NFU Mutual may have been going for 110 years, but when you speak to people in the Pricing team it’s clear that there’s still a strong focus on the future. Combined with a commitment to supporting both customers and employees, this results in a work environment where there are plenty of opportunities for people to develop their skills and careers. We talked to some of the people in the Pricing department about what that means to them.
Continual professional development
The Pricing department is leading the way in developing the whole NFU Mutual business, so there are lots of opportunities for people to contribute to innovative projects. Dave, a Pricing Development Consultant points out that the pricing team is always looking at how to use new technologies. "The use of technology such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still in its infancy," he says. "But we know there are challenges in using it in terms of regulatory issues, so we're experimenting with different things to find the best ways pf using it."
Dave is also keen to point out that the company is genuine about wanting to develop its people and promote from within: “The opportunities are there, and we've got a track record of internal promotions.” For people like Alex, Data Consultant, this offers wider scope to learn new skills. “There's a lot of innovation and a lot of scope for people to learn new things,” he says. “NFU Mutual put a lot of money into developing people and the skills they need to do the job properly, whether that's going on courses, or just being given the opportunities to actually try out new skills. And that's been really useful.”
Alvyda, Pricing Delivery Manager agrees. She joined NFU Mutual from another insurance company and says the difference in approach is obvious. “The level of development opportunities we get on the job is great, as well as things like going to training courses and conferences,” she points out. “In four years at my previous company, I maybe went to a conference a couple of times when it was free. I’ve already lost count of the number of courses I’ve attended at NFU Mutual.”
Graduate trainee support
Another aspect that people who work in the Pricing team are keen to emphasise is the amount of support available. As an example, Dave outlines the kind of development and support graduate trainees can expect when they join the team. “There’s a designed development framework that gives you a pathway to become a lead analyst,” he explains. “You have to drive your own development, but you quickly discover that roadmap and all the support you need is laid out for you.”
Two graduates who have benefitted from that level of support are Emily and Jamie. Emily outlines her experience as a trainee so far: “The buddy scheme has been really useful. You buddy up with someone who's at the same level as you, but who’s been in the company a bit longer. It's just nice to speak to someone on my level because sometimes you think, “I can ask my buddy a question as they’ve been through the same experience as me.”
Jamie agrees, adding: “The managers care so much too, especially during lockdown. They were always checking in and making sure everyone was all right.”
Support at every level
This level of support isn’t confined to graduate trainees. Alvyda talks about the support she received when she first joined. “It was tremendous – and the way the managers onboard you is very different too,” she claims. “They set you up to be successful. The number of catch-ups I had with my manager to make sure I understood all the expectations and just to clarify matters was very good.” Alex agrees, adding: “The development opportunities are great. All of the managers and mentors that you get access to really help with finding out what you need to do to get to that next level.”
For Jess, a Lead Analyst in the Pricing team, the support doesn’t just come from managers, but from everyone around her. “Everybody’s approachable,” she says. “So, if you ever want to speak to someone, most people will be very happy for you just to have a chat on an informal basis.” But when it comes to the level of support, Emily sums it up like this: “I feel really supported and there's never been a time where I've thought I'm alone in this. There's always been that support to help me,” she says. “That’s why I love the company and I love my job. There are plenty of opportunities for progression. It really is a great place to work.”