Utilita

2nd December 2020 by Catia Neves

A photo of the Utilita team with D&A's Adam Hyland (Director of Accessibility and Inclusion) and Oren Ben-Dor (Assistive Technology Trainer). All are smiling. In the background is the powerpoint which displays the title of the workshop the team is about deliver: Disability Confidence for You and Your Team

“D&A are so engaging, and we feel really supported that if we ever have any issues, we know D&A will be able to help us. They don’t get caught up in jargon. They are so knowledgeable, they make it real and relatable.”

Andrea Stevens-Hunt, Director of Human Resources at Utilita

Who is Utilita?

Established in 2003, Utilita is a gas and electricity supplier operating in the commercial and domestic markets in towns and communities throughout the UK.

Specialising in Smart Pay As You Go Energy, Utilita is the UK’s only energy company that was created to help households use and waste less energy, by giving customers better control via digital technology, including smart meters, In-home Display units and a Smartphone app.

Rated by Which? as a four-star supplier for customer service and ‘One to Watch’ on The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For 2020 list, Utilita has almost 800,000 customers and is the tenth-largest energy supplier in Britain.

Why partner with D&A?

Proportionately, Utilita serves a far higher percentage of Britain’s socially and financially challenged households than most other suppliers, if not all. This brings unique challenges, so it was a logical step to call on the expertise of D&A to ensure Utilita are fully equipped to provide outstanding service to these customers.

“We had been taking wellbeing very seriously, but we thought we should be doing more,” says Andrea Stevens-Hunt, Director of Human Resources at Utilita. “So we decided to invite D&A in to help improve our knowledge on issues around (dis)abilities.”

What’s the plan?

D&A is undertaking a 3-year programme of support to enable Utilita to become disability confident and promote inclusive culture throughout the business. Some of the activities we have delivered so far include:

  • Facilitating Disability Inclusion training with  Utilita staff, including HR, managers, team leaders and customer-facing staff high street Hub staff. All participants that complete the training will gain a D&A Disability Inclusion Champion pin badge.
  • Advising the customer contact centre for Utilita’s Extra Care Team, which supports the company’s 140,000 Priority Services Register customers, including disabled customers. D&A reviewed live calls to see what kind of language was being used and created a recommendation plan for staff to improve their inclusive approach.
  • Supporting the well-being of Utilita’s Extra Care team, who face incredibly challenging interactions on a daily basis, with regular well-being coaching and mentoring from D&A.
  • Reviewing and auditing the communications materials and website accessibility. We provided detailed technical recommendations as well as a training workshop to enable the comms teams to build on their skills, embedding accessibility and inclusion in their future work.

“I have to say it is the best training I have ever had in my career to date. The trainer was engaging, funny, made it interesting and interactive.” – Disability Confident Workshop Participant at Utilita

What’s next?

Our programme of development activities will continue with the following:

  • Rolling out Disability Inclusion training with e-learning follow up to enhance the legacy, focusing on working with:
    • Energy Hub teams on high streets up and down the country to give them the tools to ensure their work is inclusive.
    • Face to Face agents that are the first point of call for the majority of customers up and down the country.
    • Engineers that are welcomed into the homes of customers up and down the country.
    • Communications team, who shape the way in which customers receive information and ultimately how welcome they feel.
    • The entire workforce!
  • Training in Assistive Technology and related strategies
  • Support to achieve Disability Confident Leader Status

What were the benefits of D&A’s approach?

“D&A has gone down a storm with our staff, it’s been so enlightening,” adds Andrea. “We learnt a lot about barriers and that there aren’t any and that what can be seen as a disability, can be made into an ability. What surprised me is how many small things you can do to make improvements, such as changing the colour of paper or screens to make them more accessible.

“D&A are so engaging, and we feel really supported that if we ever have any issues, we know D&A will be able to help us. They don’t get caught up in jargon. They are so knowledgeable, they make it real and relatable.”

 

A photo of Adam Hyland (Director of Accessibility and Inclusion) delivering a workshop to the Utilita team. He is talking, sitting in his wheelchair, next to Utilita team members who are sitting at a desk. The powerpoint displays a screen which asks the question 'Please share the 3 keywords that summarise your response to the session.' Below is a wordcloud, where the biggest words are helpful, insightful, informative, interesting and engaging.


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