People and Culture - Drax

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 that is both safe and supportive.

Our People

* Limited external assurance using the assurance standard ISAE 3000 for 2019 data as indicated. For assurance statement and basis of reporting see

We work to maintain consistently high standards in our employment practices and all our colleagues benefit from policies to support them in the workplace. These include policies designed to enable different work and lifestyle preferences, processes for employees to raise grievances or concerns about safety, along with supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace. Our people strategy focuses on valuing our people, driving business performance and developing talent to deliver our strategic and operational objectives.

During 2019, we focused on the integration of our new Generation colleagues following the acquisition of hydro and gas generation assets in December 2018. We reorganised our structure to align with our business strategy. We are centralising Finance, Procurement, HR and Internal Communications in order to deliver core services consistently across the Group.

Developing Skills and Talent

Investing in the development of our people is essential to the delivery of our business strategy.

Our career development framework supports our people strategy and provides a consistent structure to compare every job at every level at Drax. The aim is to support colleagues with better understanding what is required at each point in their career, to identify career development opportunities across the business and to understand how every job contributes to the overall success of the business. The career development framework helps colleagues and their managers navigate their career progression and identify skills they need in order to progress. Enabling our colleagues to take greater ownership of their own career is a key aspect of our people strategy.

Our potential and succession processes enable senior leaders to identify individuals with the skills and capability needed for critical roles. Individuals identified can be nominated for our Future Creators programme. Launched in 2019, the programme is designed to develop and retain 22 high-potential individuals and grow our leadership pipeline. Each individual has a personal development plan and an Executive Committee mentor with whom they meet regularly throughout the year.

Rewarding Our People

We know that performance management and rewarding and remunerating our people fairly are key to our business success. Performance and development reviews are held annually for every colleague, and managers provide support and guidance throughout the year. We encourage our UK colleagues to take ownership of the business in which they work through a range of shared plans.

Our single Group bonus plan drives Drax Group performance, ensuring we value the contribution each colleague makes in a fair and equitable way. One Drax Awards recognise high-potential individuals and reward those colleagues who act in ways that support and underpin our culture and values.

Diversity and Inclusion

Drax Group is fully committed to the elimination of unlawful and unfair discrimination and we value the benefits that a diverse workforce brings to the organisation. Our goal is to create and maintain a working environment that is both safe and supportive of all our people and where every colleague has the opportunity to realise their potential. We believe that a commitment to diversity is critical to achieving our strategic goals. We are determined to be a place where colleagues, customers and suppliers alike feel respected, comfortable and supported in their diversity.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group meets monthly to consider and recommend plans to increase diversity and inclusion. The Steering Group is co-sponsored by the Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Corporate Affairs, both of whom are members of the Executive Committee.

Our 2019 progress included the roll out of eLearning training to all managers, to understand and promote appreciation to correct unconscious bias. We introduced a voluntary keep in touch days process for colleagues on parental leave and reviewed internal data on gender pay. We also focused on recruitment and added a diversity and equality statement to our careers webpages. At our Drax Women of the Future Event, we hosted around 100 female students from our partner schools at Drax Power Station in November to meet female colleagues and understand the diverse career opportunities in our sector.

Going forward we will set diversity and inclusion objectives for all managers and include diversity training in our leadership and management development programmes. In our recruitment practices, we will provide gender ratio guidance for interview lists and more broadly seek to improve the gender and diversity balance for our apprentice and graduate recruitment. Through our My Voice Forums we will also seek colleague views on establishing diversity networks.

In our 2019 annual survey, we included questions on diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to track our performance in this area.

Employee Representation and Engagement

We have two main sets of arrangements to engage colleagues and provide them with representation across the Group. We engage with colleagues who are represented by trade unions (22% of our workforce is covered by collective bargaining) and we have employee representative consultation and information arrangements in place for employees with individual employment contracts.

We communicate with our workforce through channels including our intranet, quarterly newsletter and Open Forum meetings. Colleagues can ask our Group CEO questions through a weekly online question and answer portal, with the CEO’s responses shared across the Group. During the year, we established My Voice Forums, one for each business unit and each with up to 12 colleague representatives. The Forum Chairs meet quarterly with our Group CEO and Group Chair to provide feedback on topics raised by colleagues.

We track employee engagement through our annual survey and in 2019 this was completed by 67% of employees. Key themes highlighted included colleague careers, manager development and the wellbeing of our colleagues. Responding to themes raised in our 2018 survey, we introduced employee volunteering days and established the My Voice Forums as an additional colleague feedback mechanism.