PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2017

Employee Engagement

PG&E strives to create a workplace where employees feel engaged—where they are excited about their work, confident in our future and understand and apply PG&E’s values to help us better serve our customers. To promote engagement, we are cultivating an environment where employees are empowered to speak up about safety and other important topics, have the opportunity to learn and grow in their careers, connect with the communities where they work and offer ideas about how to make PG&E a better place to work.

Our Approach

Engaged employees share a meaningful connection to their jobs, can articulate PG&E’s goals and understand how they and their broader organization contribute to PG&E’s success.

Governance and Key Initiatives

Our executive-level People Committee drives PG&E-wide efforts to improve engagement and work toward continuous improvement by reviewing and approving long-term people strategies and assessing the impact of people, plans and programs. One of the committee’s areas of focus continues to be a biennial employee survey that provides insights into the employee experience and our culture. In recent years, employee engagement has been a top priority, as demonstrated by its inclusion in our Executive Guidance, which provides the framework to guide PG&E’s planning for the next five years by establishing strategic focus areas that underpin the individual projects and programs that PG&E’s lines of business will develop and implement.

We have also implemented employee engagement action plans driven by senior leaders designed to create an environment where employees are empowered to speak up, a dedicated communications campaign and interim surveys to keep organizations within PG&E on track to meet their engagement goals.

We track employee engagement through the biennial employee survey, most recently conducted in 2016, as well as a number of other measures to hold leaders at all levels accountable for driving engagement. The People Committee provides guidance on senior leadership’s role in addressing the survey results to drive continuous improvement.

Collaborating with our Unions

Approximately 60 percent of PG&E employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements with three labor unions: the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245, the Engineers and Scientists of California International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (ESC/IFPTE) Local 20, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Service Workers West. A negotiated labor agreement with each union establishes the working rules and other terms and conditions of employment.

These employees support areas critical to our business, including gas and electric operations, customer service, power generation, environmental and land services, telecommunications, and shared services.

PG&E and its unions work closely together in many important areas, such as enhancing technical training programs, fostering health and wellness, building career pathways and implementing numerous initiatives to promote a stronger culture of safety.

Engaging at the Grassroots Level

Employee-led initiatives play an important role in engaging employees. These include grassroots initiatives focused on safety, wellness and environmental leadership, as well as ambassador teams that provide employees with engagement opportunities within their lines of business. Approximately 5,500 employees participate in our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), each of which contributes to building an inclusive culture that ensures our employees’ voices are heard and valued.

Every year, we honor employees whose work at the grassroots level embodies our highest values—such as safety, diversity and inclusion, environmental leadership, and community service—in our annual Employee Champions Awards ceremony. The event also features the Margaret Mooney Award for Innovation, which recognizes individuals and teams who apply innovative solutions to their work.

Engaging in our Communities

We also drive engagement through employee volunteer and giving programs. Our volunteerism efforts continue to grow, in part because PG&E’s Better Together Giving Program, which supports deserving local organizations through community investments, prioritizes initiatives that offer opportunities for employees to volunteer. Our efforts are supported by local employee leadership teams that spearhead engagement opportunities in local communities.

PG&E also actively supports local nonprofit organizations by encouraging its senior leaders to serve on the boards of local charities. Among officers who have been with PG&E for more than a year, more than 90 percent serve on nonprofit boards such as the California Academy of Sciences, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the San Francisco Chapter of the United Negro College Fund.

2016 Milestones

Highlights from 2016 included the following:

  • Improved employee engagement and continued building a strong safety culture. PG&E conducted its biennial employee survey on employee engagement and other topics, with nearly 19,000 employees taking the time to participate. Employee engagement increased slightly when compared to results from the 2014 survey. Results also showed that PG&E has made strides in building our safety culture, with results exceeding industry benchmarks.
  • Redesigned time-off benefits for management, administrative and technical employees. The new benefits include 15 vacation days per year for new and current employees with up to eight years of service, as well as improvements to our short-term disability and paid family leave benefits. Under our new Paid Family Leave policy, PG&E will supplement California‘s six-week benefit so employees receive 100 percent wage replacement for eight weeks.
  • Set a PG&E record for employee volunteerism. Employees at every level contributed to our total of 96,800 hours of community service—the most volunteer hours in our history—significantly outperforming our goal of 90,000 hours. When multiplied by the California industry-standard value of $27.59 for a volunteer hour, this represents more than $2.6 million in equivalent labor.
  • Created an online tool to help drive engagement. We launched an online planning tool for leaders to leverage employee insights shared in response to the biennial survey, with measures to hold officers and directors accountable for driving engagement within their teams. The tool also provided best practices for promoting employee engagement.
  • Reached new agreements with union-represented employees. PG&E employees represented by ESC ratified an agreement that included wages, working conditions and the same redesigned time-off benefits provided for management, administrative and technical employees, while employees represented by IBEW and SEIU ratified new agreements covering wages; improved short-term, long-term and paid family leave benefits; and working conditions.

Measuring Progress

The employee engagement score from our 2016 biennial survey was 77 percent—up from the 2014 score of 76—and more than 81 percent of employees participated in the survey. Overall, the 2016 survey showed improved scores in engagement, continuous improvement and workforce empowerment. However, the survey results also revealed opportunities for us to improve in creating a speak-up culture and in our communications with employees.

To address these concerns and respond to employees’ feedback in the biennial survey, all officers and directors are required to develop and implement targeted employee action plans, which address areas ranging from customer focus to work-life balance, with measures to hold all levels of leadership accountable for driving engagement within their teams.

In 2016, the total number of employee volunteer hours more than doubled from five years ago. For 2017, we set a goal of 91,000 hours from employee volunteers.

Employee Survey Results
Year Score Footnote 1
2011 67%
2012 71%
2013 No survey
2014 76%
2015 No Survey
2016 77%
  • 1. Refers to the percentage of favorable responses to questions that measure employee engagement.
Employee Volunteer Hours
Year Target Actual
2011 28,875 32,585
2012 34,215 41,792
2013 43,050 47,855
2014 50,000 75,000
2015 79,000 87,000
2016 90,000 96,800
2017 91,000

Looking Ahead

Spearheaded by our executive-level People Committee, PG&E will continue implementing an enterprise-wide engagement strategy, which includes action plans in every line of business to address employee feedback from our biennial employee survey.

In addition, PG&E will collaborate closely with our unions, boost volunteerism and implement employee engagement action plans led by senior leaders so that we retain top talent, attract the best candidates and cultivate the workforce of tomorrow.