How Camelot achieved a 10% increase in employee engagement in one year
Head of Talent and Development, Camelot (National Lottery)
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.
The most strongly correlated themes were:
1. Employees believe that Camelot UK is well led
2. They trust what the leadership team say
3. Employees feel a sense of achievement
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
Employees are comfortable sharing their ideas and input with leaders and they have regular opportunities to do so:
“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.”
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.
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:
“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.”
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.
A programme of events driven directly from the results of the survey, initiatives with core themes of transparency, inclusion, communication & collaboration running through:
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:
Each stream has a vision and key metrics to deliver by the end of the year.
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.
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.
Supporting their ‘be playful’ value, Camelot UK have a wide range activities which again help them feel valued:
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:
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.
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.