Editor's note: You may have noticed that WAPA's refreshed core values, which were introduced in December 2017, have recently received a significant edit. Chief Public Affairs Officer Teresa Waugh wanted to take a moment to explain why.
It was late on a Friday afternoon when Safety and Occupational Health Manager John Woodard picked up the phone to discuss WAPA's newly refreshed core values.
With a tone of collaboration, he uttered a few very powerful words: "Can we have a conversation about safety and WAPA's core values?"
Of course. Let's talk about it.
He described a recent utility conference, during which safety was discussed as a central core value. He said that each of the utilities attending that conference had safety as a core value.
I admit that initially I felt a little overwhelmed. I felt that perhaps we still had more work to do. After all, we had already rolled the refreshed core values out to both to employees and to customers. We had designed and distributed posters.
But, as promised, I powered through that feeling and listened to his position a second time.
As I was listening, I began to realize that bringing safety to a more prominent position in our core values would not only align with the industry's recognition that keeping the lights on is some of the most dangerous work in the nation, it was also the right thing to do.
Our linemen put their lives at risk every single time they come to work. These brave, skilled employees are at the very core of our mission, and they are not alone. Every one of you must know that WAPA understands that doing what is safe is the backbone of all of our actions.
Updating our core values yet again was certainly not the easiest thing to do, but it was the right thing to do. It demonstrated that we are an agile learning organization. It demonstrated that we are committed to adapting to the needs of our employees, our customers, our stakeholders.
It demonstrated that we are listening to understand. It demonstrated that we are speaking with purpose.
At WAPA, we are doing what is right. And we are doing what is safe.
That is now made explicit in our core values.