We believe every colleague matters, that they should work in a safe and stimulating environment and have the opportunity to develop and to progress their careers on merit, without barriers.
Our colleagues are fundamental to William Hill’s success and we are committed to high standards of employment practice, including rewarding individuals fairly and providing equality of opportunity training and development, flexible working and a safe workplace.
Anyone joining William Hill today is encouraged to grow with the business.
Our approach to talent management and succession has become increasingly important as we have become a larger and more international organisation. Talent recognition and development run throughout William Hill. We have mentoring schemes, talent development for high potential people, executive coaching and study sponsorships to support people’s individual development needs, as well as organised programmes such as the Retail Academy.
We continue to review our talent pool, which is critical to our succession planning process, identifying the development needs and potential of our top 300 managers. We pride ourselves on the opportunities we give our colleagues to develop their careers within William Hill and that three of our last four CEOs have all come from within the business, including James Henderson who started as a trainee manager in Retail 30 years ago.
The Retail Academy was established in 2012 as a result of years of continuous development of training programmes for our Retail colleagues. The Academy provides a clear progression path from the moment someone joins the Retail business. Around 2,500 colleagues undertook the first stage of the programme – The William Hill Way – in 2014. A further 950 undertook the ‘Stepping Up’ programme to prepare Customer Service Assistants who want to go on to become Deputy Managers and 140 LBO managers went through ‘Taking the Lead’ to prepare them for becoming a multi-site manager. Our District Operations Managers have now completed the ‘Maximising Performance’ programme.
In March 2014 we launched a pilot apprenticeship programme for up to 200 new apprentices to work in our shops. Working with Pera Training, one of the UK’s leading apprenticeship experts, the pilot covers LBOs in the Midlands, Manchester, Central London and parts of Scotland. The apprenticeship programme has been tailored to fit with the ‘William Hill Way’ component of the Retail Academy.
We are also strong supporters of developing women at all levels of our business. We have developed bespoke courses for women in administrative and frontline jobs, and created a programme for women managers focused on developing their skills and confidence. Our Springboard programme brings up to 50 women a year through into junior management roles.
Reward and recognition
Our colleagues are critical to our success and we want William Hill people to be engaged, excited and energised by our business.
Salary levels are dictated by market conditions so we personalise what we offer colleagues through our benefits, our bonus plans and the ways in which we reward and recognise people’s efforts. Our range of benefits is, we believe, the best in the industry. In many cases, people can choose the benefits that fit their lifestyle, reflecting the fact we have a very diverse colleague population.
Every colleague is eligible to earn a bonus and we encourage them to benefit from our business success by investing in our share save schemes, which are offered each year at a 20% discount to the share price. We also support travel, partnering with Transport for London to provide subsidised travelcards for London-based staff and with Halfords to support ‘cycle to work’ schemes.
We celebrate all manner of colleagues’ achievements during the year and, then, twice a year, we hold major events to celebrate the achievements of some of the most remarkable people in William Hill - those who have dedicated their careers to the Group and those whose attitude, behaviour and service makes them outstanding.
In May, 250 people gathered at The Grand Hotel in Brighton from across the William Hill world to recognise the winners and runners-up in the HOME Awards. These are awarded in 12 different categories, from National Shop Team of the Year to Outstanding Contribution to Innovation, to Community Champion.
In September, colleagues who recorded 25 or 40 years’ service attended our annual Long Service Awards, celebrating with their partners with a weekend at the Ayr Gold Cup.
Health & safety
The health and safety of our colleagues and customers and those who come into contact with our business is of paramount importance to us.
In 2012, we entered into a Primary Authority relationship with Westminster City Council. This relationship means they are given full transparency on our health and safety management systems, including the health and safety objectives as overseen by the Board’s Corporate Responsibility Committee, and we benefit from their informed advice on related issues. The key changes we make are identified as priorities in conjunction with Westminster City Council. Our improvements are having a positive effect on the culture and standards within the LBOs, and we have seen the use of the health and safety manual, procedures and assessments improve measurably.
In April 2014, we changed our approach to lone working in the betting shops. Having previously required all shops to be dual-manned from lunchtime onwards, we allowed certain shops to operate single-manning as service levels demand. It brings us in line with not only other LBO operators but also other companies in the retail sector and allows us to remain competitive against a challenging economic backdrop.
Before making this decision, we undertook an extensive four-month trial involving 400 shops. This involved a risk assessment taking account of the Health & Safety Executive’s lone-working detailed guidance and implementation of security changes prior to the pilot, briefings on best practice guidance for LBO teams and a shop buddy system. Following successful implementation of the trial, evening lone work was extended to around two-thirds of the estate, again on a risk-assessed basis.
We have assessed the impact of our changed approach in a number of areas, including colleague welfare and security and are satisfied hat this revised staffing model has been successfully implemented without significantly impacting our colleagues, customer service or compliance obligations.
Tackling anti-social behaviour is a key priority and we treat such behaviour in our shops extremely seriously. In 2014, 40 anti-social behaviour workshops were held, bringing together our shop staff, the Security and Operations teams, and external agencies such as local police to address the issue. These allowed staff to share experiences and best practice, and to highlight problems to police, with a subsequent increase in police visibility in affected shops. This partnership approach helps to reduce anti-social behaviour and increase staff morale.