazan CHPP-3 Rashid Akhmetzyanov is convinced.

Now there is a problem of imbalance in education when everyone switched to IT, moreover, both in the West and in our country. While one just need to know how to design, build, assemble, install equipment and manage these works

Staff policy problems are raised today at the top level. As Russia's President Vladimir Putin noted, those countries that are able to create breakthrough technology and form their own powerful production base on their basis are becoming leaders of global development today.

''The quality of engineers is becoming one of the key factors of the state's competitiveness, and, what's important, the basis of its technological, economic independence. Our country has always been famous for its engineers. The attitude to engineers in society has always been serious and respected,'' Putin noted during a meeting of the presidential council on science and education and urged to pay special attention to support and develop staff.

Head of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov also consecutively is for integrated support of staff. As the Tatarstan president has repeatedly noted, Russia and Tatarstan has a big number of advanced young people, and it is necessary to provide them with conditions for the effective work and professional growth, so that they will stay to work and won't go.

Contests raise professional bar

TGC-16 is one of the few companies conserving a high level of responsibility for the competency of its employees. And annual victories of the company's workers in Engineer of the Year all-Russian professional mastery competition is the evidence of it. This February it was announced that deputy chief repair engineer of the Kazan CHPP-3 Aleksandr Anastasiev and head of the boiler and turbine shop No. 1 in the Nizhnekamsk CHPP Mansur Biganayev became laurates in the nomination Professional Engineers in 2018.

The workers are sure that such contests help enough to develop and improve qualification as a kind of stair of the career ladder.

TGC-16 conserve a high level of responsibility for the competency of its employees. And annual victories of the company's workers in Engineer of the Year all-Russian professional mastery competition is the evidence of it

''Becoming a laureate, you raise your professional bar and start moving forward, towards new summits. And the fact that your merits are noted at the federal level also creates enthusiasm, and you want new accomplishments. In addition, officials of TGC-16 encourage it, constantly holds training, refresher courses,'' says Aleksandr Anastasiev.

It's especially important for young and ambitious engineers who also participate in the competition in Young Engineering Art. So leading maintenance and test engineer of the Production and Technical Department of the Nizhnekamsk CHPP Viktor Petrov was awarded the title of laureate in 2018. Implementing novelties and improving the production, young and ambitious specialists get an opportunity to show off.

''At the forefront of progress''

The staff is a strategic resource of TGC-16, thinks the enterprise's Director General Eduard Galeyev.

''It's not a secret that technology development paces are growing day after day now. In an advanced high-tech factory, like in TGC-16's branches where equipment is regularly upgraded, we can't allow our employees' knowledge to become obsolete. For this purpose, we need to constantly hold refresher courses, rotate the staff, train them. It's a planned work that never ends. At the same time, an employee himself can't allow to fall behind his colleagues and the general production level in such conditions. So our employees' both internal and external motivation is fine – this is why they are 'at the forefront of progress', so to speak,'' tells the head of TGC-16.

Equipment at TGC-16 is regularly upgraded, we can't allow our employees' knowledge to become obsolete

The company realises the importance of uninterrupted development. The specialists regularly do refresher courses. TGC-16's employees gained valuable experience as a result of close cooperation with General Electric company from the USA – a contractor general of the gas turbine plant at the Kazan CHPP-3. The unique energy plant installed in the plant gives the enterprise's employees skills of communication with the equipment and software that's is unavailable anywhere else in Russia.

Another way of international cooperation helps TGC-16's employees to improve their qualification. TGC-16 is a technical customer in a joint project of Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Siemens to build a new steam gas power plant with a capacity of 496 MW.

''We consider our employees the most important asset of the company. And we help to discover their professional and personal capabilities, create conditions for going up the career ladder,'' shares director of the HR Department at TGC-16 Olga Nikiskova.

It's noteworthy that the employees can do several types of training throughout a year. Training in compulsory programmes, which is controlled by supervisory agencies, accounts for a considerable share in the personnel's training. The workers are trained on the basis of a detailed examination of the company's needs. At the same time, every employee can offer the officials a programme, course or seminar that will allow to get new knowledge and skills. Such proposals are just welcomed in the company.

Synergy of generations

The energy sector requires unique knowledge and skills as well as good interactions of professionals who have different jobs. TGC-16 tries to create such working conditions where everyone will be interested in his performance, able to get deserved recognition for his personal contribution to the common result.

TGC-16 tries to create such working conditions where everyone will be interested in his performance, able to get deserved recognition for his personal contribution to the common result

As Aleksandr Anastasiev notes, nowadays a gradual change of generations is underway at TGC-16 – young specialists with new views and a new approach to work are becoming engineers more often.

''Consequently, requirements for the staff are also updated. Earlier one couldn't even imagine that a heat engineer would need to know something in programming or speak a foreign language. Today it's already becoming the norm. At least, in our plant,'' says Anastasiev.

A kind of symbiosis of experienced veterans and young employees with new skills generates an unusual way of interaction between the generations. Anastasiev calls it ''reverse mentorship''.

''In the conditions of rapid update of technology and equipment, which constantly happens in our CHPP, young guys, specialists start to advise and even teach us, experienced engineers, in some cases. Even the richest experience turns out not enough at such a moment. It's obvious that it's easier for them to master the latest technology, but our old hands never refuse to know something new and accept advice and recommendations from young engineers with joy.

Though we ourselves help the youth often – holed up in their 'lofty matters', our young colleagues even fail to understand the basics, which is habitual for us. So I would even say it's 'reciprocal mentorship'', Aleksandr clarifies.

Socially responsible mission

Reduction in the drain is one of the important areas of work with the staff. And it's logical because an employer with experience in a specific enterprise is much more effective than a recruit, even if their qualification and track record are similar. This is why the company offers its workers a wide range of choices to build a successful career, develop and grow, it pursues a motivating policy presupposing a competitive salary and a high level of social guarantees for the employees. The system of social guarantees, moreover, includes providing with housing in a social mortgage programme.

The enterprise annually voluntarily allocates money on social mortgage programmes. TGC-16 has been participating in Social Mortgage programme since its foundation, while the company additionally has taken part in the programmes Development of the Industrial Complex in the Republic of Tatarstan and Sale of Flats on Housing Acquisition Agreements since 2014. The company has provided over 500 employees in total with concessionary housing during its operation.

The company has provided over 500 employees in total with concessionary housing during its operation

Moreover, the company constantly makes payments for the first marriage, a baby's birth, birthday, professional holiday.

''A mission of a socially responsible company means for us commitment to sustainable development of the social, economic, ecological and humanitarian spheres of social life,'' says Olga Nikishkova.

So the company has good conditions for work and leisure of the personnel in all workplaces at the level of European standards. For instance, a gym with a swimming pool where employees can have a rest after working days is located on the territory of the Nizhnekamsk CHPP. All the branches of the company have health posts equipped with necessary equipment. There are shuttles for the employees, too – people are transported to the plant by comfortable buses.

A gym with a swimming pool where employees can have a rest after working days is located on the territory of the Nizhnekamsk CHPP

Collective agreements of the branches based on a single approach have been applied in the company since the existence of TGC-16. The documents consider key principles, benefits, guarantees and compensations the employees have the right to.

Such measures allow to inspire loyalty from the company's employees. So the integrated support of the staff at TGC-16 is one of the key factors allowing the company to remain one of the most high-tech energy enterprises across the country.

By Alina Gubaydullina. Photo: Maksim Platonov, Oleg Tikhonov
Tatarstan