Employee Engagement

As a company, we are focused on building a workforce of people who are highly engaged and bring their best to work every day. A significant part of our engagement effort involves empowering employees to create positive change within the company. By engaging our employees effectively, we can increase productivity, work more efficiently and collaborate across business areas to share best practices and solve problems.

Employee Input and Participation

Our 2014 employee engagement survey had an 82 percent participation rate with an 82 percent overall engagement score. A portion of the survey includes questions to assess employees’ belief that management listens to and acts on issues identified in the annual survey. In addition to survey results, our leaders held employee focus groups this past year that identified areas where the company could improve. Based on analysis of all results, the company is focusing efforts on shortening the length of time to make decisions, as well as increasing process efficiencies.

Employees have several opportunities to share input with Xcel Energy leadership throughout the year. They can submit anonymous comments as part of the engagement survey and ask questions during regular leadership webcasts and face-to-face meetings.

Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition is a powerful tool that can contribute to improved bottom-line results by helping build trust, engage employees and improve productivity.

Power of Recognition

The Power of Recognition program supports employee engagement by providing tools for Xcel Energy leaders and employees to recognize individuals whose work supports the value, brand and goals of our company. We have a corporate budget of $1.2 million to support this program to ensure our employees are recognized for deserving efforts. In 2014, there were 12,101 recognition moments.

Years of Recognition

Our Years of Contribution program honors employees for contributions and accomplishments during their careers with Xcel Energy. Recognition occurs at an employee’s five-year anniversary with the company, every five years after that and upon retirement. In 2014, 1,714 years of contribution and 364 retirements were honored.

Positive Effect

Xcel Energy employees are encouraged to be involved and make a Positive Effect, both at work and in the community. We can each be an expert, advocate and champion for the company. Throughout the year, employees have the opportunity to learn more about Xcel Energy and to volunteer and support the company’s initiatives through an ambassador engagement program, Positive Effect.

Xcel Energy has a number of communication tools in place internally to keep employees informed and connected, including:

  • Daily news and an employee news magazine
  • An online knowledge base
  • Executive and other webcasts
  • Business Resource Groups
  • An enterprise social media network
  • Trainings and new employee orientation

Employees are encouraged to support their communities through a number of volunteer and charitable programs, including:

  • Volunteer Paid Time Off (VPTO): Full-time employees are eligible for up to 40 hours per year to volunteer for nonprofit organizations in our service area to help strengthen the communities we serve.
  • Dollars-for-Doing: The Xcel Energy Foundation matches each hour employees volunteer for up to 100 hours annually per employee at a rate of $10 per hour.
  • Matching Gifts: The company matches employee and retiree charitable donations of $50 or more dollar for dollar, up to $750 for nonprofit organizations and up to $2,000 for higher education institutions.
  • Day of Service: The company’s largest volunteer day where employees demonstrate collectively their community spirit.
  • United Way: Xcel Energy sponsors an annual United Way campaign and matches the pledges of employees, retirees and contractors.
  • Board service: We currently have about 290 employees serving on nonprofit boards throughout Xcel Energy’s service territories.

2014 Day of Service

Xcel Energy made a difference in numerous communities during our annual Day of Service on Sept. 6, 2014. More than 3,000 employees, family members, friends and even customers volunteered for about 80 nonprofit projects. Volunteers performed a number of tasks from packing food boxes to planting trees and cleaning. The total value of the time contributed for the one-day event was $271,000.

Grassroots advocacy is important to Xcel Energy because our industry is so complex. We can help educate our friends, neighbors and community leaders by participating in:

  • Legislative Day: We offer employees a special day at the capital in each of our jurisdictions for employees to meet their elected officials and learn more about the legislative process.
  • Local events and meetings: Employees can represent the company at community meetings and special events.
  • Political Action Committees: Employees can voluntarily participate in six different groups that are organized and run by employees.

Political Action Committees

Xcel Energy sponsors six Political Action Committees (PACs) organized and run by employees, five at the state level and one at the federal level. Participation in the company’s PACs is completely voluntary and is part of the engagement activities that we offer employees.

Each of the company-sponsored PACs has its own board of directors elected by its members that make contribution decisions. All of our PACs are strictly voluntary, and there are no employment benefits based upon participation. Each complies with all applicable local, state and federal laws.

Along with sponsoring PACs, Xcel Energy also from time to time makes contributions to organizations that advocate before Congress. To ensure transparency in those expenditures, we have established a corporate policy requiring annual disclosure of company expenditures above a certain amount to organizations that use a portion of those dollars for lobbying activities.

PAC No. of Employees Participating Total Employee Contributions to PACs in 20141 Total Contributions to Candidates and Political Groups in 2014
Minnesota2 231 $36,969.37 $40,475.00
North Dakota 250 $7,477.37 $11,000.00
South Dakota 232 $7,539.12 $9,000.00
Texas/New Mexico (SCOPE) 335 $37,678.36 $57,050.00
Colorado (Western PAC) 278 $21,955.68 $21,300.00
Wisconsin 274 $29,663.98 $32,015.61
Federal PAC (XPAC) 445 $262,953.51 $202,750.00

1 Funds contributed by employees can accrue over multiple years and are not necessarily distributed in the same year they were contributed.

2 The state PAC in Minnesota is operated outside of Xcel Energy in accordance with state law that prohibits the use of corporate resources to support the PAC; although, payroll deduction is specifically permitted in Minnesota. Activity for the Minnesota PAC is only included in this report for transparency and informational purposes.

Additional Resources

See our political contributions policy and annual report.

Fostering a Safe, Productive Workforce