Live Nation used merger to increase staff engagement

Live Nation Entertainment has faced a number of challenges in the way it engages employees following the merger between the concert promotion side of its business, Live Nation, and Ticketmaster in 2010.

During the keynote session of Employee Benefits Live on 26 September, Brian Newman, vice president of HR at Live Nation Entertainment, said: “The challenge was to come up with something that was consistent across the business. We had to think about ways of making HR more rock and roll.”

The organisation’s mission statement is to bring out the fan in everyone. “We want employees to feel fanatical about working for us,” said Newman. “The more you involve employees in the things the business does, the more engaged they will become.”

Since the merger, Live National Entertainment has introduced a centralised online benefits portal. “It was an opportunity to educate employees about their reward offering,” added Newman. “The tool was invaluable during the merger.”

Live Nation Entertainment made a few changes to the benefits package during the launch of the portal, including: adding a salary sacrifice arrangement to its pension scheme, increasing the minimum employee pension contribution to 5% and passing 50% of the national insurance savings back into the employees’ pensions.

It also added a recognition scheme called Rock Stars and a long-service award scheme called Legends. The Rock Stars scheme allows employees to recognise their peers, while the Legends scheme awards employees with experience vouchers for long service.

Newman added: “These build on our reward proposition and engage people in the business.”

Ticketmaster HQ moved into new offices in April, leaving Leicester Square for Islington. It has a hub space at the new offices with television screens, a pool table and a slide, a dedicated fitness area that offers classes and a sanctuary space where employees can relax.

It offered staff a range of activities and events since the move, including: ice cream Thursday, a day out at Thorpe Park, Red Nose charity day and participation in a baseball league.

Newman said: “We repositioned our social offering as part of the move. It allowed us to combine social events with our wellbeing proposition.”

It also offered employees, and a guest, the opportunity to attend the Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concert in Queen Elizabeth Park in July.

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“Tickets are a great benefit, but aren’t enough on their own,” said Newman. “We’ve tried to strike the balance between [benefits that are] important to have and letting employees choose the things they value.

“I consider that effective total reward building.”