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The Papers
• The HR Summit 2019
• AI in Retail Conference 2019
• Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
• Future of Customer Engagement 2020

The 2019 Programme

For all retailer speaker enquiries please contact Claire Knott -


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Chair's welcome and opening comments

Paul Deeprose, Managing Director, The Career Gym

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Retail Insight: What does this mean for the people agenda in retail?

This session from the BRC will look at the world of retail from a 'macro' perspective, setting the scene for HR related impacts.

  • Scene setting challenges currently facing retail
  • People challenges facing retail
  • So what does this mean for HR professionals?
  • Useful actions to take back to the workplace
Helen Dickinson, CEO, British Retail Consortium (BRC)
Melanie Steel, Non-Executive Director, British Retail Consortium (BRC)
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Retailer Perspectives on Engagement: 

1. Engaging employees in tough times - to deliver great service and increased productivity

Whitbread are moving away from their traditional annual survey and moving into a programme of listening, driven by life cycle surveys for exit and new joiners. This session will look at the use of life cycle surveys, focus groups and how ensuring employees use their knowledge and experience will unlock the barriers to delivering great service plus increased productivity.

  • Prioritising the roles to listen to the most
  • The importance of employees to guest experience
  • Why commercially it really make a difference
  • What is their purpose?
  • What matters most to the hourly paid role?
  • Delivering against them and taking action

Jo Tyler, Employee Engagement Manager, Whitbread

2. Engagement at URW

Una O'Reilly, Group Director of Engagement & Employer Branding, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

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Retailer Perspectives on Wellbeing:

Practical steps to embarking on a wellbeing journey 

The session will provide a framework for your organisation to create a wellbeing and mental health engagement strategy, you will hear first from Three and then from Coach on their different approaches to this topic.

  • How to define your strategy - where to begin
  • Getting commitment from board level for wellbeing to become part of the fabric of a business
  • Designing a work environment - culturally, technologically and physically supports an employee's wellbeing
  • Changing the mindset around mental health - education, awareness and support
  • Initiatives when promoting wellbeing of employees

Jenny Davidson, Director of People Propositions, Three

Alan Millbrow, Senior Consultant for Wellbeing & Recognition, Three

Elizabeth Cowper, VP HR Tapesty Europe, Coach International

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11.20-11.50 Expert Opinion: Employment law clinic - a round-up of the current 'hot' topics

  • Current key employment law updates to affect the retail sector
  • UK gender pay legislation - gender inequality in the retail sector
  • Changing the culture and  mindset of companies to support women after a career break
  • What does GDPR really mean for HR teams - ensuring good practice
  • National Minimum Wage

Kirsty Rogers, Partner & Head of Client Development, DWF


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Retailer Mega Panel Discussion: Making optimal use of technology to support and digitally enable your business - going through digital transformation

HR must improve its digital understanding to take control of technology and shape the kind of future it wants to see. The technology retail uses keeps employees engaged and communicating - creating an open and connected world to facilitate communication, decision making and information sharing. This panel will dicuss keeping apace with the latest technology changes and systems.

  • Impact of technology - changing capacity to shape employees' perception
  • The biggest barriers to digitalising HR functions
  • Perfecting agile organisations in the digital era of HR - the challenges of work
  • What HR digital transformation processes should be on your agenda?
  • HR service delivery, cloud solutions, tools and software
  • How do HR bots redefine the employee experience?
  • What are the risks and challenges associated with automation?
  • Using technology to drive gig-style working

Thomas Merrigan, Learning & Development Manager, Browns

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12.30-13.30 LUNCH & NETWORKING
13.30-14.10 Retailer Case Study: Hilton's global apprentice journey - developing your own programme

  • The reasons behind why this came about
  • Why should retail get involved in the apprentice space?
  • New apprentice standards (trailblazers)
  • Employers taking ownership - feedback process
  • Scaling and modelling perspective
  • Working with local governments

Kathryn Porter, Director of Youth Strategy EMEA, Hilton


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Retailer Case Study: Reinvigorating your brand through your people - building a true performance culture

This session will look at building a coaching culture where a diverse workforce can drive innovation and growth.

  • Enabling 'transformational change' through coaching and talent programmes
  • How to harness the power of your workforce - cultivating agents of change, creativity and agility
  • Paying attention to the human side of change
  • Working to create a culture where colleagues can develop and feel empowered

Sue Yell, HR Director, Warburtons

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Retailer Strategy Perspectives:

This session will look at changing HR from a transactional function that provided administrative services to the business, into a value-add solution that is focused on people.

1. HR as a strategic business partner 

  • What is HR's role in enhancing business performance?
  • Increasing your impact by presenting HR as a commercial and value-adding function
  • Building credibility and influencing skills to make a difference in your organisation
  • Proving understanding of the business and demonstrating impact on the bottom line
  • Putting HR at the heart of cultural transformation
  • Create buy-in with management and leadership
  • Creating colleague experience that supports the business strategy
  • How to be credible at the 'top table'

Jane Howkins, Training & Recruitment Manager, Moto

2. Delivering journeys that matter - HR's role in organisational transformation

  • Challenges for our business and industry
  • How we thought about our problem
  • What we got right; what we got wrong
  • Our next steps

Mathew Davies, HR Director, Addison Lee

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15.55-16.20 Retail Case Study: Showing the value of values and culture

Nikki Remmer, Head of Reputation & Culture, McDonald's UK

16.20-16.30 Chair's summary and closing remarks

Venue & Contact

Hallam Conference Centre, London W1W 6JJ

0207 637 5526 or 0207 631 2055

8 October 2019

For retail speaker opportunities:

Claire Knott

For sponsorship and non retailer speaker opportunities:

Karen Howard
T: 01276 489626 M:07725414385

Meet Our 2019 Partners

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The HR Summit 2019
The HR Summit 2019
8 October 2019
Hallam Conference Centre, London W1W 6JJ
Company values, collaboration with employees and driving a major HR transformation to create a truly omnichannel experience, need to be at the heart of the organisation's culture and brand
AI in Retail Conference 2019
AI in Retail Conference 2019
16 October 2019
Cavendish Conference Center, London W1G 9DT
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2020
5 February 2020
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Future of Customer Engagement 2020
Future of Customer Engagement 2020
10 June 2020
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1G 9DT
The 11th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Conference