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ScottishPower - stress case study

Who are they?

ScottishPower is one of the UK's top customer service suppliers of gas and electricity with around 5.2 million customers. Since 2007, ScottishPower has been integrated to the Iberdrola Group which is one of the top five energy companies in the world with a market capitalisation of €55 billion, a presence in over 30 countries and 22 million points of supply.

ScottishPower logo
No of employees:
9,000 people in the UK
Business Sector:
Business Activities:
Electricity, gas
Scotland and England

Why Scottish Power decided to manage stress using the Management Standards:

The Management Standards approach started in 2005 with staff from the Energy Retail Call Centre operations, followed by a roll out program in all the other departments of Energy Retail and some of the ScottishPower Power stations.

How did they do it?

The Management Standards implementation and roll out

The first stage was to administer an on-line stress survey in successive waves for each department to approximately 5000 staff using the HSE Indicator. Absence data for each department including stress related absence were analysed and compared with results from the staff opinion survey. Focus groups were set up to shed light on the survey results to feed into the action plan. During the roll out programme, the Director of each department provided support and commitment by being part of the steering group.

What next – action plans

Stress management interventions have been put in place at individual and organisational level. Additional results included the creation of better communication channels throughout the business; introduction of 360° feedback at all levels; more participation/visibility of senior managers at team briefs and a wider use of Occupational Health Services.

What worked well?

Looking back, the focus groups were a real chance for people to have an input to the business. The participation of employees and safety representatives in the steering groups was also important. And the feedback to staff on each stage of the process contributed to the worker’s engagement.

"The stress project was a great initiative. It was good to see the company invest so much resources into such a valuable programme which can only improve the working lives and health of everyone at ScottishPower."
Willie Docherty - Health and Safety Advisor

Main Challenges

During the integration of ScottishPower to the Iberdrola Group, the greatest difficulty voiced by staff in the focus group was for management to handle communication and change as employees expressed fear of redundancies. Having so many different sites and field-based staff was quite challenging as we wanted to include all in the process.

"Embarking on such a big project was a daunting task at first. However due to the willingness and participation of so many people across the business we achieved well beyond our expectations. There were some challenges but these were quickly turned into opportunities for improvement in the future."
Jennifer Hamilton - Health and Safety Manager


Updated 2009-10-26