Admiral Group – Ministry of Health

The Wellbeing at Work Award, sponsored by Healthy Working Wales, Winner 2016

Financial services company Admiral has launched a programme, Ministry of Health, which aims to create an overall welfare structure for the business by pulling together different aspects of support for staff.

Good for business

  • It is important to retain a healthy and happy workforce. Admiral set a target group attrition rate in 2015 of 15%. This has been achieved for nine consecutive months since April last year.
  • The programme is helping Admiral minimise absence among staff. The firm encourages early intervention and the proactive but sensitive management of absence within the business.

Good for the workplace

  • There has been a reduction of mental health stigma thanks to Admiral’s internal benefits such as its Confidential Support Officer and collaborations with mental health charities.
  • Admiral provides in-house support for staff with a financial advisor visiting all sites and Ministry of Money provides financial advice for staff.

Admiral logo

Overview

Key to the success of Admiral’s business is the health, wellbeing and happiness of its employees. With that core business driver firmly in mind, Admiral created the Ministry of Health.

Ministry of Health (MOH) supports the health and wellbeing of Admiral staff by ensuring the firm has appropriate benefits in place, offering support, clear signposting, and raising awareness of various health issues.

Admiral’s diverse workforce is ever-evolving and not everyone has the same issues. The firm therefore aims to address a variety of issues to suit a variety of needs.

There are five functional sub-teams within the MOH group, concentrating on addressing key issues.

For example, Team Physical Activity promotes various forms of activity from free gym passes to a more intensive in-house health challenge. There is even a discounted programme from an external trainer which employees can do in the privacy of their own homes. 

MOH comprises staff from a cross section of Admiral teams and departments to help ensure that it is not seen as simply an HR initiative; thus helping to maximise employee engagement. Admiral continually reviews the initiatives to assess whether they are still fit for purpose.

Admiral Group is a financial services company, founded in 1993, predominantly offering direct car insurance. The firm has almost 8,000 employees across 14 companies in seven countries.

Background

Admiral firmly believes that people who like what they do, do it better. The company strives to create a supportive, rewarding and enjoyable working experience and works by the adage: happy staff, happy customers, happy shareholders; an important aspect of the programme which particularly impressed the judges. 

As a smaller company, Admiral could manage well-being and engagement locally but as the firm has grown it has created extra support mechanisms for managers and staff so the same opportunities are available to all. The firm decided to formalise this part of its culture. It began by using the Corporate Health Standard as a basis for this, and created MOH.

Flat management structure

Admiral operates a flat management structure which prioritises front-line staff over management when it comes to decision making and planning, as they have more knowledge of the daily running of the processes. 

All employees are encouraged to adopt a healthy work-life balance.  Responsibility for promoting and developing issues around health and well-being sits with the MOH team but the Ministry of Fun (MOF) team also helps support this. Both groups are proactive, taking responsibilities seriously and bring an engaging element of light heartedness.

MOF are responsible for arranging fun activities and competitions celebrating as many events and occasions as possible. This includes time off the phone where possible and creates a more relaxed, stress-free working environment. 

Structured fun

Each department is responsible for a different month to ensure ideas and events remain fresh and interesting and everyone in the company gets involved. Each department is given £108 per person each year for afternoons out or away days and other activities which all employees are encouraged to attend. Typical activities include karaoke, fancy dress days, indoor golf, mini-Olympics, table tennis competitions and the annual Egg Roulette.

Admiral does not waste money but realises that spending on social activities is important. The company’s welfare budget was ring fenced in 2014 despite a focus on reducing expenses. This was collectively endorsed by the senior executive team.

What Admiral's Chief Executive said:

“When we originally set up Admiral, one of my aims was to create a company that offered its staff a good work-life balance. 22 years later and this personal wish still remains as strong as ever. It’s important to ensure people have a work environment that’s as stress free and supportive as possible for them.” - Henry Engelhardt, CEO, Admiral Group