AEP Sustainability - Culture

Culture of Engagement

For the second year in a row, AEP was recognized for its culture journey with the annual Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award in 2021.

A high-performance culture forms the foundation for long-term success. An engaged, collaborative and empowered workforce is more likely to embrace a change mindset, drive continuous improvement, accept accountability, meet expectations, take ownership, and value personal growth. We are committed to driving our culture forward.

To measure our progress, we conduct an annual employee culture survey through Gallup, Inc. This was especially important in 2020 as our workforce responded to both work and personal impacts that the pandemic caused. We achieved significant improvement in nearly every aspect of the survey and 93% of employees participated in the survey marking our best participation since we began measuring our progress.

Our goal was to achieve top-decile performance by 2023, which we achieved three years ahead of schedule. In 2020, we achieved the 91st percentile – an improvement compared to our 87th percentile ranking in 2019. In addition, we improved our scores on nearly every index we measure, including diversity and inclusion, accountability and engagement. The survey also included a question about personal well-being that allowed employees to candidly share their experiences through open comment. The results give us a strong foundation upon which to plan the Future of Work. Although our results are very positive, we are always seeking opportunities to grow and improve.

The Power of Our People: Celebrating Our Best Friends at Work

When we began conducting an annual employee culture survey, one question sparked great debate and conversation all across the company. Employees were perplexed and divided on how to respond to the statement “I have a best friend at work,” asking “what truly defines a best friend” and “why is this question in AEP’s culture survey?” One employee was inspired to demonstrate to others what it meant to him.

In 2018, Sam Queeno, director of Digital ID and Physical Security, created “Best Friend Fridays” as a fun and light-hearted way to talk about this infamous question. Every Friday he records a conversation with other employees. He began conversations with his team and has since extended it to others from across AEP. Queeno uses costumes, skits and humor to help others understand what it means to have a best friend at work.

“People think ‘best friend’ is some magical term. I see it as someone that you care about – you have their back, and they have yours,” Queeno said. “You may not always like the people you work with, but you’d still help them because they’re part of the AEP Family.”

In 2020, Best Friend Friday became virtual events with Queeno interviewing 45 different best friends including AEP’s Chairman, President & CEO Nick Akins.