PolicyBee, a Suffolk-based insurance broker for freelancers, small businesses and charities, achieved Platinum accreditation in the 2021 Best Employers Eastern Region programme – after achieving Gold in 2018.

It was also named the Best Business and Professional Services Employer at the 2021 Best Employers Awards.

Marketing director Dominique Fell-Clark explains how the business made the step up from Gold to Platinum – and why it’s taking part in the programme again this year.

When and why did PolicyBee first register for Best Employers?

We saw an article in the local press and entered for the first time in 2018.

We were growing and looking for talent and therefore reviewing what we could offer our employees in terms of culture and benefits.

Best Employers presented a great means to learn about and develop what we can do for our team. It also gave us the opportunity to benchmark ourselves against other companies in the region.

What were your key takeaways the first time you took part?

Nurturing a positive workplace is not just limited to financial rewards; employees are people who have lives that go beyond the workplace.

If you can offer flexibility and understanding to make work ‘work’ for them, you will have a happier, healthier workforce, which can only make good business sense.

We felt encouraged by the honest feedback our employees gave us and were proud to have won the recognition we did, given the other companies that took part.

What was the most valuable aspect of the programme for you?

As a small company, it’s challenging to compete for talent with the larger companies in the region, in terms of the benefits we can afford to offer and being able to raise our profile as an employer.

Best Employers shows our current and prospective employees that we care about their working environment and that we follow up on feedback that shows us where we can do better by them.

It also gives them the confidence that the surveys are confidential and consistent – and it’s helpful that the process provides us with actionable outcomes.

The Comet: Dominique Fell-Clark, marketing director at PolicyBeeDominique Fell-Clark, marketing director at PolicyBee (Image: Jasper Fell-Clark)

Why did you decide to take part in Best Employers a second time?

Part of our culture is to constantly review and improve our performance. We always want to do better and are competitive by nature.

Our first year’s entry simply provided us with a baseline. As we were awarded Gold the first time, we obviously had to see if we could do even better!

What actions did you take to achieve Platinum accreditation?

We acted on the feedback from the surveys. Holding ourselves to account has encouraged people to open up as they see that it can make a difference.

We learned from the first survey that employees were asking for benefits which in some cases we were already providing, so we worked hard to make sure our existing benefits were visible and accessible to everyone.

As a business that focuses on customer service and good communication, we’ve worked on improving communications for our employees too.

Why have you registered again this year?

Best Employers makes it easy for us to be consistent in maintaining a positive culture at PolicyBee. We keep coming back to see if we still measure up to good practice.

No one can rest on their laurels if they want to have an engaged workforce or are looking to attract a high standard of candidate.

What advice would you have for companies taking part in Best Employers for the first time?

Make sure your employees understand the importance of the survey and how it will benefit them.

Think of ways to keep it front of mind and engage them in the process of taking part; and give them ownership of getting as many people to take part as possible.

Share the results – even the bad stuff – and most importantly show them that you’ve taken their feedback seriously and used it wisely.

The Best Employers Eastern Region programme was founded in 2012 by recruitment specialists Pure and psychometrics experts eras, and is supported by LOCALiQ and full-service law firm Birketts.

For more information, and to register for the 2023 programme or launch conference, please visit www.best-employers.co.uk