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

Alan Millbrow, Senior Consultant for Wellbeing & Recognition, Three
Elizabeth Cowper, VP HR Tapesty Europe, Coach International

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Expert Opinion: Harassment in the workplace and senior HR management responsibilities
The workplace is changing, latest statistics report a 70% increase in sex discrimination claims - hence, with the onset of Brexit and the #metoo movement, employers are facing an unprecedented level of change.

  • The future of #MeToo and protecting your organisation
  • The increase of harassment and bullying, both generally and globally
  • The Equality Act 2010 - understanding the legal impact of harassment
  • Is the customer always right? What is your duty to protect?
  • Leading from the top - what steps should senior HR management take to ensure workplace culture is not leaving business open to claims?

Kirsty Rogers, Partner & Head of Client Development, DWF

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Retail Interview: Making optimal use of technology to digitally enable your business to go through HR 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 interview will discuss 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

Matthew Brooks, Head of HR Solutions, Experian

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Retail Fireside Chat: Deskless not voiceless - redefining the knowledge worker in retail
Connecting the whole organisation and giving everyone a voice is an essential part of a happy, successful business - unfortunately, this is far from reality. 84% of business leaders say that they stay connected with their frontline workers, but only 14% of those employees feel connected to HQ, and only 3% feel connected to their C-Suite. It's time for a change.

This session will be a conversation with Alia Lamaadar, Enterprise Growth - EMEA, Workplace by Facebook and a special guest, where they will discuss the importance of creating connected communities at work, tips on how to navigate and communicate with frontline workers, and the reason why companies should obsess about their culture.

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12.35-13.30 LUNCH & NETWORKING

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Retail Quick Fire Challenge: Future retail trends - the changing face of HR

  • How do we attract talent as a sector now and in the future?
  • Digital disruption and the speed of change required - the future impact on HR strategy
  • HR organisation strategy to change in terms of skills of the future
  • How can you transform your HR function to be future ready?
  • Exploring the digital workforce of tomorrow
  • Recruiting a workforce for the future - lifelong learning
  • What will happen to retail's growing unemployed - the future availablity of labour in the retail sector?
  • Artificial intelligence - the driving force for human change?
  • Tackling the millennial engagement challenge - the future of employees in retail
  • Creating teams for the future
  • Innovation in HR - new strategies and practice

Keynote Address: Perry Timms, Author, Transformational HR
Carin Hammer-Blakebrough, Country HR Manager, IKEA UK & Ireland 
Liz Jewitt-Cross, Interim Chief HR Officer, McArthur Glen
Kirsty Pitcher, Director of HR - Retail & Opticians, Boots UK & ROI
Emily Lofting Kisakye, HR Director - Europe & International, Urban Outfitters
Vickie Gooch, HR Director - Food, Sainsbury's
Sarah Eglin, Head of People Partnering - Retail Support & Logistics, Co-op
Nikki Williams, People Experience Manager, Lush
Wendy Doherty, People Director, Bestway Retail

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Retail 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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Retail 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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15.45-16.10 Retail Case Study: Leveraging real-time people date to increase employee engagement

  • The shift from traditional processes toward real-time feedback
  • Empowering managers to have more impactful and regular conversations
  • Driving quality conversations with your people
  • Identifying focused actions for improvement
  • Creating a tangible vision for change

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Retail 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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Retail Case Study: Showing the value of values and culture
The creation and delivery of 'The Big Conversation' is a case study in stakeholder management, collaboration, employee engagement, prototyping and experimentation.  It has delivered a clear line of sight between positive organisational culture and increased customer satisfaction. Our speakers will share the journey McDonald's has been on to become the UK and Ireland's best loved restaurant company and the role that culture and employee engagement has played in realising that ambition.Nikki Remmer, Head of Reputation & Culture, McDonald's UK
Mok O'Keefe, Author, The Innovation Ecosystem

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17.05-17.15 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 Retail Marketing 2020
Future of Retail Marketing 2020
10 June 2020
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1G 9DT
The Future of Retail Marketing for Customer Engagement