All in the family at Toronto Hydro

Caring for community and staff sets utility company apart
By Lesley Young
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/07/2009

Toronto Hydro president and chief executive officer David O’Brien boasts like a proud parent when speaking of the 1,500 or so employees who leave the operation centres every morning to go out to work in — and engage — communities.

Communicating better with customers about activities in their neighborhood, such as knocking on doors to explain why Hydro is ripping up the street and how long it will take, is part of the company’s new $1.5-billion “Project Rebuild” initiative, says O’Brien.

“What makes me the most happy is when I get a letter from a customer thanking us — and we get a lot of letters of complaint, as you can imagine — for taking the time to explain what we’re doing,” he says. “Then I know we’ve got the community engaged, and we’ve got understanding that we’re part of a big family that’s out there to make sure the city works.”