National Grid, Finalist 2015, The Cityfathers Best for all Stages of Fatherhood Award

National Grid’s approach to fatherhood is a passionate one, ensuring every staff group is included and addressing every step of the journey from pre-conception to grandparenthood.

National Grid’s vision is that every dad is able to be the dad he wants to be, and the best employee he can be, achieving a real work–life balance.

National Grid’s goals are to:

  • promote a culture which supports a work–life balance that achieves the vision
  • educate and support line managers/supervisors to support their teams through the journey
  • obtain support and a continued message from the senior leadership team to challenge existing ways of working, and find better ways
  • review and continually improve all existing HR policies and procedures that impact on parents and display them on one simple internal ‘infonet’ page
  • raise awareness of its Fathers’ Programme, internally and externally

National Grid has, over the last two years, delivered workshops to over 100 new and expectant dads, provided training for line managers and created a trained mentors support network. These activities have been delivered mainly in central office locations, but National Grid has made progress on getting workshops out to the operational staff too. National Grid is proud to have run two full workshops, and promoted the Fathers Programme, to five different operational teams through conferences, ‘Safety Stand Down Days’, team meetings and company magazines.

National Grid has decided that these courses, along with lunchtime webinars for managers and mentoring workshops, will be offered permanently as part of its suite of development opportunities. This way it can ensure that they are organised and delivered professionally and sustainably.

The organisation has just start measuring dads’ responses about the effectiveness of the programme against its objectives. These responses will be used, in turn, to promote the programme and a social network page on National Grid’s corporate Yammer site, where fathers can share stories, ask questions and divulge hints and tips on a whole range of fatherhood issues.

The plans for 2015 are to continue to promote the Fathers’ Programme to the operational and field force staff through a detailed plan of activities, communications and face-to-face meetings. The network is also planning a fun, challenging and ambitious activity during Father’s Day in which dads from all areas in National Grid can enter a photography competition and win prizes for different categories: family photo, father and child photo, and dad and child selfie. To promote the competition, and network afterwards, National Grid plans to publish the photos in a video and will use a song that has been especially written, composed and sung by a dad at National Grid.