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DTE Energy's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

And the priorities start on the left side with what I call the kind of the kingpin or key priority, which is highly engaged employees, and the bottom line is you can't have an excellent company that outperforms if your employees' focus and engagement and energy level is average. And so we really do spend a lot of time trying to build the energy engagement and focus of our people. And if you pull that off, then you have a chance at the next 3 things, which is to deliver really good service to your customers and improve that over time to use a tool that we've spent a lot of time developing here at DTE Energy, continuous improvement, in order to manage the quality and affordability of your products and also, to have your people drive creative growth and value creation. And if you do those 3 things well, then I think you have a shot at sustaining a constructive political and regulatory context, because if your customers are well-served, they're all voters and they shape the political arena. If you don't keep your cost in line by constantly working on affordability that eventually finds its way into the political and regulatory discussion. It's also true that if you can pursue constructive productive growth and that helps from an economic development standpoint in the state it shapes the political and regulatory context. And if you combine a good regulatory context with solid growth, then you have the formula for sustainable financial performance.

So in terms of how we are progressing against these priorities, Slide 6 steps into that. On the employee engagement front, we use something called the Gallup survey. Thousands of U.S. companies do use that. 2011 was the fifth consecutive year that our Gallup score increased. We're now on the 71st percentile of U.S. companies. So that's a good thing, although we have a clear goal of wanting to take that up into the top decile or top 10%.

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