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Longstanding colleagues

We asked some of our longstanding colleagues what has made them stay at the Commission and the types of roles that they have worked on during their time here. Today we hear from Stephen Foster and Joanne Warren.

Posted 30 November 2021 by People Services

Although we are a small organisation, we try to ensure internal movement where possible and really value the experience that our colleagues can bring to other roles within the Commission when they decide to move. The in-depth knowledge they have on the gambling industry is hugely important to all of our departments and understandably isn’t something we want to lose. Today we hear from Stephen Foster and Joanne Warren.

What is your current role at the Commission and how long have you worked at the Commission?

Stephen: Currently a Compliance manager and I have been at the Commission since March 2007

Jo: I am currently a Senior Manager responsible for the coordination of business planning and performance reporting and I have worked for the Commission for just over 6 years.

During you time here have you worked in a variety of roles or departments or worked on any defined projects that have taken you away from your substantive role?

Stephen: I look on my time at the Commission as three defined periods. First there was Licencing where I learned the basics of what we do. Then the Contact Centre, dealing with complaints about the industry and the Commission and now in Compliance I look at what operators are actually doing and try and help them become as compliant as possible. I have three times been seconded to the Enforcement team, but the most satisfying aspect of my time here is having had the opportunity to represent the Commission at industry events like the lotteries council meetings, manning our stand at the annual ICE exhibition for six years and leading the small operator workshop team in engaging with operators at local events. The talking to people side has always been the most fun – I’m not a big fan of the paperwork!

Jo: Yes, I have had a variety of roles but the one thing I have been really lucky with is that they have all provided me with the opportunity to work with and learn from colleagues across the Commission and at different levels of seniority. I joined the Commission as a Senior Analyst with a focus on driving forward the organisation’s analytical capability, I then moved onto the role of Risk Manager before gaining promotion to Data Analytics Manager and then to the role I am in now.  I have also been part of many different projects whether that’s leading them, being a team member or as a member of the project board which has oversight of project delivery.

What keeps you at the Commission?

Stephen: The variety of the work. It really isn’t just sitting at your desk and moving things along, it’s quite dynamic, there are always new challenges, we are always moving forward and looking how we can do things better. The industry has changed massively from when I started, and the Commission has had to change too. The one constant though is what I call ‘the collaborative way of working’. No one person has the answers or can understand everything, so we need to take the best of everyone’s ideas or experiences and use them to shape the future. Working that way means you meet some great people too!

Jo: There are a number of things that keep me here, but I think the two most important things are the people and the flexibility.  The people because no matter what I know there are colleagues I can not only rely on to work with and get the job done but who make doing the job enjoyable and flexibility whether that’s in the way work is done or flexibility in how I manage my working day

Is flexible working important to you?

Stephen: Yes, very. There are times I’m expected to be flexible within my role and when I have asked for flexibility due to something in my home life I have never had a reasonable request refused – in fact the Commission often shows far greater flexibility than employers my friends work for.

Jo: Totally – it is the first thing I would consider when applying for any role. I am mum to two primary aged children and to have the flexibility offered to me through hybrid working and a compressed working pattern helps me to manage that work life balance.

Are the Commission's benefits important to you?

Stephen: Not so much. The pension is an obvious one and I appreciate the ability to buy additional holiday, but the greatest benefit is the flexibility that we are given within the parameters of our roles.

Jo: Most definitely – who wouldn’t want 26 days holiday, free tea, coffee and fruit and an office that is literally 2 mins from New Street Station? To me though the best benefits at the Commission aren’t always the most obvious. For example, I’ve recently benefited from the organisation’s participation in the apprenticeship scheme which offers access to course in a number of different topics and levels. There is also a focus on mentoring and coaching and opportunities for shadowing as well as taking part in organisational wide pieces of work which may not necessarily be part of your day job but something you have an interest in or will support you in your wider development.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Gambling Commission please have a look at our careers page (opens in a new tab).

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