An Engaged, Motivated, and Inclusive Workforce
We believe that a positive work environment encourages innovative thinking and collaboration. We aim to attract and retain the best talent in the industry — and are committed to providing our employees with a safe, inclusive, and supportive work environment where they can thrive. In managing our culture initiatives, Equitrans’ executive team believes it is important to provide employees with opportunities that allow for balance in their work and personal lives.
Person-Centric Work Environment
Recognizing the potential benefits to the Company of a flexible work model, Equitrans conducted a workplace modernization survey in June 2020, whereby office-based employees were asked to select their workplace preferences based on a set of three “workplace personas” (anchor, flex, and remote), in line with the options available for their role as assigned by managers. The results of the survey helped us to understand how and where our employees prefer to work, which was critical for the development of a long-term plan for Equitrans’ regional office locations. With the reopening of our offices in April 2022, roughly 61% of office-based employees are working remotely (remote persona), 37% split their time between remote and at an Equitrans location (flex persona), and 2% are working in the office full-time (anchor persona). We expect our workplace modernization model to improve employee satisfaction and retention, expand our talent pool, and create additional flexibility for our employees.
As a key performance indicator, we track employee turnover to assess our ongoing talent engagement and retention efforts, which we believe are critical elements in determining the effectiveness of our overall workforce management strategies. At year-end 2021, the Company’s total turnover rate was roughly 5.4%, which is inclusive of a 4.5% voluntary turnover rate.
Total Workforce Turnover Rate (2020–2021)
|Employee Work Locations
|Other U.S. Locations1, 2
|Full-Time/Part-Time Employee Breakdown
Employees are the lifeblood of any organization. Equitrans recognizes the importance of talent management and has developed an approach that focuses on creating a positive workforce culture that encourages employee input, celebrates successes, and provides opportunities for growth and development. By taking these steps, Equitrans can create a workplace that employees are proud to be a part of, which results in increased productivity and innovation. A positive workforce culture also promotes high employee productivity, retention, and greater safety awareness. Equitrans' workforce culture is further enhanced by a number of cultural efforts specifically planned for 2022, including improving employee capability development and enhancing internal customer service.
Culture Champions Group
Equitrans’ Culture Champions Group was founded 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 the recommended action items.
Culture Initiatives: 90% of our employees engaged in a culture initiatives program in 2021.
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 encourage networking and allow employees to learn about the various roles, groups, and projects within Equitrans.
Spotlight — Employee Recognition
In early 2021, we launched a new employee recognition program, which we call Spotlight. Spotlight allows employees to formally recognize one another for doing work that goes above and beyond and for routinely demonstrating our Core Values and 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.
Equitrans' executive leadership team holds all-employee meetings a minimum of two times per year. With the majority of our workforce working remotely, and in an effort to stay as connected as possible, we continued to conduct virtual all-employee communication sessions. Our discussions covered 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 and 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. 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. Equitrans prioritizes providing high-quality feedback to all of our employees in order to help them develop and grow.
Using the results of our 2020 culture survey, in 2021 we proactively identified departments having relatively lower engagement scores and offered a 360-degree assessment tool to provide more robust feedback for these department managers. We aligned the assessment tool with the survey’s culture dimensions to ensure that managers are well-equipped to understand and manage the needs of employees.
100% of employees receive and participate in annual performance reviews.
Development and Training
To encourage employee growth, Equitrans offers a variety of learning opportunities related to leadership, safety, and professional development. In 2021, the Company provided an average of 16.9 hours of training per employee, with the majority of those hours focused on employee and leadership development. Other training categories included information technology/cybersecurity, health and safety, corporate compliance, and specialized technical training as related to specific job functions.
Our leadership and development programs center on our Core Values, comprising three individual training levels that are based on an employee’s current position within the Company and leadership experience. Details on each of the programs is as follows:
- 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 cultural competency; LGBTQ+ awareness and support; 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 and 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. Many of our roles do not require employees to be confined to our physical office locations, allowing work to be done virtually from almost anywhere in the continental United States.
In 2021, we changed our Paternity Leave benefit to New Parent Leave to be more inclusive of all Equitrans employees, including full-time and part-time employees who work between 20–35 hours/week. 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.
Health and Wellness Benefit Offerings
Equitrans provides comprehensive health and wellness benefits to its employees and facilitates employee access to healthcare through the offering of a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), which includes an annual deductible for each participating employee. Once the deductible is met, the plan pays 90% of eligible in-network medical expenses or 80% for out-of-network medical expenses. Additionally, the plan pays 100% of eligible preventive care expenses even if the deductible has not been met. For prescription drug coverage, once the deductible is met, generic prescriptions are covered at 100% and brand prescriptions are covered at 80%, with maximums in place. The healthcare program covers all full-time employees, as well as part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week, and their eligible dependents. Coverage is effective on the first day of employment.
Employees enrolled in the healthcare program can also establish and contribute to a tax-effective Health Savings Account (HSA) to assist with part of the annual deductible or save for future healthcare expenses. Equitrans contributes a pro-rated amount to employee HSAs during their first year of employment with the Company. In subsequent years, employees can continue to receive HSA contributions from Equitrans, based on their completion of annual wellness requirements.
Equitrans also offers dental and vision insurance for full-time employees, as well as part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week employees, and their eligible dependents. For dental insurance, coverage provides comprehensive dental care services with in-network preventive services covered at 100%. For vision insurance, an eye exam once every calendar year is included along with specific allowances for lenses once every calendar year and eyeglass frames once every other calendar year. Contact lenses are covered with specific allowances once every calendar year in lieu of lenses.
Full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week receive basic group term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage. Additional contributory life insurance equal to one-, two-, three-, four-, or five-times base salary is available at group rates to full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week. Full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week are eligible for contributory spouse and child life insurance coverage, and Company-paid business travel accident insurance is provided to full-time employees.
Short-term and long-term disability insurance is available to full-time employees and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week. The duration and amount of the short-term disability payment is determined by the employee’s years of service and hours scheduled. The long-term policy provides continuing income at a percentage of salary in effect at the time of disability and is offset by other benefits received due to disability. There is a buy-up option under the long-term disability policy.
Equitrans also offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides employees and their families with counseling and guidance in a variety of areas, including behavioral health concerns, personal and family issues, and legal assistance. Full-time employees and part-time employees who work between 20–35 hours/week are eligible for the EAP.
Our new voluntary wellness program, Wellness Engine, managed in conjunction with an external wellness partner, was launched in January 2022. Wellness Engine supports different areas of employee total wellness, such as nutrition, emotional well-being, fitness, and financial wellness. It also includes access to biometric screenings, a confidential health risk assessment, and health coaching.
In 2021, the Home/Office Safety Committee and Human Resources Department invited Rob Fisher, a consultant on Human and Organizational Performance, to present how mental health and wellness bear critically on human performance. During his presentation, he gave valuable science-based knowledge and several tools to address how to avoid or mitigate errors when the stakes are high. When the task is critical, he further explained that uncertainty and stress increase the probability of making mistakes.
Given the importance of employees’ mental health and wellness, we recognize employees are relying more and more on collaborative technology to connect, which means more Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Zoom meetings. This use of technology, particularly for office-based employees, has led to an excessive amount of back-to-back meetings, often with few or no breaks between — and over time, the results can lead to a decline in healthy habits, ergonomic-related issues, increased levels of stress, and an overall unhealthy workforce. To mitigate some of these potential issues, in 2021, Equitrans initiated “Meeting BIBs” or “Built-in-Breaks” — which automatically adjusts the default times when scheduling internal, online meetings — giving employees a few extra minutes to refocus and reset. Internal meetings scheduled for 30 minutes are reduced by five minutes and meetings set for an hour or longer are reduced by 10 minutes. By reducing the duration of scheduled meetings, employees have time to stand and stretch, grab another cup of coffee/tea/water, or simply have a few minutes to clear their mind before their next meeting, which helps to improve our employees’ mental health and prevent burnout during back-to-back meetings.
Retirement Benefit Offerings
To support employees’ financial goals, Equitrans offers retirement provisions for all full-time and part-time employees who are scheduled to work between 20–35 hours/week, including the Equitrans Midstream Corporation Employee Savings Plan (401(k) Plan), the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), and the Medical Spending Account.
Generally, eligible earnings in the 401(k) Plan include base compensation, overtime, and cash short-term incentive plan payments up to the annual compensation limits set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States Department of Treasury. Employees are 100% vested in the Company’s contributions upon completing at least three years of service. Eligible employees may contribute up to 50% of their eligible earnings on a pre-tax basis and in accordance with the IRS limits. New or rehired employees who do not enroll in the 401(k) Plan within 60 days are automatically enrolled for a personal 6% pre-tax contribution, the percentage and investment options of which can be changed at any time. Employees are always 100% vested in their personal contributions.
For eligible employees, Equitrans may make two contributions to an employee’s 401(k) Plan account:
Retirement Contribution – This contribution currently equals 6% of an employee’s eligible earnings and is made regardless of whether the employee chooses to make a personal contribution to the 401(k) Plan.
Matching Contribution – For those employees who choose to contribute to their 401(k) Plan, the Company matches 50% of their personal contribution, up to the first 6% contributed.
Employees may also be eligible for a catch-up contribution beginning in the calendar year in which they reach age 50, and if their contributions exceed the annual IRS limit. These catch-up contributions begin automatically at the same percentage as an employee’s current pre-tax 401(k) contribution, unless or until an employee elects to stop contributing. Catch-up contributions are not matched by the Company.
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
The ESPP gives employees an opportunity to share in the future value created by the Company by purchasing shares of ETRN common stock at a discount. If enrolled, the employee’s after-tax payroll deductions will be used to purchase shares of ETRN common stock at a 15% discount, subject to IRS limitations. The Company pays the 15% difference between the employee’s discounted price and the market price, as well as all brokerage fees associated with purchasing the stock. When an employee sells stock, they are responsible for paying any taxes on the increase in value above the purchase cost and any fees associated with the selling of stock. Employees are advised that the health of the Company, developments within the industry or the Company itself, or overall market fluctuations may cause the price of the Company stock to rise or fall.
Medical Spending Account
Employees who are at least age 55 with five or more years of service may be eligible for an MSA when their employment ends. The MSA is intended to help cover part of the cost of healthcare coverage and other eligible health expenses during retirement. Equitrans will credit the MSA with $1,000 for each full year of service with the Company.
Enhancing Our Culture
Equitrans’ goal is to create a workforce culture that is not only aligned with our values, but also inspires employees to be their best selves. We believe that when employees feel engaged and supported, they are more likely to stay with the Company and contribute their best work. Equitrans evaluates our approach to workforce culture by conducting a regular Culture Assessment. Management reviews assessment results and areas needing improvement with our Board of Directors. We conduct assessments approximately every 18-24 months. Our regular Equitrans’ Culture Assessments lead to culture initiatives and employee engagement opportunities. In 2021, our culture survey participation rate was 78%, and we saw double digit percentile increases across all 48 culture survey questions. We attribute the improvement in our culture scores to the action items we implemented in 2020 and 2021.
Equitrans is constantly working to create an environment where every employee feels valued and respected. We have implemented several talent attraction, engagement, and retention initiatives to develop a workforce culture aligned with our mission, vision, and strategy. For example, we have revamped our employee recognition program, introduced 360-degree management assessments and coaching, and launched an on-demand learning platform. In addition, we have identified areas for workforce culture improvements and opportunities by engaging employees.