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The 2023 Programme



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Morning chair's welcome and opening comments

Elizabeth Cowper, Founder & CEO, Ludo

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Retail HR Macro Address: What’s next for the retail profession and the future of work - navigating the current climate

The need to reset - for employees in the current complex and challenging world of Covid, Brexit and cost of living crisis, coupled with digital transformation and the wider global economy - is more pressing than ever. Resilience in the retail sector, both as a business and as a workforce, will require transformation and culture change in the workplace.

  • ‘Liquid workforces’ and what this means - challenges and barriers of a flexible and hybrid workforce
  • How to keep momentum in organisation and build back from a crisis
  • The interruption to people and processes - how to deal with uncertainty
  • How to build your teams for digitalisation
  • Building trust in organisations through workplace transparency
  • The current employment space and how the retail world is changing

Jo Causon, CEO, The Institute of Customer Service

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Retail HR Insights: Recruitment and retention - the war on talent in a competitive retail job market

In today’s competitive market a strong talent acquisition process is a must. Regardless of the size or scope of your business, talent acquisition must always be approached strategically to attract the talent you are looking for. This panel will discuss the key ingredients for a robust talent management strategy.

  • Talent development plans - do they go low enough down the management hierarchy?
  • How to turn the tide on the talent war through investing in internal talent marketplaces
  • Tips for recalibrating the workplace to attract new talent
  • Building a talent pipeline for our future - how to assess and develop emerging talent
  • Could the great resignation be retail’s greatest opportunity?
  • How to change the old-fashioned company mindset when it comes to hiring new talents?
  • Innovating recruitment strategies with the help of technology

Liz Jewitt-Cross, former Interim People & Transformation Director (CPO), New Look

Sara Barrett, Learning & Development Manager, Lincolnshire Co-op

Charlotte Rees-John, Head of Consumer Goods & Services, Irwin Mitchell

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Retail HR Perspectives: How to deliver a successful strategic workforce planning - prioritising the digital capabilities of the business

‘Right size, right people, and right time’ - this session will look at redesigning workforce planning for changing futures to achieve this equilibrium.

  • Leveraging workforce analytics to find the right balance - data-driven organisations vs. unlocking employee potential
  • Understanding your people analytics - how to use data to create succession plans to retain your workforce
  • How can automated workforce management solve the retail staffing crisis?
  • Innovating recruitment strategies with the help of technology
  • Why do people analytics matter for talent management leaders?

Avichal Kulshrestha, Principal Manager - Industry Insights, UKG

Liz Jewitt-Cross, former Interim People & Transformation Director (CPO), New Look

Melanie Steel, Founder, People Change Expertise

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HR Retail Learning Labs 1:

Benefits of L&D - new initiatives in orchestrating a people-driven culture

This interactive session will examine how understanding L&D education can be used to attract and retain staff and ultimately change the workplace culture.

  • 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?
  • Benefits to the business - building pipeline for management
  • How to attract great people - is it just about pay?
  • Building a skill library that helps elevate the employee experience

Chris Hawcutt, Head of Talent Acquisition & Development, The Children's Society

Karolina Dimitrova, Operations Manager, Uber
Simon Tindall, Director of Skills and Innovation, The Open University

Liz Ponting, Sector Lead Specialist - Transport & Logistics, The Open University

HR Retail Learning Labs 2:

Upskilling / reskilling management to attract, motivate and retain a productive workforce

"A good manager is priceless, a bad manager is expensive" - this interactive workshop looks at how getting the right people management skills in place is paramount to succeed in today’s retail environment, looking at practical ways to engage with all generations and overcome the inevitable challenges of the new world of work.

  • Aligning managers with your current retail strategy - can they deliver what you need now?
  • The most efficient approach to building people skills - have you got the right blend?
  • Measuring management competencies and the impact of your development programme - is it working?

Pete Fullard, CEO, Upskill People
Jane Howkins, Head of Talent & Resourcing, Moto Hospitality

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Retail Strategy Perspectives 1:

Becoming a ‘purpose led’ organisation - authenticity, diversity and engagement

This session will look at how being a purpose led organisation means skilling for a future and orientated workforce, with the need to blend for digital and non-digital employees, taking into consideration the demographics of the workforce and diverse culture.

  • ‘Agile organisations’ - reviewing your structure and its processes
  • Refocusing on purpose and values for engagement
  • Attracting Gen Z and the employee engagement space
  • Building the foundations to retain a flexible retail workforce

Emma James, Head of Colleague Experience & Comms, Moto Hospitality

Shelly Nash, Group People & Culture Director, London Marathon Events

Retail Strategy Perspectives 2:

Your staff are your superpower - crafting a long-term wellbeing and engagement strategy

Recent retail challenges have accelerated the need for better employee work/life balance and businesses are now understanding the benefits of a happy and engaged workforce. This session looks at why retail should adopt a progressive business-leading approach to wellbeing and engagement.

  • Providing a framework for your organisation to create a wellbeing and mental health engagement strategy
  • Implementing change through communication and leading by example
  • How to nurture employee buy-in for health and wellbeing
  • Valuing your people - how to prove the value of wellbeing
  • Supporting people with mental health and the effects of executive burnout
  • Building long-term resilience in the workforce - the link to wellbeing and mental health

Jeremy Gautrey-Jones, Assistant Director - Employee Experience, RSPCA

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Chair's closing comments

Venue & Contact


May 17 2023


For retail speaker opportunities:

Claire Knott
T: 01276 489626

For sponsorship and non retailer speaker opportunities:

Karen Howard
T: 01276 489626 M:07725414385

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