Nurturing a Culture of Excellence: The Evolution of Kindred Values

Tue, 12 Mar, 2024

In today's competitive landscape, businesses must continuously evolve to stay ahead of the curve. Kindred is no different. Our strategy evolved this year, and so our culture needs to evolve too. It’s important that we continue to have the right balance between strong ambition and financial performance, and the enjoyment people get from working at Kindred. 

We sat down with Heather Nicholson, our Talent Director, to discuss the refreshed Kindred values, cultural transformation, and how we’re taking the journey of transformation together across Kindred.

Hi Heather, you're relatively new to Kindred, could you kindly share a bit about your background and what prompted your decision to join the company during this period of change? Additionally, could you provide insight into the reasoning behind the recent adjustments made to Kindred’s values? 

My career in People Teams started in a company where culture, continuous improvement and challenging market traditions were part of the DNA, so I caught the bug for transformation and the part people play in it early on. I’ve been fortunate to be trusted in roles across Learning, Talent, People Partnering and HR Operations over my career, which helps me integrate work across People Teams to facilitate change that lasts. 

I joined Kindred because I could see a huge opportunity to support how we can build on our strong legacy while responding to the shifting market, competition and technology conditions that require us to adapt our ambition, mindset, and actions. 

So, as you’d expect, that’s the main driver behind why we are evolving our culture. As our business context changes, our focus and ways of working need to change too. We grew the size of our team significantly in recent years, which also led to us being a bit siloed and to different interpretations of our values. How we described our values before was geared towards explaining Kindred culture externally; now we are also using them to guide expectations of how we work together.  

To achieve our Purpose of transforming gambling by being a trusted source of entertainment that contributes positively to society, we must move with pace to gain and regain podium position in markets so we can positively impact more players and shape trust in our industry and that means we need to challenge how we think and act. 

Could you talk us through Kindred’s four values:

  • We have passion to win: Winning together in the right way. Understanding our customers, how our industry is evolving and how we can come together across the group to focus on brilliant, safe, trusted experiences that players love, and which keep them coming back for more with us, rather than the competition.  
  • We strive for better: Challenging ourselves and each other. We don’t settle and instead constantly improve the ways we work and learn, as individuals and together, which will lead to those podium positions we seek.  
  • We champion accountability: Always act in Kindred’s best interest. To adapt quickly, we need to truly own the changes we need to make and overcome challenges no matter where they come from, all with care and respect for each other.  
  • We are together as Kindred: Our strong Kindred Spirit. Full commitment to being inclusive, breaking down silos and bringing the best of our expertise together to keep Kindred a brilliant place to work that we are all proud of, and ambassadors for.  

Read more: https://www.kindredgroup.com/about/purpose--values/

How are these values embedded into the company culture to ensure adoption and alignment? 

Culture change takes time, so we’re at the very beginning of the journey to truly embed our refreshed values. We started by being transparent about what we need to change and why, and the process we went through to land on the values. We’ve already taken on board feedback from our launch work and engagement survey to increase how they resonate and are understood across Kindred. 

Now we’re integrating our values into all touchpoints at Kindred, so they become real for people. We’re starting with team conversations about the values, how we recognise each other on our internal communications platform, making them part of quarterly performance reviews and reflecting them in our learning opportunities from onboarding to leadership development. 

We’re also asking people how they are experiencing our values in our quarterly engagement surveys and will continue to listen to feedback to understand what people need for the values to be part of day-to-day work at Kindred. 

What is the role of leadership in driving and championing these cultural changes? 

Leadership plays a pivotal role in driving cultural shifts. In January, our senior leaders spent time on the values and what they mean for them collectively and individually, so they can be role models of our expectations.  Ultimately, if people don’t experience our culture and values in every interaction with leadership and peers, then it’s not real. We’ll continue to ensure our leaders are aligned and equipped through supporting information, tools, and workshops. We'll use company updates, internal communication, performance reviews and team engagement conversations as channels for Kindred’s leadership to talk about our values. We are infusing our culture in everything we do.

How do you anticipate these changes will impact employee engagement, retention, and overall satisfaction?  

We believe the culture we are building, supported by the values, will help us be even more successful as a company. Transformation and the success that comes from it, leads to growth opportunities, pride in what we do and more reasons to stay. So, we hope the impact on engagement, retention and satisfaction will be positive, even if there are some growing pains in the near term.

Lastly, how will you measure the success and effectiveness of this cultural transformation over time? 

If we achieve our growth targets, can demonstrate we’ve changed ways of working, increase our employee engagement after a year of uncertainty, and have healthy attrition, that will be a good indicator that we are on a path to successful transformation.  

Thank you for sharing these insights, Heather. With this evolution, Kindred continues to be a workplace where people feel inspired, valued, and empowered to achieve their full potential. Together as Kindred. 


  • Kati Leppanen
    Corporate Brand Manager