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Meeting our ex-Army employee - Matthew

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** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

09/04/2021

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We spoke to Matthew, who prior to joining us at Admiral, was in the Army for over eighteen years, serving in the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. As you may know, Admiral signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019. We are committed to supporting reservists, ex-armed forces personnel and their families, both inside and outside of the workplace. Before coming to work at Admiral, Matthew was in the Army for over eighteen years. We caught up with him to hear more about his transition out of the Army and into Admiral… Could you tell us a bit more about your experiences in the army? I joined the Army at 15, right after I took my GCSEs. I thought I was the hardest kid in the world when I joined, but I found out I wasn’t! Honestly, I was a bit of a tear-away, and joining the Army did me a world of good. I had a really varied experience. I started out in the Coldstream Guards – wearing a red jacket and a furry hat outside Buckingham Palace, living in Westminster and then Chelsea barracks. One year, instead of taking part in the Trooping of the Colour, I decided to try out for P-Company. I was successful, got my wings, and joined 3 Para (3rd Battalion, Parachute Company). I saw a lot of conflict – Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Bosnia and Serbia, the Second Gulf War, Afghanistan. I had some good days, and some bad days; in the army your bad days are really bad. How did you find the transition out of the army? Transitioning was hard, but eventually I made the choice to leave and be with my family. Right before lockdown, I was a guest speaker at my children’s school, and one of the children asked me what the hardest thing about being in the Army was. I told them that physically it was P-Company selection, but that mentally the hardest thing was leaving. When I drove out of the camp for the last time, and realised it was all over, I pulled my car to the side of the road and cried my eyes out. I didn’t want to leave. The Army is more than a job, it becomes a massive part of your life. I was so young when I joined that there were things I had never had to do for myself before, like going to the doctors and getting a bus. Civvy street can be really overwhelming. After eighteen years, I was very institutionalized, and to an extent I probably will be for the rest of my life. The Army is a completely different world, and the transition out takes a lot of adjustment. Whilst I was in the Army, there were times where I thought I would prefer an office job, mainly to have a rest from running up and down mountains with my kit on. In reality, the transition to an office job was mind-numbing, and I wished I was back on those mountains. It took time, but I adjusted. That’s what they teach you in the Army - improvise, adapt and overcome, and that’s what I did. How did you come to work at Admiral? It took me a while to end up at Admiral. Straight after I left the Army, I worked in Close Protection and Counter Terrorism, which is a natural step for a lot of ex-servicemen. After a while, life events took over and I had to step away. I ended up in Technical Support for a while, and if I’m really honest, it wasn’t the job for me. I didn’t mind the job so much, but the place I worked was difficult. I’m based Swansea way, so I ran into lots of people who worked at Admiral, and I heard nothing but good things. When I first joined, I was shocked at how different it was to my old company. On my first day of training, when we were talking about car parking arrangements, I asked my manager a question about bringing a motorcycle to work. She told me that she didn’t know the answer, but that she’d find out. Within ten minutes, she got back to me with the information I needed. I remember being shocked. At the last place I’d worked I would ask a relevant question and most of the time, I’d never hear back. The level of communication at Admiral is similar to the Army, and it was really refreshing. How have you found working at Admiral? Honestly, it is rare to work for a company that supports you like Admiral does. I know that because Admiral isn’t the first company I have worked for since leaving the Army. I struggle with PTSD, but my Team Managers have always got behind me and supported me, even when I’m having a bad day. It’s quite easy for me to slip into the squaddie mentality of ‘I’m fine’, but I’ve worked a lot with People Services (HR) and they have given me the support that I need. It’s the first time since I’ve got out of the Army that I know I’m working for a company that supports me as much as they can and understands my situation. Civvy street can be really hard, and that’s why it is so important to know that you’re in a place where you will be looked after no matter what. That is what Admiral is for me. What are you up to at the moment? I currently work as a Customer Loyalty Representative. My role includes development, so I get to do some coaching within my team and the department which I really enjoy. I also spend time monitoring other peoples’ roles and improving our customer service. There is a lot of opportunity for progression at Admiral, and I am excited to be moving onwards and upwards, building another career for myself. What transferable skills do you feel the Army has given you? I think the biggest one is communication. In the Army, you’re constantly interacting with people you don’t know, so you really develop the skill of confident communication, which has definitely come in handy in my current role. Flexibility is another one. In the Army, there is a saying that you have Plan A and Plan B, but it’ll be Plan C that comes into play. And it’s true – there have been times when I have planned and trained for months, only for something to not happen. Similarly, having a sense of humour, because it keeps you grounded and helps you face any situation. In my current role, if things don’t go exactly to plan it doesn’t phase me, because I can keep things in perspective, find a solution, and move on. I suppose you could say it has made me more resilient. What do you enjoy most about working at Admiral? No one shouts around here and compared to other places I’ve worked that’s a real plus! Apart from that, there’s real variety in the people you speak to on the phones and I really enjoy interacting with customers. I’ve always believed that it’s worthwhile coming to work if you can help someone out, and make their life just a little bit easier, and in my current role I get to do that. One of the customers I spoke to the other day told me that I had made her day, and it’s the rewarding moments like that which make it enjoyable. That’s why I love my role and being a part of Admiral.

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Valvanuz  Guerrero-Perez

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Valvanuz Guerrero-Perez

Valvanuz  Guerrero-Perez

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Valvanuz Guerrero-Perez

Admiral: 2020

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** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

24/03/2021

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At Admiral, we care deeply about our people. That is why we’ve done everything we can to support everyone who we interact with – customers, local community and staff, through this strange, unprecedented and difficult pandemic. Our customers are incredibly important to us at Admiral, and so we gave back £110 million to our car and van customers in recognition of them staying at home during the lockdown. Integrity is at the core of our culture and we strongly believe that this was the right thing to do.Not only that, but in April 2020, we launched the Admiral Support Fund for Covid-19, with the aim of supporting our local community. We have donated over £1.1 million to more than 300 organisations across Wales, including schools, hospitals, foodbanks, and care homes. These donations have helped to provide the funding, PPE, school equipment, food, vouchers, electricals, and other items of the utmost importance to those impacted by the pandemic. We accepted nominations from our employees to support local communities and causes close to their hearts and have received incredible feedback about the impact of the fund. Our staff wellbeing has always been at the heart of what we do – and our values as an organisation have long been centred around the idea that “people who like what they do, do it better”. In fact, in January 2021, we were recognised as a Centre of Excellence in Wellbeing by the Great Place to Work Institute. As lockdown began, we concentrated all our efforts on getting as many people as possible working from home. Next we immediately got to work to try and bring the sense of fun and belonging that our office is famous for into our home-working set ups. We’re proud to say that we achieved a lot. We started to send out themed emails to support staff, share positive news, say thank you and of course have a bit of fun. Our Ministry of Fun returned virtually, hosting some incredible events. We launched ‘Team Time’, an initiative that provides a hub of activities for teams to do, encouraging them to spend time together. The postponed 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25-year celebrations from 2020 were held virtually with each employee celebrating receiving a gift, time off work and an interactive virtual event which was attended by Senior Managers in the case of 15, 20 and 25-year celebrations. We held a virtual Christmas party for staff and their families, as well as closing the business early on Christmas Eve to say thank you for the hard work of our employees, and their commitment to our customers. Alongside all of this, we have continued to thrive as a business. We’ve won a lot of awards: 4th Best Super Large Workplace in the UK by the Great Place to Work Institute, 5th Best Workplace for Women in the UK by the 2020 UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women list, 8th Best Multinational Workplace in Europe by the Great Place to Work Institute and the 14th Best Workplace in the World on the Annual 25 World’s Best Workplaces list. Admiral Financial Services reached 100,000 customers, Veygo sold their millionth policy, and Admiral Law secured their largest ever settlement at £5.25 million. And finally, we announced that the group’s share of profit before tax was £638.4 million, a 21% increase on 2019.   To achieve this in a ‘normal’ year would have been an incredible feat, but to achieve this in 2020, during the unprecedented and difficult experience of a global pandemic, is deeply humbling for our company. We are immeasurably grateful to our staff, each and every one of them, as their contributions and commitment to Admiral are the driving force of our success.To say thank you, each employee received a small gift as a token gesture for their continued hard work through the ups and downs. More than anything, we miss being able to put the kettle on and have a few treats with our teams, so we sent each employee a mug, some sweets and a thank you note to try and recreate that as best as possible. We do things differently – we always have. Ultimately, we think that’s what makes us great. If you are interested in joining us, please have a look at our roles and start your Admiral Life today. 

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Connie  Hogg

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Connie Hogg

Connie  Hogg

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Connie Hogg

Moonshot Program - People who are good at what they do, like it better!

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** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

05/02/2021

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It is a well-known fact that Admiral believe in the ethos “people who like what they do, do it better”, and this is one of the reasons we have a renowned culture and benefits system that has led us to be featured on the Sunday Times Best Places to Work list since it began.  However, in his recent Moonshot Masterclass, Admiral co-founder Henry Engelhardt commented that it is also true that people who are good at what they do, like it better. This is one of the reasons that Admiral place enormous emphasis on Learning and Development, one aspect of which is the Moonshot Program. We have been running Moonshot for over ten months now, providing training and relevant resources to encourage employees, especially managers, to develop their skills and knowledge around core transformational topics relating to technology and data, and thus increase our ability to innovate in a Post-Digital Age. The Moonshot program revolves around a monthly masterclass, whereby subject matter experts give a talk followed by a short Q&A. The topics covered so far have included the Cloud, Outstanding Use of Data, Scaled Agile, New Ways of Working, UX Design, E-Leadership and Success and Failure in New Initiatives. The speakers have ranged from talented internal experts, including co-founders Henry Engelhardt and David Stevens, to external speakers from very successful companies. We want to excel as a successful Tech and Data company, and so this is a platform to hear from the best in class, with a focus on joining them. Alongside the Masterclasses, there are in depth training courses and resources that individuals can access. The topics include Data Governance, Information Security, Advanced Analytics, DevOps and Scaled Agile, to name but a few. As we all know, there is no magical solution to Learning and Development (we really wish there was!), but Moonshot provides the relevant resources to aid and support that process. We recognise how talented our employees are, and we are committed to helping them reach their full potential. If you are interested in joining us, see our vacancies here:Admiral Jobs

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Nicholas Thomas

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Nicholas Thomas

Nicholas Thomas

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Nicholas Thomas

Centre of Excellence in Wellbeing

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** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

21/01/2021

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We are delighted to announce that we have been recognised by the GPTW Institute as a Centre of Excellence in Wellbeing.  Having been named a Great Place to Work for 20 consecutive years by the Great Place to Work Institute, the workplace culture specialists have also recognised us specifically for our approach to wellbeing in the workplace for a second year.  Recognition as a centre for ‘Excellence in Wellbeing’ depends on employees completing the Great Place to Work Wellbeing Index survey designed to measure the levels of wellbeing in the workplace. We have conducted an Annual Staff Survey every year since 1999 because we believe it’s important to ask the people who work for Admiral Group what they are happy or unhappy about. This is a significant achievement, and we are extremely proud to have been recognised for our commitment to creating the best environment possible for our employees. Our employees scored us high in several areas including Mental and physical health, Fulfilment at work and Financial security. Employee wellbeing is a key element of an organisation’s culture; given the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020, it’s important now more than ever that our employees know this hasn’t changed.   The Great Place to Work Wellbeing Model encompasses all the physical, psychological, social and financial aspects of working life. Together, these can allow people to perform to their fullest potential, thriving inside and outside the workplace.  We pride ourselves on having a happy, supportive and productive workplace and looking after our employees’ wellbeing was our top priority during the challenges of 2020. I am very proud of our wellbeing and workplace support teams who have worked incredibly hard to equip our colleagues with various tools to help manage their health and wellbeing, and particularly for adapting our traditional wellbeing programme to suit a remote workforce facing the huge challenges that COVID19 brought. From bespoke lockdown mental health courses and our Employee Assistance Programme, to online mindfulness and choir sessions, we’ve really tried to put our employees’ wellbeing at the forefront. We’re all very proud to have this work recognised by Great Place to Work and we’ll continue to keep wellbeing at the forefront of our unique culture. Rhian Langham, Head of People Services. We were named the 4th best super large workplaces (1,000+ employees) in the UK in May 2020, based on feedback from our employees. The results of the 2021 competition will be announced in May. Great Place to Work is a worldwide consultancy specialising in workplace culture, helping organisations to create exceptional, high performing workplaces where employees feel trusted and valued. Thank you to all our staff for making us a Centre of Excellence in Wellbeing and in particular, those departments that work hard to make this happen.

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

How to: Answer frequently asked interview questions.

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** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

13/11/2020

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"Tell us about yourself." Explain your previous roles, education, hobbies and interests and don’t forget to expand.  We want to know what these experiences have taught you. Elaborate on how you can use what you’ve learnt in the working environment. Be mindful not to overshare and keep it professional. "What are your weaknesses?"Pick a weakness relevant to the role you have applied for. Make sure to explain what you have done / are doing to improve in this area. Some people think picking a strength and spinning it to seem like a weakness will come across better, but it doesn’t feel honest and can insinuate you are not self-aware. It’s ok to be honest – none of us are the finished article. "What are your strengths?"Pick strengths that are relevant to the role and provide examples to support your answer.  Read the job advert beforehand and familiarise yourself with essential and desirable skills – this will help to ensure you’re showcasing the skills the recruiter is looking for. "What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?"If the interviewers don’t specifically ask for a ‘professional’ example, it’s OK to draw from personal experience, however, you should always make sure you’re able to relate it back to the role you are applying for.  The main thing to cover is why you are proud of this achievement, what it taught you and how it has prepared you for this role.  "Why do you want this job?"Show off your knowledge! The interviewer will want to know you’ve researched this role and the company.  You should know a fair bit about the role you’ve applied for – read the job advert, visit the career site and follow the company pages on social media platforms.  Explain what attracted you to this position.  You may wish to talk about the company benefits, the working environment, the opportunities and why you think you’ll be successful. "Where do you see yourself in five years?"Be honest and be realistic. If you want to progress that’s great, but suggesting you want to be the CEO within a few years might be unrealistic.  Think about the opportunities available to you in this role, not only will this show you’ve done your research, but it will also show that you are willing to work hard and are keen to progress.  If progression is not for you, that’s also fine.  You should explain how you plan to continue to do a great job and all the skills you have that will enable you to this. "Why do you want to leave your current job?"Be honest and be professional.  Be diplomatic in your answer and don’t forget you’re in an interview.  You may want to use this question as an opportunity to talk about the new role and why you are excited about the prospect of joining this company. "Why should we hire you?"This is your chance to set yourself apart from other applicants.   It’s tough to compare yourself to strangers but use this opportunity to talk about your strong work ethic, relevant skills and passion for the role.  Expand upon your answer and provide examples – this is usually one of the last questions in an interview and you don’t want to miss out on this last chance to impress the interviewers. "Do you have any questions?"Lots of people think they must ask a question at the end of an interview, but if the interviewers have been comprehensive in their explanation, then you might not have questions.  This is fine - don’t feel like you must think of something, but equally, make the most of this opportunity to discuss anything you’re unsure about. Here’s some of the questions we regularly get asked at the end of an interview:What do you like most about working for *insert company name here*?Would you like me to expand upon any of my answers or examples?Are there opportunities for training and development in this role/department?What would you say are the most challenging aspects of this role?What are the next steps of the process?

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Kyle Meacock

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Kyle Meacock

Kyle Meacock

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Kyle Meacock

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