Simply Business

Hidden mission statement
http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Very Good
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially an Outstanding
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a World Class
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For

Officially a Global*
Good Company
to Work For

Officially a Good
Company to Work For
Globally*

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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Best Company
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“THIS IS MY first job in insurance,” says Stewart Duncan, director of data science at Simply Business. The online insurer, for the second year running, tops the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list. “I was surprised when I joined how many people didn't come from an insurance background,” says Duncan, who worked at Sony PlayStation and Expedia before moving to the firm, which sells insurance to small businesses, landlords and shops in the UK. Along with 33% of the staff, Duncan is based at Simply Business's London office on Finsbury Square. The company's larger hub is its Northampton contact centre. Employees buzz around the open-plan London space, hold meetings via Google hangouts, and a number of staff live abroad and work remotely full-time. Chief executive Jason Stockwood, who wins our Best Leader award this year, invites groups of contact centre staff to dinner when he is in Northampton. “I want to make sure people feel they can do their best work without going through hierarchies or command-and-control structures,” he says. “I enjoy the company of everyone I work with.” Stockwood joined Simply Business from Match.com in 2010. He describes the insurance industry as “a massive market with a low bar on credibility” that can serve customers better. In his first year, Stockwood oversaw a reorganisation that affected 53% of staff. “We changed the culture,” he says, and put employees at the forefront, turning the “hackneyed phrase about customers coming first” on its head. “You can't force people who hate their environment to do a good job,” he adds. “Customers only come first if our employees are happy and doing a good job.” Employees are so highly engaged at Simply Business that their responses to our staff survey put it top in 50 of the 70 questions. People say that they would not leave for another job (a 90% positive score) and are inspired by their leader (91%). Natasha Doran, the head of commercial, says: “No two days are ever the same and you get exposed to a lot of different ways of thinking.” Perks include a benefits package with private health insurance. Salaries have also been improved year on year since Stockwood has been at the helm, despite the recession. Trips, nights out and office beers are part of the company's social fabric, as are charity events. An 89-mile bike ride from Northampton to London and an Arctic biathlon are the main fundraisers. www.simplybusiness.co.uk

Featured Workplace Factors

Giving Something Back

98% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

The senior management team sit within the main office, this makes them approachable and engaging both on a personal and professional level. As a team they are constantly looking at new ideas and innovations to help move the business forward. They have recently been experimenting with Google Glass. The team regularly communicate their thoughts and ideas in a clear and none jargon fashion and encourage feedback and suggestions on these. They will regularly arrange lunches and dinners with the teams across the business and use this as an opportunity to engage personally and professionally.

My Team

97% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

The company has identified a group of high potential managers in the business that are seen as the next generation in leadership: the Simply Business Leadership Network (SBLN). They develop a broader leadership network in the organisation that will help everyone be more effective and work closer together towards their goals; To invest in top performers in the organisation and their development; To encourage peer support and learning; To ensure that the person they report to on the Management Team is getting the support they need; To improve the business as a whole – encouraging the next layer of management to think and work cross functionally in the same way that the Management Team do; To identify and support succession planning.

Leadership

98% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

They have offered CIPD support for their Learning and Development advisor; this was funded along with time away given to attend the course and to work on assignments. The company has also provided support to members of the finance team with their ACCA and AAT qualifications, affording them time off for study and funding. 23 people are working through an NVQ to achieve Cert CII which is supported with time within work being allocated to revision time, study text and support with exam funding. An employee-driven track called Level Up organise regular sessions which are delivered by employees who possess knowledge, skills and talents that they want to share with the whole business. These sessions range from product design, UX, Pensions and Investments, how insurance pricing works, building a robot, magic for beginners, creating phone apps, how the organisational contact centre works, what the CEO does in his job, to name a few. This is supported by making sure that people have the time to pursue their own development, they engage staff by encouraging them to share their skills. It makes the culture collaborative and allows people to pursue areas of interest as well as understand each other's job roles.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
Total number of employees
Number of UK locations
Employee average age
Male : Female employee ratio
Employees earning £35k+
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

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