Employees

The acquisition of bwin.party transformed the size and shape of the Group's workforce, taking the number of full-time employees from 463 to 2,400. The first priority we set ourselves was to create an organisation where a unified, dynamic, entrepreneurial approach would enable our talented people to thrive.

Having reviewed the structure of the enlarged group, we identified a number of strengths to build on as well as challenges to address. Whilst the business we acquired contained a wealth of talented and experienced professionals, they were being hampered by an overly-complex management structure that was too process heavy. This over-burdened individuals with administration and limited their ability to innovate and focus on delivery to the customer. As a result, in our restructuring process we have sought to streamline our processes to create a culture where entrepreneurism is encouraged and rewarded.

People

An unfortunate but inevitable consequence of any acquisition of the size we undertook, is the need to identify and remove duplicate roles. This is never an easy task, but having determined the right organisation structure, we moved quickly to select the right people for the right jobs in the right locations. In total, this restructuring process meant that 305 roles became redundant in 2016.
In addition to drawing on the skills from within the existing businesses, we also used the enlarged Group's enhanced profile to recruit the very best talent from across the industry. These included the appointments of Shay Segev, as Chief Operations Officer, Liron Snir as Chief Product Officer and following the announcement of Richard Cooper's decision to retire, Paul Miles as Chief Financial Officer. We also strengthened our management team with new Heads of Investor Relations and Bingo as well as by filling senior roles within our product delivery teams.

Process

Having built a management team with the skills and experience to drive our business forward, we have taken significant steps to ensure we have the systems in place to enable them to flourish. We have embarked on a process to identify and harmonise employment policies and terms as well as best practice operations, across the Group.

We have also revised our approach to reward, to ensure our remuneration and bonus scheme is more closely aligned to meeting the business' performance targets. In order to reduce administrative burden, we have commissioned a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which will be implemented in the first half of 2017

Engagement

With such large scale structural change, it is vital that we keep our people well informed so they are fully aware of our business objectives and how they can help to deliver them. We believe regular and transparent communication is key to ensuring we have an engaged and motivated workforce. Channels we utilise to do this include: a new Group-wide intranet, updated on a daily basis; regular webcasts from the CEO and other members of the senior management team; physical"town hall" meetings in our office locations; monthly manager briefs, cascaded to all staff via their managers; as well as business-focused webinars and discussion forums.

Culture and values

As part of our efforts to develop a unified, entrepreneurial culture, throughout the past year we commenced a company-wide exercise to identify the core values that define us. Workshops were held across all major office locations to discuss what type of attributes and qualities our staff value in themselves and what they expect in colleagues and in the workplace. Having identified a longlist, we held a poll, which more than 1,500 employees participated in, to select the top five corporate values.

These are:

  • Dynamism
  • Ownership
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Recognition

We are now introducing a number of initiatives to embed these values throughout our organisation, to ensure that they are more than just a positive sentiment but a fundamental part of how we operate our business.