UK Power Networks is the electricity network operator for London, the South East and East of England, which covers 29,250 square miles and 18 million people. The company is committed to open and transparent communications and engagement with its employees, customers, other stakeholders and the communities that it serves. Its annual review is a major part of this strategy.
But its stakeholder audience is both large and complex. It encompasses Government ministers, regulators, businesses ranging from multinational corporations to corner shops, local community groups and individuals. Each group has an interest in how UK Power Networks is managing the electricity network on their behalf, both today and in the future. But each group also has varying levels of technical expertise and different requirements from an annual review.
An annual review has to encapsulate a company’s role, its achievements, strategy and vision. In 2016, UK Power Networks took an innovative approach – bringing its open and transparent approach to life – when it held a series of employee workshops across its business to find out what they would like to see in an annual review. The workshops were also used to help the report’s authors better understand the company’s key focus areas, such as safety, value for money and network reliability, and to bring these to life with case studies.
In a clear break with past reviews, UK Power Networks produced an annual review that uses clean and contemporary design, engaging imagery and clear infographics to outline the company’s progress against its strategy. It also includes a peer group review plus a GAP analysis of previous reports. Each focus area is supplemented with case studies to illustrate the company’s work, particularly with different community groups. The online review carries videos that bring the case studies to life, while the infographics are interactive. There are also other nice touches: in a detailed ‘future energy landscape’ section, the blades on the wind turbines rotate.
The judges loved UK Power Networks’ approach to its review, engaging colleagues from the outset, and its focus on a clear narrative and visual aids. They also felt that the online and print versions of the annual review were complementary, and great communications tools for the company.