Established in January 2021, Kindred United is our employee volunteer group that aims to find creative ways of enhancing the employee experience at Kindred Group. With inclusion in mind, Kindred United members meet regularly to discuss improving togetherness and belonging in each location. The group is also very active in the community, engaging people in activities such as clean-up days, Pride parades, mental health initiatives, donating devices, and organising collections for rescued animals, to mention a few. Kindred United is instrumental in maintaining and improving our people's engagement levels, and they work closely with local management teams and employee networks. We interviewed Ian Scott, Talent Development Specialist in Gibraltar and leader of the Kindred UTD group, to find out what they have been up to during 2022.
Hi Ian, thank you for finding time to speak with us. What made you join Kindred United, and what event has been particularly memorable?
I fell into the role because I have been involved in many local activities in Gibraltar, and it seemed right for me to have more of a global focus.
There have been so many great moments shared with colleagues. One came to mind when Kindred employees in Malta gathered on the beach in April 2022 to honour world peace and harmony. Along with being together and listening to music, there was also a moment of silence and placing flowers to float on the sea. A very memorable moment for all involved.
How many people are involved in the group, and how are you organised?
It's important to highlight that this is a voluntary role, and everyone dedicates a little extra time to their day jobs. We have a Kindred United Lead role in our larger offices, and we meet monthly (usually up to 8 of us) to discuss local and global events and share ideas and best practices.
Each office has its own Kindred United team of up to 10 employees, meeting regularly to discuss local and global events.
We also work closely with our office facilities teams, who support us in many activities.
Kindred's purpose is to transform gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society. How do you see Kindred United supporting this statement?
It is part of our DNA at Kindred, which is always at the forefront of our minds; at the end of the day, this is the future for us as an organisation.
Each employee can take three paid CSR days (corporate social responsibility) per year. This allows people to support charities in their local community. Our employees get involved in charities such as Mental Health, Cancer Support, and Animal welfare. Recently we arranged for a few employees to support a local animal charity at a fund-raising event here in Gibraltar. In Malta, we have also been supporting animal charities with donations.
How do you select the events and activities for Kindred Utd?
We use several resources to help us decide on events. We are a diverse organisation with offices across the globe, so we split our events into local and global ones.
My colleague Natasha Nkantu, Kindred's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Specialist (DE&I) provides us with the yearly cultural calendar, highlighting global events such as Pride, Mental Health Awareness week, and Disability History month.
We then focus on local events. For instance, Pride month differs in most of our locations, Diwali in the UK, Australia Day, and Thanksgiving in the USA.
There are also the sporting events Wimbledon, Super Bowl, and of course, the World Cup last year, to name a few
Which events were the most successful during 2022?
There are numerous events to choose from; for Gibraltar employees, we had a summer gathering in Spain and a family day out at the Waterpark in Algeciras. We also got involved in Movember and had some great examples of moustaches. My moustache certainly was not one of those 😊
In Malta, we've been supporting local charities and arranging beach clean-ups.
The London team arranged calligraphy workshops where people tried their hand at classic scripts and graffiti.
Also, Stockholm hosted a Family Day where employees' families came to visit, and there was face painting for the children, a table tennis tournament, cupcakes, and balloon animals – an opportunity for the families to see where we work; this was much appreciated.
There are several benefits of having an engaged workforce; what makes you the proudest about this group and its work?
My role is to help everyone share their ideas and facilitate the group from a global perspective.
The team is a dedicated lot, they come up with some awesome ideas, but they only sometimes come to fruition. The team is versatile and resourceful and often amazes me with their ideas. We need new ways of doing things, especially now that we have adapted to a hybrid work model, so not all employees are physically in our offices daily.
We are at the beginning of a new year. Could you share some of the focus areas for 2023?
The Women's World cup kicks off in July, and a lot of interest has already been generated. I can foresee Kindred mirroring similar activities to the Men's World Cup, which was a hit! From decorating our offices, team lunches, in-house betting competitions, and the World Cup café, our popular global webinar where we talk about the tournament and share opinions and predictions.
Thank you, Ian and everyone at Kindred who contributed their time and participated in these great projects!