UDR ESG — Elevating Excellence
- Maintain an Associate Engagement Score above the average for high performing companies as determined by the third party that conducts our engagement surveys.
- Increase the associate volunteer hours by 25% between 2017 and 2022.
- Maintain an average Net Promoter Score greater than 33 throughout 2021 and integrate new methods/metrics of measuring resident satisfaction for our 2022 reporting.
- Perform a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion study and share the results with our associates and the Board.
- 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 aspects across the employee lifecycle, including attracting, recruiting, developing, engaging and retaining talent. Our ultimate goal is to build a better company by maintaining a diverse, engaged workforce to grow and retain talent, as there is a positive correlation between culture and values with engagement, productivity, and the bottom line. Our commitment to social responsibility also prioritizes resident engagement and their experience with UDR.
UDR has a strong, inclusive culture that promotes innovation, engagement, and overall good corporate responsibility. Associates at our Company will continue to cultivate this culture in alignment with our values for many years to come.
As of year end 2021 unless otherwise stated.
(1) Other includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, Not Specified, or two or more races.
*Associates with the title of Community Director or Director and higher job classifications.
- Our most recent associate survey in 2021 had a 97% participation rate and indicated that 87% of associates feel they can succeed and thrive at UDR.
- In early 2022, we conducted an associate benefits survey which indicated that 72% of associates believe that UDR provides benefits that meet their needs.
- As part of our ongoing efforts to retain the best talent, we monitor and disclose our compensation ratios by gender and ethnicity. In 2022, we incorporated a compensation analysis data tool to further evaluate compensation based on geography, gender equity, and other factors, providing us additional data to make related strategic decisions and investments.
- Additionally, we actively monitor our associate turnover rate, which at 27% for 2021 was lower than the industry average.
Learning and Development
- 100% of associates were provided opportunities for learning and advancement and we maintain an annual average completion rate of 95% for our mandatory training courses. Training course completion is built into our ESG goals and strategy and associate evaluations.
- We enhanced our already robust learning and development with a new program, Cornerstone, that went live in August of 2022. This program provides a more streamlined, technology-based platform for learning and development, covering both career-specific training as well as additional skills and leadership programs for career advancement.
- In 2022, we introduced an enhanced career mobility program called “Level Up!” which provides associates the opportunity to expand upon their skills and competencies and grow with the Company.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”)
- We are actively attracting and retaining high-quality, diverse associates across our business. In 2021 we broadened the application of the "Rooney Rule” concept from the Board and Executive levels to the hiring process for all open associate positions.
- In 2022, we partnered with the Colorado Diversity Council to expand our DEI initiatives by providing associates with additional resources and trainings while improving our diverse recruiting efforts. Additionally, we require every associate to take both DEI and anti-harassment online educational courses, which includes a section that covers unconscious bias.
- In connection with our belief that both our culture and our associates are pivotal to our success, since 2018 UDR has incorporated a “Health of the Workforce” metric into the executive-level short-term incentive compensation program. For 2022, this metric was revised to include additional DEI metrics.
Health and Wellness
- Our associates have access to several mental and physical wellness health resources, additional learning opportunities (such as financial wealth management), the ability to engage with or donate to their local communities through our volunteer days and contribution programs, all coordinated by UDR.
- Based on associate feedback, we expanded the suite of benefits we offer to include a Roth 401(k) retirement plan, voluntary critical illness benefits, and a Lifestyle Spending Account (a flexible offering that provides associates with $1,000 annually that can be used on a wide variety of incurred expenses).
- We have incorporated our NPS score, which measures how residents view their UDR experience, into our ESG strategy and maintained an NPS score above 33 throughout the 2021 reporting year. Positive scores indicate that a company has earned more promoters, or those that would recommend this apartment community to others, than detractors.
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. In aggregate, our associates engaged in 24,422 hours of training in 2021, or an average of 20 hours per associate, with 2021 highlights outlined below:
- 100% Provided Opportunity for Training
- 99% Completed Fair Housing Training
- 97% Completed Diversity and Inclusion Training
- 96% Completed Harassment Training
- 95% Completed Business Ethics Training
- 91% Completed IT Security Training
Training completion rates are shown as of year-end 2021 and should not reach 100% due to measurement timing and associate new hire dates, in addition to various union protections.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
UDR is committed to DEI throughout all levels of the organization with the goal of ensuring associates have choice in their careers and experiences at UDR. In 2021, we expanded the application of the “Rooney Rule” concept, which in practice at UDR expects at least one diverse candidate to be interviewed for open positions, to the hiring process across all associate positions. In 2022, UDR expanded its “Health of the Workforce” metric to include DEI, which is incorporated into senior managements’ short-term incentive program. In 2022, UDR also entered a partnership with the Colorado Diversity Council to further our DEI efforts. This partnership provides additional resources and training to our associates, assists with UDR’s diverse recruiting efforts, and allows for several UDR associates to sit on the Council’s Board. These initiatives are ongoing and will span the entire lifecycle of our associates from attracting talent, recruiting, development, and retention and will influence our long-term ESG and People Strategy.
Associate Outreach and Community Engagement
Our 2021 Volunteer Days involved coordinating with local organizations including Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, Food Bank of the Rockies, Help and Hope Center, and Special Olympics in Colorado. In addition to our in-person volunteering, we coordinate multiple opportunities for associates to give to their communities including donations to Metro Caring, Packs of Hope, and the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. 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 40 communities (including over 2,000 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. At our corporate office, UDR coordinated a health and wellness fair, health and stress screening, and flu shot clinic in the fall of 2021 for our associates. We will continue to refine our approach to health and wellness based on needs and expectations at UDR and in society overall.
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 resident’s 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 73% of our online reviews in 2021, a 47% increase when compared to our 2019 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 score 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 above 33 in 2021. We survey residents at key touchpoints throughout their lease term, including touring, move-in, quarterly, completed maintenance requests, and at renewal/transfer/move-out.