While companies worldwide scramble to implement work-from-home programs, Admiral is once again letting its employee-centred philosophy guide its actions. From providing ergonomic home office set-ups to investing in continued professional development and health programs for employees, Admiral is making the best of a bad situation in uncertain times.
The Halifax locale of UK-based insurer, Admiral Insurance, has launched a comprehensive WFH (work-from-home) program amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Like all of its initiatives, the program has been designed to ensure employee satisfaction above all else.
“Our operation was 100% office-based here in Halifax with no infrastructure enabled to allow home working. We were literally starting from the beginning to set up a home working business for 460 staff and at the time of closing the office weren’t even sure if would be able to do it based on the complexities of being an offshore site for a UK business.
However, with a strong, talented group of people dedicated to this project we were able to make this happen. Within five days of closing the office we had already managed to have a few staff set up and speaking to customers. The next hurdle was to do this on a large scale at a good pace but not so fast that it would become difficult to manage or put too much additional stress on our staff.”
- Site Director, Bec Cable-Munroe
Ergonomic home office setup
Not everyone has the ideal space for a home-office. That’s why the folks at Admiral worked at unprecedented speeds to research and procure the equipment people need to work effectively and safely from home.
Within 5 days, managers were testing systems and taking calls to prepare for a larger program rollout. By April 2nd, 362 laptops and 200 USB headsets, totalling over $257,000, were scheduled for social-distance-friendly pickup. An IT team was assembled to ensure smooth transition to working from home for Admiral employees.
Additionally, Admiral offered to buy $85-worth of ergonomic office equipment for employees in need. This equipment was delivered directly to employees’ homes.
All in all, Admiral’s Halifax workforce was back to serving its customers in three-weeks’ time without compromising on employee wellness.
Health and wellness initiatives
Adjusting to WFH life can be challenging for some – even more so when workers are largely confined to their homes. This is why Admiral has provided WFH employees with several physical and mental health resources.
While working from home, Admiral employees will have free access to Evolve Fitness’ Evolve at Home. Employees and those in their household can take part in live fitness sessions, recorded workouts and nutritional advice until June 3rd.
Admiral also introduced a seven-week online Mental Health Series to help employees cope with any stress and anxiety they may be feeling.
Renewals Customer Care Representative Stephanie Burke is thankful to Admiral for implementing these programs.
“I appreciate Admiral for putting my health first and providing me with the resources I needed to continue making an active contribution to helping our customers.”
Taking it one step further, the management team made deliveries of over 2,000 Vandal donuts to staff members. They covered hundreds of kilometres brightening the day of 352 staff members with the sweet treats. It was just another way for Admiral to express its appreciation.
Adaptation of work-processes
Adapting to a situation like the Coronavirus pandemic is extremely demanding for both organizations and their employees. This can sometimes result in strained relationships, poor internal communications and process-related errors.
According to New Business Customer Care Representative, Krystle Campbell, Admiral has managed to mitigate these common issues while adapting to the situation.
“The adjustment to work from home has been great. I can sit by a window and look outside and have the sunlight shining in and listen to the birds chirping. Admiral has been nothing but supporting throughout these unfortunate circumstances. They have been checking in with us numerous times to see how we are doing, or to see if we need anything.”
Indeed, communication has been a key piece of Admiral’s strategy to adapt. From push-notifications through its employee app to team hangouts on Skype to check-in calls from management and Human Resources, Admiral seems to have only strengthened its relationships with its employees during these difficult times.
Additional compensation and professional development
Admiral’s nimble transition to WFH wouldn’t have been possible without the adaptability and effort of its valued employees. In recognition of this, Admiral has compensated its employees with additional vacation days, paid leave, and bonuses.
On April 8th, everyone on Admiral’s payroll as of February 2020 received a £500 (~$860) bonus due to a higher-than-expected 2019 group profit.
While the WFH program was being developed, agents were given an extra $100 to complete online professional development courses.
Every employee who worked from home in April received two additional vacation days as a thank you for their adaptability and hard work.
Admiral continued to pay dependent care to employees with small children and were unable to work until the end of May. Additionally, the company offered paid leave to any employees with dependents after the announcement of school closures on March 16th.
On March 18th, the decision was made to offer paid leave to any employee who chose to stay home. The office was completely closed on March 23rd.
Asked if she would like to comment on the measures Admiral has taken to make her feel safe, comfortable, and connected during this time, Stephanie Burke, Renewals Customer Care Representative, had this to say:
“I just want to say thank you to Admiral for everything! Our community has only grown stronger, even though we are physically apart, we are there for one another in so many other ways and I am very proud to work for this company!”
Unsurprisingly, Admiral has risen to this new challenge, all the while keeping the well-being of its employees top-of-mind. The company’s guiding philosophy of employee-centredness has time and again helped it to grow stronger through adversity.
On April 16th, Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces in Canada released its list for 2020. Admiral ranked 11th among the country’s top 50 employers, its sixth consecutive year earning a placement. Admiral was one of only two Nova Scotian based organizations in the Top 50 and the only Nova Scotian organization in the Top 20.
If you want to learn more about what makes Admiral an award winning employer, visit https://joinadmiral.ca/.