First Utility Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

First Utility Reviews

Updated 13 July 2018
142 reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "No sick or Maternity / Paternity pay" (in 14 reviews)

  • "The only drawback is car parking" (in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Good company, need to brush up on employee retention"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Data Analyst in Coventry, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, great work/life balance, flexible working

    Cons

    Not enough cross training opportunities, not enough training altogether. Benefits are the bare minimum, no maternity/paternity pay, lowest pension contributions that are a must. Although it's a nice to have, in my opinion fruity Fridays and voucher schemes are not really a benefit.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees more, and help their progression within the business.


  2. "The Life At First Utility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inbound Sales Advisor Home Movers in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Inbound Sales Advisor Home Movers in Coventry, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Great atmosphere
    - Friendly, approachable working environment
    - So much opportunity to develop and gain experience in multiple areas whether that be Sales, Customer Service, Billing, Test Analysis, Business Analysis, Product. Myself personally receive so much opportunity to develop my skills purely from showing willingness to learn and the capability of the ability I possess.
    - Great Channel Manager and Team Manager support
    - Great to build communication and networking skills.
    - Overall a fab company to work for.

    Cons

    - Staff tariff could still do with some improvements.
    - Whilst opportunity comes in great amounts. Interview prep is not. Helping individuals face the interview environment would be a great help. I have a an extensive PDP but due to having OCD, fail at the interview stage due to not being able to articulate myself in the false environment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep excelling and improving. I've seen great work and development in the three years I've worked here.

    First Utility Response

    12 Apr 2018 – Chief People Officer

    Thanks for sharing your comment with us, I really appreciate it. We want everyone to succeed at First Utility and have a really wide range and growing number of opportunities to offer. I am sure... More

  3. Helpful (3)

    "They just want positive reviews- a discriminatory member of staff- bias from HR-the great cover-up by a senior employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer First Adviser in Coventry, England
    Former Employee - Customer First Adviser in Coventry, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First Utility full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Initially, everything was going well and the training was fantastic. The 4 members of Staff were amazing and they let me perform my prayers during the 4 of 5 week training period.

    However, my group was meant to be given full 5 weeks of training, as that was part of the scheduled training programme. But we were only given 4 weeks of training.

    Whilst the other group were given full 5 weeks and my group was told by the discriminatory member of staff 'that you don't need training' not only is this a clear deviation from the required training programme but also preventing one to carry out their role adequately.

    Even though, a Senior Member of Staff, he clearly said to my group that 'you all still have 1 final week of training which is on the floor'

    We were told by the discriminatory member of staff that 'help' will be given by the floor walkers, but it was my group who had to walk the floor to get our customer queries resolved. The female floorwalkers were always helpful but the male floorwalkers were lazy and laid back.

    However, when the time for prayer commenced, the discriminatory member of staff prevented me from going to my prayers and stated that 'you can't go mate, regardless'.

    Even though I explained to him that, previously I've been permitted to go for my prayers by the other 4 members of staff. Therefore, I don't understand what's his problem?

    He responded that 'the rules here are different (even though it's still the same company) we can't have the entire row of people (pointing at the row in front) go for prayers'.

    I responded that the likelihood of that row going for prayers is very unlikely due to most being non-Muslim.

    I raised a grievance with HR but it was sugar coated by an obnoxious member of staff from HR as an 'issue of miscommunication' rather than religious discrimination.

    (The member of staff from HR wasn't impartial, if he was, it would've resulted in him acting contrary to his contract, which requires one to 'act in the best interest of the Company' regardless of anything else.)

    However, thereafter, I was permitted to go for my prayers, but 20 days before my probationary review meeting, I was told by the discriminatory member of staff that my probation is going to be extended.

    (Even though I was above target for my stats and I was never absent, as well as providing him with 21 customer accounts, whereby customers said that I've been helpful.)

    I spoke to a senior member of staff and he advised that 'it's your manager's job to gear you towards passing your probation and not failing it. Also, he needs a legitimate reason to extend your probation, not an illegitimate one.'

    Thereafter, I was constantly being micromanaged and having unnecessary 'coaching sessions' where the discriminatory team manager was using it as an opportunity to bully and harass me.

    I raised a grievance with HR but it was disregarded by a member of staff from HR and he told me that (the discriminatory member of staff) 'is a professional who wouldn't do that'.

    Not only is the above response inadequate, it doesn't negate the discriminatory member of staff's inappropriate behavior, nor does it justify extending my probation, 20 days before my probation review meeting.

    But I came to realise that the points raised in the grievance, were mentioned to the discriminatory member of staff via chat, by a member of staff from HR and those were the points that the discriminatory member of staff was now 'coincidentally' trying to now focus on so he can save himself.

    Eg I was told by the discriminatory member of staff that he'll give me coaching for Nelly questions.

    But I wasn't given a single coaching session and when I raised it with him he ignored it and when I raised a grievance about it, he stated that 'his password wasn't working and that's why he couldn't have the session'.

    I spoke to a Senior Member of Staff but she was not being impartial and was protecting the discriminatory member of staffs behaviour, as she was dependant on his team's stats.

    Therefore, she let me 'resign with immediate effect' at my 'discretion without force' so everything could be covered up by her. She said that 'she'll look into my concerns and it'll have no bearing on my reference'

    We left the room and she decided to converse with me about resigning, so the people on the 'floor' cannot know why I'm actually leaving

    (Religious discrimination, bullying attitude, an extension of my probation 20 days before review meeting)

    She didn't have the decency to walk me from my desk to out of the building, as she didn't want others to see or know about the true nature of her cover-up.

    Also, rather than discipline the discriminatory member of staff, she promoted him to a different department so a lid is placed on everything.

    Lastly, another team member within my team, she left before me and I don't blame her, as I can see why she left.

    Pros:

    -was never discriminated by the 4 members of staff during training
    -was permitted to perform my prayers
    -met good people throughout
    -helpful floorwalkers (some, not all)
    -others from HR are generally helpful and approachable

    Cons

    -discriminatory member of staff
    -A bias member of staff from HR who is subjective and not objective
    -constantly micromanaged
    -Treated as a number, not as a person
    -I was never off sick, but if you do get sick you'll not get sick pay
    -You're required to arrive 10-15 mins early each day, which is 50 minutes-1 hour 15mins per week. It's unpaid
    -I left without another job as it was that bad
    -It didn't apply to me, but you can't start a family, due to poor maternity and paternity pay
    -basic pension
    -Read the customer reviews about the company and some of its employees
    -Gossipy & nosey/ busybody culture within departments

    Advice to Management

    It falls on deaf ears; therefore it's advised that one stays well clear. As it's only a matter of time until you start to experience the same inadequate, unprofessional experience from a senior colleague and the bias from a member of staff in HR. (Check the other review ‘Get out while you can!’)

    However, I would advise potential employees that you work for an employer who is impartial, just and not discriminatory.

    Advice to the member of staff from HR is that he should continue selectively making use of the English language and words, to negate any concerns raised and covering up for the inappropriate discriminatory behavior of a senior employee or any other senior employee for that matter. As well as not discipline those who act contrary to legislation and the Company values.


  4. "Customer Contact Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at First Utility full-time

    Pros

    friendly environment and target driven

    Cons

    mis communication and slightly disorganised amongst different teams

    Advice to Management

    provide consistent communication amongst the teams within departments

    First Utility Response

    13 Apr 2018 – Chief People Officer

    It's good to have your comments, thank you.

    Our Customer Teams have grown quickly as our business has grown and some of the ways we communicate internally haven't kept up with the needs of... More


  5. "Left and Came Back"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Metering Operations Coordinator in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Metering Operations Coordinator in Coventry, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    working with a good team keeps me going, sounds cliche but it is a big family, you never know what your going to get when you pick up the phone, first perks is an absolute god send from christmas presents to treating yourself to something nice you can always get a bargain. The coffee pod in the atrium is brilliant.

    Cons

    Traffic on the industrial estate can sometimes be a bit of a pain

    Advice to Management

    from my perspective keep doing what your doing

    First Utility Response

    13 Apr 2018 – Chief People Officer

    Welcome back - what a great decision!

    Seriously, we're delighted that you've returned and noticed the differences we've been making. We are growing family with loads of opportunities for career... More


  6. "Fantastic Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retention Advisor in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Retention Advisor in Coventry, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Training is informative and relevant
    Company makes you feel appreciated and motivates you with incentives and good pay.

    Cons

    Cant think any as of yet!

    First Utility Response

    20 Mar 2018 – Head of Talent

    Thanks very much for your 5-star review! It's great to hear you mention the quality of our training, as our Learning and Development Team take great pride in helping our new colleagues settle in at... More


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Get out while you can!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at First Utility full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Redundancies are happening - take the money and RUN!

    Cons

    The place is a con overall - a bad pool of talent and bad attitudes from high up, especially HR. The HR team is shocking, the way they treat employees let alone their own working in that department is disgusting. They are rude and like to treat themselves to fancy meals on the company - and from time to time you will find them on 2-hour lunch breaks at the local pubs!
    Luckily they'll all be out of a job soon when Shell takes over and boot them all out.
    The HR team in particular also like to promotes staff members for absolutely nothing ..if you look closely at their team structure you will find almost all of them are managers!!! with no direct reports - they also like to pay individuals different salaries for the same role.
    No wonder a lot of the HR team is new and forever changing. I know many staff members who do not want to go to HR with their problems because the Human Relations officer is a nightmare! He is rude and obnoxious let alone bad at his job.
    The Internal Comms team is terrible - they send the company newsletter at 5:30 pm when everyone has left the office. They also like to spam employees inboxes with 3 emails a day, no wonder no one reads them!

    Advice to Management

    My advice goes to the Chief People Offer or lack thereof.

    Treat your team nicely, talk to them after all you are not the CEO and most of the HR team have been in their roles longer than you!

    First Utility Response

    12 Apr 2018 – HR MI Analyst

    I'm sorry you left us with such feelings. Your sentiment is pretty unusual as are the ratings given for the business and CEO. I guess you left under difficult circumstances and perhaps not of your... More

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Good place to work, although can't be long term."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great supportive teams. Very good flexible working.

    Cons

    A pension contribution of 1% is not acceptable for a company of this size. I am aware that it is increased in line with the statutory minimum but this still is not acceptable. I don't know how I can stay at First Utility long term if this doesn't change significantly - I want to be able to stay but I don't think I can!

    Advice to Management

    Treat your staff as if you want them to stay, otherwise they will move on, even if they don't want to, but want to be able to afford to retire at some point!

    First Utility Response

    20 Mar 2018 – Head of Talent

    Thank you for your review. I'm really pleased to hear you mention flexibility in particular, as we've heard some fantastic stories from our colleagues so far on our approach to working in an agile... More


  9. "Great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time

    Pros

    First utility is a great company to work for, I’ve learnt a lot working there, with a lot of opportunities available to me, working on the latest technologies and developer coding standards and practises.

    Cons

    When there’s traffic around Westwood it can get really bad.

    Advice to Management

    Information needs to be cascaded more frequently

    First Utility Response

    20 Mar 2018 – Head of Talent

    Thanks for your 5-star review! It's great to hear you mention the learning and development opportunities available to you, especially as we're now sharing more on our development portal First Forward... More


  10. "A great career choice for me"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Autonomy, pace, freedom to make a difference.

    I enjoy change, and new challenges. There is so much opportunity for this here, and I like that each day is different.

    Great facilities, on-site canteen, informal coffee station, bright airy work spaces.
    Agile working - work on a different desk and with different people every day.
    Work from home 1 - 2 days per week.
    Great colleagues, who above anything care about creating something amazing.
    All of these things matter to me.

    Since I've worked at First Utility I've been offered some fantastic development opportunities. I've secured a stretch role which I have developed into. I've had formal external training, and gained qualifications. I've had the freedom to get involved in many different projects and on the job learning. I've joined the company mentoring programme, and have been fortunate to learn a lot from this.

    The company has allowed me the opportunity to go to external networking events, and also I have now become a mentor for 2 employees internally and 1 externally.

    Cons

    The environment is not corporate, so if you like established systems and processes this might not be the right fit for you.

    Advice to Management

    It would be helpful to have a better strategy cascade from the top down.
    I realise that there has been one, but it has only filtered as far as the senior management level. I'm not sure this is very helpful when looking to keep your teams moving in one direction, and engaged.

    The finance department's processes are like something from the dark ages, and do not support the pace at which we like to operate in other areas. Filling out forms and scanning them in after getting signatures from Exec level members, for small amounts of money feels unnecessary and bureaucratic. I think we should trust our senior managers to do the right thing, and operate within their budgets.
    We trust them with running large areas of our business - I think purchasing some paperclips within budget might not go as wrong as you think it will!

    Like many reviewers before me, I would also advise a review of our benefits package overall (however I do realise there is only so much money in the pot).

    First Utility Response

    20 Mar 2018 – Head of Talent

    Thanks very much for your 5-star review! I love your word choice to start of the pros - autonomy, pace and freedom to make a difference - great to hear. That feeds in really nicely to the agile... More


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