As part of their accelerated growth plan, Betfair Romania Development is on their way to reach 1.600 employees by the end of the year. The company is already the largest technology hub of its parent company, Flutter Entertainment plc., and their focus is being ready for what the future holds.
Today, we’re talking to Ioana Popa, General Manager Betfair Romania Development, and we’re delving into the company’s commitment to help their employees be prepared for a future that requires new skills and even more adaptability.

Ioana, with the current predictions about the future of work, how do you ensure your company is future-ready in terms of skills and capabilities?

We have always tried to stay ahead of the curve, if I may say so. Our employees have not only benefited from a flexible work environment before the pandemic, but we’ve also created spaces where learning happens in various forms and builds a wide range of expertise and life skills. Anticipating their needs is the result of us listening to our employees, and making sure they are supported both personally and professionally.
At a global level, companies are still learning and testing different ways of working while trying to offer their employees the best experience. People are at the center of our organization, and our approach revolves around fostering a culture of continuous learning, by providing our employees with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive. I believe we have successfully integrated that into our Talent and Development programs that suit different learning goals and styles: self-driven, on-the-job learning, as well as career courses, available both offline and online.”

Can you give us a sneak peek into the learning opportunities available at Betfair Romania Development? What are the options for someone looking to gain new skills?

„Absolutely! We believe that learning is no longer something done in a meeting room, nor does it rely solely on taking notes. Learning comes in many forms, and I’m very proud to say that we have what we like to call, a playground full of opportunities.

Apart from a wide range of career growth courses and online platforms, we are offering a yearly ‘Self-Development Fund’ of 1.000 EUR to every employee. As you can probably tell by its name, this fund gives employees the freedom to choose how they want to invest in their growth: by attending a masterclass, joining an event, or buying a ticket to a conference, anything is possible.

And because we were talking about being future-ready in the rapidly changing world of work, we have implemented a series of ‘Skills for the Future Masterclasses’. Each session is led by industry experts and is designed to equip our employees with the essential abilities needed to succeed: critical thinking & decision making, system thinking, sensemaking and more.

Predicting what the future holds is an impossible task, but it’s in our power to offer our employees options and flexibility, so that they’re empowered to take decisions to the best of their abilities. With this in mind, we have created the ‘Job Swing’ programme. I think we have all wondered at least once what it would be like to join a new team for a while and learn on the job? Well, our Job Swing programme does exactly that! It allows our colleagues to try out a different role in another field, with the purpose of learning new skills, changing career paths or just experiencing other areas of the business.

We know that the right guidance can do wonders, especially in times of uncertainty. How are managers encouraged to invest in their growth at Betfair Romania Development?

Our managers are the backbone of our company, and we power them to guide their teams and lead them to success. We understood that even though we look at global trends and insights to gain knowledge on what the future brings, the best way to be prepared is by focusing on our business and workforce, learning what our employees need and adjusting our offer in a way that is relevant for them.
To support managers who take on a new role, we have built a dedicated programme that equips them with the know-how, skills, and tools to be ready for their new journey. They receive training and guidance along the way, plus plenty of resources to help them succeed.
Once in a manager role, leadership practices and pragmatic approaches are key, but learning to apply these has no ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula. We sensed a need for tailored courses, with a curriculum that adapts to everyone’s specific learning goals.
Lastly, we rely on each other. We do that through regular Managers Forums which are internal events around thought leadership topics, where our colleagues in management roles can connect, exchange views and experiences.”

With such a diverse range of offers and given Betfair Romania Development now has more than 1.400 employees, how do you measure the impact of your learning initiatives?

„It’s true that our dedicated team works relentlessly to curate both industry-related courses, as well as relevant workshops and courses. We believe in data-driven decision-making, and we wouldn’t be able to find the best options without measuring the impact of our initiatives.

Collecting feedback through surveys and assessments has been effective, but in parallel we also track employee satisfaction, skills acquisition, and career progression. This data helps us refine our programmes, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that our learning and development initiatives align with our employees’ needs and current working environment.