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From Moon Landings to Millennials –making our values matter

Posted on: 21/10/2016

2016 has already been a year of rapid, transformational change in politics, culture and society. And in this changing world ‘how’ things are done in business is more important than ever.

Today is World Values Day, and an opportunity for us all to think about our values – both at home and in work. For our company, they are an essential part of how we do things - making sure we keep our customers safe and the gas flowing to homes and businesses across our network.

In the last few years we’ve done a lot of work in developing our values – meeting with colleagues from Wrexham to Redruth. They might be what we’ve always done, but making them clear has given us a common way of talking about what we do – and how we do it.

For an organisation as geographically and demographically diverse as ours, this really is vitally important. To put this diversity in perspective, our most northerly and southerly depots are more than 350 miles apart, while our youngest colleague was born in 2000, and our longest serving colleague started on the gas the same year man walked on the moon for the first time – 1969!

We’re now using our values as a form of recognition too – with colleagues nominated by managers receiving pin badges for living our values.

We’ve also been recognised externally for how we use our values. Earlier this year, when we won Business in the Community’s Wales Responsible Business Award, the judges said it was because we have put our values at the heart of everything we do – and they drive responsible business practices and decision making.

Our values have also become embedded into our recruitment process. It’s my view that you can learn skills – we can turn our new apprentices into competent, capable gas engineers in just a few years. But I don't believe you can be taught values. And for us, values are just as important as skills. Our colleagues of the future have to demonstrate that they can share our values just as they have to prove they can learn the skills they need.

Our values bring us closer together as a company. We have to remember that the work of our colleagues in Snowdonia is not that different from those in Plymouth. That the hopes of a new temp at our head office in Newport are the same as the dreams of a new apprentice starting in Bridgwater.

We’re one team. And working together we’ll continue to drive our business forward and deliver outstanding service for our customers. 

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Sarah Hopkins

Wales & West Utilities People & Engagement Director