Strategy & LeadershipBusiness TransformationHR Distinction Spotlight: Leading organisational change with ODEON

HR Distinction Spotlight: Leading organisational change with ODEON

Many organisations aim to go through a transformational journey to guarantee global success. To complete this objective, businesses must undertake complete transformation for years in order to achieve these long term business goals, this can heavily impact culture, talent, and strategic focus. Through these monumental changes, HR plays a key role in maintaining and aligning a consistent experience for their workforce to ensure the best experience is being portrayed on a daily basis in times of uncertainty.

Each week we look at the most successful work accomplished by HR professionals across the globe. This week we look at the great journey that ODEON Cinemas Group has been on, through data, technology, and strong relationships, and what part their HR team played in their successes.

ODEN has made large steps in the past few years throughout the whole organisation to enhance their business goals “It’s been on a momentous journey from siloed companies to a unified, successful multinational business. By 2016, our pan-European HR team had made huge strides aligning practices, policies and approach across four territories. We’d created a bespoke EVP based on shared data and finally united our brands behind one vision and values.” they said.

Since beginning this transformation, the group was sold to AMC Theatres, a major US cinema chain, this new shareholder brought new levels of complexity to their business – new layers of leadership, reporting systems, controls and governance.

In 2017 they were joined by Nordic Cinemas Group, adding a further three brands and seven countries. To create synergies and a streamlined operating model, underpinned by a shared culture, vision and values, our integration programme, Better Together was introduced. Led by HR, this scheme covered every aspect of operations and put communications, engagement and our ‘ask, listen, plan, act’ cycle at the heart of bringing three businesses together.  

“We had to refresh the structure from top to bottom as we integrated, not jeopardising the culture and business transformation we’d been building,” said Midge McCall, Group Internal Communications and Engagement Manager at ODEON.

The implementation of HR in this process of change was crucial in operating to a global level, they approached this by expanding their HR community to incorporate new territories and set the people agenda for transforming the company’s culture, structure and its capabilities, they executed this by implementing the ask, listen, plan, act cycle in all of their strategic interventions. Using employee feedback is an essential aspect of a companies growth, by ODEON using this to their advantage they managed to move the business forward significantly.

“Alongside our culture building and people engagement, we needed to design a new multi-team matrix environment to bring our businesses together. To ensure ODEON has the structure and capabilities for our new world, HR would act as an architect to align and streamline our organisational structures. “ said Midge.

“As an HR team, we’ve been on a huge journey to align a consistent experience for all our colleagues. Leaning on our collective knowledge and experience, we have worked together to support our business through a major change, keeping our people firmly at the heart of evolving and developing our culture.”

A critical part of any transformation process is the model behind Learning & Development, for many organisations, developing an upskilling their workforce can be a key playing part in business accomplishment, as once this long term process is put in place, it can develop employees’ talent, and support their long-term career aspirations.

Now after undergoing organisational change, ODEON Cinemas Group now welcomes over 115 million guests each year in more than 360 cinemas and 2,900 screens in 14 European countries. As part of AMC, they’re the biggest cinema chain in Europe and the world. Their mission is to be the best.


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