By Ashlee Starratt
Human ingenuity and resilience have always gone hand-in-hand with adversity – it just took a global pandemic to act as a vital reminder. When COVID-19 hit hard in Nova Scotia, Admiral Insurance, like multitudes of local businesses, quickly pivoted their operational approach to not only adapt to a ‘new normal’ but to ensure it was one where employees could thrive to meet the needs of their customers undisrupted.
This included significant changes across the board to their working routines, starting in April 2020 and going strong ever since.
Quickly establishing a stable work-from-home infrastructure allowed staff to adapt seamlessly to this new dynamic of working remotely, while continuing to provide the world-class service to its customers that Admiral Insurance is known for.
And with well over half the population having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine as per Nova Scotia Health, this upward trend of immunization and downward slope of new cases has meant that life in the Maritimes has begun to re-open.
However, not all employees are ready to give up the benefits of working from home. Understanding that many of its staff are happy with the flexibility that remote work affords them in maintaining a work-life balance vital to their well-being and success, Admiral Insurance stopped to listen.
Taking to heart what mattered most to the people at the core of their business – their employees, the company was quick to launch its new ‘Smart Working’ initiative.
Why working better means working smarter
Following a company-wide survey, they found that the majority of Admiral staff embraced a hybrid or ‘Smart Working’ model offering the best of both worlds – structure and sociability on one hand and independence and flexibility on the other.
Speaking on its implementation, Halifax Site Director Bec Cable-Munroe is quick to point out the benefits of such a model:
“To see how quickly our staff adapted to home working and to hear how this has improved work life balance even further, whilst also seeing gains in efficiency and customer service, is extremely encouraging.
Though working from home has many advantages, our team still enjoy that social interaction with their teammates and the camaraderie felt within the office. Smart working will allow the best of both worlds.
I’m excited to see how this continues to help improve employee engagement and to open doors to communities that we may not have been able to reach in the past.”
Through a blend of in-office and remote working, ‘Smart Working’ keeps the preferences of Admiral employees foremost in mind – ensuring they’re acknowledged and that staff remain happy. The program also supports a strong workplace culture – whether from home or at the office.
And alternative workplace strategies are just the starting point, as Admiral Group shines the spotlight inward on its approach to physical workplaces company-wide.
To do this, collaboration was key. With more employees thriving in a home environment, Admiral rose to action with a renewed commitment to fostering a workplace that could meet the needs of its at-home and on-site staff.
This included a re-design and re-organization of their Halifax office to accommodate the popular solution of a ‘Smart Working’ model – one that was both cost-effective and conducive to recruiting new talent to achieve innovation.
Since January, Admiral Insurance has held four successful virtual inductions – welcoming 100 new staff to the organization, with another two more in the works this summer. And with plans to grow the business further in 2021, the decision to reposition to a hybrid ‘Smart Working’ model made sense, allowing the team to operate with synergy across a variety of work environments.
With employee input the driving force behind this shift, Admiral Insurance continues to value the feedback of its team members, with a ‘Smart Working’ approach optimized for flexibility while empowering staff to choose the work style preference that matches their work-life goals.
The face of the post-COVID workplace has changed indelibly – and for the better – Admiral Halifax’s Site Director Bec Cable-Munroe believes. By increasing productivity through reducing or cutting out the daily commute, to incorporating virtual or digital transformation options that help streamline workflow, all are factors that will contribute to a healthier – and happier – work life.
At Admiral Insurance the future is bright and the team excited to become even more agile and adaptive to new ways of working. The way they see it – a smart worker is autonomous, a smart leader trusts their people, and a smart office, like Admiral, supports this way of working.
Admiral Insurance wants you on their team!
Admiral Insurance is hiring for its Customer Loyalty department for August 30 and its New Business department for September 13. Apply online now at www.joinadmiral.ca and be a part of the Admiral family!