Southern Company is a premier energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy across America. Their brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices.
After many years of service from their global mobility provider, employee satisfaction rates began to decline and the provider's overall responsiveness began to suffer. With a high level of competition for talent in their industry, Southern Company could not afford to have dissatisfied employees and was in immediate need of a program evaluation.
Sterling Lexicon became aware of the problems Southern Company was experiencing, and offered to research the issues with the goal of proposing a potential solution. After meeting with Southern Company, Sterling Lexicon looked at their culture and strategic objectives, and then evaluated performance metrics and satisfaction scores to gain an understanding of the challenges within the program.
In January 2013, Sterling Lexicon was asked to implement a customized pilot program which allowed Southern Company to do a side-by-side comparison of relocation services and employee satisfaction with their current relocation provider. By comparing services, performance metrics and employee satisfaction, Southern Company could perform a full and accurate dissection of the results. Based on the results of the pilot, Southern Company decided to execute the program and Sterling Lexicon created a flexible, scalable, and open-ended program specific to the cultural needs of the Southern Company.
With multiple operating units utilizing the company relocation services, Southern Company chose the number and type of relocations to place in the pilot program. Sterling Lexicon then received 20% of the company’s total relocation volume coming from three operating companies. The mix of policies included a group move and working with everyone from executive homeowners and renters to employees receiving only a lump sum benefit.
The results showed a marked difference in satisfaction scores between Sterling Lexicon and the incumbent relocation provider, with Sterling Lexicon achieving a 99% satisfaction rating from employees. Volume was increased in 2014 and Sterling Lexicon received approximately 50% of Southern Company’s relocation activity. Sterling Lexicon’s performance continued to rise, and climbed from 99% to 100% satisfaction. As such, Southern Company awarded Sterling Lexicon 80% of their relocation volume in 2015. Service scores for Sterling Lexicon from 2013 through 2016 remained consistently between 98% and 100%, which was six to ten percentage points higher than the existing provider during the same period.
After comparing years of data and employee feedback, Southern Company awarded Sterling Lexicon 100% of their relocation business. On January 1, 2017, Sterling Lexicon became the sole relocation service provider for the company.
When asked about the difference in working with Sterling Lexicon compared to the incumbent provider, Richard Banks, Southern Company's Relocation Program Manager stated, "The difference is Sterling Lexicon offers flexibility and customization to the company culture. They care about relationships and understand the importance of their client’s culture."
Throughout the process, Southern Company was able to share findings and gain buy-in from employees and suppliers who realized an improved experience. The phased-in approach over time made the implementation of a new relocation provider easier for all the stakeholders, with virtually no cost to the company.