HR events 2019: The HRD Summit

Gethin Nadin


Birmingham, UK, 5th-6th February 2019

The HRD Summit in is an award-winning conference that hosts the most senior gathering of HR Directors in the entire world. More than 1,000 attendees gather to see the likes of Josh Bersin, O.C. Tanner, Microsoft and more, to hear about the latest in everything HR. This year, I was fortunate to speak on behalf of Benefex, alongside many HR thought leaders I’ve long admired for years.

(from left to right) Garry Turner, Founder, The Listening Organisation; Perry Timms, Author, Founder & Chief Energy Officer, PTHR at Transformational HR Ltd; Gethin Nadin, Director of Employee Wellbeing, Benefex; Shakil Butt, HR Hero, HR Hero for Hire Ltd, Non-Executive Director, CIPD.

The theme for the day was ‘The Conscious Organisation’, where employee experience took centre stage again, with a strong backbone of wellbeing throughout. With that, Benefex’s session centred on ‘Personalising the Employee Experience: How the Future is an Audience of one’. We focused on how employees are demanding more from their employer’s brand and EVP, and how people are looking for an employer whose value (political and other) align with their own. Organisations inadvertently create disengaged employees, despite intending the opposite. Using elements of design thinking and insights we’ve gained from working with organisations all over the world, I showed attendees how they could create a workplace that enables employees to thrive. Despite being up against some very strong competition at the same time as our session, we were pleased to welcome HR Directors from very well-known banks, football clubs, utilities, estate agents, consultancy firms and financial services to the discussion, as well as many Benefex clients. The feedback we received was hugely positive:

“Gethin is an engaging speaker who is able to bring employee experience to life through great storytelling and visuals that really emphasise the core value: good design based on understanding how your people feel and feeding that into the design process. His insights are tangible and validate the emerging field of employee experience which is rooted in design theory and user experience methodology, rather than employee engagement.”
Lara Plaxton, Head of HR – UK, FDM Group

Gethin delivered his impactful messages through an engaging mix of statistics, wide ranging organisational and societal contexts and very good humour.”
Garry Turner, Founder – The Listening Organisation

Personalising the employee experience: a brief introduction

The session began with reinforcing the importance of personalisation to modern day life. Our Amazon and Netflix experiences are different to the next person and both deliver a bespoke experience designed around our buying and watching habits. For us as consumers, personalisation is forming a big part of our experiences outside of work. Remember those Coca Cola bottles with the personalised name? They produced Coke’s first profit in 4 years. In every corner of our lives, we are yearning for a personalised experience. I wanted to take the HRDs in attendance on a journey to show why personalising the employee experience is about understanding our employees and their lives. It’s about understanding their ambitions too, so that they don’t go elsewhere to achieve them.

We’ll be sharing a full write-up of the session tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’d urge you to go consider next year’s HRD Summit if you have the chance to go. Not only are the talks packed with constructive and tangible insights, but the opportunity for networking is fantastic, and the event itself is slick, enjoyable, and a well worth the time taken out of the office.

If you were unable to attend the HRD Summit this year, or didn’t get the chance to have your queries answered by me or any of our Benefex representatives at the event, please do get in touch with us, any time.

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