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Camelot UK

How Camelot achieved a 10% increase in employee engagement in one year

Emma Smith

Head of Talent and Development, Camelot (National Lottery)

Camelot (National Lottery)

The changes have been fast and appropriate - the new values and new ways of working are fantastic and brave, and as good a set of corporate initiatives as I have seen. Well done.
Emma Smith

Introduction

Camelot UK is the operator of the UK’s National Lottery, which has raised over £35 billion for good cause projects and created more than 4,250 millionaires since its launch in 1994. Alongside its role in making huge winners, the company’s primary objective is to maximise returns to good causes in the most socially-responsible and cost-efficient way, helping build local communities, power sports teams, unleash creative talent, empower the elderly and unlock young potential.

Camelot UK appointed a new CEO in October 2014. Since then, there has been a clear commitment to engagement and taking action as a result of staff feedback, and Camelot UK’s employee engagement score has gone up by 10%.

By focusing their activities on leadership behaviour, truly living the values, transparent communication, understanding their impact, and recognition, Camelot UK has succeeded in making a positive impact on their customers and their organisation.

How has Camelot UK achieved a 10% increasein employee engagement in one year?

 

Your Opinion Counts

 

Following the ‘Your Opinion Counts’ employee survey, People Insight used statistical analysis to identify Camelot UK’s key drivers of engagement.

 

 

The most strongly correlated themes were:

1. Employees believe that Camelot UK is well led

  • The leadership team are open and approachable
  • Camelot UK lives by our values
  • Belief that action will be taken as a result of the survey

2. They trust what the leadership team say

  • The reasons for change are well communicated
  • My opinion is sought on decisions that affect my work
  • I have a clear understanding of the vision and strategy of Camelot UK

3. Employees feel a sense of achievement

  • Proud of working for Camelot UK
  • Enjoy their work
  • Feel valued and recognised for the work they do

We then probed deeper, interviewing a sample of Camelot UK’s engaged staffto understand more about each of these themes.

Employees believe theyare well led and trust the leadership team

When Andy Duncan was appointed CEO, he brought about a change in culture. He explained to employees that there were going to be significant organisation changes.  It was important, he said, for employees to get used to feeling uncomfortable because ‘the best things can happen at time when people feel awkward.’ This was a controversial statement, but it set the tone for the type of leader he has become; one who is bold, honest, straightforward and transparent – according to his employees. Even through restructuring and redundancy, people have been excited about positive change. How Andy approaches change truly embodies ‘think differently,’ it is led from the top.

Picture right: Andy Duncan, CEO Camelot UK

Andy Duncan
You can see and feel change happening. We can be bold too, you don’t wait to be told what to do, if you want something, go out and do it.
Anonymous respondent, Camelot UK 
Andy Duncan is working extremely hard at creating a more people focused work environment.
Anonymous respondent, Camelot UK 

The leadership team areopen and approachable (up 12%)

Employees are comfortable sharing their ideas and input with leaders and they have regular opportunities to do so:

  • All Togethers – introduced by the CEO for the whole UK business, these are quarterly briefs where the whole leadership team communicates the vision, gives updates and employees can ask any questions. There are also updates from each area in the business. These are physical meetings all over the country to help ensure everyone gets same message.
  • All Hands – happen at the team level every 4-6 weeks. These meeting are more focused then ‘All Togethers’ and focus on what they need to deliver, thinking of ideas to overcome an issue, and people have the opportunity to show what they are working on across different departments.
  • Leaders make themselves available – in some functions, leaders regularly run surgeries where employees can go and talk to them in the canteen, they also join team meetings in other areas.
  • Different areas of the organisation come together more regularly – for example, in a digital meeting, staff were able to have conversations across different teams, listen to each other, learn and understand what other areas do, this has helped to jumpstart cross-functional working.
  • Bring other departments to quarterly meetings – helps to improve process by inviting other departments they work with.
  • Yammer – staff generate their own communities to share news and idea, knowledge – over 3/4 of staff are now signed up to Yammer.

“The All Togethers happen more regularly now and they are more involved, there is more detail, it’s less stale, not a board of facts and figures, the presentations are colourful, all members of Exec team speak and they are held accountable. There is also space for questions at the end, for us to question anything new that’s being introduced or changes.”

By building a culture of openness and transparent communication, Camelot UK have significantly built trust, up 14% in 2015.

“There is more openness in the direction the company is taking – more employee involvement …the companywide All Together meetings are very informative.”

Reasons for change arewell communicated (up 24%)

Changes that could be unpopular have to be made, but leaders anticipate this and handle change effectively. For example, when changes were made to the Lotto game, Camelot UK were very good at explaining to staff the rationale. This meant that they were good ambassadors and were able to explain the change to customers.

When change happens employees are trusted not to put it out into the public domain. By being told about the change in advance, it gives them time to think about how it impacts them locally and helps them plan better.

Staff at Camelot

At Camelot UK we liveby our values (up 21%)

The re-launch and new branding of the Camelot UK values has greatly improved the meaning and clarity that they have for employees. Staff discussed the considerable effort that went into the relaunch and it clearly had an impact:

  1. Involvement – a note went out from Internal Comms asking for participants to get involved and anyone who wanted to take part had to submit 100 words on what they loved about working for Camelot UK. It was then narrowed down to a cross section of 35 employees and leaders
  2. Exercise – an agency came in for a two-day session and helped the group work out what the problems were and what is it that Camelot UK want to achieve. They then came up with five core messages in how they wanted to work with each other and how they wanted people in the company to behave.
  3. Testing – they then worked on simplifying the language and tested the values with Execs and focus groups. People made videos on what they thought values should be. There were 750 pieces of information that went into creating the values.
  4. Implementation & Embedding – a film went out on the company intranet and was shown at the All Togethers, then they used local All Hands meetings to implement the new values. Values champions rolled out the values at the department level. For example, they used banners as visuals, and created values dice; employees can roll the dice to share how they think they live the values.

 

The values are also weaved into the annual review process, so ‘how’ they do things is just as important as the what.

“The changes have been fast and appropriate – the new values and new ways of working are fantastic and brave and as good a set of corporate initiatives as I have seen. Well done.”

Belief in Action(up 37%)

The most dramatic change that employees expressed was how the whole employee survey process ran by People Insight was different. They truly feel listened to and it was driven from the top. Camelot’s employees could voice what mattered to them most.

There is a big focus from the Exec team and for the first time we’d been listened to, the results had been delivered in a transparent way. We got all of the overall results from an overview that Andy & Louise delivered, then we had a session as a team and saw everyone’s results. It didn’t feel like there was a hidden agenda, it felt like a genuine thing and they didn’t hide anything. They trusted us.
Anonymous respondent, Camelot UK 

Initiatives that have embeddeda successful engagement programme

“Press Reset”

A programme of events driven directly from the results of the survey, initiatives with core themes  of transparency, inclusion, communication & collaboration running through:

  • Development initiatives such as Mega Fridays and PDPs for everyone
  • Introduction of “The How” to the review process – everyone is rated 50/50 on what they deliver and how they deliver it.
  • Manager development; using a coaching style to empower teams
  • Digital capability – introducing the leadership team to new ways of working
  • Lunch and learn session on bringing external thinking in for all colleagues.

“Press Accelerate”

A step on from Press Reset, again driven by the survey, with a strong link to the five-year strategy, it’s the number one priority in the business.  There are five key streams of work, each sponsored by a member of the Exec:

  1. Skills and capabilities across the organisation
  2. Simplification
  3. Customer at the heart
  4. Learning culture
  5. A new way to deliver change

Each stream has a vision and key metrics to deliver by the end of the year.

Camelot UK employees feel a real sense of achievement from their work

Future-4-Me

Employees are proud of andenjoy their work (up 10 and 8%)

It’s really important to Camelot UK that employees feel the impact of The National Lottery on the people that benefit from winning prizes or through good cause project funding. It gives employees great pride in what they do.

With ‘Bringing the Outside in,’ people get involved a good cause projects funded by the Lottery. They then share this with their peers discussing how it has affected them. At the prestigious Annual National Lottery Awards, broadcast on BBC One, employees got to meet the winners of the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

“There is an explosion of opportunity to find out the impact we make. It feels exciting and part of the adventure.”

The culture of Camelot UK helps employees enjoy their work. People prefer not to over rely on email and walk over to the person they need to speak to. The values help shape the culture to be playful, light-hearted, and people are trusted to get on with their work.

Employees feel valued and recognisedfor the work they do (up 8%)

One of the most frequent problems found in organisations is staff feeling undervalued, that their efforts go unnoticed. Not at Camelot UK – employees are recognised either in the moment, with their teams or in weekly cascade meetings. 

Recognition examples

  • In the Digital department, for example, there are ‘Digital Star Awards’ where employees can nominate their colleagues for their hard work.
  • Values board – In areas such as Finance and Marketing, people can put up a picture or a note of what they did to live the values, it is also an opportunity to show recognition.

Supporting their ‘be playful’ value, Camelot UK have a wide range activities which again help them feel valued:

  • Sports and social committees organise theatre trips, golfing days, football games, table tennis, pool and a mock Lotto draw.
Mega Fridays

Initiatives introduced asan investment in people

Mega Fridays – The last Friday of every month is a development day, either as a team or for individuals to work on their personal development plan, for example:

  • Understand another area of the business
  • Find solutions to challenges in cross-functional groups
  • Coach or mentor (or be coached or mentored)

Feedback Festival and Coaching for Performance – Sessions where all levels of the organisation, including directors,  learned about how to coach teams and where colleagues across the business discussed feedback – what stops us, how to deliver and receive feedback and make it part of every day.

Conclusion

Ultimately, what has led to Camelot UK’s success is the commitment from the leadership to change in the organisation, the involvement of employees in crucial changes to how they work, and embedding of the new values into their DNA.

By following an engagement programme – really listening to, and responding to employee feedback with specific, targeted action that focus on the right areas, Camelot were able reap the benefits. With a more engaged, motivated and collaborative workforce, they are prepared for the journey to growth ahead.

Thank you for listening to the feedback from the last survey. I feel well informed on where the business is going, how it's going to get there, and the part I will play in it.
Anonymous respondent, Camelot UK