We have been transforming our ways of working and building our capability to go one better, by making William Hill a great place to work.
Our transformation includes changing our culture and ways of working. As our culture is underpinned by our values we have developed and rolled out our new values in 2018.
In parallel, we have revised our leadership expectations. We know that culture change starts at the top and have therefore created new leadership Vitals which are the over and above things expected of our leaders.
In 2017, 89% of colleagues completed our employee engagement survey, Your Say, our highest ever participation rate. We asked our colleagues to let us know how they feel about working at William Hill. And they have given us a clear steer on the areas that they think we do well and those that they want to see improve.
There were improvements in 26 out of the 31 questions with historically comparable scores. The highest scoring questions related to our commitment to customer experience and pride in our products and services. Two of the priority focus areas for the Executive team in 2017 – understanding of the William Hill vision and strategy and communication by leaders – saw the greatest positive improvement.
Every leadership team is responsible for creating action plans to address priority improvement areas and drive our employee Net Promoter Score. This starts with the Executive team which will be focusing on recognition, strategic direction and action taking.
We continue to place a strong emphasis on developing our people. We want to give our people meaningful career development opportunities, attracting talent and building leadership development programmes to enable strong succession pipelines which will leave a positive legacy. Our focus for 2018 is building better career paths and programmes for all employees and becoming a great place to work.
William Hill Retail Academy
The William Hill Retail Academy provides the framework to support our colleagues in developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be effective in their roles, whilst also providing a structured career development pathway from Customer Experience Assistant right through to Regional Manager.
We made a significant investment in two new leadership programmes, ‘Strategic Leader’ and ‘Leading Edge’, designed to build essential leadership skills in our Area Manager and Regional Manager teams. Over 60 colleagues were involved in this training and were supported by action learning sets and one-to-one coaching, and also took part in collaborative work-based projects to embed their new skills.
We also implemented a new ‘Managing for Success’ programme, aimed at new and aspiring Business Performance Managers (BPMs). Over 350 BPMs went through the development programme in 2017, along with a talent bank of around 55 aspiring BPMs (with over 50% of these promoted during the year). Development for BPMs will continue in 2018 with the new talent bank intake of over 70 aspiring BPMs.
Technology graduate scheme
In March 2017 we launched a Technology Graduate Scheme, a two-year structured programme where graduates go on rotations throughout our technology business. We provide a structured induction, taking our graduates through the ins and outs of life at William Hill. We are growing our own stars of the future and making our mark as an employer of choice in Leeds, especially when it comes to the technology we are using.
Reward and recognition
Our colleagues are pivotal to our successful performance, and we recognise the importance of rewarding and championing our colleagues’ success. We want them to be excited and motivated to be part of William Hill.
We host our Excellence Awards events across Retail, Group and Online, celebrating the efforts of our people around the world. Awards are allocated by colleague nominations for a range of categories, including a Community Contribution Award recognising colleagues’ efforts in supporting local communities through our Close to HOME commitment.
Across these events in 2017, over 360 finalists were recognised for their efforts and 25 were crowned as winners.
Health & safety
The health and safety of our colleagues, customers and those who come into contact with our business is of paramount importance to us.
We have periods of time when colleagues are lone-working in their shops. In making the decision to allow this, we conduct risk assessments of each shop and also take account of the Health & Safety Executive’s lone-working detailed guidance. When we made changes to our approach to lone-working in 2014, we undertook an extensive four-month trial in 400 shops and made a range of security changes prior to implementation. The impact of the changes were thoroughly assessed after implementation, looking at a number of areas, including colleague welfare and security. The changes were made without significantly impacting our colleagues, customer service or compliance obligations.
At William Hill, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone. Not only is this the right thing to do but we also believe that a diverse team means a stronger business, which benefits our customers and makes us a more attractive employer.
We welcome the requirement for more transparency on pay and are committed to improving our gender pay gap as evidenced by our membership of the ‘30% Club’. We take our responsibility to our colleagues very seriously and have a number of initiatives in place, which we believe will increase the number of women in senior management positions and in other roles across the business.
We have released our gender pay statistics, which you can read here. The Company is committed to gender pay equality and our gender pay disclosure outlines the steps we are taking to eliminate any disparity in pay and opportunity.