London Doctors Clinic builds benefits package to motivate its workforce

The London Doctors Clinic is a private surgery with eight clinics in central London.

The organisation, which is growing fast, has two quite distinctive populations within its workforce: the clinic managers and the doctors.

It is keen to preserve the ethos of a start-up in its approach to career development as the organisation grows. Vicki Field, HR director, says: “The clinic managers are, generally speaking, first or second jobbers who have done a university degree and are starting their career. Our [organisational] strategy is to grow significantly, and the opportunities are huge for people joining us. We have given a lot of focus to career development plans.”

The clinic looks for opportunities to help its people to progress. For instance, when it hired a manager with a degree in marketing, it was able to move them into a marketing role after some training.

The same principles apply to the clinic’s population of doctors. “Some doctors have come to us and we have helped them to develop and become clinical directors, joining the management team. They have an opportunity to run a business, almost, which they wouldn’t necessarily have had in the NHS,” says Field.

Understandably, its own employees’ health is paramount to the clinic. Staff receive private medical insurance, provided by Vitality. “We also talk to staff a lot about the additional benefits they receive with that,” says Field. “Vitality offers so many additional things on top, like cheaper flight tickets and gym membership.

“People tend to say ‘I have private medical insurance and then switch off.’ With our broker, we try to unpick the benefits offered through Vitality and our next intention is to almost turn it into a total reward statement for [employees].”

As a start-up, the clinic is still getting its benefits package in place, with a variety of projects in the pipeline. “There’s still a lot more we’d like to do,” says Field.

Relaunching its recognition scheme is top of the list. “Peer to peer recognition, building a thank-you culture, an employee reward recognition scheme, star of the month, that kind of thing, is important for everyone.”

With rapid growth across several locations, it is vital to communicate regularly to keep everyone on the same page, adds Field. “We have management strategy get-togethers and because we are moving so quickly, it brings people back to understanding our areas of focus. We have an organisation get-together later in the evening, with drinks and nibbles. It’s an opportunity to meet each other and talk. The chief executive stands up and updates on strategy and what we are working towards.”