Richmond Events HR Forum – reporting back

22 & 23 May, The Grove, Hertfordshire.

Just back from the HR Forum, feeling a bit like an owl blinking in the sunlight, as I surface from two days of discussions with senior HR and Reward professionals!

Overall the event was incredibly upbeat and was very well attended. I met individuals from 28 different organisations, both large and small, during a mixture of one-to-one briefings and dinner meetings. The hot topic on everyone’s lips was employee engagement and how to improve it. It seems that as an industry we’ve now gone well beyond the theory and research, most HR professionals are fully on-board with the potential benefits of an engaged workforce, both to the organisation and its people. Companies now want, and NEED, to put that theory into practice – and that is what the majority of my conversations were about.

Employee engagement at a much deeper level

A few people that I spoke to had existing reward and recognition systems, that were perhaps not functioning as well as they hoped, but the majority were there to discuss new initiatives.  Namely, getting their employees to engage with the business at a deeper level.  Going beyond merely doing their job on a day to day basis, but understanding company culture and values, seeing where they fit in the big picture, and how what they do makes a difference to the success of the company.

Enhancing employee value proposition

With Brexit looming many were looking at ways to enhance their employee value proposition in order to attract and retain talent from a potentially much smaller pool. Initiatives to move to a culture of employee appreciation and saying thank you across departments, helping to bring the organisation together and cut through silo-based thinking were high on many agendas.

Employee discount schemes were also discussed at length.  Many of these schemes have been around for a few years now, and organisations that were in the forefront of introducing them to their employees are now actively reviewing to see what is new and improved. As well as a comprehensive range of discounts and offers, most are looking for a platform that ensures accessibility for all.  In short, something that is easy to use with no training required and with mobile access to cover a broader demographic.

The future is bright

As the event closed yesterday afternoon, there was an excitement around the event as delegates were buzzing with ideas.  Ideas for improving staff engagement and productivity, enhancing the employee value proposition, and breaking down departmental silos to build a more inclusive, positive culture that recognises individual effort.

As I write, we are putting the finishing touches to our latest customer story, specialist insurer DAS, who have seen a measurable increase in employee engagement.  Come back next week for the details.

Matt Snare, Sales Director

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