Our people are our
We are powered by our team. The better our team, the better we are able to serve our customers, to make the multitude of incremental changes that aggregate into a sustainable, positive and prosperous future.
We work hard to assemble the team, to keep them safe and help them thrive in a culture that inspires every employee. We value diversity, different backgrounds and life experiences. Our people are the foundation upon which we build.
Safety is always first
Safety First is our number one value. We work safely and we watch out for each other. Our goal is for everyone to go home healthy, every day. We do not compromise on safety – and we continuously measure the effectiveness of our safety efforts, performance and culture.
The safety of our employees and customers is the first order of business. That’s why we begin every meeting and job with a safety briefing. Whether working in a high-risk environment in the field, or not, each of our employees is reminded multiple times each day that safety is not just about the absence of injuries, but, more importantly, is about the readiness to respond to risk and the controls we have in place.
We also know that it is important to teach electrical safety in our communities. Safe-T-Opolis is a free, interactive program for fourth grade students that uses a tabletop miniature city charged with 11,000 Volts to teach how to be safe around electricity. Created in 1987, Safe-T-Opolis is endorsed by the Alabama Department of Education and taught by about 300 specially trained Alabama Power employees called Lifeliners. During the pandemic, Lifeliners have adapted to online Safe-T-Opolis and Power Play programs and nearly 650 schools have participated.
Power Play is a web-based video game developed by Southern Company to enhance the safety education program. This is a first of its kind in the industry and allows students to virtually navigate unsafe situations involving electricity. Together, we are also developing Power Quest VR, a virtual reality safety program designed for high school students.
Alabama Power offers an online Electric Academy that provides free safety resources for educators and parents. During the pandemic, we also brought back an old, familiar friend to many Alabamians: Louie the Lightning Bug, first developed for the company in 1983, and later adopted by other utilities around the globe. A Learn with Louie website focused on electrical safety and activities was launched to help parents keep kids engaged in remote learning activities.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
We continue to work to create a culture where employees are empowered to be authentic and bold. We recognize our responsibility to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplace and throughout our state – and are committed to creating meaningful change.
We created Council on Culture and Inclusion (CCI) in 2018 as part of our intentional effort to:
• Attract, develop and retain employees of diverse backgrounds.
• Raise awareness of the company’s diversity and inclusion challenges, strategies and successes.
• Listen and respond to recommendations throughout the company to create an environment of inclusion, respect and fairness among all employees.
In 2020, we had an increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as a result of the events of racial injustice in our country. Following a period of focused listening sessions from employees across the company, the CCI developed an action plan to complement the Southern Company system’s Movement to Racial Equity, aligning with the these priorities:
- Expand programs with proven success and establish new partnerships to develop the workforce pipeline by creating job opportunities for underrepresented talent.
- Improve cultural knowledge and competencies through ongoing inclusive culture training.
- Connect employee performance to racial equity work and progress through regular reviews of representation equity and leadership accountability.
- Leverage our purchasing and procurement efforts to create economic opportunities for minority-owned, female-owned and disadvantaged businesses.
Each year we develop and implement a comprehensive Culture and Inclusion Strategic Report to further advance this long-term company initiative. This award-winning publication communicates progress to employees and shares plans for the coming year. Some of the 2020 initiatives included:
- Increasing digital resources on mental health, working remotely, career development, financial fitness and physical wellness for employees during adjusted business operations due to the ongoing pandemic.
- Providing tools and resources to help employees increase their understanding of one another, current events and systems of inequity that have existed for generations. The “Our Shared Responsibility” video series shared personal messages from company leaders on how the events of racial injustice affected them and their commitment to promote racial equity and inclusion.
- Hosting virtual events, including town hall meetings for all employees on COVID-19 operations and the company’s response to social injustice.
- Increasing digital and web-based efforts during the pandemic to ensure that our consistent communication on culture was reaching off-site employees.
Powering the next generation
At Alabama Power, we understand the vital role that workforce development plays in positioning our company and state for future success. Our goal is to elevate Alabama communities and we are committed to supporting workforce investments that train, create jobs and promote the economic advancement of Alabamians.
Some of our contributions include:
- Lineworker Training Expansion: Through partnerships with community colleges, we have expanded our lineworker training efforts in Birmingham and Mobile. As these programs see continued success, we’re working to partner with colleges in Montgomery and other Alabama communities.
- HVAC Training Center: We’ve partnered with Bevill State Community College to prepare students with the skills necessary to be effective in the HVAC industry, including product application, installation, performance analysis and product service. This program helps fill an emerging gap in technical training and prepares graduates for meaningful careers.
- Virtual Apprenticeship Accelerator: In partnership with the North America’s Building Trades Unions, Southern Company hosted a virtual Apprenticeship Accelerator to focus on Apprentice Readiness Programs (ARPs), best practices and systemwide company commitment to these successful programs.
The pursuit of talent
Our customers have diverse perspectives and experiences and it’s critical that our employees do too. Our efforts to recruit a diverse talent pool are intentional and focused. A diverse workplace brings together a spectrum of points of view that is not only representative of the communities we serve, but also encourages creativity and innovation.
Our employees make Alabama Power a great place to work. We work together as a team, and each employee contributes to our success. We invest in the well-being of our employees through a comprehensive compensation and benefits strategy that offers physical, emotional and financial security.
Alabama Power is an industry leader. Through strategic partnerships with public and private entities, we successfully benchmark among our peers. These 2020 recognitions are a testament to the hard work of many people, including our dedicated employees.
- Edison Electric Institute Advocacy Excellence Award for strategic efforts to expand broadband through the company’s fiber capacity and to close Alabama’s digital divide.
- EEI Emergency Assistance Award and Emergency Recovery Award for outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricanes Laura and Sally, and for extraordinary efforts to assist other electric companies’ power restoration efforts, and to restore power to Alabama customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events.
- Association of Edison Illuminating Companies Achievement Award for Cellular Router with Power Backup and Phase Outage Notification for development and deployment of a communication system for transmitting meter data over a cellular connection that provides outage notification when its connected meter loses power.
- Alabama NAACP Corporate Advocacy Award for providing critical resources and information to people affected by COVID-19 during the more than six-month suspension of disconnections and late payments.
- National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award for efforts following Hurricane Zeta to ensure polling locations had power for Election Day.
- Smart Grid Award by POWER Magazine for Smart Neighborhood in Reynolds Landing community at Ross Bridge.
- Top 20 Utilities in Economic Development by Site Selection magazine.
- Partners for Environmental Progress Environmental Stewardship award for work in restoring wood duck habitats in the Upper Delta Wildlife Management area.
- Birmingham Business Journal’s Companies of the Decade.
- Birmingham Business Journal’s CEO of the Decade, Mark Crosswhite.
- The regional International Association of Business Communicators awarded six Silver Quill Awards for writing achievement.
- The Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals recognized writing, electronic media and video with seven international Hermes Creative Awards.
- Southern Company ranked No. 26 in the top 50 companies by DiversityInc.
- Southern Company recognized as Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.