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Treat your employees like adults - you'll be rewarded

My ambition at Smart Energy GB has been to create an environment where staff are supported and feel valued. Part of a family.

So I was delighted to learn we won gold in PR Week’s PR Best Places to Work awards.

The judges praised us for our ‘dynamic and progressive culture’ in their comments, and also expressed admiration for our induction process, annual leave and sabbatical policies.

For those of you that don’t know, we’re the voice of the smart meter rollout. We’re responsible for making sure every household and business knows that they can upgrade to a smart meter, and so monitor their energy usage in real time.

It’s a big job, because we have to reach an entire country, and so need a strong team.

Any team is only as good as its players, and fundamentally, at Smart Energy GB, we like to go the extra mile to support our staff to allow them to focus more on the important stuff.

For example when somebody joins us at Smart Energy GB, we trust them with their responsibilities, and take ours seriously. This means making sure that they’re truly welcomed into our team.

To help people to feel part of the family from day one, we don’t have probationary periods. We make sure our hiring process is as rigorous and fair as possible, and we understand that it’s up to us make someone feel welcome, and so structure our inductions with that in mind.

And we recognise that as adults, life sometimes gets in the way a bit. That’s why we have flexible working, family friendly policies and a decent holiday allowance.

Now, we go on about smart meters a lot – but the truth is, they make a difference to peoples’ lives. You can track in pounds and pence how much you’re spending and get accurate bills, meaning wages go further.

One easy thing employers can do to support staff is to make it easier for them to get their smart meter installed. There are lots of ways you can do this. You could simply make sure that staff have information about the benefits and understand how to get one installed (it’s simple, they just need to contact their energy supplier).

Or you could go a step further and allow staff to work flexibly, or have time off so that their energy supplier can come and install their meter.

Everyone will benefit from the upgrade to smart meters. For staff they can help get energy use under control. But, on a national level, they are an important part of the digitisation of our energy system. With the help of smart meters we will be able to use more renewable energy and manage the country’s demand for energy better, meaning that Britain, in future can have a much more sustainable and resilient energy system.

By supporting your staff in getting a smart meter it says you appreciate them and that you want to do your part in being a sustainable employer, supporting your staff in living more sustainably and reducing their carbon footprint.

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  • Hi Mikael
    It's very refreshing to hear about some of your processes - such as no probationary period and a thorough and effective induction. These initial practices send staff many important messages which can stay with them and shape their degree of engagement with their employer. It sounds like you deserved the award and I'd be interested to hear about the other things that you do - lots of my clients recognise the need to improve levels of engagement so hearing about good practices is very useful - thanks!

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