Kwik Fit Insurance has been celebrating winning a major UK employment award.

The insurance intermediary’s Flex programme claimed the honours for ‘Most Effective Benefits Strategy (for organisations with more than 1000 staff)’ at the Employee Benefits Awards, the only UK event dedicated to celebrating employers’ reward and benefits strategies.

Kwik Fit Insurance was praised for using its benefits strategy to overcome a number of wider business issues such as staff retention, employee satisfaction, reduced absence and attracting the best staff.

Brendan Devine, Group Managing Director of Kwik Fit Insurance said: “This award reflects the huge attention to detail that has been given to ensure that all staff working at our Uddingston headquarters enjoy a happy and fulfilling work environment. Since our flexible benefits scheme was introduced, absence levels and staff turnover have almost halved.”

Absence levels at KFI have reduced year on year from 6.8% in 2005 to 3.5% in 2009, and staff turnover has fallen from 40% in 2004 to 22% in 2009. Recruitment costs have also dropped, with more direct job applications being made as a result of word of mouth.

Debi O’Donovan, editor of Employee Benefits Magazine, said: “This year’s entries are particularly notable for how investing in benefits has enabled so many employers to engage staff during tough times in order to drive their business strategies. We had more than 100 finalists drawn from our total list of entrants – demonstrating the importance of employee benefits, even during the recession year of 2009. “

In giving the award to KFI, the judges commented that it was unusual to find such extensive on-site facilities in any organisation, let alone in a call-centre environment. The facilities at Uddingston include an on-site nursery, a full-time staff concierge service, a fully equipped gym and full-time personal trainer, a full-time occupational nurse and a state-of-the-art bistro offering a subsidised menu featuring local produce. In 2009, the company also invested a six-figure sum in creating a chill-out zone for staff, with plasma TVs linked to games consoles, a coffee and smoothie bar, internet access and US-style pool tables.

The firm’s flexible benefits scheme includes a wide range of perks, such as dental insurance, private medical insurance, retail vouchers, holiday trading and bikes for work. To help staff with their annual benefits selections, the company holds workshops, run by independent tax advisers, which staff are given time to attend during the working day. These are provided free of charge to staff – fairly unusual in most industry sectors.

Earlier this year Kwik Fit Insurance won the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commendation Award from The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, confirming the company’s status as one of the healthiest employers in Scotland.