Yorkshire and North East HR Leadership Dinner with Richard Flint, Executive Chair and Rob Painter, MD Brand & People, Sky Betting & Gaming

Yorkshire and North East HR Leadership Dinner with Richard Flint, Executive Chair and Rob Painter, MD Brand & People, Sky Betting & Gaming
Published: 5 April 2019

On Wednesday 3rd April, Berwick Partners was delighted to host the Yorkshire and North East HR Leadership Dinner, at Crafthouse Restaurant in Leeds. The event was attended by numerous senior HR leaders from a broad range of industry sectors, to hear and discuss how Richard Flint and Rob Painter built brand loyalty through employee engagement.

In their time with SkyBetting & Gaming, Richard and Rob have developed the business into one of the most popular betting brands in the UK; one that now achieves regular recognition by leading national industry awards, including the Sunday Times’ ‘Best Companies to Work For’, and Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ and ‘UK Top CEO’.

Richard and Rob spoke openly and honestly about their achievements in HR, as well as the lessons that they learnt whilst overseeing the rapid growth of the organisation. SkyBetting & Gaming grew from a small start-up in 2007, to a company with 1,600 employees that was valued at £3.5 billion when it was sold to Stars Group in 2018. After becoming a separate business to Sky, they were forced to rewrite HR policies and processes, and Rob moved into his current role from a marketing background. The key messages about how they achieved such high employee engagement were:

  • Creating a collaborative culture that came from the top down and permeated throughout the organisation. The management team set a great example in building a truly informal culture with little to no politics
  • Forming “tribes” not teams. Once the company reached a certain size, Richard created autonomous divisions in which every function within a tribe is represented. This model was highly successful and created even more collaboration across the business
  • Being transparent on company numbers and performance, and involving staff in important decisions, such as the new reward structure that has recently been rolled out
  • Investing heavily in Learning & Development whilst also empowering people to take responsibility for their own development

A powerful message delivered was how they “married the outward projection of the brand with the truth about the internal culture.” This in turn helped with recruitment and retention as they truly believed in their message for customers and employees.

To summarise, “culture, team and energy” drove their success along with a genuine shared passion for their people, across the management team. Richard and Rob’s speech was followed by some engaging questions from the guests, provoking interesting debates. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and we would like to thank Richard and Rob once again for their time. We are looking forward to hosting another HR leadership event in Leeds soon.

Amelia Black is a Consultant in Berwick Partners’ HR practice.

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