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

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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Best Company
to work for

Staff at the insurance company WPA are clear that customers, rather than profits and shareholders, are at the centre of their world. Specialising in medical insurance, the company is a provident association and not run for profit.
As a result, 91% of staff say the values and the principles of the organisation have been made clear to them and 87% believe in them, the fourth and 11th-highest scores respectively among our 100 best companies. WPA, which is based in Taunton, can trace its roots back to 1901. There are few very high earners among the 284 staff: a typical salary for a policy co-ordinator is £14,666 and just nine people make more than £45,000, but 65% say they are happy with the pay and benefits they receive in their job, which ranks WPA 50th overall on this question alone. New ideas are rewarded with cash or shopping tokens, and there are also company merit awards as well as an employee of the month award. Performance bonuses of between 5% and 40% are available, but only for 15% of staff.
Staff turnover is high at 34% but there are plenty of people who do not want to leave — more than half of employees have been in their post for five years or more, and 76% would miss the place if they left.
Workers at WPA like and support each other: 82% say colleagues go out of their way to help them (a top 10 score across all our 100 best companies), while 84% laugh a lot at work and 82% have confidence in the abilities of team-mates (a top 20 score).
Julian Stainton, the chief executive, regularly walks the floor and holds monthly coffee meetings to discuss strategy and ideas. A couple of years ago, £1m was spent on revamping the offices to create a new and modern working environment with rest areas, artwork, and holiday photographs used as screen savers. People work an average of 35 hours a week.
Warm feelings among colleagues are also cultivated after hours with Chinese meals, weekends in Normandy and Bruges, theatre trips to the Bristol Hippodrome, tenpin bowling and football and tag rugby teams.
WPA also has its own charitable foundation to help parents living in the West Country accompany their children to hospitals around the UK.

Featured Workplace Factors

Leadership

90% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

WPA is active in the local community, supporting the local hospice, Business Link, charities, education projects, schools and events. They also open their full facilities, sometimes at weekends, to local organisations and charities as a venue for training, prize-giving and launches.

My Team

88% of staff agreed

My team is fun to work with

WPA is active in the local community, supporting the local hospice, Business Link, charities, education projects, schools and events. They also open their full facilities, sometimes at weekends, to local organisations and charities as a venue for training, prize-giving and launches.

My Company

87% of staff agreed

I feel proud to work for this organisation

WPA is active in the local community, supporting the local hospice, Business Link, charities, education projects, schools and events. They also open their full facilities, sometimes at weekends, to local organisations and charities as a venue for training, prize-giving and launches.

Benefits

Long Service

Companies where at least 40% of the staff have worked there for more than five years.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

National Ranking
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Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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Best Mid-Sized Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Large Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Big Companies to work for in the UK
National Ranking
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Best NFP Organisations to work for in the UK
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