UDR ESG — Elevated Excellence
- Maintain an Associate Engagement Score above the average for high performing companies as determined by the third party that conducts our engagement surveys.
- Provide our Associates with greater opportunity and flexibility to volunteer their time towards organizations that align with their interest.
- Maintain an average Net Promoter Score greater than 33 over time and continue to integrate new methods/metrics of measuring resident.
- Continue to make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) a focus through recruiting efforts, fostering an inclusive work environment, and providing equal opportunities for all.
- Provide 100% of associates with access to some form of health and well-being opportunities throughout the year.
Our Commitment to Associates
Our approach to social responsibility ensures we have a strategy and initiatives in place that address all aspects of the employee lifecycle, including attracting, recruiting, onboarding, developing, engaging and retaining talent. Our goal is to build a better company by enhancing the associate experience and maintaining a diverse, engaged workforce to grow and retain talent. There is a positive correlation between our UDR culture, values, and the engagement, productivity, and the success of the organization. Our commitment to social responsibility also prioritizes resident engagement and their experience with UDR.
UDR’s success starts with our associates. They are the cornerstone of our culture as they create, embrace, and mold it daily, which is why our values are aimed at creating a welcoming and open environment where associates are invited to share their voice.
As of year end 2022 unless otherwise stated.
(1) Other includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, Not Specified, or two or more races.
(2) Other includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Not Specified or two or more races.
*Associates with the title of Community Director or Director and higher job classifications.
Monitor and Enhance the Associate Experience
- We’ve implemented quarterly associate pulse surveys to receive more regular feedback and gain near real-time insight into our associates’ engagement by focusing on 20+ key performance indicators.
- Our associate turnover rate of 28% for 2022 is lower than the industry standard of 38% which is based on NAREIT and CEL data. Our internal goal is to be below 33%.
- Began publishing an HR Monthly Newsletter highlighting information on new associates, training opportunities, recognition program award winners, health & wellness, and more.
Improve Associate Health and Wellness
- Based on associate feedback, we rolled out several new associate-focused benefits and initiatives in 2022 including a Lifestyle Spending Account which provides associates with additional funds beyond their regular compensation to spend on health, wellness, and lifestyle expenses.
- We also implemented a new Associate Resource Program which includes additional mental, emotional, and financial health resources, a Roth 401(k) retirement plan, in addition to our traditional 401(k) retirement plan, and provided an opportunity for eligible associates to “sell-back” a portion of their accrued and unused vacation time to the Company.
Strengthen our Talent Acquisition Function
- In 2022 we conducted a thorough review of the efficacy of our third-party recruiting partners. As a result, we enhanced our recruitment strategy to attract more qualified candidates and expand the applicant pool. This, along with various internal process improvements resulted in a 42% decrease in the average number of open positions over the year.
- Additionally, we partnered with numerous diverse job platforms, trade schools, and social media platforms to source qualified and diverse candidates. These efforts have been fruitful, resulting in a 10% reduction in our cost-per-hire, and an improvement in our 90-day retention rate from 93% to 95%. These outcomes exhibit the effectiveness of our revised recruitment strategy, which has enabled us to identify and retain high-quality talent.
Advance DEI and Community Engagement Programs
- We monitor and disclose our compensation ratios by gender and ethnicity and incorporate a compensation analysis data tool that allows us to obtain near real-time market data and evaluate pay equity across gender, age, and ethnicity.
- Along with expanding the Rooney Rule concept company-wide and to all potential new hires since 2021, we have advanced our partnerships with third-party DEI-focused organizations. In 2022, 55% of our newly hired associates were from ethnic groups other than white and 40% were female.
- In 2022 UDR provided 1,072 hours of paid time off for our associates to use for volunteer work at more than fifteen Denver-based organizations as well as organizations in all the markets in which we operate.
Enhance our approach to Learning, Development, and Succession Planning
- 100% of associates were provided opportunities for learning and advancement, including six courses required annually: sexual harassment, workplace harassment, cybersecurity, fair housing, business ethics, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
- In 2022, we implemented a new Learning Management System, which includes over 6,000 available courses. This system, in addition to ULEAD and the Level Up! Career Mobility Program, provide associates options to enhance their skill sets, attain credentials, and participate in management development programs.
- Our associates engaged in 16,267 hours of training in 2022, or an average of 13 hours per associate.
- We maintained a Net Promoter Score (“NPS”), which measures how residents view their UDR experience and is incorporated into our ESG strategy, of approximately 19 throughout the 2022 reporting year. With COVID-19 behind us, we expect to revert to an NPS greater than 30, which is considered “great,” over the coming years.
- In 2022 97% of UDR’s leases, 90% of rent payments, 87% of service requests, and 85% of resident lease renewals were completed on-line using our web-based resident internet portal or, increasingly, a smart-device application that allows residents to conduct business with us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Learning and Development
UDR’s required annual learning and development curriculum is designed to address regulatory and statutory matters that both pertain to our industry and promote good corporate citizenship. Topics covered in these online courses include but are not limited to sexual harassment, workplace harassment, cybersecurity, fair housing, business ethics, and diversity, and equity and inclusion, including unconscious bias training. In aggregate, 16,267 hours of training were completed by our associates in 2022, equal to an average of 13 hours per associate, with 2022 highlights outlined below:
- 100% Provided Opportunity for Training
- 98% Completed Fair Housing Training
- 98% Completed Diversity and Inclusion Training
- 98% Completed Harassment Training
- 98% Completed Business Ethics Training
- 97% Completed IT Security Training
- 95% Completed Sexual Harassment Training
Training completion rates are shown as of year-end 2022 and should not reach 100% due to measurement timing and associate new hire dates, in addition to various union restrictions in certain markets.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At UDR we value respect, treating each other with courtesy and fairness, and encouraging diverse perspectives that can help our company grow and succeed. As such, we are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace environment that supports the development and advancement of all associates. In 2022, we not only expanded the coverage of the Rooney Rule concept to the entire company, but also increased the tracking of additional DEI metrics to gain a better understanding of our current workforce makeup, benchmark our data against our peer group, and set internal goals to increase diversity at all levels of the organization while complying with applicable laws. We have advanced our partnerships with third-party DEI organizations in the community to better source diverse candidates for open positions and continue to build an inclusive work environment. In 2022, 55% of our newly hired associates were from ethnic groups other than white and 40% were female.
Associate Outreach and Community Engagement
In 2022 UDR provided 1,072 hours of paid time off for our associates to use for volunteer work. In addition to volunteer hours, we provided education, awareness, and other various opportunities to give back to the community through our HR Monthly Newsletter, organized food, clothing, and blood drives, as well as organized efforts to promote non-profit organizations and causes, for example wearing red to show support for heart health month. Associates at our communities also organize opportunities for residents to participate in charitable giving drives including food, clothing, and gift donations for families in need. In addition to our associate outreach positively impacting the neighborhoods where we operate, UDR also supports our broader communities by providing affordable housing at over 44 communities (including over 2,600 homes). These communities offer municipality-required rent-stabilized homes or a level of affordability as compared to market-rent homes.
UDR Wellness Occupational Health and Safety
The health, wellness, and safety of our associates is of utmost importance to UDR to maintain our inclusive culture and ensure our associates are engaged. We publish a monthly Wellness Newsletter for our associates as part of our UDR Wellness Initiative. The Wellness Newsletters cover multiple topics, including preventative care, fitness and heart health, managing anxiety, mental health, fatigue, healthy eating habits, and provide an avenue for associates to access the CDC's updates and recommendations related to COVID and other illnesses. Our associates also have access to UDR’s Associate Resource Program, which offers access to consultants and online resources and multiple mental health and wellness benefits, an on-demand behavioral health support mobile application, with free confidential visits with a counselor, and the Lifestyle Spending account, which for all full-time UDR associates, totals $1,000 per associate and may be applied to a list of health, wellness, and lifestyle categories.
More information about our benefits is available at udr.com/careers/benefits/
Our Commitment to Residents
UDR teams work collectively to provide an extraordinary customer experience. Listening, understanding, and responding to our residents’ feedback is central to our customer service strategy and what we stand for. We have specialized teams to assist our customers at all stages of their residency and monitor a variety of feedback sources (e.g., resident communication and interaction with associates, resident surveys, and social media/review websites). We responded to 91% of our online reviews in 2022, an 18% increase when compared to our 2021 response rate. Not only do we utilize feedback to enhance our resident engagement, but we also incorporate a multitude of data points throughout our Next Generation Operating Platform to help streamline each resident’s experience.
We gauge how our residents view their UDR experience through Net Promotor Scores. These measure resident loyalty by asking questions such as "how likely are you to recommend this apartment community to a friend, family member, or colleague?" which then results in an NPS that ranges from -100 to +100. Negative scores indicate a need for improvement, while positive scores indicate that a company has earned more promoters, or those that would recommend this apartment community to others, than detractors. UDR maintained an average NPS score of approximately 19 in 2022. With COVID-19 behind us, we expect to revert to an NPS score greater than 30, which is considered “great,” over the coming years. We survey residents at key touchpoints throughout their lease term, including touring, move-in, quarterly, completed maintenance requests, and at renewal/transfer/move-out.