For almost 15 years, the Sunday Times has been publishing a list of the Best 100 Companies to Work for. Run by employee engagement specialists Best Companies, the list scours the country to discover the cream of the crop when it comes to happy employees and workplace motivation.
This year’s winner was Simply Business. The London and Nottingham-based company, which is one of the largest business insurance providers in the UK, entered the Best Companies mid-size list for the first time this year, and has come out on top, after placing 21st during their debut last year.
Described as “a tech company in the insurance business”, Simply Business are certainly growing fast; 85 new staff members joined in 2014, swelling their ranks to just under 300.
Jason Stockwood, Chief Executive Officer at Simply Business, described the company’s elation at reaching the top spot: “Every single employee at Simply Business plays a key role in the development and success of the company. That is why taking care of our employees is our priority and we are ecstatic to receive this well-earned accolade that acknowledges this.
“I am proud that Simply Business is a company that never stands still and aims to be the best possible choice for both the customers we serve and our hard working employees.”
The initiatives put in place by Simply Business really do show that their place atop the list is well-deserved, and their employees think so too. 90% of those surveyed said they had fun at the office, which isn’t surprising given the activities organised by their staff “culture club”.
Some of their pastimes include regular trips to the pub, a dedicated foodie club that delights in touring restaurants together and movie nights after work. They were also keen to get their employees active through running groups, yoga and boxercise classes.
But their efforts don’t just stop with these added perks. Simply Business earned a top score of 80% for their encouragement of a healthy work-life balance. Employees are granted permission to automatically delete emails that they receive when they are away from the office, and actively promote a lack of office hierarchy and a hot desking policy.
Jonathan Austin, Founder and CEO of Best Companies, said the win was extremely well deserved: “Simply Business had an exceptionally high score for ‘Wellbeing’, ‘My Company’ and ‘My Manager’ when we measured their engagement levels. Although people in the insurance industry typically work long hours, at Simply Business they encourage work-life balance and it’s clear their people have a lot of fun at work, with activities like a foodies’ club, pub trips, movie nights and yoga.
“Simply Business are challenging the insurance industry’s very corporate image and bringing real life to the party. They’re passionate about people and have created a learning culture, where there’s time to think and listen to feedback. It’s a very ‘human’ place to be and this was reflected in the survey results; and ultimately their winning list position.”