Inside Admiral

Admiral Named Fifth Best Workplace in Canada

A group of Nova Scotians have proven that even the darkness of a pandemic can’t temper the flames of hard work, support, and teamwork.

Admiral Insurance, has been named the fifth Best Workplaces in Canada by global research and consulting firm The Great Place to Work Institute, following the release of the firm’s annual list of Canada’s Top 50 Best Workplaces.

The 400 staff in Halifax received the award on the back of record setting employee feedback and, in part, due to their handling of COVID-19, which included several measures to ensure the safety and security of employees and customers during the global pandemic.

“We made it a priority to introduce new ideas and fortify existing programs, to give everyone the utmost peace of mind during an unprecedented and tumultuous time,” said Admiral Halifax Site Director, Rebecca Cable.

In response to the troubling rise in domestic violence cases connected to the pandemic, last Fall, Admiral rolled out a progressive new policy that provides monetary support and paid time off for any employee, or a member of their immediate family, who are looking to escape situations of intimate partner violence.

“It’s such a heavy topic, but it was imperative that we addressed it and told employees ‘if you’re experiencing this, we are here to offer as much support as we can,’” Cable revealed about the motivation behind the IPV policy.

To ensure the health and comfort of home working employees, Admiral provided every employee with a $85 ergonomics spend to benefit their home offices last spring, paid for virtual gym memberships to the tune of $5,000, and enhanced their Personal Spending Account benefit so employees could quickly claim back up to $500 on work-from-home related expenses like internet, heating costs, and electronics.

Then, upon his retirement in late 2020, Admiral CEO, David Stevens, provided a personal ‘thank-you’ in the form of an up to £1,000 ($1,700 CAD) gift to every employee. The reverse-golden parachute benefited 11,000 staff worldwide and resulted in just shy of $700,000 being paid to the Halifax workforce, right before the holidays. The money – about £10million when all was said and done – came directly out of Mr. Stevens’ own pockets.

Elara Browne, a customer service representative in Admiral’s Customer Loyalty division, felt the company established a crucial element of support very early on, which grew as the pandemic escalated.

“We all learned quickly that the company’s goal was to ensure no one would be negatively impacted by the pandemic. No one would lose their job, and no one would see an interruption in pay while we established a home working set-up. The tone they [Admiral] set out of the gate was incredible and everything just kind of escalated from there.”

These pandemic response initiatives were instrumental in Admiral’s designation, as securing a placement on the Top 50 Best Workplaces… list is largely employee driven: two-thirds of an organization’s total score in the competition comes from confidential employee survey results and the remaining one-third from an in-depth review of the organization’s culture. This offers a rigorous representation of the organization from an employee perspective, and an overall portrait of the workplace culture.

Admiral’s 93% positive employee survey score is the highest the company has achieved since it began participating in the Best Workplaces competition in 2010.

For Site Director, Rebecca Cable, the recognition was culmination of everyone’s efforts over the last year.

“It’s an amazing and humbling result which speaks volumes of the strong dynamic we have throughout the whole of our organization. Every individual should feel valued and appreciated for what they do for our business,” she concluded.