General Retail Talent People

Meet Samantha

We went behind the bet with Samantha Roberts, one of our Standard Bearers and Senior Retail Finance Business Partner tell us how she ‘Owns it’ at William Hill.
My career

“I worked in Retail Finance for about a year and a half.  I wasn’t enjoying it at all but I liked the company and always got a buzz whenever I worked with the Operational team.  So instead of looking for external jobs or sitting around moaning I made a conscious effort to get involved in more Operational things. I offered help to people and expanded my network.  I was also having to do my day job so did end up working long hours.  Out of this came two job offers, neither of which was in finance.  The first job offered was in Operations and less money but I decided to view it as ‘speculating to accumulate’ and took it – it turned out that very soon after that, the second job offer came.  This one was more up my street, had an element of finance in it but was a standalone never been done before project.  Neither of these offers would have happened if I hadn’t put myself out there, worked harder to get known and be seen as an asset to the company.”

To me, Own it means
  • Imagining it’s your own business, what would you do then?
  • Believe in what you’re doing
  • 100% effort – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly
  • If you make a wrong decision – hold your hands up and move on quickly
  • If you see something not quite right, don’t ignore it – even if it’s nothing to do with your role, find a way to tackle it
Other times I’ve ‘owned it’:

Finance in William Hill has always been very segmented. When Ruth Prior came on board it was around the time of the launch of the Values and I decided to create a global William Hill Finance Yammer group to:

  1. To give Ruth a platform to communicate with the whole of finance and
  2. Advertise the Values.  It’s still used now and has more and more people using it to share information and introduce new recruits and roles.
Seeing challenges and providing solutions

The BPMs were new to their roles and suddenly had emails and excel spreadsheets to contend with that they didn’t necessarily understand very well.  I picked up on this and instigated a team of experts to set up the Tech Ninjas.  We have a Yammer page and frequently post hints and tips videos, and any new reports that are issued are launched via the Tech Ninja page.  BPMs can ask questions and one of the Tech Ninja team will answer which it means that others can see it too if they have the same question.  Feedback has been really positive, with other teams coming to me and asking if they can use it to launch/ re train people, as well as telling me they’ve found some of the tips useful too! We also extended our Tech Ninja team by asking for nominations from each Area.  Now there is an army of people out there who are the first port of call for any tech queries – we even have our own logo and email signature.