As part of our new Corporate & Culture Blog Series, today we showcase Sportsbet, an Australian company, which is highly regarded for its unique culture and team ethos. Sportsbet staff have also participated in a number of our corporate team building programs over the past 12 months including Mission Impossible, Bikes for Tykes and City Scramble. So, we have experienced first-hand their focus on team culture and the benefits of their team building! Here’s a look…
With seriously nice offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin, Sportsbet is Australia’s biggest online bookmaker. Since its inception in 1993 it has grown in leaps and bounds and today has a team of more than 700 people here in Australia and a global family of over 7,000 staff employed by parent company Paddy Power Betfair plc. They play fast to win and build FUN into everything they do! They value teamwork, innovation and novelty stubby holders!
Its focus on team
Sportsbet has an innovative website dedicated to recruitment - workatsportsbet.com.au - which provides a glimpse of its focus on staff and passion for team. Here are some excerpts…
“We’re also here to make this the most exciting place you’ll ever work.”
“With state of the art office spaces, regular events, games and team activities, along with some of the smartest colleagues you’ll ever meet, you won’t even feel like you’re working!”
“We're all about backing each other so, to help you get your Game On, we’ve put our money where our mouth is when it comes to making our great people greater through heaps of development initiatives.”
Q & A with Raj Tapper, Head of Organisational Development
Q: What does a great team culture look like at Sportsbet?
A: A great culture means a work environment where everyone is excited about doing their best work. We’re real enough to know most people wouldn’t be at work if they inherited a pile of cash but we’d love to be the next best thing!
Q: How important is internal culture for Sportsbet?
A: Culture is very important to Sportsbet and something we think about constantly. We’ve all seen businesses that only pay attention to their culture once it’s broken. Our leaders invest a great deal of time and energy into protecting and evolving our culture as we grow.
Q: What team activities and processes do you use at Sportsbet to promote a positive team culture?
A: Hmmm, hard to answer in a nutshell because culture really is the sum of a million things, and it’s a never-ending process. Our purpose is to “Bring Excitement to Life” for our customers and we know this can only happen if we’re also bringing excitement for our team. Having fun together is definitely in our DNA at Sportsbet but it’s the icing on the cake. A prerequisite for this is ensuring our team get opportunities to learn and develop their careers and experience awesome leadership every day. These are the things we continue to focus on because there’s always room to adapt and improve. It’s also important to listen to our team and understand what’s top of mind for them. We do this through quarterly pulse surveys and our monthly Live Q & A sessions with the leadership team.
Q: Do you undertake regular team building games?
A: Last year we held the Sportsbet Olympics inspired by the real Games in Rio. Our activities included an Executive Chair Race, Chilli Wing Eating Contest and Human Hungry Hippos (don’t ask!). The crew who pulled the tournament together based it around our new values which had only been launched a few weeks earlier. Embedding values and getting buy-in to them is a hard thing to do so we were delighted to see how quickly they were being adopted. One of our values is Low Ego which the executive demonstrated in spades during the chair race! What was particularly cool about the Sportsbet Olympics was that HR had little to do with organising it. You know you’re onto something when every individual takes responsibility for the culture around them.
Q: Do you have regular staff or team conferences and why?
A: Our Leadership Summits are a twice a year opportunity to get all our leaders together to set them up for the following six months with key information about our company goals and opportunities to develop their skills together. We also have quarterly Town Halls where we share our progress against our goals with all of our team and publicly recognise those who are role-modelling our values. In addition, each department gets together a couple of times a year to ensure team members are able to see a clear line of sight between their day-to-day role and our overall strategy. Then there are other more targeted meet-ups like the once a year all-hands Careerdevfest and twice yearly Ideas Hack. There’s plenty of fun and excitement through all of these corporate events, otherwise it wouldn’t feel very Sportsbet!
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