On the 12th March the South West Marks and Spencer HR Team ran its first ever engagement event in Cardiff. 60 HR practioners and other specialists in the field of communication, change & engagement joined together to share learnings and some thought provoking debate.
We were delighted to be joined by Hannah Williams, HR Director for IHG and a Lead Regional Ambassador for Engage For Success who opened the event with a session on why engagement matters and an overview of the E4S movement.
Following the first Engage Wales event in November it was also great to have Nina Durant, from the Welsh Government who was able to add some valuable insight into the discussions.
Val Rees, Head of Region HR Business Partner for South Wales & West shared Marks and Spencer’s engagement journey and some of the tools and techniques which are available for colleagues; Val also shared the importance of Marks and Spencer’s ‘Business Involvement Group’ an employee voice mechanism in supporting engagement, and the impact of the youth employability scheme ‘Make Your Mark’, a programme run with the Princes Trust. This was brought to life through a live case study from Pradeep Patel, Store Manager of Newport Retail Park, who shared his rollercoaster story of leading engagement in his store.
Giles Miskin from The Colour Works provided an interesting session around ‘how engaging we are’ highlighting the importance of understanding our own behavioural work preferences and those of others to support the effectiveness of engagement strategies. All delegates were also offered a complimentary Insights Discovery® profile, a personal development tool that gives an engaging, reinforcing and transformational insight into preferred working styles, worth £90.
This was followed by an interactive group session which allowed delegates the opportunity to discuss some of their engagement challenges and to share top tips and best practices between organisations which also led to the exchange of many business cards!
The feedback from the event was extremely positive; it is great to learn that we are all on a similar journey but there are so many people that want to get involved in the movement and to share best practice and learnings.