Over 100 business leaders from across East Anglia took part in the Best Employers Eastern Region employee engagement seminar on Thursday 28 January, which also raised over £2,000 for two local charities.
The event was arranged as part of the ongoing Best Employers Eastern Region initiative, organised by professional recruitment specialists Pure Resourcing Solutions (Pure) along with people development and psychometrics experts eras ltd. It attracted high profile guest speakers including Sharron Pommells, head of operations at Virgin Management, who discussed the productivity benefits of making your employees feel as important as your clients.
Participants also heard from Cathy Brown, part of the national employee engagement group ‘Engage for Success’, who discussed the business costs of not having engaged staff. Local guest speaker Steve Turpie, business transformation expert and founder of ASD1 Limited in Bury St Edmunds, covered techniques on building a deeper connection between employees and their company.
Lynn Walters, director at Pure, said: “Having 114 business people in a room, all brought together by the common goal of improving employee engagement in their organisations, resulted in a fantastic atmosphere. We originally founded the Best Employers initiative to help strengthen the region’s economy by supporting local businesses to attract, develop and retain more talented people. It’s grown immensely over the last four years. Now it looks set to develop even further, as around two-thirds of the people who took part in this latest seminar were all new to the initiative.”
The event also marked the launch of the next Best Employers Eastern Region employee survey, which is provided free of charge to local businesses every two years as part of the initiative. The surveys allows employers to gain insight as to how their employees perceive their organisations culture, learning and development, values, leadership style and communication.
Margaret Burnside, Director of People Development at eras Ltd, added: “A lot of common themes came out of the seminar. These included the importance of understanding the changing needs of employees and establishing what really motivates people as individuals. The Best Employers survey is a great way for businesses to help capture data around this. At the event, Sharron described the results of the Virgin staff surveys as being ‘as important as balance sheets’ when it comes to gathering information on employee engagement. We feel the same, which is why we provide local businesses with the tools to gather the same type of information. A similar online employee survey would typically cost an organisation in the region of £2k, but if businesses implement it as part of the Best Employers initiative we provide it completely free of charge.”
The seminar was also free for people to attend, but the organisers did ask participants to make a donation to their two chosen charities, raising £2,000 for St Helena Hospice in Colchester and Brightstars in Bury St Edmunds. The share of the money raised will have a significant impact on Brightstars in particular. This newly formed charity, set up by guest speaker Steve Turpie and his wife Paula, supports disabled children and young people through a Saturday club in Bury St Edmunds. This additional funding will cover the cost of bringing in another team member for a full year, opening up four more spaces for children to attend.
Businesses can still register to take part in the Best Employers Eastern Region 2016 survey which opens in April. Participants will also automatically entered into a series of awards which will be presented later this year to celebrate the region’s Best Employers across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. For more information email Lucy Plumb on Bestemployers@prs.uk.com