WHO WE ARE
We believe understanding our rapidly changing industry and our company strategy is key to our employees’ abilities to support our mission and meet our customers’ evolving needs. We are committed to preparing our high-performing workforce for the future and helping employees reach their full potential.
Our core values of Integrity; Safety; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Performance Excellence and Stewardship are the foundation for how FirstEnergy operates, behaves and interacts every day. These values encompass what matters most at FirstEnergy. They identify the beliefs or ideals expected by everyone in the organization and guide the decisions made and actions taken.
Built upon our core values, our talent management and total rewards processes are designed to attract, retain, focus, reward and develop a diverse and skilled workforce of high-performing employees and teams. We're setting and achieving goals in three core areas: building diverse and high-performing teams within a culture of the highest standards of integrity and ethics; creating an inclusive environment of respect, appreciation and acceptance for everyone; and helping employees grow, develop and reach their full potential.
For more workforce demographics, please visit our EESG data tables.
RECRUITING AND HIRING A DIVERSE, HIGH-PERFORMING WORKFORCE
FirstEnergy’s recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes leverage many recognized best practices to help ensure the best candidate is selected for every open position.
Our key recruiting and hiring practices include:
- Requiring diverse candidate and interview slates for positions where female or racially- and ethnically-diverse employees are underrepresented as compared to external labor market availability.
- Requiring racially- and ethnically-diverse interview panels for director-and-above positions.
- Building a hiring champion network of over 400 employees who have been trained to support all interview panels and establish an objective, consistent approach for the interview and selection processes.
- Requiring hiring managers and interview team members to undergo training designed to mitigate unconscious bias in the selection process.
BUILDING THE TALENT PIPELINE
Building our workforce begins long before a candidate applies for a job. Our Co-op/Intern program is one of the ways we develop the talent pipeline by providing meaningful and challenging work assignments and professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities to college students. We continue to reach out to a variety of organizations to build and strengthen our talent pipeline.
Our co-op program is rated by students as second among all Energy & Renewable programs in the United States through Vault’s 2022 Internship Ranking.
We’re investing in our FirstEnergy Ambassador Network’s (FAN) efforts to engage with a broad network of colleges and universities, professional societies and community organizations to increase awareness of careers in the energy sector and build a diverse talent pipeline for our company.
Akron Public Schools (Ohio)
FAN has built a partnership with Akron Public Schools and participates in several career expos and offers shadowing and internship opportunities along with classroom project support. Ambassadors provide guidance for graduates who want to start a career right out of high school as well as those pursuing a college degree in a variety of majors.
Line Worker Apprentice Program
To help ensure FirstEnergy continues to have a steady pipeline of high-quality talent in our line and substation workforce, the company will be moving to an apprenticeship program and ending the Power Systems Institute (PSI). The apprenticeship program is more in step with today’s competitive labor market and is being successfully utilized by a number of our electric industry peers.
The FirstEnergy apprenticeship program will offer apprentices paid employment from the beginning of their training. During their apprenticeships, new hires learn foundational skills from veteran instructors taught in both a classroom and hands-on settings. The program also will offer opportunities for apprentices to develop relationships with seasoned employees at the onset of the training experience. Those who enter the apprenticeship program will begin their progression to becoming a journey level line worker or substation electrician.
Please visit our Line Worker Apprentice Program page for more information.
Employee development is another key talent management process. We are committed to preparing our high-performing workforce for the future and helping each employee develop their skills and competencies to reach their full potential. Our learning and development strategy encompasses a range of employee development and training programs designed to help our employees achieve professional goals and drive FirstEnergy’s success.
Employee Education and Certification
We help our employees pursue degrees and certifications to advance their careers and enhance their contributions to FirstEnergy. Through our comprehensive tuition reimbursement program (capped at $5,250 per year per person), we assist all regular, full-time employees, including union members, with the costs of satisfactorily completed courses of study directly related to our business. In addition, our Educate to Elevate program assists employees in pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees at partner colleges and universities in Toledo (Owens College), Akron (Stark State and The University of Akron), Reading (Alvernia University) and Fairmont (Pierpont College). The benefits of this program include tuition deferment and a cohort-style approach with other FirstEnergy employees.
Our formal mentoring program matches mentees with mentors who can support their long-term career growth. It is designed to create collaborative, two-way partnerships that encourage individual development through sharing expertise, values, perspectives and attitudes. We offer an open enrollment mentoring program, available to all non-bargaining employees to be a mentor, mentee or both. In addition, we have a hand-matching program to support the development of high-performing and high-potential employees and racially/ethnically diverse talent.
Data is representative of Year End, 2022. Bargaining Unit employees are not eligible to participate in the mentoring program currently, except for the Reading Contact Center. Racially/ethnically diverse refers to American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Racially/ethnically diverse employees may be recorded in more than one category. Demographic information is based on employee voluntary self-identification.
One hallmark of an inclusive workplace is that employees choose to stay and build their careers with us. We monitor attrition rates across all employee demographics as an indicator of job satisfaction and engagement.
We are committed to advancing an inclusive workplace with a goal of retaining women and racially and ethnically diverse employees at the same rate as men and White/non-Hispanic employees. For details on our inclusion initiatives, which are essential to our success in talent retention, please visit our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page.
Data is representative of Year End 2022, unless otherwise noted. Percentages are a comparison of attrition to overall in-group population. Includes employees who separated from FE voluntarily (e.g., resigned due to an outside opportunity). Demographic information is based on employee voluntary self-identification. Racially/ethnically diverse refers to American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Racially/ethnically diverse employees may be recorded in more than one category.
In Fall 2022, FirstEnergy formally adopted guidelines to facilitate flexible work arrangements for eligible full-time and part-time non-bargaining employees. Flexible work arrangements, like permitting certain employees to work from alternate locations or to begin and end work at variable times, offer a variety of approaches to the way employees work. These approaches can help employees achieve their priorities and meet customer and business needs while promoting enhanced convenience and balance between work and personal commitments.
Our time-off policies are designed to promote a healthy work-life balance and allow employees time away to spend with friends and family and pursue interests outside of work. Our diverse slate of time-off programs allows for flexibility in how employees take paid leave and goes beyond standard Paid Time Off (PTO) offerings to address unforeseen circumstances and employee well-being.
Additionally, Eligible employees have access to 16 hours of paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO), which can be used instead of PTO when an employee volunteers at a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This VTO policy enables our employees to volunteer with organizations that matter to them and support our company’s mission to make our communities stronger.
Employee Engagement Survey
Our annual Employee Engagement Survey gives all employees an opportunity to provide feedback about our progress in creating a workplace where employees feel they belong, can do their best work and grow their careers.
Additionally, guided by our Code of Conduct -The Power of Integrity - we're fostering a culture of trust where leaders openly engage in two-way dialogue with employees, encouraging them to voice opinions and empowering them to strive for continuous improvement. Moving forward, we're focusing our efforts to provide greater clarity of purpose – enabling our organization and employees to take more meaningful steps toward growth and improvement.
Management, Assessment and Advancement
FirstEnergy is a multifaceted organization with a range of opportunities for employee growth, development and advancement.
Employees actively plan and manage their careers in partnership with leadership. Our career management process includes:
- Setting priorities that identify the most important work employees do to support their team’s objectives and goals.
- Creating development goals that focus on a knowledge, skill or behavior needed for career growth.
- Holding quarterly check-in conversations with a supervisor to discuss priorities, career aspirations, development goals and more.
Business-unit leaders assess employees’ leadership potential, performance and development needs.
- Leaders from each business unit meet at least annually to discuss and calibrate employees’ year-over-year performance, potential for leadership positions and actions that can accelerate future opportunities.
- These discussions focus on better understanding employees’ capabilities, development areas and aspirations, while also ensuring a meaningful development plan is in place that will help accelerate their readiness for leadership opportunities.
- Open and honest discussion prepares leaders to provide ongoing development coaching to employees.
We’re also committed to preparing our emerging leaders for new roles and management responsibilities. We invest in developing our leaders, so they can continually build on their strengths and grow their capabilities to create a safe and inclusive workplace – where all employees feel they belong and that their thoughts and ideas are heard.
- Aspiring Leader Program (ALP) – In 2022, we partnered with Kent State University to pilot the Aspiring Leader Program. This program was designed to provide a development opportunity to high performing individual contributors on near-term succession plans to further prepare them for leadership roles in the future.
- New Supervisor and Manager Program (NSM) – Our NSM Program prepares newly hired or promoted supervisors and managers for their supervisory responsibilities, training them in leadership practices that align with our mission and core values.
- Experienced Leader Program (ELP) – This program educates and trains experienced managers and directors in effectively leading their teams and the organization. Delivered through a series of virtual, instructor-led and small-group coaching sessions spread over six months, it equips our leadership with the tools to support their teams and ultimately drive FirstEnergy’s success.
- Senior Leadership Development – Executives are selected to participate in intensive leadership development experiences in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, a premier external vendor for leadership development. These experiences enable executives to reflect on their leadership style and examine and maximize their effectiveness to accelerate organizational commitment, alignment and results.
Succession Planning and Leadership Selection
FirstEnergy strives to maintain a robust and diverse leadership pipeline for manager-and-above positions while ensuring that meaningful development plans are in place for emerging leaders. We often look to succession plans when there is a need to fill a leadership role, but we also engage in external searches to make sure we consider a broad, diverse pool of candidates. Ultimately, our robust selection process helps ensure we identify the best person for the job:
- Near-term and long-term successors are identified during Talent Talk discussions.
- Leaders provide aggregate feedback to help ensure that successors for leadership positions have development plans that address their strengths and development needs and prepare them to take on additional responsibilities and/or new roles.
- Talent talks, succession plans and job postings are used to identify candidates for open manager-and-above positions.
- An objective, behavior-based interview process is used to interview candidates for open leadership positions and to select the best candidate for the position based on all the factors considered.
Performance Management Process
During check-in conversations throughout the year, employees and their leaders discuss their performance, progress towards priorities and development goals. During our annual Performance Investment and Rewards Calibration (PIRC) Process, leaders within a business unit or department come together for performance calibration sessions. Discussing and calibrating employee performance provides multiple perspectives and helps ensure that leaders differentiate performance in a fair and consistent manner when allocating compensation increases among employees.