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ESG 2019 Annual Report

Employees

Invested in Creating a Truly Empowered Workforce

Chief among our achievements remain efforts intended to create an inclusive work environment that engages and empowers employees.

Creating a diverse and supportive work environment.

Every day, our employees come to work and play a critical role in building the foundation that will support the future growth of SJI. Through our employee engagement initiative, diversity and inclusion efforts, focus on talent acquisition and development, and our emphasis on safety, we are invested in creating a truly empowered workforce. We create an environment that fosters diverse perspectives and a support structure that champions our very talented and dedicated employees.

As of December 31, 2019, 1,117 people have made SJI their workplace of choice.

197

corporate staff members

31

non-utility company employees

889

utility company employees in New Jersey and Maryland

44.3%

of total population represented by unions

Employee Engagement

A stable and highly motivated workforce is at the core of our company’s superior performance.

Our low voluntary employee turnover rate of 6.7% reflects our status as a desirable workplace with competitive pay, benefits and opportunities.

We listen to our employees and involve them in our mission. We know employees who experience a connection to corporate objectives, feelings of inclusion and engagement in their work are best suited to advance a high-impact work culture.

Employee engagement surveys, conducted biennially, have enabled us to gain a better understanding of why people choose to work at SJI, what they value and why they choose to stay. We are committed to continuing the outreach and two-way dialogue needed to inform decision-making that aligns our workplace culture with the needs and expectations of our employees. Additionally, we involve employees in decision-making through our cross-functional focus group that rotates on an annual basis and meets periodically throughout the year.

During 2019, we continued to grow employee engagement through enhanced communication and activities designed to drive a culture of safety, inclusion and high-impact performance.

SJI Today
We developed more employee driven content and features, while consistently employing tools that provided opportunities for involvement and feedback.

Monthly Manager’s Checklist
This data driven checklist, launched in 2018, provided both information and visual support to encourage and assist people managers in their efforts to timely and effectively share consistent messages with their employees across the organization.

Engagement Weeks
Completed the first year of Quarterly Engagement Campaigns to better connect employees to corporate strategic objectives including:

  • “Safety” Week to remind employees that we value safety at SJI and educate them on how they can help Make Every Day a Safe Day
  • “IT” Week to remind employees we’re all accountable for the customer experience
  • “CX” Week to educate all employees on our customer promise and customer experience efforts
  • “HR” Week to educate employees of resources available to promote their well-being

Employee Programs
Nearly 70 different activities were executed during 2019 – including volunteer events, employee focus groups, family-focused programs, health and wellness activities and celebratory gatherings – all of which aimed to positively impact the employee experience in support of the continued safety and success of our organization.

Diversity and Inclusion

We respect and value the unique contribution each employee brings to SJI.

Our commitment to inclusion ensures that we build a workforce whose differences serve to broaden our capabilities, drive performance and deliver results – now and well into the future.

In 2019 we continued to build a culture of inclusion and broadened our capabilities and commitment to diversity by:

  • Introducing diversity and inclusion training to new hire onboarding
  • Launched mandatory diversity and inclusion training for leaders at all levels of the organization
  • Launched unconscious bias training for leaders
  • Leveraged our employee resource groups to foster inclusion and drive employee engagement

Our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace is reflected in our workplace demographics which outlines our generational, gender and ethnic employee composition at SJI during 2019.

Female representation in leadership positions has increased dramatically in the past five years. Today, 39% of our leadership is female, indicating not only our progress, but also our commitment to inclusion.

Position Percentage
Senior Executive 50%
Officer 38%
Director 42%
Manager 38%
Supervisor 37%
Total 39%

Employee Resource Groups

We are commitment to creating a high-performance culture.

Our commitment to a high-performance culture, achieved through a well-rounded employee population, includes allocating resources intended to strengthen our workplace. During 2019, SJI had several different active Employee Resource Groups facilitating events, activities and initiatives that helped develop our workforce, engage our employees and support our communities.

Talent Acquisition

In 2019, 15% of our employee population was either transferred or promoted to a new role

SJI prides itself on developing our internal talent, capitalizing on opportunities to provide growth and promotions to roles of increased responsibility within our organization. When we recruit externally, we look for employees with strong technical skills and creative vision, those who thrive in a highly collaborative and dynamic environment.

Through SJI’s corporate university, Empower U, aspiring and appointed management employees can develop critical leadership skills and hone industry knowledge. Multiple training opportunities provide employees at every level the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to grow within the organization. During 2019, employees benefited from a variety of training modules in our corporate university, gaining over 4,877 hours of relevant training to support their professional development and contributions to the organization.

To maintain our commitment to develop and retain high-potential talent, SJI launched its inaugural Leadership Development Program for highly talented early to mid-career leaders in 2019. The program was designed to develop the next level of leaders at SJI and creates a ready-now talent pool to help replenish the anticipated attrition due to pending retirements over the next few years. Participants competed in-action learning classroom trainings designed to build fundamental leadership skills, strategies for decision making, as well as tools and techniques for communicating persuasively.

As part of our commitment to develop early career talent and provide meaningful development opportunities, SJI also offers the POWER Leadership Development Program. For over a decade, this two-year, rotational program has provided early career professionals with added opportunities to learn our business, while developing foundational leadership competencies and critical skills.

To ensure knowledge transfer of critical industry knowledge, SJI also delivers the Public Utilities Reports – Principles of Public Utilities Operations and Management program, annually. In 2019, approximately 20 employees completed this intensive, 10-week program.

Additionally, SJI offers a comprehensive Tuition Reimbursement program to all eligible employees. This program assists employees pursuing certificates as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees, empowering them to contribute in new ways to the organization.

During 2019, the company partnered with top colleges and universities to prepare and provide students with meaningful internships. A total of 14 interns from more than 10 institutions gained valuable, real-life experience working with SJI professionals and serving the community, while we benefited from the education, creativity and fresh perspective these individuals offered.