“AEP’s culture is shaped by our focus on workplace safety, customer satisfaction and our employees’ strong desire to contribute to the company’s success. Employee engagement is a leading indicator of better business results.”
— Nick Akins, chairman, president and chief executive officer
Our values reflect who we are and guide us as we transition to becoming the utility of the future.
Our employees embody a strong safety culture, a commitment to our customers and a desire to contribute to AEP’s success. We are creating a culture that supports engagement, innovation, adaptability, accountability and strategic alignment.
When our employees are motivated and productive, we are better able to navigate business pressures and embrace new opportunities and are positioned for future success.
A skilled work force is critical to AEP’s success.
We are building a culture of engagement that supports business success.
Diversity brings fresh perspectives, ideas, skills and experience that we value and celebrate.
We could not keep the lights on, reward our investors or support our communities without our employees. We strive to keep our employees motivated, engaged, well-trained, healthy and, above all else, safe.
A skilled work force is critical to AEP’s success. Many of our skilled and technical employees, such as plant operators and line mechanics, are approaching retirement. One way we are addressing this is by developing work plans for each of our business units to identify potential staffing gaps, as well as opportunities to educate, train and prepare our future workforce.
Work force planning became particularly valuable when we announced plans to retire coal units, which affected hundreds of jobs. We developed a Generation Staffing Plan specifically to help inform, educate, counsel and give those employees who were affected by the closings every opportunity to find another job with AEP.
Providing our work force with the proper tools and training is part of our commitment to employees. We have created safety leadership training, leadership development training and other forms of training that help employees improve their skills and become better leaders.
A strong culture fosters engaged employees and creates the foundation for long-term success. At AEP, we have worked to create a culture that will support the adaptability and focus that our employees will need to succeed in a fast-paced, changing work environment which is vastly different than in the past. Our culture initiative is focused on leadership, performance recognition and accountability, strategic alignment and employee engagement.
Through our culture initiative, we are empowering employees to be engaged through our Power Up & Lead culture workshop. The workshop helps employees learn about their own behaviors and leadership styles, as well as what it takes to be more effective communicators. In 2014, more than 1,600 employees took part in this training.
Another way we are engaging our employees is by training some of them to be certified facilitators to teach the Power Up & Lead sessions to their fellow co-workers. At the end of 2014, approximately 50 employees were trained as facilitators. In addition, dozens of participants who completed the culture workshop signed up to be culture champions.
One concept taught during the Power Up & Lead workshop is “Be Here Now”. This concept asks employees to be present during the moment and avoid distractions. During the 2015 Ohio Safety Leadership Summit, employees were asked to practice this concept by placing their cell phones in bags and only access them during breaks.
Strategic alignment is one of our four focus areas in our culture journey. We are engaging our employees to better align our goals and vision for the future. Strategic alignment is one of our four culture pillars. The others are: leadership, employee engagement and performance recognition and appreciation.
AEP has a very strong safety culture, so when we saw recordable injuries due to slips, trips, falls and overexertion increasing, we got to work right away to put an action plan in place to address it. We held town hall-like employee meetings with more than 1,500 employees who analyzed accident data, identified root causes, and benchmarked internal and external best practices.
The Town Hall Meeting efforts culminated during a Slips, Trips, Falls, Sprains & Strains Safety & Health Summit in March 2015, where a group of 35 employees developed sustainable solutions and action plans to address these events. These solutions were then presented to an executive panel for approval.
At the Slips, Trips, Falls, Sprains & Strains Safety & Health Summit, 17 solutions were proposed to an advisory and executive endorsement panel, and all 17 were endorsed for implementation or further investigation.
We work on becoming more diverse from the boardroom to the front line. We track the advancement of females and minorities from front-line craft-level positions to executive posts. In addition, we consider diversity in every hiring decision and try to provide a diverse slate of candidates to hiring managers for review and consideration.
We value and celebrate diversity at AEP and in the communities where we live, work and operate. To us, diversity involves ethnicity, gender, age, and other demographic factors. We value a diversity of perspectives and experiences, skills, ideas, culture and opinions, all of which make the company and the community stronger.
Employee resource groups (ERGs) give voice to the diversity of our work force. These groups support AEP’s values and goals, strengthen communication between AEP and its employees, provide a forum for exchanging new ideas and enhance the company’s desirability as a prospective employer. These groups sponsor programs and events focused on culture, education and personal and professional development.