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Workforce Sustainability

Commitment to Human Capital

At Southern Company, our people are at the center of all we do, and our Human Capital Beliefs to guide our commitment to being a leading employer

  • We believe in, and invest in, the well-being of our employees through a total rewards strategy that includes competitive salary, annual incentive awards for eligible employees and health, welfare and retirement benefits designed to encourage physical, financial and emotional/social well-being.
  • Development and retention of our talent is a priority. New hires augment our existing workforce as we seek to meet changing business needs, address any critical skill gaps and supplement and diversify our talent pipelines.

  • We are proud of our positive relationships with labor unions and support the rights to collective bargaining and freedom of association.

  • We support human rights and are opposed to all forms of forced labor, child labor and other human rights abuses. 

  • Our employees, suppliers and partners are expected to act in a manner consistent with Our Values, Our Human Capital Beliefs, Our Code of Ethics and U.S. and international law.

Through these human capital beliefs, we demonstrate Southern Company’s dedication to our employees’ well-being and the rights of all people.

For additional information on our approaches to Human Capital, please review our Proxy Statement and our CommunityCareers and Culture pages. 

Demographics and Data

Southern Company is committed to an equitable and inclusive workplace that mirrors the diverse communities we serve. We believe that diversity makes us stronger and provides a competitive advantage, and we recognize the distinct advantage of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace to better serve our customers and communities. We promote an actively anti-racist culture and strive to create a workplace where everyone is welcomed, valued and respected, and all groups are well-represented.

To demonstrate our commitment to human capital and all it encompasses, it is essential to transparently share information about our workforce demographics and data. In 2021, 27,300 employees worked at Southern Company. Of those employees in 2021, the following is representative:

workforce demographics and data

Diversity makes us stronger and provides a competitive advantage.

  • We are committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace to better serve our customers and communities.
  • Our strategy for recruiting, hiring, retaining and developing employees includes a deliberate focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • We integrate continuous feedback from employees to refine our commitments and actions.
  • We have adopted new commitments to attract, engage, include and retain a diverse workforce.
  • Our management team includes 24% women and 22% people of color.
  • Additional detail can be found in our aggregated EEO-1 workforce report.

Rewards and Well-Being

Southern Company is leading the way with best-in-class employee well-being programs. Our approach is to provide comprehensive, inclusive and affordable programs for employees. These program offerings are part of our comprehensive total rewards strategy which includes compensation, benefits and employee well-being. This strategy focuses on:

  • Physical Well-Being: Providing employees with access to preventive care, wellness programs and healthcare.

  • Financial Well-Being: Helping employees with financial wellness across all stages of their career, as well as in retirement.

  • Emotional/Social Well-Being: Supporting employees' emotional wellness and helping them to be fully engaged in life, family, their community and work.

Our total rewards strategy helps ensure all employees are paid market competitive salaries, are treated equitably (through regular pay equity, pay gap and glass ceiling studies), are eligible for annual incentive awards, and have access to health and retirement benefits and best-in-class well-being programs. We continue to evaluate and modernize our programs so they attract, engage, include and retain the workforce necessary for both today and the future.

Talent Development 

The development of talent is a priority as we consider it critical to employee readiness, engagement and retention. We provide both internal and external leadership development opportunities for employees and support the filling of leadership roles through succession planning. We also offer employee training programs to facilitate specific developmental plans for personal growth and career progression.

Talent development is key to leadership readiness, employee engagement and retention.

  • We focus development on Business Imperatives: Inclusivity, Emotional Intelligence, Courage and Business Execution.
  • Through a robust succession planning process and strategic external hiring, we help ensure a well-qualified and diverse pipeline of leaders.
  • Our custom internal programs, external partnerships and online resources provide career and leadership development opportunities for employees at all levels – from individual contributors to senior leaders.
  • Across Southern Company, our performance management process, Connected Conversations, provides a platform for frequent and meaningful performance and development conversations between managers and employees, driving individual performance and growth.
  • Leadership roles are primarily filled from succession planning slates, often providing opportunity for intercompany transfers.
  • Our workforce is considered highly engaged as measured by Voice of the Employee Survey, and we boast low turnover rates and high promotion rates into first-time supervisor roles.

Labor Relations

Constructive partnership with union leaders is critical to our business. Approximately one-third of Southern Company employees are International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) members, and many of our contractors employ labor union members from nearly every craft within the North Americas Building Trades Unions (NABTU). Across the Southern Company system, we utilize an average of 61 million work-hours annually of craft labor (both internal and external resources), and 71% of those hours are completed by members of organized unions. Our partnerships with organized labor labor allow us to work toward common goals on topics such as employee and public safety, reliability of our electric and gas systems, training and development, recruitment efforts, Just Transition and best practice sharing. These efforts benefit the communities we serve and provide sustainable jobs.

We recognize the right of our employees to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing and recognize unions as the exclusive representatives of these employees in discussions involving rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, working conditions and other matters of employment.

Hill Award

In March 2022, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) presented the Edwin D. Hill Award to Alabama Power and to IBEW System Council U-19. This distinguished award recognizes efforts to advance state and local initiatives on behalf of EEI’s member electric companies and IBEW members. Through the National Utility Industry Training Fund (NUITF) and the Electrical Training Alliance, Alabama Power and the IBEW are providing current and prospective employees with the appropriate training to install and to maintain the fiber infrastructure that provides and improves customer and community access to broadband.

'It is an honor for our team to receive the Edwin D. Hill Award,” Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite said. “It’s important to invest in our workforce, ensuring employees have the training needed to meet the needs of our customers.'