VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Sept. 17, 2019 – The results are in and Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Hampton Roads for 2019 by Inside Business, the Hampton Roads business journal.
This annual award recognizes companies that go above and beyond to create a positive working environment for their employees by providing a motivational workplace that makes their lives easier, allows time for fun, supports community involvement and work-life balance.
“It is an honor to receive this award,” said Jim Kibler, president, Virginia Natural Gas. “Top workplaces only exist when an organization has top people. It is the team members of VNG that made this recognition possible, and reflects on what we do for them, our community and the customers we serve.”
Formerly known as Best Places to Work, the recognition program looks at companies that truly stand out among companies of similar size. Once a company is nominated, employees are asked to participate in an anonymous online survey that asks such questions as: do you feel genuinely appreciated at your company? Is your pay fair for the work done? And, do you have confidence in the leader of your company?
VNG had an impressive 73% participation rate from team members, who expressed their overall satisfaction working for the company with safety being the most popular word used to describe the company’s values and culture.
“That alone speaks volumes about the culture we have,” he said. “We have employees that stay with the company for 20-30 years, or that have followed the footsteps of parents or grandparents. There is a sense of longevity and pride within the organization that you don’t find in many businesses today.”
According to survey responses, VNG employees believe the company is not only taking stock in the company’s long-term future, but also in the success of its team members. They view their time at VNG as not only a job, but an opportunity for a life-long career.
To help support and develop its workforce, VNG recently launched two programs to help employees reach long-term professional-growth goals and fuel a deeper sense of company inclusion.
In 2017, the company launched the Experiential Learning Program in partnership with Tidewater Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College. The program was created in response to feedback received from employees concerning upward mobility for VNG employees who had the skills but not the necessary educational background. The Experiential Learning Program was designed to fill that gap and reward lifelong learning by adding value to the experience employees already possessed.
Tuition costs are covered through VNG’s reimbursement program and help team members obtain an associate degree in Technical Studies which can be transferred to a bachelor’s degree if they choose to continue through Old Dominion University.
To further aid in the growth and the development of its employees, the company also initiated two Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are an integral part of the diversity and inclusion strategy for VNG. Through the women’s group, Inspire, and enERGy, a young professionals’ group, these ERGs enable employees to participate in professional and personal growth opportunities such as training and education, community projects, networking events, cultural heritage month celebrations, and project management assignments.
“We take pride in not only providing great service to our customers but also in helping to maintain and enhance our region’s quality of life,” said Kibler. “We’re doing more than simply delivering natural gas to Southeast Virginia — we're committed to making the communities we serve better places to live and work.”
VNG was honored at a luncheon Monday, Sept. 16 along with the formal announcement of all this year’s recipients.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 300,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers and is consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. In 2018, Virginia Natural Gas was named Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
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