At NextEra Energy, we value employee engagement and continuously strive to make it better. Studies have shown that engaged employees not only do their best work achieving exemplary business performance, but they are also personally vested in their organization and try to further its mission and values.
Through our deliberate and continuous focus on engagement, we are able to build on a culture that inspires our employees to stay at NextEra Energy. We want all employees to find their work personally rewarding and feel that their contributions are valued.
We regularly survey NextEra Energy employees to gain insight into the aspects of engagement that are most important to them. In February 2016, all employees were invited to take action in the company’s sixth engagement survey. From a participation perspective, 90 percent of employees participated – exceeding our 2014 participation rate by 6 percentage points. Compared to 2014, nonbargaining employee participation increased 5 percentage points and bargaining employee participation increased 9 percentage points. We will again conduct an all-employee engagement survey in the first quarter of 2018.
NextEra Energy's overall engagement score for 2016 was 71 percent, compared to 62 percent in 2014. This 9-percentage point increase confirms that engagement is strong at our company. According to Aon Hewitt’s research, the top quartile of high-performing U.S. companies' engagement scores range from 72 percent to 100 percent. We are now on the cusp of entering top-quartile status.
Equally important as the overall score are the insights we gain from employees about where to focus our efforts for improvement. As a result of what we learned from employees in 2016, the areas of special focus are creating and sustaining an environment of openness and trust, ensuring employees feel they are treated as a valued member of the organization, enhancing work processes and work-life balance. At the corporate level, the company conducts senior executive outreach sessions and career management webinars and equips leaders and employees so they can stay connected through regular, meaningful conversations.
The survey also showed that from a work experience perspective, the areas that employees are most positive about are safety, diversity and inclusion, the company's performance and their immediate supervisor. At the corporate level, we will continue to develop management and leadership skills among leaders, focus on safety, improve our performance management systems and skills, and communicate in an open, transparent, relevant and timely manner.