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Workforce Development

Over the next 10 years, approximately half of Xcel Energy’s current workforce will be eligible to retire. While not everyone eligible will immediately retire, the company is facing both a challenge and an opportunity as we plan for the workforce of the future and envision what our workforce culture will be. We have made it our mission to proactively shape an environment that attracts and retains high quality employees who fit well in the Xcel Energy culture, develops inspirational and courageous leaders, and holds employees accountable for operational excellence. With an emphasis on a performance-based culture, we have implemented a number of innovative professional development programs and improved our use of technology to strengthen planning and recruitment efforts.

Performance Management

The performance review process begins with setting clear and measurable individual objectives that align with and support the goals of Xcel Energy. It's important for employees to see how their work impacts the larger organization.

During the 2013 performance review process, non-bargaining employees and leaders at Xcel Energy were measured on not only what they accomplished, but also how they went about accomplishing their goals. This method of measurement supports efforts to create a performance-based culture by driving long-term continuous performance across the organization. Although job-specific expectations for each individual contributor will vary, all leaders at Xcel Energy are consistently evaluated on how well they perform in five areas of leadership:

  1. Strategist
  2. Operations Management
  3. Talent Management
  4. Self Management
  5. Relationship Management

At Xcel Energy, our leaders hold calibration sessions to discuss performance rating distributions within their organizations. Calibration supports a consistent application of the rating scale across the organization, as well as differentiation of ratings to provide more significant rewards to the top performers.

Planning and Analytics

Planning is key part of our overall workforce strategy, and having the facts and data to make informed decisions is vital to proper planning.

In 2013, we continued to focus on building a dashboard of human-related metrics for all business areas. This dashboard is called the Human Capital Report and includes standardized measures of cost, engagement, employee movement and performance management. It is available on a monthly basis to facilitate more informed decision making by business leaders. Similar to financial and project plan reporting, the Human Capital Report enables us to monitor our valuable personnel resources at regular intervals and in a numerical context.

In 2013, we continued integration with the financial planning cycle as representatives from human resources, finance and various business areas closely partnered to ensure labor budgets and forecasts aligned with plans and were executed effectively.

Our attrition forecasting model once again achieved better than 90 percent accuracy with the companywide forecast. Due to our planning processes and the ability to forecast the true impacts, the company was well prepared for the increased number of retirements we experienced in 2013.

Talent Attraction

Our recruitment strategy has changed dramatically over the past several years, transforming from a manual, time-intensive process to one that is more efficient and uses modern, automated tools and systems. Our objective is to find the right job candidates at the right time and place.

Xcel Energy posted 2,381 open positions in 2013, with internal candidates successfully filling about 62 percent of these openings.

Technical schools
We have established relationships with a number of technical schools to ensure they offer the right kind of training and curriculum to prepare our future workforce. We provide internships and administer pre-employment testing to students, so when job openings become available, we have a pool of qualified candidates to fill positions.
Targeted job fairs
We continue to support the employment events that are most successful in helping us hire qualified employees. We maintain relationships with several schools and local organizations within our service territories that hold job fairs. We have been successful finding qualified candidates at these events.
Search engine optimization
We continue to review and modify the way we market our jobs. The optimization of marketing technology over the last several years has increased visibility of our jobs to many job seekers who begin their search on search engines rather than national job boards. We average 104,704 visitors to our career website per month, and on average we attracted more than 5,500 applicants per month in 2013. Through the site redesign, we have also made the job search function more user friendly, career oriented and personalized by featuring employee videos that demonstrate the real work done at Xcel Energy.
Niche job advertising
By leveraging partnerships with niche-oriented websites, we have been able to reach highly skilled workers whose skills closely match our job requirements. For example, by advertising relevant openings on nuclear engineering websites, we have been more successful in locating qualified applicants for these positions. Similarly, we are marketing jobs to local, community-based organizations to reach candidates within our service areas—reducing the need to relocate candidates while increasing the exposure of our job openings to our customer community.
Veteran outreach
We more than doubled the number of veterans hired in 2013 compared with 2012. Xcel Energy believes veterans bring strong values and work ethics, as well as a high level of learning agility. We are proud that more than 10 percent of our employee base is composed of military veterans, and we will continue to support the hiring of veterans as part of our workforce.
Diversity outreach
Through our partnership with the Local Job Network, we are able to reach diverse job seekers in the places where they live and work. Partnerships like this, as well as our outreach events and marketing strategy, have enabled us to create robust, qualified diverse candidate pools for our open positions.
Active candidate sourcing
To locate candidates who may not currently be seeking employment, we use various tools to actively search for qualified candidates for open positions. This is an effective process for jobs that are more difficult to fill or jobs with small numbers of qualified candidates.

Professional Development

Xcel Energy’s role in the professional development of our employees is to maintain an environment where learning and growth can occur. Employees are ultimately responsible for owning and managing their own professional development, however we expect managers to support development through feedback, suggestions and support.

With this in mind, we offer employees resources and tools to support their personal and professional development, including a Learning Management System, which provides e-learning, virtual and traditional training options. We also provide employees with development planning tools, assessments and suggestions for practicing new skills and behaviors.

In 2013, employees completed a total of 420,073 internal learning opportunities. Additionally, our tuition reimbursement program provided $1.2 million to 240 employees in 2013.

Learning Programs Completions in 2013 Opportunities
Online Courses 238,632 completions of 1,349 course titles We offer an extensive catalog of online courses for employees to complete, ranging from technical and computer application training to professional and management training to compliance-related education and more. Some of these training programs are mandatory. The top five online courses completed in 2013 were Recognizing and Preventing Violence in the Workplace; Code of Conduct; FERC Standards of Conduct Refresher; Hearing Conservation; and Critical Infrastructure Protection 2013.
Classroom Courses 181,441 completions of 1,896 course titles Employees can choose to attend a number of different training programs that are taught in person, ranging from safety and compliance-related classes to professional development classes to technical trainings. Depending on job responsibilities, some of these courses are mandatory. The top five classroom courses completed in 2013 were Fire Extinguisher Classroom; SPCC for Oil Handling Personnel; Lock Out Tag Out–Equipment Isolation; First Aid; and Code of Conduct.

Developing strong leaders at Xcel Energy is increasingly important to our succession planning efforts. Almost 1,000 employees participated in leadership development programs last year.

Program Participants in 2013 Description
Talent Review 500+ Our talent review process identifies individuals who might be successors for critical positions at Xcel Energy. In all, 218 critical roles have been identified and more than 500 leaders were assessed in 2013. Through this systematic process, executives and managers complete and discuss assessments regarding the long-term performance, leadership potential and career aspirations of their employees. Working in teams, they determine the developmental readiness of each employee, create customized development plans and identify talent gaps.
Path to Leadership 150 The Path to Leadership program prepares employees for future leadership roles by providing them with mentors and formal education to develop the skills needed to be successful in future leadership roles.
Front Line Leadership Development 227 The Front Line Leadership Development program was piloted in 2013 to help build a core set of skills and address the evolving role of our front line leaders. As the direct leaders of the majority of Xcel Energy’s workforce, front line leaders are critical to their teams’ engagement, productivity, performance, safety and development. Because of their importance, Xcel Energy invests heavily in them. Already, 26 additional leaders have completed the program in 2014, and 159 more are projected to complete it by the end of March.
New Leader Connection Program 59 This voluntary program was developed and piloted in 2013 as a way to encourage relationships between new leaders and provide opportunities for them to meet and discuss topics that are important to them. Topics are discussed in a variety of formats including webcasts, virtual/online resources and a networking group. To date, 59 new leaders participate on an as-needed basis. In 2014, we project up to 146 additional leaders taking advantage of this program.