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Exploring the productivity challenges for the UK as we look to improve business to create a better economy. What does the Mayfield productivity review reveal? And what are the predicted impacts and implications of a protracted EU exit, and the quest for global business opportunities?

The employee experience
The consumerisation of work, the importance of feedback and consistency of employee journey from onboarding to exit. A creative and effective approach to employee experience design. What are the components and strategies to achieve better working lives?

Tackling unconscious bias in recruitment; are algorithms the answer to unbiased hiring? Plus finding talent in a candidate-driven market, how can employers most effectively use social recruitment and data-driven recruiting? How can employers increase their appeal to candidates looking for cultural fit? Also in focus, how can high employee turnover rates be effectively reversed? And how can talent acquisition leaders make more effective and accurate strategic decisions to meet an ever changing supply with demand?

From education to the world of work
With the skills deficit and dribbling pipeline still deeply concerning, should organisations be playing a much more pro-active role in bridging the gap between education and work? Plus how can male-dominated, crucial sectors more effectively promote attract females to consider careers, such as role-modelling in schools?


In the game-changing workplace, what is the best strategy for improving retention and optimising performance? What now can effectively avoid stagnation and career inertia? What is society’s impact on engagement, and how are the changing conventions of work impacting on engagement?

Knowledge management
How can you most effectively develop a knowledge sharing culture that supports collaboration and enhances relations and the effective transfer of knowledge? What is the best approach to eradicate siloed working, and build a culture of transparency and the broadest contribution?

Disruptors & disruption
Preparing for an uncertain future: How are customers, competitors, employees and technology contributing? How can we best turn the dynamics of disruption into a positive? How can businesses look to optimise the positives and mitigate against the negatives?

Workforce planning
In a flat economy and volatile world, how can employers forecast human capital requirements, anticipate gaps before they occur, and ensure the organisation has the capability and infrastructure to meet business objectives?


For all the media attention, still only one in ten students seriously consider an apprenticeship. What is causing this continued negativity and how can this be reversed? How effective are degree apprenticeships? Plus, looking at the levy impacts and opportunities for employers, are apprenticeships the practical answer to re-skilling and up-skilling across the organisation? How can apprenticeship retention be improved?

Mergers & acquisitions
Brexit uncertainty has caused a 60 percent drop in M&As involving UK businesses in 2017 compared to 2016 (Baker McKenzie research). As the EU economy looks set to surge and UK economy predicted to fall, what does the future hold for British business in regards to M&A ambitions and activity and how might this impact on HR? Plus with the more complex operations within organisations, how can potential acquirers get a clear picture of the business and the way it operates?

Prescience & Agility
Adaptive capacity is essential in the VUCA world. What platforms are available to keep businesses competitive and how effective is big data proving, in the bid to  predict the future in decision-making? How do you create a more agile resourcing and operation framework? Plus is the increasing use of checks and measures stifling innovation and risk taking?

Cultural change and business integration
What are the key elements for managing cultural change and building a balanced and diverse culture? How can we avoid fixing cultures that could stifle individuality and turn off potential candidates from diverse backgrounds and cultures?  What is the route to developing and supporting employees to be empowered, to bring innovation and flexibility of approach and create an L&D strategy to support it? Is there now a need for ‘culture add’ as opposed to ‘culture fit’?


What now for the gig economy?
Reports suggest the “uberization of work” keeps coming unstuck. What has caused the negativity towards gig working? Does the gig economy really hold the key to agility and the capacity to react to change, technological advancement and fast-moving commercial changes? Should HR support the gig economy, ignore it or keep an open mind? Is legislation up to the task of managing the gig economy? What is the perspective from those working at a senior level in HR within a gig organisation? And what is the impact for the HR profession with respect to interim, hr consultants and freelancers and future career aspirations or choices? Plus a look at the recommendations made on the gig economy in the Taylor Review.

Supporting leaders and ongoing leadership succession planning
How and why is how we develop leaders changing? What are the most pertinent and sustainable Leadership models? How can collaboration be best developed and supported? How can the necessary skills & attributes of good leadership be spotted, supported and developed. Plus how can leadership be best measured and benchmarked?

Development of teamwork to support the collaboration culture
As the world of work becomes more remote and disparate, how can greater integration in the strategic planning cycle and business operation be improved, maintaining synergy, connectivity and collaboration in the workforce? How can HR best bring remote teams to work together and can leaders keep a grip on the dispersed workforce to meet objectives? What are the best strategies for reporting and keeping the relative people in the loop and with the right information?

The talent and skills pipeline
Is the best route to tackling skills shortages through investing in re-skilling and up-skilling, or recruiting skills and talent in when needed? How can we mitigate against development inertia and catalyze continued career movement? Plus the importance of external market intelligence and competitor organisation propositions, what are platforms for intelligence gathering and how can this be best curated and capitalised upon? What will be the impact of digitalisation and the outcomes of Brexit?


Employment law and a review of legislative change
What are the key law issues in 2018? Complying with the GDPR (new regulations in May 2018). Brexit and the changes in UK employment law. Plus analysis of the Taylor Review what are the findings and recommendations around workers rights that must be considered?

Adding value to HR service and provision
What is causing the shortages of the right HR skills in the market? How can HR be effectively promoted? Plus what is the sustainable way for supporting all stakeholders to adopt and own good HR practice? As the workplace becomes automated, self-service and remote can HR maintain the human touch?

Future strategy and forward planning
A focus on the forward-looking roadmap incorporating: what business goals and outcomes must be delivered, as globalisation becomes the business imperative? What does success look like and how will it be measured?

Leaders for 2022 and beyond
In a world of continuous change, how can future leaders be best prepared and developed for 2022 and beyond? Will the flatter workforce work and does the modern framework provide leader support?


Organisational development
How can you best manage performance to increase accountability? What is the best approach to build a more reliable and sustainable pipeline of skills and capability? How can we address the career development needs of a multigenerational workforce? What’s the route to engaging and retaining a diverse workforce and what are the challenges of managing remote employees and building a culture of self-motivation, responsibility and increased accountability? What are the most effective channels to communicate organisational priorities?

The new face of reward & remuneration
How bad is the gender pay gap and how is it damaging businesses? How best can we tackle the gaps and what will reporting hope to achieve? Can fair reward across the organisation ever be possible? Is the rise of CEO remuneration relative to the average a cause for concern and fuelling the rising disquiet over the gulf in leader remuneration? Does Pay and performance need to be decoupled? What are the most effective alternative compensation models. What are the dangers of reward moving away from the traditional HR model in reparation for the future “war” on excessive pay?

Equality and inclusion
With discrimination remaining a contentious issue, gender pay has revealed unacceptable disparity and the plight of disabled worker career progression remains unchanged. Add to this the right to request flexible working and the suggestion that workers are being penalised if they do so. How best can employers support flexible working and challenge the stereotypes and why is it taking so long to achieve parity?

Tackling bullying and harassment
Bullying and harassment is on the increase. According to TUC research, 52 percent of 1,533 women surveyed said they experienced sexual harassment at work and 79 percent did not report it. There is growing disquiet in the workplace surrounding race and religion and LGBT people continue to be persecuted. What is the best route to greater awareness and acceptance and a culture where everyone can bring their real selves to work?


Big data and analytics
Are we masters or servants to big data? In the deluge of data, does HR have the skills and capacity to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful information? Is analytics the panacea to an always informed and up-to -date business, fuelling organisations make better informed business decisions.

Developing the employer brand
That Attraction is key to future talent is taken as read. But how does your organisation look from the outside and how can you find out what others think? How can you build business trust in your organisation and increase its value by enriching the lives of its employees?

Learning and development
What is the future of L&D? How can learning be positioned to optimise organisation agility? What is the most effective incremental learning that can continually raise the bar on performance? Social learning – what is it and how can it support workplace learning and personal development? What success are organisations enjoying, if any, from evidence based learning?

Creating high-performing organisational cultures
What are the channels and components towards effective vision and mission statements? How can we most effectively get buy-in from all stakeholders and motivate progression? What the most effective execution of business goals and how can we continue to develop sustainable performance cultures?


Corporate Governance
If trust is the new currency of business, how can you mitigate commercial objectives with reputational risks on the global stage? With CSR calling out irresponsible business behaviour and poor corporate governance that tarnishes the reputation of business and undermines public trust in enterprise, how can we develop and support a  corporate standards framework and assess how organisations can operate to the highest ethical standards in light of trading more globally post Brexit?

Managing career development
How today can we best identify and set employee career development paths to meet both individual expectations and business objectives? What are the components needed to empower people to motivate their own ambitions and provide information about opportunities? Plus how do we address the career development needs of the multi-generational workforce?

Money matters
How best can employers advise and support employees inclusively, from students struggling with debt and trying to get on the property ladder to the best post-work and pensions options? What are the most effective communication platforms, and does self-service provide the platform for education, information and advice. How can employers best provide the support that is really needed and is appreciated?

Standardisation vs flexibility and agility – finding a balance
Finding a balance of agility and stability. How can we develop a standardization framework that encourages innovation and calculable risk? How can a culture of blame be improved, to allow freedom of innovative thought, and reduce the fear factor of failure? Conversely, is a flexible operational framework capable of maintaining a best-practice operation?


Managing organisational knowledge and capability
How can we most effectively develop dynamic knowledge capabilities consistent with the ability to process rapidly changing information and perspectives on an organisation and business environment? Not just intellectual capital, how can intangible assets such as customer relations and supplier network contacts be retained to the operation, should a key employee leave?

The changing role of management
How is the erosion of the subordinate/manager relationship impacting and must organisations act to adapt the role of management in the flatter working environment? With command and control resigned to history, what is the position, role and responsibility of managers and how can organisations create a sustainable framework?

Succession planning across the organisation
How can organisations plan for the future and create a rolling contingency for essential roles – not just leaders – to mitigate against unexpected occurrences, such as illness or resignation? What is the best way to create a culture of coaching and mentoring? How can we ensure that succession planning is fully inclusive?

Human v machine – finding synergy and building collaboration
In light of the increasing rise of AI, what are the HR challenges and potential business and operational opportunities? How can the unstoppable pace of technology be fully optimised, and where is the balance, to promote more fulfilling work and opportunities? What is the best use of AI within organisations and how can human interaction ensure a balance?


Talent management
What is the most practical way to build talent pools using data? How can data take the place of gut feel, and is it possible that a reliance on data means that talent is lost and the wrong candidates are hired? What are the best strategies to spot, nurture and retain your talent across the organisation?

Health & Wellbeing
The importance of happiness and contentment is taken as read, but stress and work-related illness is on the rise. Will the flatter workforce lead to greater openness, empathy and understanding? Is the always on, and blurring of work and personal life dis-railing good health and wellbeing, leading to a sharp rise in levels of stress and burnout? How can we build resilience and become a more life-affirming employer?  How can technology be utilised to monitor health and wellbeing of employees and be a highly effective and preventative tool?

The increasing role of people science
Is people science having an impact on your organisation and what are the impacts and outcomes? Having accurate and accessible people data is one thing, but do we have the capability to understand the interactions between people and their environment, which could lead to improved behaviours, organisational systems, and performance? Can people science lead to better informed decision making and a greater understanding of employees?

Aligning strategy vision with business purpose
In volatile times how can you best develop a workforce plan? What is the future-relevant employee value proposition, and how can talent analytics most effectively assess the performance and impact of HR intervention?


Expanding compensation capabilities
Looking at the compensation function, how can we best utilise data, manage market prices by separate markets, create salary structures and access in-depth reporting and analytics to build and maintain a robust compensation strategy? Plus how will the struggling UK economy, high inflation and stagnating pay impact, and what can be done to mitigate against negative pressures?

Global Business
As business goes further afield, do we centralise or localise? How can we make corporate principles clear to workers in all locations? How can companies balance the need for a unified global culture with local strategic and cultural differences and make core global values? This is particular pertinent in preparation for Brexit.

Collaborative and matrixed organisations
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a matrixed organisation? How can you break business information silos and increase cooperation and communication?  How can resources and talent that are currently inaccessible to the rest of the organisation be unlocked across the business more effectively, optimising customer awareness and managing supply chains?

Decision science
Is data-driven “decision science” really the future of strategic decisions? How visible is the devil in the detail and how can you avoid misleading and misreading data-driven results and conclusions?


Human Resource Management and Supply Chain Management Intersection
With SCM a strategic component of business management, how can HR manage and control the functions of staffing, training, evaluation and compensation effectively, to support optimal performance of the entire supply chain as an integrated unit?

Health & safety in focus
More than a quarter of young people are failing to follow the health and safety procedures. A third of 18 to 34 year olds admitted they would have no idea what to do if a hazardous situation occurred. Plus, how does the trend towards itinerant and gig working impact on managing health and safety and adherence to H&S policies? How can increasingly remote working be more closely managed to ensure H&S?

Emotional intelligence
A look at the evidence that empathy, thought management and mindfulness provide a competitive approach to business. How can a more empathetic and sympathetic culture be best developed, and is empathy and understanding affecting or providing a competitive edge? Are your EI leaders more effective?

Trends that will substantially change the way we work by 2020
Looking to the near future, what workplace and business trends will impact on the operation and how can HR plan for continued seismic change?



Organisational behaviour management
What makes the organisation and its people tick? What are the changing motivations of employees across the demographics, and how is this impacting on workplace culture and ways of operating?

The new face of performance management
Tick boxes and the much derided annual official review is history. How can we move Performance Management strategy to align with business strategy? Is PM, as an ongoing business process, more effective than an official annual event? How can PM best identify employee strengths and weakness? Plus, is continuous feedback helping or hindering the route to improved performance?

What makes a great place to work 2019?
How is employee expectation changing and what are the key elements of the employer proposition that need to be addressed to be a competitive employer of choice? Opinions and case studies from businesses that have applied strategies that have yielded considerable improvements in the workplace, are most welcome.

Predictions and challenges for 2019
From the rise of the robots to unforeseen Brexit consequences, what lies ahead for business organisations?