A Norfolk insurance broker enjoying its 50th birthday has even more cause for celebration after being named one of the best companies to work for in the UK.
Adrian Flux picked up the Best Flexible Working Policy and Best Culture Transformation Initiative trophies at the UK Company Culture Awards 2023 – officially recognising the business as one of the most desirable places to work.
This is down to the company’s flexible staff-led way of working, launched in November 2021, which saw bosses hand almost complete control over how many hours, and when, their employees work.
Judges hailed the “significant changes” for having a “tremendous impact on the organisation and its employees”. The “innovative policy” and “impressive results in such a short space of time” left them declaring the victory was “very well deserved”.
“We hoped that giving staff control of their working week would help reduce stress, absence
levels, make our staff even happier and we’re really delighted to see that has been the case,” said Flux manager Gavin Hill.
“The fact we’ve had some of the best sales performances in our history has been a real bonus, as is being honoured at these awards. But for us, all that matters is the people who work for us are thriving personally, and professionally, as a result of us changing the way we work.”
Success from an initial trial convinced bosses to roll out a similar scheme for its call centre staff and motorcycle division, Bikesure.
Operations manager Paul Twite devised the scheme, which included:
- Staff given unparalleled control of their working day/week. They decide when they start and finish work (as long as lines are open), and can take breaks when they want – which don’t need to be signed off by a manager. The only requirement is that their minimum hours are completed by the end of the week
- Choosing their own working pattern on a weekly basis (35 or 30 hours).
- Avoiding weekend work by doing slightly longer hours in the week (although still fewer than previously work).
- No mandatory weekend work and late finish (up to 7pm) requirements of a long-term rota system.
- Choosing what days, and how many hours in those days, to work – other than one single six-hour shift, which must be completed on one fixed day each week.
- Utilising working-from-home and remote training programmes and systems that are already in place.
- A choice of overtime pay offerings – or extra time off (company tops up, via interest, deferred overtime payments by up to 25%).
This flexible approach saw a 100 per cent uptake from all eligible staff, and the best all-time monthly sales figures have all been recorded in 15 of the 18 months since the new way of working was introduced.
There has also been a drop of over 50 per cent in staff absence, and a near 56 per cent growth in staff numbers.
And overall, the Group’s turnover for the financial year 2021/22 was over £300million.
Sales team member Adam Green said: “With flexi hours, if I decide I’m having a bad morning I can switch off for half-an-hour and come back on the phone and work the rest of the day. Or I can just choose to have the rest of the day off and make up the hours over the next couple of days.”
Mr Hill added: “Handing control of the working week over to staff has revolutionised our company.”