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The 2022 Programme

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Chair's welcome and opening comments

MOK O'Keeffe, Founder, The Innovation Beehive
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09.25-09.50 Retail Insight: What have we learnt from 2021/2022?

This session from our legal expert will look at the immediate and longer-term consequences that are facing the world of retail from an employment law perspective.

  • What are the key changes to make for HR professionals going forward?
  • Useful actions to take back to the workplace
  • Navigating the ongoing saga of the ‘Great Resignation’
  • Creating high-performance teams post-covid
  • Flexible work and paid leave during menopause

Kirsty Rogers, Global Head of ESG & Managing Partner, DWF

Nikki Williams, Head of Experience, LUSH

09.50-10.50 Retail Lightning Talks: Examining the impact of digital on retail - transformation of the HR function

In this session we will hear from different key retail HR professionals who will give their sound bites on what the digital transformation has meant to them and their business.

  • HR & IT collaboration as a ‘business / culture’ project
  • Overcoming common faults in the path to digitisation
  • Data information - recruitment and onboarding, talent and succession, people analytics
  • Covid forced digital changes around L&D – what’s best for employees and employer?
  • Blended learning – getting a mix of e-learning for the younger demographic vs systems and older demographic
  • Digitalisation of workforce management
  • New HR payroll systems to recognise employee shift patterns in retail

Rotageek speaker to be announced

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Retail Fireside Chat:  Leading from the top into the future the uncertain world of retail

Retail has been through unprecedented times and leadership has had to adapt and change to meet the needs of the workforce, as a result our working lives and our customers expectations have changed - we cannot go back to leadership as usual. In this session we talk with two well-respected HR leaders about what steps senior HR management need to take, to ensure workplace culture is at the fabric of their organisation’s retail strategy. Delegates will have the opportunity to reflect on their own leadership style and how it might adapt to meet future challenges.

  • Five H’s of Leadership 4.0 - Leading in Head, Heart, Health, Habit & History
  • How to keep momentum in your organisation when building back from a crisis
  • How to deal with uncertainty and the interruption to people and processes
  • How do organisations get employees ‘re-energised’?
  • Crisis management and HR management responsibilities
  • And how can HR leaders adapt for future success?
  • Building effective communication strategies
  • Mastering the executive transition process

MOK O'Keeffe, Founder, The Innovation Beehive

Navid Nazemian, Global Head of HR, Vodafone

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Retail Perspectives:

Recruitment - fighting for talent in a competitive job market

  • The current employment space and how the retail world is changing
  • Where / how to reach these candidates?
  • Changing job roles, team organisation, responsibilities in retail
  • How to attract great people – is it just about pay?
  • Skills shortage - how do we collaborate and innovate to ensure connecting the right capabilities and skills
  • Building skills with what you have whilst providing what Gen Z needs and wants
  • The need to learn different skills since the onset of the pandemic
  • The importance of behavioural qualities
  • Tips for recalibrating the workplace to attract new talent
Anne-Marie Lister, Chief People Officer, Atom bank
Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum

Benefits of L&D - new initiatives

  • HR, training and advancement opportunities for shop floor employees
  • How to re-educate, stimulate employees when using a third party and when not to?
  • What role do and should managers play in employee professional development
  • Is all retail training all skills based?
  • Baseline journey surveys – reorganising formal training
James Hampton, Head of Learning, Talent and Culture, St Austell Brewery

Retention - motivating and retaining great people

  • How to achieve a happy, fulfilled workforce - listening to employees
  • Effective policies to retain and nurture your top digital talent
  • Incentivising your existing workforce to stay and embrace new technologies
  • Collecting, understanding and interpreting data to retain employees
  • Reducing resignation and building retention
  • Building organisational trust
  • Build recognition and feedback into the workflow
Emma James, Head of Colleague Experience, Moto Hospitality
Kevin Green, Chief People Officer, First Bus
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12.45-13.45 LUNCH & NETWORKING
13.45-14.30 Retail Strategy Perspectives: Becoming a ‘purpose led’ organisation - sustainability and authenticity

There has been a fundamental shift in consumer views on which institutions to trust and the expectations they increasingly have of business and business leaders to focus on societal change. Retail must integrate people with technology, generate commercial sales through sustainability, stimulate customer loyalty through ethical behaviour to achieve profit without profiteering.

  • Refocusing on purpose and values for engagement
  • Attracting Gen Z and the employee engagement space
  • ‘Agile organisations’ - reviewing your structure and its processes
  • Marginalised workforces - redeployment of skills
Heather Lee, Head of Human Resources, Lincolnshire Co-op
Sue Yell, HR Director, Warburtons
Alison Payne, People Director, COOK Trading
Hazel Hogben, SVP HR International, Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Jordan James Barry, Chief People & Culture Officer, RS Components
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Retail Learning Labs:

Led by: Elizabeth Cowper, Founder, WoMo Network

Diversity - driving action and enacting change

  • How effective are D&I initiatives in retail?
  • Confronting the realities of D&I progress
  • Understanding how-to bring D&I to the workplace
  • Tackling change - an inclusive and collaborative culture
  • What the biggest D&I challenges will be for organisations in the future?
  • Offering opportunities for everyone to work and grow in retail
  • How a diverse workforce can help enterprises boost business performance and reduce succession risks
Asiye Yuzer, Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager, Aesop
Phil Vickers, Director of HR, UK & USA, Charles Tyrwhitt

Wellbeing - crafting a long-term strategy that works for all

  • Building long-term resilience in the workforce – the link to wellbeing and mental health
  • Providing a framework for your organisation to create a wellbeing and mental health engagement strategy
  • Implementing change through communication and leading by example
  • Prioritising a healthy work-life balance – what policy and practical changes might be needed?
  • Poor workforce mental health - key characteristics to look for
  • How to nurture employee buy-in for health and wellbeing
  • Integrating mental wellbeing and psychological safety within team culture
Nick Davison, Head of Wellbeing, John Lewis & Partners (2011-2022)
Emily Lofting-Kisakye, HR Director - Europe, Cognita Schools
Dr Claire Douglas, Health & Wellbeing Expert
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15.40-16.10 Retail Case Study: Using data and technology to drive better workforce decisions

  • Leading an organisation through change with 'neuroscience and the numbers'
  • People analytics to scenario plan the future of work
  • The pace of data and technology change - implications for the workplace
  • Challenges and risks, for organisations and employees
  • Technology and new ways of working
  • Utilising data analytics, such as surveys and feedback questionnaires
  • Enabling HR to kickstart a data driven culture


16.10-16.55 Retail Quick Fire Challenge: What’s next for the retail HR profession and the future of work?

  • What does the future looks like in terms of employee culture, experience, and engagement?
  • The shift in the culture of retail - the role and prominence of HR
  • The changing retail organisation structure - more strategic, less operational admin?
  • ‘Liquid workforces’ and what this means – challenges and barriers of a flexible and hybrid workforce
  • The future relationship between shops and head office and between channels
  • ‘Deskless not voiceless’ - redefining the knowledge worker in retail
  • How can retailers stay relevant to the empowered workforce?
  • How critical will technology be in helping HR achieve its goals?
  • Re-training managers for the inevitable challenges of the new world of work
  • The impact the move to agile could have on the HR operating model
Tim Pointer, Chief People Officer - CAA Brand Management, Creative Artists Agency
Sue Yell, HR Director, Warburtons
Sarah Eglin, Head of People Coop Operations - Funeralcare, Stores, Logistics & Business Services, Coop
16.55-17.05 Chair's summary and closing remarks

Venue & Contact

Hallam Conference Center, 44 Hallam Street, London W1W 6JJ

21 September 2022


For retail speaker opportunities:

Claire Knott
E: [email protected]
T: 01276 489626

For sponsorship and non retailer speaker opportunities:

Karen Howard
T: 01276 489626 M:07725414385
E: [email protected]

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