Approach to Workforce Culture
Managing workforce culture ensures Equitrans remains a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all employees. Fostering a positive work environment encourages innovative thinking and collaboration, which results in a more engaged and productive workforce. Equitrans’ executive leadership team manages our workforce culture by overseeing the collection and reporting of workplace culture and employee engagement data to the Board and its appropriate committees, as well as through a number of culture initiatives listed below.
Equitrans recognizes the importance in encouraging employee engagement. Engaged employees are more productive and more likely to expend discretionary effort in their jobs, supercharging productivity and innovation. Positive workforce culture also promotes high levels of employee retention and greater safety awareness. To continue our strong workforce culture, Equitrans utilizes several culture initiatives:
Culture Champions Group
Equitrans’ Culture Champions Group was founded by executive leadership in July 2019. The members of our Culture Champions Group are selected to represent each department and/or geographic location in order to solicit feedback and suggestions from employees across the Company. Based on information gathered from employees, members openly discuss ways to enhance and improve our workforce culture during their regularly scheduled meetings. Culture Champions Group leaders bring suggestions and solutions to our Chief Human Resources Officer and President and Chief Operating Officer for review and consideration. Relevant management groups then implement culture solutions.
Lunch with Leaders
Equitrans’ Lunch with Leaders program was developed from a Culture Champions Group suggestion. Our Lunch with Leaders program provides our workers a unique chance to speak about business concerns directly with executive level leadership and other Company leaders. Discussion topics are generally dependent on the leaders’ area of expertise, or often the discussions are scheduled as an informal meet and greet. While there is not a specified cadence, most leaders conduct sessions on a quarterly basis.
Our Virtual Meet-Ups are an informal way for employees to connect and engage with coworkers on various topics of interest, regardless of location, allowing for a wide-range of employees to interact and learn from one another to foster a more inclusive environment. Virtual Meet-Ups are typically held on a monthly basis.
Equitrans’ Coffee Talks give employees an opportunity to learn about business-related topics at a department level. These sessions allow employees to learn about the various roles, groups, and projects within Equitrans and encourage networking.
Spotlight – Employee Recognition
In early 2021, we launched a new employee recognition program, which we call Spotlight. Spotlight allows our employees to formally recognize one another for doing work that goes above & beyond and for showing dedication to our Company. Employees can simply say thanks to a colleague through a variety of eCards – OR – for more substantial recognition, employees can nominate a co-worker for a monetary award. Spotlight was designed to shine bright on our employees who demonstrate our Core Values day-in and day-out.
Equitrans’ executive leadership team holds all employee meetings a minimum of twice annually. With the majority of our workforce working remotely during the pandemic, and in an effort to stay as connected as possible, we conducted four virtual all-employee communication sessions during 2020. Our discussions cover relevant and timely business updates, as well as current industry topics. Time is also allotted for a robust question and answer session with employees and leaders. As a Core Value, Equitrans promotes transparent communications among all employee groups.
Feedback & Performance Evaluation
At Equitrans, we believe that by investing in the growth and development of our employees, we are investing in the future success of our Company. All employees participate in an annual feedback and performance review process. In 2020, we revised our review process to focus on providing high-quality feedback to all our employees. To this end, we discontinued the use of a rating system to evaluate employees and instead equipped managers with the tools and training to provide each employee with meaningful and personalized feedback.
In 2021, we started using a 360-degree assessment tool to provide more robust feedback for many of our managers. We aligned the assessment with the dimensions and results from our culture survey to ensure that our managers are well-equipped to understand and manage the needs of our employees.
Development & Training
To encourage employee growth, Equitrans offers a variety of learning opportunities related to leadership, safety, and professional development. Our leadership and development programs center on our Core Values and are described in further detail below:
- EMERGE: Is designed for employees who show interest in taking on a leadership role. The program provides participants with a better understanding of their “leadership style” and how they can use that style to be effective in leading people. Specific modules include Self-awareness and communication; managing conflict, understanding your change style; and leadership presence and influence skills.
- LEAD: Is designed for new first-line supervisors and managers. Our LEAD program helps participants master the skills they need to move from technical or functional experts to people leaders, and to learn how to be a leader at Equitrans. Topics include executing strategy at the front line; coaching; managing the human side of change; understanding unconscious bias; leading virtually; and targeted selection.
- BILD: Is designed for senior managers and directors. Our BILD program focuses on helping leaders at this level to execute through others. The focus areas of this course include managing emotional intelligence; mastering decision dynamics; and translating strategy into results.
In addition, at the heart of our Inclusion Program is our Core Value of collaboration. We are committed to being a reliable partner, inside and out and we promote inclusion by providing educational resources and trainings on diversity and inclusion topics. Bi-weekly, Equitrans delivers creative inclusion-related content to our employees through Blue Ocean Brain, a specialized eLearning platform. These are micro-learning topics that increase employees’ abilities to understand and celebrate our differences. Past topics include allyship; capitalizing on generational strengths; boosting your cultural competency – LGBTQ+; and psychological safety in the workplace and the hidden cost of stereotyping. Equitrans also launched a manager-training program to incorporate these inclusion-related themes into everyday work. Our trainings assist Equitrans employees in creating an inclusive and respectful work environment that values differing perspectives and encourages the power of teamwork and accountability.
Flex Time & Parental Leave
Equitrans continually searches for new ways to improve inclusion and well-being. While most employees work full-time, we understand a standard 9-5 job does not work for everyone. We offer alternative work schedules where full-time employees work 40 hours a week, in a non-standard schedule. Equitrans also offers flexible part-time positions as well as remote work.
In 2021, we changed our Paternity Leave benefit to New Parent Leave to be more inclusive of all Equitrans employees. New Parent Leave allows our employees to spend time with their newborn children and is available to all full- and part-time employees. Equitrans also offers a similar Adoption Leave benefit for parents of newly adopted children.
Total Company Turnover
(at year-end 2020)
Evaluating Our Approach to Workforce Culture
Equitrans evaluates our approach to workforce culture by conducting a regular Culture Assessment. Our Board of Directors reviews assessment results and areas of improvement. We conduct assessments approximately every 18 months to two years, with our most current assessment conducted in January 2020. Equitrans’ Culture Assessment led to culture initiatives and employee engagement opportunities, such as Virtual Meet-Ups and Coffee Talks, discussed above. Our 2020 survey identified areas of improvement and gave insight into how employees understand our mission, vision, and strategy; departmental coordination; employee development; and empowerment. Our assessment results also led to the development of an employee recognition program, 360-management assessments and coaching, and an on-demand learning platform for all employees.
To further evaluate our workplace culture, we track employee turnover as a key performance indicator. Equitrans strives to foster an environment where every employee feels respected, recognized, and is given the opportunity to develop and grow. For more information regarding our approach to Workforce Culture, please visit the sustainability pages of our website.