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EVENTS - Retail Human Resources Summit



For all retailer speaker enquiries please contact Claire Knott -




Chair's welcome and opening comments

Paul Deeprose, Managing Director, The Career Gym Ltd


Retailer Keynote Address: The secrets of service retailing

  • Creating a culture
  • Picking great people
  • Being a great boss
  • Breaking the rules
  • Amazing your colleagues

John Timpson, Chairman, Timpsons


Retailer Panel Discussion: Future retail HR trends - the changing face of HR 
Each of our retail practitioner panellists will give their own 5 minute perspective on what they believe the future holds for retail HR.  They will each share their personal insight into what they are doing over the next 12 months; what's really important to them; why they are passionate about HR; what's inspired them and why; how they see HR changing; and what they have learned over the last 12 months. This will be followed by the panel taking questions from the audience - if you would like to send these into them in advance for consideration, please send them to

  • The co-worker experience - creating a culture governed by treating people as individuals
  • Being an HR entrepreneur - moving away from the traditional HR operating model
  • HR's involvement in shifting results through a culture change programme, effective business partnering and future-proofing the business
  • Employee engagement - what we can learn from the Danish culture

Pernille Hagild, Country HR Manager, Ikea UK & Ireland 
Karen Beaven, HR Director, River Island; Founder, HR Entrepreneur's Network 
Una O'Reilly, Human Resources Director, Westfield 
Bhavisha Shah, Head of HR, Flying Tiger Stores




Retailer Case Study: Practical steps to embarking on a wellbeing journey

  • Why wellbeing is good for business - increasing engagement
  • Engaging and enabling line managers to ensure effective cultural change - 'Feeling First Class'
  • Demonstrating value and impact on your health and wellbeing investment
  • The importance of an holistic wellbeing programme
  • Stress and mental wellbeing - 'First Class Support'

Shaun Davis, Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing & Sustainability, Royal Mail Group


Expert Opinion: Employment law clinic - a round-up of the current ‘hot’ topics

  • National Living Wage
  • Equal pay
  • Gender pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Shared parental leave
  • Labour supply

Kirsty Rogers, Executive Partner, DWF
Michael McLaughlin, Partner, DWF
Hannah Robbins, Partner, DWF


Retailer Case Studies: THREE different perspectives on EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

1. Is ‘One Kao Reward' the key to employee’s hearts and minds 
One Kao Reward is more than a 'one stop shop’ - it’s about how suitable systems’ integrations in the contemporary ‘cloud’ technology could contribute to getting better analytics and more thorough insight into peoples’ choices and business contribution - linking internal sales, HRIS data, and benefit engagement platforms to achieve successful employee engagement and improved business results.

  • Exploring opportunities for better performance - achieving business results through enhanced comms
  • Engaging retail as part of the corporate business - do we segment our workforce and do we use the same communication channels to get in touch with our people?
  • Why offering the same benefits to all employees is so important - is this easily achievable?
  • Building an engagement platform to link and connect with our  employees - why there is no such thing like ‘one size fits all’
  • What do we expect from implementation of new HR and reward tools and technology?
  • How do we plan on our investment in people to deliver?

Maria Yanev, Senior Manager Total Reward EMEA, Molton Brown (Kao Corp)

2. Engaging employees to drive Amazon’s innovation and improvements

  • Using feedback tools to draw on the associate experience and implement efficiencies
  • Creating a culture where discussion and new ideas are encouraged
  • Improving the working environment through our “Kaizen” programme
  • The “Gemba walk” - a useful tool to ensure our managers are supporting associates

Tina Oakley, HR Director - UK Operations, Amazon




Retailer Case Studies: THREE different perspectives on EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT cont....

3. Improving the colleague experience at Asda

  • Explain how Asda structures culture, engagement and communication
  • Explain what it matters to business performance
  • Explain how through the four enablers of engagement Asda are aiming to create a winning organisation

Charlie Field, Senior Director - Communication & Colleague Experience, Asda
Carl Tabisz, Senior Manager - Engagement, Asda


Retailer Case Study: Specsavers Platinum Employer - delivering a great employment experience 
The Specsavers Platinum Employer was set up to help deliver a consistently positive experience to all employees throughout their employment. Thereby ensuring they are able to recruit and retain the best people available to support the growth of the business. Without a regionally based HR support team to deliver it, delegates will be intrigued to find out how Specsavers have got the project off the ground. Five standards were created and cover:

  • Recruitment and induction
  • Performance management and reward
  • Talent management
  • Learning and development
  • Employee communication and engagement

James Turner, Head of HR - UK Projects, Specsavers


Retailer Case Study: How did Dr Martens define its culture without losing its sole?

  • Learn how Dr Martens preserved its core whilst stimulating energy and progress
  • Discover how they did it with a bottom up and top down approach
  • Understand why a poster with vision, mission and values on the toilet door was not for them
  • Find out how and why it took them 2 years to complete

Helen Verwoert, Group HR Director, Dr Martens
Amanda Fishburn, Global Change, Communication & Culture Lead, Dr Martens




Expert Opinion: Creating the workforce of the future - apprenticeship strategies

  • How the apprentice levy can enhance your early talent strategy
  • What type of apprentice programme suits your business
  • Devising apprenticeship strategies which are fully integrated into the business
  • How will the levy help address the UK’s skills gap?
  • How to measure the ROI of your student recruitment and development strategies

Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive, Institute of Student Employers


Retailer Case Study: Adventures in retail reward and performance

  • 'Back to Benefits' basics - obtaining great ROI with a teeny budget
  • Landing the message effectively - HR business partners are your friends
  • Behaviours - it's not (just) what you do, it's the way that you do it
  • Moving away from the Annual Appraisal monolith towards regular performance conversations

Janet McKenzie, Performance & Reward Manager, The Southern Cooperative


Chair's summary and closing remarks



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