Utility careers in fast lane with Pathway to Success

Water utility maintenance provider Lanes Group plc has created an innovative career and pay system designed to help retain and recruit skilled people and support operational excellence.

Pathway to Success has been introduced across the company’s operational teams delivering wastewater network service (WNS) maintenance services for Thames Water.

Lanes believes it is one of the most comprehensive pay and performance structures introduced in the utility industry – and is already contributing to high operational performance.

Michael Hall, Lanes Head of Operations for the Thames Water contract, said: “We wanted an objective way to measure the performance of our people, to put in place a fair and transparent pay structure, and provide clear paths for building fulfilling and exciting careers.

“Pathway to Success is designed to do all those things and be simple to understand for everyone involved. It’s already helping us retain experienced and skilled colleagues, and to recruit the best people in what is a very challenging job market.”

Pathway to Success creates a pay and performance structure for each of eight job roles linked to five attainment levels – Trainee, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

By showing they have achieved the skills and experience detailed in job role checklists at each level, Lanes people can progress along the pathway, earning higher salaries and developing their careers.

Michael Hall said: “Pathway to Success takes the emotion out of discussions about pay. This is already having a positive impact because it shows consistently high performance leads to fair and timely rewards.

“We believe it’s no coincidence that, since Pathway to Success was introduced, our Ofwat SIM customer service score reaches a record high, our productivity has risen, our already impressive safety performance has got even better, and our employee attrition rate has nearly halved.”

Pathway to Success took six months to develop and trial. Since the start of 2018, it has been rolled out to 1,100 Lanes WNS maintenance employees working across the Thames Water region.

In broad terms, employees are expected to spend a year at each level, which means it should take up to four years to progress along the pathway to Platinum. However, there is carefully-controlled discretion for high-achieving employees to progress more rapidly.

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