Guest Speakers

Past guest speakers

The forum has been fortunate enough to have heard from a wide range of wonderfully engaging guest speakers.  The talks and presentations shared along with the debates they initiated have helped grow our understanding of the many different elements of people engagement and wellbeing.

Whether they are industry experts providing technical knowledge or HR Leaders sharing their business experiences, our guest speakers provide valuable information helping us to learn and support each other.

“The speakers were excellent, both spoke with true understanding, compassion and gave practical advice.”

June  2024 – Change Management

During this session we explored the techniques we can use to support our people through change. From engaging the team to dealing with resistance and embedding the change within your organisation. Our speaker, Greg Scott from the NVS Group shared his techniques and the success his approach had when they moved the whole team to a new premises/location.

Greg Scott NVS Group
Gregg Scott
NVS Group

April  2024 – Proactive Leadership Development

During this session we looked at how we identify and develop the future leaders within our businesses.  Our guest speaker Anthony Taylor shared advice and techniques to ensure we invest the time needed to prepare our future leaders.  Anthony was joined by Becky Millington from Wincanton Screwfix who talked us through their successful leadership development programme ‘Aspire To Be’ and how this has changed their whole approach to recruiting team leaders and managers.

Anthony Taylor2
Anthony Taylor
AQR Consulting
Becky Millington
Becky Millington
Wincanton Screwfix

March  2024 – Culture Killers

Our meeting looked at ‘Culture Killers’, our guest speaker, Paula Brockwell discussed the ingrained unhelpful or toxic behaviours of teams that seem to be undermining our culture, understanding what is driving the issues and starting to explore how to address them.

Green dress head shot
Paula Brockwell
The Employee Experience Project

November  2023 – Multigenerational Workforce

Our meeting looked at Multigenerational Workforce.

Danny Wareham shared his insights on the Multigenerational Workforce, its challenges, and rewards

Danny Wareham (White BG)
Danny Wareham
Firgun Ltd

September  2023 – Talent Development

Our meeting looked at Talent Development.

During the session we explored the definition of talent management, what gets in the way and Naz talked us through her suggested model for the talent lifecycle.

Naz Johnson
Naz Johnson
Reignite Development Ltd

June  2023 – Onboarding Best Practice

Our meeting looked at Onboarding Best Practice.

During this session we  discussed accountability, how long this should take and what are the key ingredients to successful onboarding.

Anwen also shared her top tips for brilliant onboarding.

Anwen Bottois
Purple Sky Consulting

April  2023 – Employee Engagement – what does it mean and how to measure it?

Our meeting looked at Employee Engagement.

Having an engaged, happy team has never been more important.

But what does an engaged team really look like? What motivates your people to stay working with you and what are the best ways to understand the culture within your organisation?

These are some of the questions we discussed during this forum meeting.

Kaye Massey
Listen To Your

February  2023 – HR’s Role In Addressing The Skills & Labour Shortage

Our meeting looked at how we address the skills and labour shortage

There is now 4 people to every 1 role worldwide – is it any wonder we are struggling to attract good people to our organisations??

During this session we explored how HR can help attract and retain great people from ‘stay interviews’ to reviewing pay structures and lots more.

Steve D
Steve Dufresne
Logic Resourcing
Lee Q
Lee Quoroll
Logic Resourcing

September  2022 – Gaining Middle Management Buy In

Our meeting looked at the critical part of delivering any people strategy: the buy and support required from your middle managers.

This is the part of your team without whom you will fail to successfully implement any people related changes.

Usually wearing many hats, these people are often under pressure from both a leadership and operational perspective.

During this forum, we looked at the ‘middle manager’ role and what you can do to support them and work together to deliver your people’s plans.

Eileen Donnelly
Julie Finnikin
Learning & Development Consultancy Ltd

June  2022 – Proactive Performance Management

This session explored how the world of performance management has evolved and how effective and proactive leadership techniques can ensure that your people receive the feedback they need, when they need it to perform and develop within their roles.

To find out more read Jo’s blog in our News & Blogs section.

Jo Cotton Profile Pic
Jo Cotton
Jo Cotton Associates Ltd

April  2022 – Diversity & Inclusion

This session explored what diversity and inclusion really means to businesses. We reviewed what practises need to be adopted to develop the right culture where all team members feel connected and able to bring their whole selves to work.

Jug Sahota
Niall Crowley
Freeths LLP

February  2022 – The new world of flexible/hybrid working

Our meeting looked at the new flexible working practices many businesses have adopted since the pandemic – from changes to working hours to hybrid working.

Anthony talked about the reality of how these changes are impacting the wellbeing of our teams from challenges switching off to perceived unfairness from those unable to work from home.

Alex also talked to us about the impacts of digital overload and what businesses can do to support their people to digitally detox from time to time.

Alex La Via
Alessandra La Via
Live More Offline
Anthony Taylor
Anthony Taylor

November  2021 – Coaching & Counselling

This forum looked at at the differences of coaching and counselling and how these skills can be applied to support employees in the workplace.

Sallyann shared her knowledge and experiences of the topics and we learnt how the techniques can help people in the workplace.

Rachel shared her knowledge and experiences of the topics and we learnt how the techniques can help people in the workplace.

sallyann 3
Sallyann Meadowcroft
The Counselling Shed
Rachel Boulton 2
Rachel Boulton
Freedom Coaching

September  2021 – Change Management and Wellbeing

This forum looked at Change and the impact it has on employee wellbeing. During her presentation Eileen talked to us about the different responses to change and how to respond to them. She also described the 5 drivers of wellbeing in the workplace and how these relate to change.

To find out more read Eileen’s blog in our News & Blogs section.

Eileen Donnelly profile pic
Eileen Donnelly
Director at Ripple & Co

June  2021 – Internal Communications

Our session looked at Internal Communications. Communication expert Heather Pritchett shared her advice on the best ways to engage your people.

To find out more read Heather’s blogin our News & Blogs section.

Heather Pritchett Agenda Communication SQ
Heather Pritchett
Agenda Communication Limited

April  2021 – Male Mental Wellbeing

Our session looked at the topic of mental health specifically focusing on men.  David Beeney talked about the work his business, Breaking the Silence, does to promote and develop ‘kinder cultures’ in the workplace.  David provided insights into the challenges of getting men to open up and talk about how they are doing and gave useful advice based on both his work and his own personal mental health challenges.

To hear more from David, read his blog in our ‘News & Blogs’ section.

David Beeney
Breaking the Silence

February 2021 – Menopause in the Workplace

In this session we talked about the menopause.  Sally Leech talked about the four compelling reasons why businesses need to take a serious approach to how they support their people who are experiencing the menopause and also provided valuable information to increase awareness and change perceptions within business.

Sally Leech Square
Sally Leech

December 2020 – Looking after the wellbeing of HR Leaders

To mark the end of  an extremely difficult and demanding year for all HR professionals, this session focused on looking after the wellbeing of those who’s job it is to look after everyone else!

During the forum Kelly Swingler talked about her personal journey from burnout to wellbeing.  We reflected on the challenges of 2020 and Kelly provided some great advice and tips to promote self care and resilience.

To find out more about Kelly’s personal journey from burnout read her blog in our news and blog section.

© 2017 Jen Allison Photography
Kelly Swingler
Kelly Swingler

October 2020 – Bereavement – How to support your people

The focus of this forum was to develop a deeper understanding of bereavement to equip HR Leaders with valuable advice on how to respond sensitively to the individual needs of a team member upon the loss of a loved one.

Sarah, from the Dove Service talked about the complexities of grief including how to recognise it, common misconceptions and how people grow with grief.

Holly from the parental bereavement charity, Child of Mine, talked sensitively about what parents need following the death of a child and how this kind of grief is somewhat different to other griefs.

Sarah Mockridge
Sarah Mockridge
The Dove Service
Holly Addison
Holly Addison
Child of Mine

August 2020 – Flexible Working (COVID specific)

This forum explored flexible working with a focus on the changes to working arrangements bought about by the lockdown restrictions of COVID-19.

Margaret, a Senior HR Leader talked us through her experience of developing and implementing a flexible working strategy.  Her presentation included lots of practical advice from how to respond to a flexible working request to establishing a road map to deliver a companywide approach.

Claire, whose business Work Best supports companies in adopting flexible working practices, talked about the shift in attitude towards flexible working this year and what challenges business need to overcome to ensure this new way of working is a success for both the individual and business.

To find out more read Claire’s blog in our news and blog section.

Margaret Renshaw
Make UK
Claire Nicoll
Claire Nicoll
Work Best

May 2020 – Supporting Employees Returning to Work (COVID specific)

The focus of this meeting was to look at the practicalities of smoothly transitioning people back into the workplace who have either been furloughed or absent due to sickness.

Our guest speakers talked about:

  • how business has changed and what is now described as ‘the new norm’
  • how to keep people safe in the workplace
  • how to engage with people who are returning back to work
  • return to work anxiety

We also heard from a group of Senior HR Leaders from different businesses who discussed how they have responded to COVID-19 and shared their plans to bring their people back.

Hayley Pic 2 (002)
Hayley Rhodes
Acorn Occupational Health
Natalie Smith
Natalie Smith
Wardell Armstrong
Anita Sherratt
Anita Sherrat
Emma Bridgewater
Louise Warrilow
Louise Warrilow
Co-Op Academies Trust

February 2020 – Company Culture & Values

In this forum we discussed what is defined as the culture of a business and how business values drive the actions and behaviours of their people.

Culture specialist, Andy Chell, talked about how cultures differ in different businesses, the process of identifying what your culture is and how to get people to engage with and adapt to this way of working.

Andy Chell
Andy Chell
Navitas Human Capital

December 2019 – Reward, Benefit & Recognition

From complex benefit packages to simply saying thank you this forum reviewed the different ways to acknowledge the positive contributions of the people in our businesses.

Reward and benefits specialist, Dan Harrison talked about the different elements which can make up a reward strategy and how these can also support the wellbeing of all team members.

Lynne Ingram shared with us her experiences of how Freeths LLP recognise and reward their people.

Dan Harrison
Dan Harrison
Lynne Ingram
Freeths LLP

October 2019 – Leadership

This forum explored what it means to be a great leader and how to develop a positive leadership culture.

Leadership Consultant, Roger Fairhead, talked through the elements of his ‘Prize’ winning leadership model focusing on how to implement a leadership strategy and the importance of ensuring there is leadership accountability within the business.

Pete Lowe, former Manchester City FC Youth Team Coach, talked about leadership from a sporting perspective and how the leadership principals of managing a successful sports team can be applied to leadership within any business.

To find out more read Roger’s blog in our news and blog section

Roger Fairhead
Roger Fairhead
PRIZE Winning Leadership
Pete Lowe
Pete Lowe
Author – The Language of Winning

August 2019 – Drugs and Alcohol

In this meeting we looked at drug and alcohol usage and the impact this has on the workplace.

Matt Taylor, who runs a drug testing business, ITS Test Kits, shared his insights into the effects of different drugs, and how businesses can protect themselves and their people through the development of policies, training and robust testing processes.

John Finn from One Recovery talked about what addiction and dependency looks like and how his program is supporting recovering addicts to get back into work – providing them with a purpose and greatly increasing their chances of not relapsing.

To find out more read Matt’s blog in our news and blog section

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor
ITS Test Kits

June 2019 – Communication

In this forum we talked about communication and in particular how to engage with people who work remotely.

Claire Nicoll, from Work Best, shared her insights into how remote workers need and what information they need to remain feeling connected with the business.  IT specialist, Ian Walker, discussed the different IT solutions which can be used to communicate with remote teams including how technology can help bring teams together.

To end, Lynne Ingram also provided a valuable presentation about multi age teams and the impact of communicating with people across diverse age categories.

Claire Nicoll
Claire Nicoll
Work Best
Ian Walker
Fifteen Group
Lynne Ingram
Freeths LLP

April 2019 – Positive Employee Engagement

This forum focused on positive employee engagement.

Employee Engagement Consultant, Kaye Massey talked through the definition of engagement within the workplace and the direct impact this has on the success of a business.  She also shared her experience of the benefits of listening to your team and the different ways to measure engagement levels.

HR Leaders Jane Millar and Claire Halket shared a wealth of information about the different ways  they engage with their teams at Michelin Tyres and Synectics Solutions.

Kaye Massey
Listen To Your Team
Claire Halket
Claire Halket
Synectics Solutions
Jane M
Jane Millar

Feb 2019 – Mental Health in the Workplace

This forum focused on mental health in the workplace.

Occupational Health Therapist, Lyndsey Marchant, talked about her experiences of supporting people in the workplace who are struggling to deal with mental health issues.

Wellbeing and Resilience Coach, Helen Dos Santos shared some powerful statistics about mental health in the workplace and provided some interesting food for thought on how to improve presenteeism and promote positive mental health.

To find out more read Helen’s blog in our news and blog section

Helen Dos Santos COM
Helen Dos Santos
Horizons Coaching
Lyndsey Marchant
Lyndsey Marchant
Phoenix Occupational Health
Want to speak at the Positive HR Forum?