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Officially a World Class
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Officially a Good
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Best Company to work for in the UK
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Best Company
to work for

HIGH VOLTAGE EMPLOYEE engagement makes the connection for employees at Centrica Energy, the power generating sister company to British Gas. The organisation, a Best Companies new entry, has proven to be a persuasive combination of great pay and benefits, interesting work with good career prospects and careful environmental management. At a total of 13 sites across Britain employees do everything energy production-related from operating power stations, wind farms and oil and gas fields to running energy trading desks. Only 26 organisations scored higher than the company's 75% positive for staff finding work stimulating. There is plenty of training (30 hours a year on average, at a cost of £2,000 per head) not only to maintain necessary skills but also to develop people's careers and bond teams. Inductions take place monthly and include lunch with managing director Mark Hanafin. Offshore workers have to escape from a submerged simulated helicopter at a nautical college to prepare for the potential hazards of their commute to work and Killingholme power station has a mock control room to coach employees under lifelike conditions. When Centrica Energy bought a 20% share in British Energy in 2009, including a stake in their nuclear station portfolio, the company built an interactive walkway to take staff through the nuclear industry's past, present and future via a quiz on safety, a virtual tour through a nuclear power plant and a view inside a reactor. The organisation also has a well-established apprenticeship scheme. Since 2003 Centrica Energy has reduced the energy it uses by about 40% and driven down its British internal carbon footprint by about 15%. It conducts waste audits at every UK office and has ambitious reductions targets in place. People say the experience they gain at Centrica Energy is good for their future (77%, 36th) and that their work, which is an important part of their lives (79%), is not boring (73%) — with both these results ranking 41st. The company comes 21st (76%) for staff thinking it does enough to protect the environment and 32nd (72%) for employees believing it makes a difference to the world. But what people are most pleased of all about are the financial terms of their employment; happiness with pay and benefits ranks 33rd in the survey with a score of 67% and Fair Deal is Centrica Energy's top factor in the employee survey (61%, ranking 52nd). Engineers earn £31,000 and a wide range of favourable tax-effective share option schemes mean staff can own solid stock market-performing shares and also take ownership in the company they work for. centrica.com

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

88% of staff agreed

I believe I can make a valuable contribution to the success of this organisation

To say thank you and recognise the contribution that Centrica's employees and their families make to their success. They ran four CE Sunday events around the country over the summer. More than 2,000 people enjoyed fun in the sun, trying their hand at everything from dog training to archery. Live music provided the backing for the activities including pony riding, clay pigeon shooting and fairground rides. The events proved a big hit with employees. Colleagues who attended said that it was a ‘perfect day', ‘fun, safe and entertaining for everybody' and ‘to have the opportunity to see and speak with colleagues in an informal environment was great.'

Personal Growth

83% of staff agreed

The experience I gain from this job is valuable for my future

Centrica Energy are aware that learning new skills and building capability is key to personal growth and to making Centrica Energy high performing, pioneering and safe. Their approach is to offer blended learning solutions to cater for all employees including at an individual, team and organisational level. Examples of this will include their Induction Day and Management Orientation, supporting Career Days for their Business Units and leading on HiPo programmes such as ELP to identify future leaders within the business.

My Team

82% of staff agreed

People in my team go out of their way to help me

This year Centrica Energy launched their new recognition guidelines with a series of workshops to help managers recognise examples of High Performance, Pioneering Spirit and Safety within their teams and individuals that really live The CE Way. They believe that recognition is important for everyone in Centrica Energy; saying thank you can have a positive impact on individual and team morale. It is encouraged in their business so people feel increasingly motivated and engaged. Managers thank their people in ways that suit the individual; it could be a bottle of their favourite wine, dinner at their favourite restaurant or even a thank you letter or card. Centrica's philosophy is: “it is encouraged, it is up to you, you can take ownership and decide who and how to recognise”.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

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