After facing its biggest storm ever, Top Employer winner, Hydro Ottawa, remains resilient thanks to a connected workforce
February 7, 2023
OTTAWA – For the fifteenth consecutive year, Hydro Ottawa has earned a spot among the National Capital Region’s Top Employers.
When a historic derecho wind storm devastated Ottawa and its electricity system on May 21, 2022, Hydro Ottawa employees came together for days on end to restore power for their customers. From severe damage to property and Ottawa’s urban forest, the impact on the company’s electrical infrastructure made this storm its biggest yet; significantly worse than the 1998 ice storm and the 2018 tornadoes.
The restoration effort was so massive an undertaking that it was the equivalent of doing four years worth of construction work and emergency repairs in 14 days. Through it all, employees from across the organization stepped up to assist. The powerful connection between employees and the community, as well as to each other, has been carefully nurtured over many years within the culture at Hydro Ottawa. It’s that connection to purpose and community that is a key driver of the organization’s success and vision for the future.
As a leader in a smart energy future, the company has committed to being the first municipally-owned utility in Canada to achieve net zero operations by 2030. It’s a moonshot, and employees across the company are taking up the challenge to innovate and plan the way forward. Employees of Hydro Ottawa work in rewarding careers that shape and influence the world around us, specifically in the rapidly evolving fields of electricity, sustainable energy solutions, and renewable energy generation.
- Hydro Ottawa places an emphasis on the health and wellbeing of its employees through its healthcare benefits, fitness and wellness programs, paid volunteer day, and employee assistance programs. Since the pandemic, the company introduced a fully digital, therapist-led, cognitive behavioural therapy program designed to help employees and their families struggling with mental health challenges.
- The company supported 11 local charities in 2022, including a donation of $150,000 for the Ottawa Food Bank, and an employee-led campaign that raised more than $166,000 for the United Way of East Ontario.
- In 2021, Hydro Ottawa launched its 2021-2025 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework and Corporate Plan, the third plan since 2013, with a focus on continuing to increase the diversity of our workforce, providing a safe and inclusive work environment and strengthening partnerships in the community. And in 2022, the company outlined its commitment to gender diversity goals by 2030.
- On average, Hydro Ottawa invests close to 40 hours per employee annually on training in trades and safe work practices, business skills, management and leadership development. In 2022, the company continued its approach to modernizing its training and development programs, enabling employees to access micro learning anytime and anywhere on any device. A constantly growing eLearning library of courses, videos and ebooks for professional and skill development keeps employees learning, when it works for them. For field employees, new virtual reality training modules are changing the way they learn and practice their trade.
- Hydro Ottawa supports employees through key stages in their lives, and also invests in their families through programs like mental health support extended to family members and Safety Scholarships for post-secondary education.
“When an emergency happens, whether it’s the derecho wind storm in May or the winter storm we experienced in December, I know our employees will give their all, and more, to restore power to our customers. They are committed to finding and implementing innovative solutions that will make our systems more resilient to climate change, and spearheading initiatives for a greener, more sustainable electricity future. That dedication to their work and their community is the reason for our continued success.”
– Bryce Conrad, President and Chief Executive Officer
Manager, Media and Public Affairs
Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.
Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 2345