First Utility Reviews | Glassdoor

First Utility Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
68 reviews

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4.2
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First Utility CEO Ian McCaig
Ian McCaig
50 Ratings

68 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Fast Paced - all working towards a clear vision given by CEO and Execs but with the freedom on how to get there (in 6 reviews)

  • I have been with First Utility for 3 years starting as a Customer Service Manager and now working as a Product Manager (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Pay structure & Lack of maternity pay (in 8 reviews)

  • Car Parking , Shared office with another company (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Quality"

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

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

    Pros

    Having been with First Utility for 5 years, I have seen both ends of the spectrum. Having teething problems with the ever expanding customer base, given the more than competitive pricing to show customers there is a better way, than just the usual "Big 6". To then come out the other side with over one million accounts and growing our customer base further was a surreal feeling. To be part of the continued success is a great but also shows we cannot be content with where we had got to and rest on our laurels, but to continue to expand and make the difference in the energy market and for all the right reasons. The pros for me are as follows: Our customers (This is the reason we currently have a job so my biggest thanks to our customers), The People, The Environment, Reward and Recognition, Learning and Development, Location, First for Technology. These are to name a few and I really could continue forever and a day. You can never learn too much in this sector of work, as energy is ever changing and something I would love to continue to be a part of. I have personally been given the opportunity to progress within the business which I am forever grateful for given that no other company has put their faith in me as much as First Utility.

    Cons

    As of today, I do not feel there are any downsides. I pride myself on honesty and would be scathing if there was anything to write home about. The fact of the matter is that, yes we had problems previously within our early years, ranging from the office space to systems not performing as they should however the more we grow as a business, the more we look to progress as an employer and have ironed out a number of creases we previously had (so to speak). I have experienced three office moves, and all for the benefit and growth. Opening up jobs withing Leamington, Warwick and now Coventry along with expanding across Europe.

    Advice to Management

    To continue to put faith in our internal employees and help them further to reach their goals and personal development aims. Ultimately to remain loyal to our customers as without these, we would not have employment.

    First Utility Response

    Mar 15, 2017 – Chief People Officer

    Thanks for taking the time to post such a positive review. Brilliant, thanks. Additionally, I'm delighted to read that your pros are, "to name a few and you really could continue forever and a... More


  2. "review of first utility as a company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer First Adviser in Coventry, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Customer First Adviser in Coventry, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Full training and support at all times

    Cons

    hard to get used to the work with the little knowledge of the industry i possess

  3. "I'll be here until I retire"

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

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I've been with first:utility for 8 and a half years. It is a very caring company, supporting me through the death of my father and currently under going a hip replacement which they are extremely supportive with. Pay is in line with the industry and although I don't take advantage of them much there are some good benefits available including cheaper energy for friends and family and corporate membership to local gyms. My manager and other's that I have had over the years I have worked for first:utility have always encouraged a good work life balance and are always flexible to my weekend that often take me away. As the company has grown it has provided promotional opportunities that have enabled me to gain the position I currently have and are encouraging me to grow within my role

    Cons

    Holiday entitlement doesn't increased with the length of service

    Advice to Management

    Don't loose the personal touch that we currently have.


  4. "Great place to work!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Office Administrator in Coventry, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Office Administrator in Coventry, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very engaging and amazing people to work with. Always feel at home and part of the team here

    Cons

    The only con I would give to working at First Utility is the Maternity pay is not very good


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Very average"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Coventry, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Wages are competitive, colleagues are mostly positive, building is better than a lot of offices in appearance. Development opportunities are there.

    Cons

    Awful bonus schemes, tinpot pension scheme (must be 22+ to enter and company does legal minimum contribution), car parking is practically impossible and building temperature are of 2 different extremes.

    Company is very understaffed and this is shown by the constant backlogs in practically every department.

    Advice to Management

    We are struggling as a company. Please re-evaluate where our money goes as a business. Budgets (such as overtime) running out mid-year with nothing to show except crippling backlogs in work and a reluctance to get reasonable productivity out of staff in certain areas of the business.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Poor Perks And Low Motivation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at First Utility full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay considering how much I have to do for it. The people within my team are friendly and we have fun

    Cons

    No reason to try harder as no progression options. The work space within the Coventry office is bad. Can't park or leave in an emergency. Kitchens are always dirty and in summer building is boiling on top floor and freezing in winter. Don't try to start a family as you will not get any pay from First Utility while on maternity. Promotions within a team are capped at maximum salary increase of 10% even if it's externally advertised higher

    Advice to Management

    Look around your teams and see who is doing what. The wrong people are in the wrong jobs. Incentivise people to perform and not just clock in for 7 hours and clock watch. Train people. Fix the air con and get someone competent in to run facilities within the Coventry office. Stop capping salaries for internal promotions


  7. "Fluid working environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Agile Business Analyst in Warwick, West Midlands, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Agile Business Analyst in Warwick, West Midlands, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Doesn't have the red tape of the big 6 suppliers
    Fast to react to changes / new initiatives
    Great to work in teams of seasoned developers, testers, bas etc.

    Cons

    Some people struggle with the lack of red tape
    Salary packages are no longer as competitive as they used to be

  8. Helpful (3)

    "High Staff Turnover, High Potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    I have worked at First Utility for over 7 years in many different positions.
    The people that work for the company are smart, engaging and have great ideas. You could look across numerous reviews and see that the people are the jewel of this company.
    The work environment is good, with fruit and hot and colds drinks provided.
    The company itself comes up with good ideas to benefit consumers and overall do their best to provide great service to customers - this has improved immensely in the past few years. In fact they really do their best to look after the customer service staff and there is a great sense of camaraderie.

    Cons

    The "benefits" are well meaning but not really tailored to retain good employees. No real maternity/paternity pay means that it is a hard ask to remain at the company if you want to build a family. The pension offering is embarrassing, but it's often overlooked due to the fact that you can get £10 of at New Look or some other long winded retail offer. There are no LOS benefits to speak of - many fantastic people leave because they just don't feel like they are valued for their internal experience. There is also a frequent complaint of internal employees being passed up for senior roles. The old problem of "you don't have management experience" whilst not in most cases, giving the chance to gain it.

    As mentioned in the title the turnover rate of staff is awful. This often means that someone will come in with great idea, start to pursue them, and then be offered something better so leave. There seems to be a focus on changing department names and structures without ever bringing about any real efficiency or process benefits. Some departments seem to change their name ever 2 months. Overlooking internal staff for promotions without them having to fight to talk about it or threaten to leave makes people feel like they aren't really worth anything to the company.

    Advice to Management

    You need to retain the great people that are walking out the door. There are 3 obvious routes to doing this;
    1) Look for people who are talked about and excelling and offer them new roles.
    2) Review what you consider to be retaining benefits. No one would pass up a new job if they offered real pension contributions VS some potential money off vouchers at Tesco.
    3) Make an effort to support, celebrate and retain long serving staff.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Ok needs improvment"

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

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

    Pros

    Work with a great team, easy work for the money but the pay doesn't motivate me to go above and beyond the minimum required from me.

    Cons

    Pay - Constantly losing key staff to other businesses or areas of the business due to bosses refusing to look at pay grades. People should be able to progress within their current role if they want to without having to move to other departments or leave the business. You do not receive the annual pay increase if you have moved department within the last 6 months, this penalises staff that are progressing with the company and should be based on your work regardless of how long you have been in that role.
    Progression - Personal development plans have become a joke and we get no support with them.
    Location - traffic makes it a nightmare to get to work everyday
    Canteen - Crap food selection same every week and rude staff
    Consistency - Rules are not the same across the business for example some back office teams can listen to music others can't, some teams can eat at their desks others can't, some people get away with wearing whatever they want while others don't.
    Management - Constantly changing, no consistency between teams and departments.

    Advice to Management

    Offer more training for back office staff to progress into the roles they want to instead of just offering training to managers and customer facing agents. I know many people that would take up the offer of gaining qualifications with the help of the business via a salary sacrifice but have been told by managers that the business wont do this. I also think you should bring back the ability for back office, non-customer facing staff to be able to listen to music via headphones while they work. It's unfair that warwick are still able to do this and metering but we have been told we can no longer do it.


  10. "First utility Review"

    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

    The atmosphere, the people, the pay and the benefits

    Cons

    I have had no negative interaction or encounter so far at first utility.
    :)

    Advice to Management

    The people at first utility are amazing. You make the environment/ atmosphere so calm and helpful and its so cheerful. Everyone is nice and caring. You are all doing an amazing job. Keep on with putting the customers first and looking after your employees.

    First Utility Response

    Jun 26, 2017 – Chief People Officer

    Lovely feedback, thank you. It's refreshing to work amongst such a group of talented and motivated colleagues and we're working hard to keep First Utility a great place to work. By asking for and... More


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