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Employee “in-reach” program established to share work experiences and ensure greater 
understanding of the utility’s key strategy relative to the Utility of the Future business model 

 

Innovation initiatives adopted that encourage risk-taking, and that are adequately funded and 
staffed   

An integrated and well-coordinated senior leadership team are essential to Daphne Utilities’ success. 
This group works closely together to pursue the mission and vision of the organization. In fact, the 
current leadership team developed the current strategic plan of Daphne Utilities over a half-dozen 
meetings in the past 6 months.  

The Utility has developed several incentive programs to encourage front-line employees to suggest 
innovations, improvements, and to voice safety concerns. During regular company meetings, these ideas 
are discussed and the best ideas are implemented.  

The employee who suggested the idea is publicly recognized and provided an award. Daphne Utilities 
has several standing committees comprised of front-line employees only. These include the safety 
committee, events committee, newsletter committee, and community outreach. Allowing employees 
this level of input into the organization encourages engagement and leads to high levels of loyalty, 
dedication and commitment.   

The employee safety committee is very organized and active throughout the year. Employees provide 
training in fun and interactive ways (i.e., Safety Jeopardy Game Show, skits, etc.), and successes are 
celebrated. After-action and close-call investigations are always performed following an incident 
(internal or external to other organizations) to identify lessons which can be applied.    

From a financial standpoint, the Utility has adopted a full-cost recovery model to ensure rates and non-
recurring revenue (impact fees) are sufficient to fund operations. In addition, the three business units 
(water, sewer, gas) are also operated at cost recovery such that no business unit subsidizes the other.  

Long-range capital improvement plan (CIP) has been developed and is updated annually. All 
departments are required to submit new projects (or updates to existing projects) each year along with 
a business case analysis to provide justification for inclusion in the CIP.