At Camelot, we believe in offering a place to be you, and what better way to do that than listen to the ideas and opinions of our very own people. To do this, we created our longstanding Employee Forum - a group of people from across the business who come together and discuss a variety of topics. To tell us more about what it means to be an Employee Forum representative, we’re joined by Abdul, who is a Retail Sales Executive in Central Scotland…
What is the Employee Forum (EF) and what is its role?
A group of passionate and dedicated Camelot people who have been elected by the people of Camelot to represent them. There are 12 different representatives (as well as an Executive Team partner) from all over the UK, covering 19 departments of the business. We meet every month to discuss current topics or issues, resolve any problems, and, where possible, make improvements to company policies that impact employees.
We’re here as advocates and to represent our department's opinions and views about any aspect of working at Camelot, and to provide a channel of communication between all departments, and the Executive and the Leadership Teams. We also get answers to questions and ensure that the company listens to the views of all employees and considers these when formulating decisions. The EF provides a direct line of communication from top to bottom and, more importantly, brings together a group of people who can make change happen.
Why is having an EF so important?
Camelot has a diverse population of people who work in different locations throughout the UK, doing a variety of roles. It’s important that Camelot has the flexibility to listen to and hear opinions from all departments and colleagues to encourage fairness and inclusion for everyone. Together, we can create a great place to work and develop.
What made you decide to join the EF as a rep?
I had only been working with Camelot for a year when the elections came about for a new representative. I did my research and discussed what being a rep involved and the responsibility it held.
Being a firm believer in fairness and integrity, I have always wanted my department's opinions and best interests to be at the forefront when decisions are made. As my department (Retail Sales) is home-based, it is critical that we feel part of the Camelot family and my goal was to bring us closer and more involved in all Camelot activities and decisions. Ultimately, I wanted to make a real positive change.
What kind of things do the Camelot EF get involved with?
The question should be what do we NOT get involved in! Here are some examples of the activities where the Employee Forum plays a part:
- New and existing People policies
- Employee initiatives and events
- Organisational structure and changes (affecting 20 or more people)
- Employee surveys
- Internal communications
- Strategic planning updates
- Benefits schemes
- Financial performance
- Bonus schemes
- Health and Safety
- Rewards/employee recognition
- Training and development
As there are representatives from across the business, we also network as a team as we have specialists in all fields!
How do you balance your time working with the EF and your day job?
I am extremely fortunate to have a very understanding Manager who allows me the time to attend meetings and work on issues brought to the Employee Forum meetings. I also spend a little of my own time working on EF work (and have become a master at reading policies!).
Can you share any highlights from your time as an EF rep?
As a collective EF team, we only came together a few months before COVID-19 hit. The EF went from meeting once every two months to every two weeks to discuss impacts of the pandemic and get updates from the business. I am extremely proud of how, during this time, the EF was able to come together to look at mental health support - including offering online gym classes, supporting parents during lockdown, feeding back concerns and helping provide direction to Camelot when making important decisions. In particular, I am also extremely proud of how involved I was in looking at how we return Retail Sales field workers back into the field safely. Not only am I proud of the big achievements, but also the individuals that reached out to me personally, trusting me with a variety of topics and requests for support.
I have had an amazing first year as a EF rep and look forward to the next year and the challenges it brings, knowing that I can make a real difference.