20% Higher Employee Retention

In ten short years, First Utility went from a start-up to being acquired by Shell’s New Energies division, playing its part in the transition to a lower carbon future.

The Challenge

During its rapid growth and with large numbers of call centre staff, a key challenge for First Utility (rebranded to Shell Energy) was employee retention. Staff turnover was resulting in high recruitment and training costs, as well as making it harder to deliver an excellent customer experience.


The Solution

Following Shell Energy’s employee survey and based on our Say, Stay and Strive engagement model, we grouped employees into four quadrants:

Fully Engaged
Key Contributors
Highly Disengaged

By really understanding why people consider leaving the business and engaging with them after the survey to discuss changes to improve these drivers, we’ve been able to improve our retention by 20%.

John Wrighthouse

Chief People Officer

By linking this to actual leaver data, we quantified the likelihood of a Fully Engaged employee leaving, compared to a Highly Disengaged colleague. A major benefit was this enabled Shell Energy to model and forecast actual staff turnover levels, by division, based on its WorkBuzz employee engagement survey results. Through regular pulse surveys, it could then track and improve this leading indicator.

Secondly, our algorithms pinpointed what factors contributed to staff turnover the most, helping leaders to focus on those critical areas, rather than simply their lowest scoring questions. Managers were then encouraged to design actions, in consultation with their team, in these areas.