firmus energy: an insight into our local people

Michael Scott, Managing Director of firmus energy (far right), and colleague Joe Diver (far left), are pictured with Cathy McKillop from SHINE, celebrating the news that firmus energy team members have raised £20,000 for the charity.

Michael Scott, Managing Director of firmus energy (far right), and colleague Joe Diver (far left), are pictured with Cathy McKillop from SHINE, celebrating the news that firmus energy team members have raised £20,000 for the charity.

firmus energy is an integrated natural gas network and supply company, with around 30,000 customers connected and supplied in its network area. 
In addition, it has in excess of 50,000 firmus energy supply customers in the greater Belfast area. The company recognises that success has been driven by its people, who between them have more than 600 years’ experience in the natural gas industry.

Living the firmus energy values

firmus energy has worked hard to develop a highly-skilled and qualified team, placing people at the very heart of the company’s values.

Michael Scott, Managing Director, explains: “We all live the organisation’s values of clarity, empathy, integrity and teamwork. These are embedded in firmus energy’s culture and we encourage employees to channel their energy positively for the greater good of our customers and each other. We have a well-established training plan for staff joining the company on how our company values contribute to their roles.

“A happy, engaging and progressive work environment exists across our business. We firmly believe that a strong, cohesive team means a better service for our customers and we empower our employees to deliver above and beyond expectations every time.

“As an accredited ‘Investors in People’ company, we earned our Silver Status in 2015 and were recently recognised as ‘best in class’ when we presented on how our Core Values Create a Cultural Advantage to company directors and IIP Leaders across the UK.

“Through our quarterly employee recognition programme, we highlight achievements from within the team and we have a staff suggestion scheme, which allows us to hear the team’s opinions. We support training opportunities and as part of our commitment to the energy sector and in recognition of the importance of energy efficiency, firmus energy trains each member of its staff to the gold plated NEA/City and Guilds Energy Awareness qualification. To date, we have an achievement rate of 100 per cent and I’m proud to say we are the only energy company across the UK to hold such an accolade.”

As well as tailored, professional development plans, firmus energy team members have the opportunity to take part in non-vocational schemes, which forms a part of the company’s holistic approach to each individual. With Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) a key focus for the organisation, a dedicated firmus energy CSR committee was set up to support local groups and charities across its network area.

firmus energy management team

Michael continues: “Our CSR committee meets regularly and one of its tasks is to manage the charity of the year selection process, which is then voted on by our staff. In 2015, we handed over £13,000 to CLIC Sargent, which supports young people and their families affected by cancer and recently £20,000 to SHINE, which supports those affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus. This year, we will be raising money for Sands, the charity working with people who have suffered the tragedy of losing a baby.

“Our firmus energy volunteers also take on projects, such as working with special need schools, as part of our ‘warming communities’ initiative. A number of our staff members are also involved in the Business in the Community initiative, ‘Time to Read’, which pairs them with children in local primary schools who need a little extra support with literacy.

“I think Aristotle had it right when he said ‘the energy of the mind is the essence of life’ and, at firmus energy, we believe that good relationships at home and work are equally important. We strive to support these in the workplace from the ground up, communicating regularly with our staff and employing an open door policy for informal meetings with the senior management team and through our MD Talk Back Sessions. In our Antrim headquarters, we have two certified mental health first aiders who can provide specialised support, should the need arise, allowing staff to discuss issues in confidence. We are very much a family-focused company and our policies reflect this. We also set aside time for fun team-building events, often including partners and children so that everyone can socialise.”

Michael concludes: “We have a duty of care to our employees and I feel that we achieve an excellent balance of driving the organisation forward while offering the very best to our staff.

“It is an ongoing cycle, whereby we create an innovative ecosystem which develops with our employees, who are attracted by firmus energy’s progressive, family-friendly offering. They then choose to stay with the company as we are constantly evolving, offering enhanced benefits while our staff members undergo professional development to strengthen their talents.

“In fact, since 2014, more than 45 per cent of roles have been filled internally, giving the team an impressive joint total of 600 years’ natural gas experience; great news for customers and for the company, which retains this knowledge. To ensure fresh ideas and an ongoing pipeline of talent, we also work closely with local universities to recruit placement students, further investing in our future.

“It is important to us that everyone who comes into contact with firmus energy has the same positive experience, whether they are one of our 80,000 customers, an elected representative or a stakeholder. By investing in the development of our people, I am proud that we have a professional, expert team who regularly go the extra mile, which is particularly important as we continue to expand our natural gas network into more and more new areas.”

firmus energy

T: 0800 032 4567


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