Communicate openly and honestly with respect for our employees.

We are committed to keeping our workforce up to date with news about what’s happening in the business and across the North West.

We have a set of regular publications that do a great job of ensuring employees are kept informed, including our online news pages, quarterly magazine and briefing packs for our people managers.

We're always keen to receive feedback which we actively seek through all our communications.

We value the opinion of our workforce and source their feedback though an annual survey. This is measured by Willis Towers Watson (a leading provider in employee and engagement surveys throughout the UK). Company-wide and local action plans are then created in response. 

In 2020 our engagement increased to 84% up from 81% in the previous year. We also had a healthy overall response rate of 81%.

Employees told us, via the surveys, that leadership, together with managing and implementing change more effectively, were two key areas where we could continue to improve. These issues are especially important as we continue to change rapidly as a business, to meet customer expectations.

In response, we’ve invested time in up-skilling line managers to be more effective at leading people through changing times and have prioritised leadership and line management support to those areas which need it the most, based on survey results. A mixture of e-learning, classroom training, continuous coaching and communications and engagement plans are being used.

We’ve introduced new questions, specifically focused on how well we manage change, into the survey, so we can track our performance and make improvements. We’ve also established a business change capability process which means we can make sure that whenever or wherever change is required, we use a consistent means of assessing the impact on people and make sure the right level of engagement, communication and training are deployed.

Looking ahead, as our company evolves to continue to deliver great customer service and to be successful as our marketplace opens up to competition, we will be giving employees confidence and greater understanding of our direction of travel in the next five years and beyond, which was a key piece of feedback from the survey. We are running a structured programme, which everyone in United Utilities will experience, to share and discuss the areas of focus for the business in the future and why those are important for the company and for their team and role.