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Why a Welsh firm consistently rates as one of the UK’s best workplaces

The insurance colossus Admiral has yet again placed high on the list that ranks the best employers in Britain

Employing more than 6,000 staff members in its Swansea, Newport and Cardiff offices, Admiral took second place on the annual Sunday Times list of the 30 large companies that provide the best working environments.

The list began ranking the best companies, based on what their employees had to say about them, in 2001. Admiral is the only company to have been on the list every year since its inception. There are a number of reasons why Admiral continues to get such favourable ratings, with much of the credit due to the way in which the firm treats its staff.

When Henry Engelhardt – the founder of the Admiral Group – left the company last year, he spent £7m of his own money on cash bonuses for all the staff. Other ways in which Admiral staff are rewarded for their hard work include a big summer party, where staff can dress up in themed costumes and popular entertainers, such as Olly Murs, perform for everyone.

Staff also get to work in a visually-pleasing environment. The new Cardiff headquarters in the centre of the city has been praised for its architecture and as a place to work. Its design includes a number of features to make staff feel valued, such as areas for relaxing and playing games such as pool or table tennis.

There are even PlayStation machines for keen gamers and a room in which employees can get changed to prepare for an evening out. The organisation also recognises when staff need time to attend to pressing events. When England played Wales in the finals of Euro 2016, Admiral televisions were all beaming this keenly-anticipated match; when the team took on Portugal in the semi-finals, Admiral closed its office for three hours to enable everyone to watch the game.

David Stevens, the new CEO, said he was thrilled that Admiral scored so well on the Sunday Times list, as it reflected how the staff felt about working there. He acknowledged that Admiral employees gave of their best and the company wanted to make going to work as rewarding and as enjoyable as possible for them.

Stevens also won an award for his leadership, placing first on the list for best leader of a large company. This is the fourth consecutive time that Admiral has collected this prize; in the previous three years, Engelhardt won the award.

In addition to coming second on the best workplace list, Admiral received an award for recognising potential. This prize, which has only been awarded twice, was given for Admiral’s collaboration with the Prince’s Trust.

Admiral has worked with the charity on a number of projects and has raised around £500,000 in the past five years. Projects it has collaborated on include a programme for training young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are interested in working in customer service.

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