HR Summit Q&A: Paul Deeprose, managing director of The Career Gym
For the 7th year running, Paul Deeprose will take to the stage as the chair and facilitator for the Retail Bulletin HR Summit on 8 October.
Paul is the founder and director of The Career Gym, a qualified coach and professional career expert who focuses on coaching and developing individuals so that they can make the right career choices at important times in their lives.
Paul, have you always worked in HR?
I started out as a graduate trainee within John Lewis, managing various retail departments, then moving into HR and training within the flagship Oxford Street store. It was a good start to my career; they were a great employer. I then joined the family business and later worked within senior-level HR search and selection, bringing together my people and commercial skills.
In the world of HR, you are always looking at potential in others, learning about people and what makes them tick. I knew that my passion for placing people was progressing to developing them and so I trained as a coach. This was a natural evolution in my career.
I set up The Career Gym in 2009 to bring together my passion for development and career coaching, assisting individuals and teams to become more effective by having a holistic view of their career, and finding the confidence and courage to take on greater challenges.
Tell us more about The Career Gym
The Career Gym is a place where professionals give their career and leadership skills a workout – to get them in the best shape to compete at the highest levels and be successful in landing their next promotion or external role. Our goal is to help others prepare and build their leadership, teamwork and performance into rewarding satisfying careers.
Typically, we do this in three ways. Firstly, we help with career direction through career coaching. This might include supporting career progression, a change of direction or simply overcoming feeling ‘stuck’ or unfocussed. Secondly, we are leadership coaches. We enable leaders to be the best that they can be. And finally, we run a program called Squad Mentality, helping teams deliver results, to win faster and to win better.
What brings you to the HR Summit this year and what can we expect?
2019 will mark my seventh year as chair for this event so that must say something about it! It’s a great event; good speakers, insightful content and very pleasant networking.
The world of work has changed dramatically over the past 10 years, shaped by a recession on the high street, technology advances and a new generation of workers with very different ideas of what employment should look like.
I believe the role of HR is not just about hiring talent, but developing it. This is especially true in the retail sector where strengthening talent is an opportunity to support increased productivity and customer service, ultimately resulting in growth.
Within HR, there is a demand and a necessity for teams to be more commercial and base their insights and recommendations on data. And technology and automation are being used to not only streamline processes – but improve performance and enhance employee engagement. This is all great, but you need to be sure not to tip the balance too far. You need to keep it human.
My role this year is to make the day run smoothly of course but really, I plan to set the audience up for a successful day and hope that they leave inspired.
Hear more from Paul at the Retail Bulletin HR Summit on 8 October. By using the code RETAILER50, Retail Bulletin readers working in retail* will qualify for an early bird 50% discount on full price tickets, which means the cost for retailers is just £125.
* Applies to those working within retail organisations only. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend and are not working in a retail business.
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