Talent Strategy and Transformation

Over the next 10 years, nearly 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. We are developing inspirational and courageous leaders and holding employees accountable for operational excellence. With an emphasis on a performance-based culture, we have implemented a number of innovative programs and improved our use of technology to strengthen planning and recruitment efforts.

Workforce Planning and Analytics

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

In 2014, we developed a stronger strategic workforce planning process and model to support leaders in using the opportunities that arise as a result of turnover. By leveraging data and analytics, we have been able to more accurately determine what the organization will need in terms of size, type and quality of the workforce to achieve its objectives. The strategic workforce plan allows for a more intentional approach to deploying solutions that will address our changing workforce.

The Human Capital Report dashboard is a tool that includes standardized measures of cost, engagement, employee movement and performance management. It continues to be used to inform leaders on workforce costs and provide monthly information on the state of their organizations to help in decision making.

Talent Pipeline and 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. We also proactively find qualified candidates for current or planned open positions, providing a strong pipeline of potential workers. Our objective is to find the right job candidates at the right time and place.

Xcel Energy posted 2,263 requisitions in 2014, with internal candidates successfully filling about 828 (37 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.

High Schools

We have started to place a higher focus on high school recruitment to attract students into our skilled trades. In our Texas and New Mexico regions, where our needs are greatest, we have actively reached out to more than 100 area high schools. In Colorado, we developed programs in cooperation with two Denver area high schools. In Minnesota, we continued our partnership with Step-Up Achieve to hire high school interns for both office and field 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. In 2014, we averaged 96,341 visitors to our career website per month, and on average, attracted more than 6,100 external applicants per month. Additionally, we refined our recruitment messaging in order to more consistently articulate who Xcel Energy is as an employer and characteristics we seek in prospective employees.

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

In 2014, we focused on building strategic partnerships with veteran organizations and engaging in activities to increase our visibility as a preferred employer for military veterans. We created and implemented military-specific marketing and communications efforts, and attended more than 30 job fairs that specifically targeted military veterans throughout our service area. In May, we also signed a national Statement of Support with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office. While the number of veteran hires remained flat from 2013 to 2014, we increased the percent of external veteran applicants, especially in our Texas and New Mexico service territories.

Diversity outreach

Through our partnerships with Local Job Network and Diversity Minnesota, 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 online tools like LinkedIn 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.

Recruitment Videos

In partnership with operations business areas, we have developed recruitment videos to expand our outreach for a few areas where we expect to have the highest recruitment needs over the upcoming years. Our lineman, gas worker and engineering videos can be found on YouTube.

Diversity and Inclusion

We promote diversity and inclusion as a core value, as reflected in our Code of Conduct and corporate diversity policy. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond human resource policies and practices. It is an integral part of who we are, how we operate and how we see our future.

We define diversity as differences in people (ethnicity, gender, age, race, national origin, disability, religion and sexual orientation), as well as differences in their thought processes, educational backgrounds, work experiences, personalities, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds. Inclusion is the act of building an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity. An inclusive work culture provides all employees with equal access to employment opportunities and development.

Each Xcel Energy employee has the power to make a difference when it comes to creating an inclusive environment. We encourage our employees to remember Diversity Exists: Inclusion is My Responsibility.

Diversity and Inclusion Training

In 2014, more than 1,500 Xcel Energy employees participated in half-day diversity and inclusion training sessions that were conducted throughout our service territory. In addition, more than 50 managers attended diversity and inclusion training sessions. The classes are designed to provide knowledge, insight and skills to manage diverse teams and create an inclusive culture.

Board Diversity

We seek diversity on our board of directors. In 2014, we had three women on our 11-member board of directors, one of whom is African American. We also have one board member who is Latino.

Business Resource Groups

To help achieve a more productive and inclusive workplace, Xcel Energy supports the formation and existence of Business Resource Groups (BRGs). Our BRGs are an inclusive venue for cultural exchange, community outreach and business solutions that contribute to professional and personal growth. These groups work together to help the whole company achieve Xcel Energy’s business goals. More than 800 employees participate in our Business Resource Groups.

2014 Business Resource Group (BRG) Activity
BRG Function 2014 Events and Accomplishments
GCEEE (General Counsel Employee Excellence and Equality Committee) Aids the general counsel in fostering a spirit of inclusiveness throughout the company Participated in Step Up for Diversity to grow relationships between our corporate counsel and a diverse mix of attorneys outside our company. Received Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2014 Employer of Choice Award for the Western Region for commitment to diversity and creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace.
MOVE (Military Ombudsmen for Veterans and Employees) Supports our active military employees and those who have served in the military by focusing on the development, implementation and communication of programs and policies centered on the welfare of veterans and their families Hosted several Serve Our Troops events. G.I. Jobs named Xcel Energy one of the nation’s 100 most military-friendly employers in recognition of our efforts to support veteran employees. The company also received Civilian Jobs’ Most Valuable Employer (MVE) award.
Employee Connection Network Connects new and existing employees and helps broaden all employees’ understanding of Xcel Energy as a whole through networking opportunities, meet-ups and community service events Established a presence in all four operating companies. Partnered with human resources to update the on-boarding program for new employees and hiring managers. In addition, the group hosts coffee chats and outings to baseball games to help build camaraderie.
SAGE (Supportive Association for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Employees) Works to help the company become and remain a leader in this area of workforce diversity by addressing issues relating to sexual orientation Hosted a variety of employee awareness events and panel discussions for all employees in both Minnesota and Colorado on the safety of inclusion, legislative updates and strides for equality.
Tribal Wind Supports diverse workforce initiatives and the Native American population through business initiatives, such as recruiting, retention, professional development and cultural awareness Partnered with the Prairie Island Indian Community for a cultural awareness discussion and native dance. Promoted the Colorado Indian Education Foundation Scholarship program.
SOURCE (Strategic Organization Utilizing Resources for Career Enhancement) Promotes career development, continued education, training and cultural awareness and addresses issues and concerns of people of color Hosted a variety of employee events in Denver and Minneapolis. Conducted outreach at Manual High School in Denver to help build a pipeline of future applicants. Helped with the internship program and first-day internship orientation. Give an annual Legacy Award to an employee who creates a legacy of diversity and inclusion at Xcel Energy.
WIL (Women’s Information Link) Identifies and implements innovative ideas and strategies for recruiting, developing, promoting and retaining women in non-traditional work roles in our Energy Supply business area Participated in career path presentations for middle school girls in Minnesota and Texas. Supported recruitment events and involvement opportunities with the Society of Women Engineers. Held WIL awareness events in Minnesota, Texas and Colorado.
WIN (Women’s Interest Network) Focuses on issues of interest to women, such as professional development and work/life balance Provided a Power of WIN award to honor employees who help the Women’s Interest Network efforts within the company. Held the third annual speed networking event in Minneapolis, offering employees the opportunity to network one-on-one with leaders in different parts of the company. Hosted various professional development opportunities, including speeches, plant tours and leadership panels.
!Xcelente¡ Increases visibility of Latino employees within the company and community, promotes professional development and shares Latino culture through awareness, inclusion and celebration Participated and supported numerous diversity and inclusion events around the company. During the holiday season, !Xcelente¡ sponsored an event for all BRG members to get together and celebrate the work completed throughout the year.

Council for Diversity and Inclusion

The Council for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is composed of leaders from each of our Business Resource Groups (BRGs). CDI’s goal is to improve collaboration between BRGs and engage them in helping address key business challenges at Xcel Energy.

CDI Vision
Be a diverse and inclusive culture
CDI Mission
Create and foster a culture of diversity and inclusion that drives employee engagement by recognizing both individual and group contributions in support of corporate goals. Promote an environment that recognizes, celebrates and embraces diverse cultures, interests, perspectives and experiences in the communities served by Xcel Energy.

The following are some of the CDI’s initiatives to support our business priorities:

Initiatives in support of Operating Effectiveness

  • Focus on business challenges and opportunities
  • Gain and enhance regional support for diversity and inclusion through partnerships with leaders and employees
  • Support the focus to increase the number of ambassadors in the communities where we live and serve

Initiatives in support of Engagement

  • Host Xcel Energy leadership speaker series
  • Expand BRG membership and involvement through special events
  • Increase education by participating in employee events like the Knowledge Fairs and Day of Service

In addition, the following events took place in 2014:

  • Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy, signed a National Statement of Support for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Paul Mock, national chairman of ESGR, and Tom Bullock, ESGR employer outreach director were with Fowke to witness the signing. Employers signing a statement of support pledge to:
    • Fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
    • Provide managers and supervisors with the tools to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve
    • Appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and encourage opportunities to employee guardsmen, reservists and veterans
    • Continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crisis and in war
  • Each quarter, approximately five to 10 employees from Xcel Energy attended Talent, Inclusion, Engagement, Diversity (TIED) events that are held with the different companies representing TIED. TIED is a leadership roundtable to bring together national and global organizations with a Colorado presence to share and establish best practices in workplace diversity and inclusion.

Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-discrimination Policies

Our corporate Code of Conduct prohibits all forms of discrimination and promotes equal employment opportunities. We have Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination policies in place that apply to all operating companies and subsidiary companies throughout the company. Xcel Energy provides equal opportunity in hiring, training, compensation, promotion, termination, transfer and all other terms and conditions of employment, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other protected class status in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Additional Resources

Learn more about our supplier diversity program.

Fostering a Safe, Productive Workforce