Aristocrat’s employees are the heart of our business, and we strive to attract, motivate and retain the brightest talents in our industries. We’re always looking for opportunities to strengthen our culture, lift engagement and strengthen our employee value proposition. Our business is diverse but is united by four shared values: All About the Player, Collective Brilliance, Talent Unleashed and Good Business, Good Citizen.
CULTURE AND ENGAGEMENT
Aristocrat invests strongly in culture-building and the engagement of our people, which has been instrumental in delivering our track record of growth as well as in tackling the challenges presented throughout 2020.
Measuring, growing and maintaining engagement has been a key priority for Aristocrat, particularly as we navigated the impacts and uncertainties of COVID-19.
Frequent employee pulse surveys were conducted during the year, allowing us to respond quickly to feedback – including with more activities and initiatives where supported by employees. Overall engagement stood at 8.8 (out of 10) in May, and 8.5 in August 2020, with an aggregated participation rate of 85% across our global team. Employee comments were particularly valuable (with over 21,000 comments submitted to the end of August 2020) and helped local teams continue to refine their engagement efforts.
Supporting our “Talent Unleashed” value, and in response to survey feedback, Aristocrat updated and enhanced its Flexible Working Policy during the year. The new policy aims to embrace and encourage flexible work options, including long-term remote working where desired. We also established comprehensive and practical Return to Work principles for all Aristocrat locations and entities. The principles require compliance with regional guidelines and regulations relating to COVID-19 while also empowering local leaders to take account of the needs of each team and location. They are designed to provide clarity and give confidence to our people, and their leaders, as we contemplate a broader return to physical office spaces in the months ahead.
Also in response to survey feedback, teams created a raft of additional communications events and channels to ensure remote workers remained connected and informed. These included regular regional virtual town halls presented by senior leaders, new online communication portals, employee Apps and online social events.
As a business, we were also clear in prioritising our people through the COVID-19 period. For example, we did not immediately stand down (furlough) staff, and we brought staff back to work as quickly as possible. We also made available financial support to impacted employees, together with a suite of mental, physical and broader wellbeing resources.
As a thank you to employees, and in recognition of their commitment to the company and their colleagues during COVID-19, discretionary payments were made to staff who were impacted by furlough/stand down and reduced hours/remuneration.
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING TALENT
Aristocrat’s ‘Talent Unleashed’ value underlines the priority we attach to attracting and retaining great people across our global business and supporting them to unleash their full potential. We strive to build a reputation as an employer of choice, successfully competing for and retaining the best talent in the industries in which we operate.
In 2020, Aristocrat was again recognised as one of the top 25 Information Technology and Business Process Management Companies to work for in India. This award included a citation for our commitment to supporting employees’ development at every stage in their careers. We are proud of this recognition and of the contribution of the people who lead and work within our India business.
We were also delighted that our Summerlin office in Las Vegas was recognised as a Top Workplace in Nevada for 2020 following an extensive employee survey conducted by The Las Vegas Review-Journal and Business Press.
Aristocrat’s LinkedIn Life page continues to garner strong engagement, helping to share who we are, what it’s like to work at Aristocrat, and to talk about our culture and values with a broader candidate audience. Our presence on LinkedIn Life also enables us to provide information about our graduate program and community contributions, among other highlights.
Between 2018 and 2020, Aristocrat also invested in the redesign and refurbishment of many of our major office spaces – including in Las Vegas, Sydney, and Seattle – to encourage collaboration, increase amenity and reflect the changing needs of our employees. Employee impressions of our Las Vegas office were highlighted in this VegasInc article
EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
We believe that investing in talent and development is vital to sustainable business growth and success.
During 2020, Aristocrat continued to invest in programs to develop both individual contributors and our leaders. Our programs focus in particular on supporting employee wellbeing, development of personal and professional skills, mastering essential management best practices and accelerating leadership readiness.
The Aristocrat Leadership Academy (ALA) was launched in late 2019, with a specific focus on developing high potential leaders. To date, 45 leaders have been assessed through the program, received executive coaching and tailored development plans to support their leadership learning. The ALA also provides leaders with training focused on Executive Development, with over 15 courses offered. The most popular selections this year were Accelerating Change Readiness & Agility, Fostering Inclusion & Diversity, Leading & Managing Globally, Leading Innovative Change, Leading Through Personal Excellence and Leading with Data & Analytics. In 2020, we added a foundational leadership development program to the ALA, with 62 leaders undertaking this training. An enhanced suite of leadership resources and tools was also launched.
A refreshed People & Culture portal launched in 2020, featuring onboarding toolkits and resources to support engagement, mentoring, recognition and a wellbeing portal for all employees. Through a partnership with LinkedIn Learning, employees were also offered comprehensive on-demand learning options to ensure their growth and development continued despite remote working arrangements. This resource was welcomed by our global business with 55% of eligible employees enrolling (around 2,800 employees).
To further support our enterprise Diversity & Inclusion efforts, all people leaders and individual contributors at Director level and above (around 1,000 employees), completed Unconscious Bias training in 2020. More information can be found in the disclosures section dedicated to Diversity & Inclusion.
We also introduced a coaching program for Sustainability leaders throughout the global business. This program is designed to guide leaders through sustainability scenarios that deepen their knowledge, develop core competencies and their ability to recognise opportunities for improvement. Twenty leaders have completed the program, with representation across our Sales, Global Supply Chain, Finance, Design & Development, People & Culture, IT, Program Management, Sourcing & Procurement, Regulatory Compliance, Corporate Affairs, Learning Solutions and Work Health & Safety teams.
Aristocrat strives to nurture the talents of all employees and provide the right environment and opportunities for them to grow. Our online mentoring program, GotMentoring, helps provide these opportunities and create a culture of inclusion and belonging.
Since launching in August 2019, 775 employees have participated in the program as mentors, mentees or both. GotMentoring enables all employees globally to match and partner with mentors who meet their specific development needs. The platform enables employees to take full ownership of the direction of their mentoring relationships, create development plans, join mentoring circles and share resources.
Surveys conducted showed 98% of users were satisfied with the program and their mentoring connection. 45% of mentoring engagements involved participants of different ethnicities, 39% of different genders and 88% at different job levels.
The graph illustrates the diversity of mentoring relationships across different job levels
GotMentoring has been particularly valuable for many participating employees during a time of social distancing and isolation due to COVID-19. Mentoring programs are a proven method to support diversity and inclusion goals, close the opportunity gap and retain staff; all of which are important priorities for Aristocrat.
Aristocrat was the most-awarded major gaming supplier in the 2020 Global Gaming Awards. We were named overall Land Based Industry Supplier of the Year (for the second year in a row) and were also recognised for Land Based Product of the Year for the MarsXTM cabinet, as well as Slot of the Year for Dollar StormTM. We were also honoured to receive three prestigious EKG Awards this year – the Top Performing Core Video Reel Game for “Buffalo Gold”, Top Performing New Video Reel Core Game for “Buffalo Gold Revolution” and Top Performing New Premium Game for “Buffalo Diamond”.
We also celebrated with the High Roller Games (HRG) studio for their performance in the North American gaming market. In a key industry survey3, HRG held an astonishing 14 of the top 25 spots in the premium leased games category – including all of the top four games. This is an industry-first accomplishment and something that further underlines the incredible depth of creative talent we have at Aristocrat.
Aristocrat awards “Patent of the Year” and “Invention of the Quarter” prizes, which embody our Collective Brilliance value and are considered to be a high honour for creative teams. Participants in the Patent Program are eligible for financial incentives, reflecting the company’s strong commitment to cultivating innovation and building the patent portfolio that underpins our sustainable success. We are looking forward to launching a reinvigorated Patent Awards Program in 2021.
3Eilers-Fantini August 2020 Game Performance Report
The spirit of innovation is also embraced throughout other parts of our business and an example of this is “Finnovate”, an initiative of our global Finance department. Each month, employees are encouraged to present innovative ideas with the best of these being developed and implemented. An example is the creation of a robot to automate specific finance processes, freeing up team members, and increasing speed and efficiency.
For this innovation and our broader work on intelligent automation, Aristocrat received an award at Blue Prism’s Excellence in Connected-Robotic Process Automation Awards, 2020. We were named “RPA Newcomer of the Year” for the APAC region. In 2020, there were over 187 entries from across the globe, and winners were selected by a panel comprising industry professionals, thought leaders, and previous winners.
EMPLOYEE FLEXIBILITY AND LIFE BALANCE
Aristocrat encourages flexible working arrangements and seeks to accommodate employees’ preferences wherever possible while meeting business requirements.
We believe flexible working arrangements can deliver a raft of benefits to employees, teams, and the company, and are committed to giving employees and leaders the guidance they need to make full and effective use of these options. Embracing flexible working is part of ensuring we continue to attract and retain great talent in our organisation, and is a demonstration of our ‘Talent Unleashed’ value. Flexible and family-friendly work practices will also help Aristocrat maintain a diverse and adaptive workforce to power our growth.
Our Flexible Working Policy was updated in 2020, partly in response to COVID-19.
ENHANCING EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
Every year Aristocrat undertakes an extensive review of our benefit offerings. We gather benchmarking and trend data to ensure we are offering competitive packages to attract and retain the most talented employees.
Aristocrat’s innovative employee share program, SuperShare, was launched in 2019. The program was named Best International Share Plan at the Employee Ownership Australia Awards in 2019. The plan was recognised for its generous matching conditions and flexibility, making it possible for more employees to participate in the program and share in the company’s success as owners. In September 2020 the scheme was further enhanced to provide a greater relative discount to employees, with more than 20% of eligible employees participating in the scheme in its first year of operation.
WORKPLACE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELLBEING
Workplace health and safety and the wellbeing of our people is Aristocrat’s highest priority. Our approach to Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) is one of continuous improvement.
In meeting our obligations, Aristocrat:
ensures that it is maintaining a safe working environment;
ensures that maintenance of plant and structures is completed;
ensures maintenance of safe systems of work;
ensures the safe use of, handling and storing of plant, structures and substances;
provides safety information, training and supervision to all workers;
provides adequate facilities for the welfare of workers when working, including wellness rooms and fitness centres; and
supports workers to prevent injury through training and education on identifying and reporting incidents of all types.
During 2020, Aristocrat commenced significant work to improve our Health, Safety and Environmental Management System to cover all operations and locations globally. The project spans three phases with work to be delivered across several years. Our first priority has involved a rebuild of our global HSE Management System. To ensure group-wide application, the structure of the management system follows the International standards ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems and ISO 14001: Environmental Management System.
Two new global HSE policies have also been rolled out during 2020. These demonstrate our strong commitment to addressing HSE issues and establish the framework for the actions required by all employees and external partners to uphold our commitments. In addition, a comprehensive handbook is available to all employees via a new HSE portal. This includes a Global HSE Legal Register which details relevant legislation in every jurisdiction Aristocrat operates in.
The Global Health, Safety, and Environmental Management System (GHSEMS) provides all subsidiaries and operations of Aristocrat with a common approach to ensuring a secure, injury-free, healthy environment for all people entering our workplaces, and employees visiting other sites.
Pivotal to the success of the project is the strengthening of HSE capabilities throughout the organisation and creating an HSE culture. Aristocrat has three safety qualified employees, who are supported by regional safety committees. As we continue to enhance our systems and processes, we will also improve and streamline reporting across all locations and subsidiaries of Aristocrat.
Over 2020, Aristocrat has seen a stabilisation in the global TRIFR (Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate). The TRIFR indicator has improved 15% year on year, reducing from 3.75 in FY19 to 3.16 in 2020.
TRIFR – the total number of global recordable injuries recorded across all Aristocrat companies and subsidiaries per 1,000,000 hours worked. TRIFR includes total recordable injuries, including fatalities, lost time injuries, restricted work cases, and medical treatment only events.
As the impact of COVID-19 became clear over the year, Aristocrat recognised the need to boost its wellbeing efforts; including through the launch of a dedicated wellbeing portal.
The portal, accessible by all employees, offers a host of tools, programs and resources to help employees to stay connected and resilient. Aristocrat is focused on supporting employees across five areas:
Mental and physical – We provide resources to help employees stay physically active and mentally strong, including an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offering free, confidential counselling, and programs to help manage stress and anxiety, and create healthy sleep, nutrition and exercise habits. Following a successful pilot, Aristocrat also introduced ‘Wellness Fridays’ encouraging employees to log off early on Fridays (subject to operational requirements) to enjoy more personal time and focus on their health and wellbeing.
Career – We provide access to a broad range of LinkedIn Learning courses to give employees the ability to keep learning and developing at their own pace – wherever they are.
Social – We provide resources and opportunity to help employees stay connected while working remotely.
Financial – We made available financial assistance under the AristocratCARES Employee Relief Fund to any employee who suffered financial hardship as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on themselves or their families. Over $1 million (AUD)4 in grants were provided to more than 600 employees who applied for support; and
Community – We provided tips and options to help others in the communities in which we live and work.
4Conversion from USD to AUD based on FX average annual rates applicable for year ending 30/09/2020
In 2020, a dedicated Wellness Week recognised the importance of wellbeing and provided an opportunity to keep mental health and related issues front of mind.
A centrepiece of the week – RUOK? Day- was celebrated across our global business for the first time. Programs were held to mark RUOK? Day across many parts of the business, with excellent attendance and positive feedback from employees.
In 2020, Aristocrat also launched a new Family and Domestic Violence Policy to help keep employees safe within our workplaces and encourage employees at risk of or experiencing family and domestic violence to seek support. The Policy details support mechanisms available for all employees affected by family and domestic violence and sets out steps for managers and colleagues to best support staff in these situations.
EMPLOYEE SUPPORT DURING COVID-19
Regional teams were supported to implement COVID-19 safe workplace arrangements across our global footprint. This included:
the implementation of all appropriate safety protocols;
maintaining adequate supplies of PPE; and
monitoring employees who undertook COVID-19 testing and providing the local Crisis Management Team (CMT) with comprehensive updates on employee health.
In conjunction with Group Risk, HSE specialists have undertaken compliance audits of facilities to ensure that they are COVID-19 compliant to the standards set out by both local authorities and Aristocrat.