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The 2019 Programme




Chair's welcome and opening comments

Paul Deeprose, Managing Director, The Career Gym Ltd


Sector Case Study: What does a purposeful HR leader look like - empowering and enabling from the top down
This session reiterates the importance of keeping all staff engaged and motivated, from Board members right down to employees in junior positions - moving from transactional to strategic HR to add value to your business.

  • What does a purposeful HR leader look like and what qualities define them?
  • How can HR help employees realise their purpose, and what can the HR function do to ensure a leader is leading with purpose?
  • How do you make sure a culture of inclusion is integrally linked to the organisation's strategic direction?
  • Allowing managers, the empowerment and ownership to lead their teams

Anne-Marie Lister, Head of People Experience, Atom Bank


Retailer Case Study: How to gain a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining high calibre talent

  • Why talent planning is critical
  • The importance of manager buy-in on developing talent internally
  • Using performance management process as the engine room for talent planning
  • Developing a career development programme for employees
  • How do we ensure retail is considered a career of choice and create career pathways that retain staff?
  • Apprentice schemes – are they a good way to develop a new pipeline of skills that can support future growth plans?

Heather Lee, Head of People & Performance, Lincolnshire Co-operative
Tracey White, Principal Lecturer in Learning Innovation & Flexible Provision, University of Lincoln
Martin Hickerton, Partnership Development Manager, University of Lincoln International Business School


Industry Perspective: HR's role in making optimal use of technology to support and digitally enable your business
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.

  • How a shift towards a digital employee experience can optimise productivity
  • How can organisations measure the success of the digital employee experience?
  • What is the culture change required ?
  • The role that technology has on implementing and measuring the success of programmes, HR & payroll systems
  • How can a company support staff in making this shift through training, mentoring and coaching?

Martin Kirke, Group HR Director, Post Office




Retailer Case Study: Hudson's Bay expand into Europe using Speakap

  • About Hudson’s Bay  - history and presence in the Netherlands
  • 'Bay Talk' - programme mechanics and key features
  • Speakaps’ role and plans for the future

Geert Crooijmans, CRM Manager, Hudson's Bay Company
Guy Chiswick, Managing Director UK&I,  Speakap


Retailer SuperPanel Discussion: Redefine your engagement strategy - become a value-led business and a great place to work
As HR professionals, we understand the importance of employee engagement - how it helps to develop strong positive feelings and attitudes amongst staff, and helps staff to give their best even when times get tough. Ultimately, employee engagement levels have a huge impact on an organisation's performance and success.

  • Exploring how increased employee engagement can be achieved
  • How can we create an engaged workforce who engage more with customers?
  • What the Board thinks is engagement often isn't what engagement is to the workforce
  • What makes retail employees tick?
  • Demonstrating the positive correlation between employee engagement and productivity
  • Why employers need to try to identify barriers to productivity
  • The inherent barriers to increasing productivity in retail
  • Labour costs vs engagement?
  • Changing the culture in retail
  • How do we measure employee satisfaction - are annual engagement surveys dead?
  • Measuring the impact of engagement on leadership and management - the delivery of an online learning platform

Katy Downes, Senior Engagement Manager, Network Rail
Nebel Crowhurst, Head of Talent Development, River Island
Melanie Steel, Interim HR Director - Transformation, Solus Accident Repair Centres (Aviva)

James Harrison, VP Sales EMEA, Avature




Interactive Panel Debate: How to build a wellbeing strategy that is inclusive
This panel debate will discuss the strategic and practical elements of developing and implementing holistic wellness programmes, building resilience and tackling stress amongst employees. For HR and reward professionals, implementing a cost-effective strategy to meet the needs of both employees and business's bottom line is vital.

  • How to manage a diverse workforce
  • How to create a ‘great place to work'
  • How to support, train and engage with your staff around mental health
  • How to build a wellbeing strategy that gets executive buy in
  • Building a wellbeing strategy on a budget
  • How to achieve work/life balance
  • How to embedded wellbeing into everything you do
  • Creating a culture that supports flexible working
  • Why do giving ‘Back to the Community' programmes work?

Elizabeth Cowper, VP HR, Coach Europe
Judith Grant, Associate Director Health & Wellbeing, Mace
Claire Douglas, Head of Occupational Health & Wellbeing, SCS Railways
Karen Beaven, Founder, HR Entrepreneurs Network

Tony Cooke, HR Director, Adidas Group


Expert Opinion: Key GDPR issues for HR in the retail sector

  • What impact will GDPR have on recruitment in the retail sector?
  • With the high staff turnover in retail, what practical steps can HR take to comply with the right to be forgotten (the right of erasure)?
  • Data breach - how to keep your data secure and what to do in the event of a breach.
  • Privacy impact assessments (PIA) - when is a PIA likely to be necessary in the retail sector? 
  • Investigations - can CCTV footage captured for one purpose be used during an investigation for a different purpose?
  • Data subject access requests:  What's new? How to streamline the process?
  • Taking note - what are the dos and dont's for interview notes?

Kirsty Rogers, Partner & Head of Client Development, DWF

Kate Meadowcroft, Head of Employment Team, DWF


Retailer Case Study: Reinvigorating your brand through your people

  • How to reposition your employment brand
  • Enhancing your brand to attract the right talent
  • Using traditional metrics - colleague retention, engagement surveys, general focus group feedback
  • Employee re-branding 
  • Where do hotels start when building a brand awareness strategy for recruitment? 

Jon Dawson, Director of Human Resources, The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London 




Expert Opinion: Retail reinvention - what the evolving retail landscape means for hiring

Hiring for retail roles used to be easy. But in today’s retail landscape, it can be much harder to find the right candidate for the job. Learn from Indeed’s labour market expert how recent trends and shifts in the retail industry serve as an opportunity for retailers to effectively position themselves in front of top talent.

Matt Price, Senior Sales Director, Indeed


The importance of ‘People Vision' in HR strategy
This timely topic for employers and employees at all levels is influenced by many modern factors including the changing workplace environment, diverse demographics, office tech and the increasingly flexible working day. Learn how to incorporate some of the top strategies, including social and peer-to-peer recognition.

  • Building a people strategy that has the employee experience at the heart of it
  • The challenges faced and successes achieved 
  • Adding flexibility and responsibility to your core ethos
  • The deep impact of AI and tech on behaviours, old hierarchical structures and organisational culture
  • Focusing on the organisation's shop floor staff and the demographic of this section of the workforce
  • What initiatives can HR implement to encourage emotional connection?
  • Building roles around people, not people around roles
  • What KPIs should be agreed with the retail team to measure and drive the right behaviours in store?

Melanie Steel, Interim HR Director - Transformation, Solus Accident Repair Centres (Aviva)


Chair's summary and closing remarks

Venue & Contact

Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1

0207 637 5526 or 0207 631 2055

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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