Employee Insights

A few employees share their insights of E.ON's inclusive culture

Miriam 

Miriam, born blind to visually impaired parents, has been with E.ON for five years and is real asset to our Business Billing Team. After struggling to cope with a long commute to a full time job in an organisation with little awareness of diversity issues, Miriam applied to E.ON, telling us she was registered blind. "From the moment I applied they wanted to make sure I had the same chance as other non-disabled people in the recruitment process, so they asked what I needed," she says. "I was impressed with the time taken to consider my situation and give me options, including allowing me a reader for the numerical assessment and providing Braille instructions for the roleplay - it instantly made me feel comfortable. When I found I was successful, they provided a lot of contact on the phone and even sent me a braille version of the contract."

Prior to starting her role, E.ON worked closely alongside Miriam, eyesight charity Royal National Institute for the Blind and Access to Work to ensure that she had all the equipment she needed to carry out her new role, including specialist IT software, a screen reader to help her navigate the systems and access emails, and a braille keyboard and laptop for jotting down meter readings and account numbers. Miriam says "I also felt welcomed into the team by my manager. He invited me to attend team meetings before I started my role, proactively introduced me to colleagues and assigned me a buddy, which helped me settle in. My section manager has also been very understanding of my circumstances, supporting me when I had an operation a couple of years ago and ensuring I get all the equipment and support I need." Black Labrador Tally, Miriam's guide dog, has also become a welcomed addition to the team, sitting at her feet when not being cooed over by colleagues, and even has her own dedicated outside area. 

"It's proved to be the perfect job," she says. "The key to it all has been the fact that no one has been afraid to ask what I need and then they actually listen to what I say. But the best thing about working for E.ON is simply the people you work with; my team, particularly the managers, have been fantastic, really helpful and supportive!"

Steve 

Steve has worked for E.ON for over 2 years and is currently working for Business Retention within our Sales business. 

Prior to joining E.ON, Steve worked as a regional sales manager for two large firms before suffering complications associated with his diabetes, including renal failure, 93% loss of his vision and requiring a below the knee amputation. Steve joined E.ON two years ago, after attending an open day, which allowed him to experience life at E.ON and meet our employees. Steve says "I was attracted to E.ON as it is a large, forward-thinking organisation with the facilities and capability to support me. Knowing that E.ON is Clear Assured and working towards the 'Two Ticks' standard enabled me to feel confident that my disability would not disadvantage me and that I'd be interviewed if I met the minimum criteria."

We've supported in acquiring a number of adjustments for Steve, including a large computer screen, an Agilo magnification camera and software, and a task lamp which emits white light, making it easier for Steve's eyesight to adjust. "E.ON are aware that you need support, are very accommodating and try to manage your expectations" says Steve. "As an employer they treat everyone very fairly and when things aren't working they try to put it right, continually aspiring to do better."

Ashley 

Customer services specialist Ashley Bailey, who has been working for E.ON for the last five years, admits that seeing other colleagues being able to do the job without specialist support had made her too scared to ask for help for her severe dyslexia - even though she could see that they didn't realize the effect dyslexia has. 

After a dyslexia awareness initiative at E.ON, Ashley's manager put her in touch with the Dyslexia Association. Ashley says "From that point on my life changed. I found that I had dyslexia that was so bad it prevented me from being able to read properly. I had no idea it was so severe. I had never been told that dyslexia was hereditary or that my father had a severe case. Once I knew the company provided support I had the confidence to call the Dyslexia Association and they suggested one of their literacy courses for dyslexic adults. My tutor Karen tailored the work to meet my needs and as a result I went from a struggling grade two agent to the top collector in my area and reached a grade four within a year."

"The course taught me how to learn by using colours to see and help me remember things, as memory for me is a problem. I now have four certificates for IT use, two for adult literacy and I was voted employee of the month in the aged debt area." 

"I have coloured glasses, a flat screen monitor and regular shift patterns. Having a routine is important for me as it helps me to be organised and avoid stress. Being prone to stress is partly related to my dyslexia. I still have some problems - it takes me a lot longer than everyone else to write letters - but my manager and colleagues have been very supportive and I get there in the end" says Ashley.

"I am really grateful that E.ON allowed me to go to the course. It helped me cope with my disability and gave me confidence in my ability. My managers have been also been brilliant, trusting me with the most difficult collection accounts and pushing me to take on more challenges. E.ON has provided so many opportunities, and as a big company, there are so many areas to learn about, while having a laugh at the same time. I now help others with their dyslexia, coach others in handling accounts, and run training courses - things I thought I'd never be able to do before!"