For the second straight year, Business NH Magazine has named Unitil one of the best companies to work for in New Hampshire.
The Hampton, N.H.-based utility company, which provides electricity and natural gas to customers in New England, ranked No. 2 on this year’s Top 25 list, which was announced in the publication’s September issue.
“We’re honored to have been selected as a top company for workers in New Hampshire for the second year in a row. This is a significant achievement and speaks to the workplace culture that we’ve created for our employees,” said Unitil External Affairs Manager Alec O’Meara.
According to the magazine, the list is created as a way to highlight businesses that “go out of their way to create engaging workplaces and understand that fulfilled employees are more productive.”
A common theme among this year’s winners was flexibility in the workplace with companies like Unitil offering remote and hybrid work arrangements, the magazine noted.
“As today’s workplace continues to evolve, we understand the importance of flexibility, which is critical when it comes to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and fostering a positive work-life balance for every employee,” O’Meara said.
In announcing the winners, the publication quoted Executive Editor Matt Mowry as saying: “This year’s winning companies demonstrate there is no one model for being an employer of choice. However, they do share a commitment to creating an engaging workplace by meeting the needs of their workforce. These employers are helping employees to strike a balance between work and their home life, even as those boundaries become blurred by remote and hybrid options.”
Unitil, which has 530 full-time employees, made the list for the first time last year.
This year’s winners were selected based on results from employer surveys that outlined the company’s benefits and workplace practices and employee engagement surveys completed by workers that showed 93% felt their manager was interested in their well-being. Companies that made the Top 12 were toured by business and HR executives, who also interviewed a top executive and employees.
Among other things, the magazine noted that the average tenure of a Unitil employee is just over 12 years while the national average reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is just 4.1 years.
“A good example of employee longevity is a worker who retired last year after spending 50 years with the company. We have another who will retire this year after 40 years. Our ability to retain employees for decades is really a testament to our strong company culture. We’ve found that through our own annual internal survey of employees, over 91 percent say they’re proud to work at Unitil,” O’Meara said.
The magazine highlighted the unique nature of utility work, which in many ways is similar to the job of a first responder when severe weather or a natural disaster strikes.
“After all, when a big storm blows in, this is a company where employees work 12-hour shifts around the clock until service is restored. That means even the accounting team participates in an annual drill to make sure they are ready to coordinate hotel accommodations for crews from Canada, and engineers know how to lay cones and direct traffic at a pop-up staging area. Customer service managers have the technology at home to take customer calls in emergency situations,” the magazine stated.
The magazine described Unitil as a company that has “cultivated a culture of support — for customers and for each other,” pointing out that this year a professional health and wellness coach was hired to assist in the creation, implementation, and management of health and wellness initiatives. It also highlighted steps Unitil has taken to invest in the careers of its employees. For instance, the company offers $7,500 in annual tuition reimbursement and is offering two new leadership development programs: one geared toward existing leaders and a second for emerging leaders that focuses on and reinforces the skills needed for the next tier of company leadership.
The winners were honored at a “Breakfast with The Best” event hosted by the magazine on Sept. 21.