People and Culture

Engineers in PPE working at Drax Power Station

Our people – employees and contractors – are a key asset of the business and we are focused on creating a diverse and inclusive working environment, where you can be yourself and your contribution matters. 

Our Values

At Drax, our values are shaped by our culture, fundamental to which is acting with integrity and what we call “doing the right thing”. These values are set by our Board, delivered by our people and permeate through all areas and levels of the organisation.

  1. We care about what matters 
  2. We are a can-do kind of place 
  3. We see things differently
  4. We listen carefully
  5. We do what we say we’ll do

Our People

We will only achieve our ambitions through the talent, skills, and experience of our people.

Additional people data is available in our ESG Performance Report

ESG Performance Report 2023 

Our People Strategy

Our strategy encompasses all aspects of a colleague’s experience at Drax, including the systems we use, the values we live by, our policies, and the culture we foster. Our approach is to ensure the organisation has the diversity, capability, and experience to deliver our strategic aims. We want each of our colleagues to feel a valued member of a winning team on a worthwhile mission.

The Annual Report provides an overview of 2023 performance against our five People Strategy pillars and across which we delivered positive progress. Our People Strategy objectives are to:

  • Ensure the organisation has the diversity, skills and experience to deliver on our growth plans
  • Bring to life a culture that is representative of our strategic aims and to orient the Group to growth
  • Ensure our people are working as effectively as possible and feel valued for the work they do

Creating an inclusive workplace

We are committed to a supportive, diverse, and inclusive working environment and continue to enhance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Drax. Our DEI strategy is underpinned by the three pillars of: Talent, Culture, and Data. From this, localised action plans are derived. For example, our Northampton office introduced wellbeing and prayer rooms through their local plans.

The Board receives periodic DEI progress updates through the CEO Report to the Board and People Reports. Our DEI Steering Committee meets quarterly and is co-chaired by our Chief People Officer and Commercial Transformation Director.

Our DEI programme in 2023

As well as partnering with our regional teams and business units to deliver DEI action plans, we also introduced a more effective process to both request and monitor Reasonable Adjustment requests through IT.


We continue to focus on embedding DEI into our recruitment, talent, and retention process. We are currently developing the Drax Recruitment Principles to embed DEI into our recruitment processes and Hiring Manager training. We seek to ensure fair and representative processes that mitigate bias, such as gender decoders in role descriptions and balanced interview panels. For example, where appropriate we want to understand the root causes behind prevailing hiring rates in any particular categories. Improvements have been made to the succession planning process, and in 2023 we added DEI criteria in the definition of Critical Talent, Critical Role, and Regrettable Loss.


In 2023, we extended our self- identification campaign, “Count Me In”, to North America. We also began collecting candidate identity data (voluntarily from candidates) in North America during the recruitment process, which will enable us to track candidate conversions to hires, ensuring a measurable approach to increasing diversity hires. We have defined goals to better represent the communities and regions we operate in, and we aim to introduce targets for the recruitment of people of colour in senior roles from 2024.


In 2023, we built on DEI learning by ensuring that content is accessible and available for colleagues across sites and regions. In North America, we began the Inclusion Managers Program to equip colleagues and build regional action plans. We have developed bite-sized learnings for colleagues to understand DEI in a way which works for them. We also ran 13 workshops with leadership teams sharing our approach to DEI and developing action plans. In 2023 we celebrated DEI events such as LGBTQ+ Pride, Jamaica Day,

Black History Month, World Menopause Day, Passover, Hispanic History Month, Indigenous People’s Day, and Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Colleague Resource Groups

2023 saw the launch of our first Colleague Resource Groups (CRGs). We now have CRGs covering Women, Race and Ethnicity, Neurodiversity, and LGBTQ+, with approximately 15% of colleagues joining one or more. As part of LGBTQ+ Pride and Inclusion Week we invited speakers and held events to support CRG growth and awareness. We will continue to grow these groups to ensure people have a strong sense of belonging at Drax.


Colleague representation and engagement

MyVoice Survey

Our annual MyVoice Survey is a key part of our listening strategy. In 2023, it was completed by 84% of colleagues (a 5% increase from 2022) and our engagement score remained stable at 79%. We introduced new indicators, including health and wellbeing, and colleague perceptions of how well change is planned, managed, and communicated. We also received over 22,000 comments, which will feed into our 2024 planning.

The key actions from the 2022 My Voice Survey were wellbeing, inclusion, and Drax’s commitment to sustainability and communities. We responded during 2023, through our wellbeing strategy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy, and a new community strategy (see pages 40, 65 and 69 of the annual report for more information).

To support the implementation of our listening strategy, we moved to a new colleague survey platform in 2023. It enables us to track cultural measurement metrics and uses predictive analytics which we believe can help to identify aspects of a colleague’s experience that need improving, before negative impacts might occur, such as attrition or a drop in performance. We expect during 2024 to evaluate the findings from the platform.

My Voice Forums

My Voice Forums (MVFs) provide a feedback link between the Board and our people. The MVFs meets quarterly and in 2023 covered topics including the new community strategy, Sharesave maturity, and our Employer Value Proposition. Our October meeting was attended by Andrea Bertone, as part of her onboarding following her appointment as Chair Designate in August 2023. The MVFs have operated since 2019. Additionally we have created multiple Colleague Resource Groups, providing different opportunities for colleagues to share feedback and deliver improvements.

Development and training

We are committed to supporting colleagues to develop skills and capabilities to fulfil their career aspirations. In 2023 we delivered approximately 8,000 hours of training (excluding compliance and mandatory digital learning hours). Our blended approach consists of virtual, face-to-face, digitally-created material, and some virtual reality.

Leadership and development

Our senior leadership development offering supports colleagues to grow their leadership capabilities.

Inclusive Leadership

Senior leaders continue to participate in the Inclusive Leadership Programme. More than 40 individuals attended our Inclusive Leadership workshop in 2023 and the first leadership teams attended our newly introduced Psychological Safety masterclass.

Future Creators

Our Future Creators Programme is designed to support the development, retention, and growth of our future leadership pipeline. 61 colleagues have been through the programme since its inception in 2019 with an 77% retention rate. Career progression rates are comparable for men and women. 76% of women and 77% of men who participated have had either an upward career level move, or have moved into a broader role.

Management Programmes

Our Management Excellence Programme (MEP) is designed for aspiring or new managers, offering upskilling and support on managing people. 128 colleagues completed the MEP in 2023. This included the launch of a new MEP for supervisors across our Pellet Production business in North America.

Our Management Accelerate Programme (MAP) is designed for experienced managers who want to elevate their management and leadership skills and techniques. 141 MAP modules have been completed by colleagues in 2023.

Performance management

In 2023, we launched an updated Performance Improvement Policy in the UK. The policy requires colleagues to take responsibility for driving their performance, and we encourage regular discussion between colleagues and their manager.