In March 2020, as Covid first hit, UK financial services and insurance company Admiral’s response was to stay true to its values and concentrate efforts on doing what it believed was right for all its stakeholders. It decided to focus on three things: protecting the safety and wellbeing of colleagues, helping customers and supporting its local communities.
Admiral’s top priority was protecting colleagues from both the health and financial impacts.
It was able to pay salaries even for those unable to work from home for whatever reasons. And from June to September 2020 employees could take leave for any hours they were unavailable to work at a rate of 80 per cent of their usual salary; the company did not use the furlough scheme.
Communication was key and the company adapted to suit a newly remote workforce. UK CEO Cristina Nestares recorded a weekly video from home for colleagues, focusing on wellbeing, homeworking and pay, and giving an insight into her own working from home experience.
Bespoke lockdown mental health courses were introduced, as well as online wellbeing initiatives including mindfulness, yoga, drawing, music and choir sessions.
And the company ensured camaraderie continued, with Fun Friday emails, The Great Admiral Art Off, Tune in Tombola and its Ministry of Fun (MOF). There were remote baby showers, birthday parties, film clubs and music playlists.