Virgin Management to highlight key workplace culture initiatives at Employee Engagement conference for East Anglia business leaders

Business leaders and HR professionals across East Anglia are invited to attend the Best Employers Eastern Region's Employee engagement seminar on 28 January, which includes the opportunity to hear from a HR expert at Virgin Management, the UK’s most prominent business in the field of workplace culture.

Best Employers Eastern Region, launched in 2012 by professional recruitment specialists Pure Resourcing Solutions together with people development and psychometrics experts eras Ltd, is an ongoing initiative designed to help strengthen the region’s economy by supporting local businesses to attract and develop talented employees.

The event will highlight the impact the initiative has had to date and showcase how it can continue to support local employers on the issues of work place culture and employee engagement. These two topics have been rated by industry analysts Deloitte as the two most important challenges faced by businesses today.

There will be three high profile guest speakers at the event. Cathy Brown, from the national employee engagement group ‘Engage for Success’, will outline the latest findings on employee engagement and the impact this continues to have on a businesses’ bottom line. Sharon Pomells, Head of Operations at Virgin Management, will speak about the practices the renowned company has introduced and the key areas to focus on for successful employee engagement programmes. Plus Steve Turpie, business transformation expert and founder of ASD1 Limited, will explore the benefits and techniques of adding purpose to a business so that employees feel there is added value to their day-to-day role and that it is more than just a job.

The event will also launch the next Best Employers Eastern Region employee survey, which is provided to local businesses every two years as part of the initiative. This confidential survey captures the data employers need to monitor how engaged their employees are and each business receives a detailed action plan for further development. All participants are also automatically entered into a series of awards to celebrate the region’s Best Employers across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Lynn Walters, director at Pure Resourcing Solutions, said: “We’re hearing from employers that attracting and engaging talented people is one of their top priorities. The regional economy is strong and more businesses are having the confidence to expand. This has increased competition for talented employees, many of which are likely to come from the latest generation known as ‘Millennials’. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the UK’s workforce, but numerous HR surveys have shown that traditional employee engagement methods are not always as effective when it comes to motivating this particular generation. Employers need to seek regular employee feedback so that they have the information they need to create a company culture which is attractive to an evolving workforce and to the up-and-coming talent within their industries.”

A similar online employee survey would typically cost an organisation in the region of £2,000, but if businesses implement it as part of the Best Employers initiative it is provided completely free of charge.

Margaret Burnside, Director of People Development, at eras Ltd: added: “The campaign is a great opportunity for local companies to gain support in developing their people culture. Because we host the survey, employees are more likely to trust the confidentiality and provide honest answers which give an authentic reflection of the working environment. It can also be adapted to become completely bespoke to an organisation, incorporating any existing surveys, or specific questions employers would like to ask.”

The Best Employers Eastern Region 2016 survey is open to all organisations in the Eastern region from April. Previous participants, which have gone on to win Best Employer awards, include Benefit Cosmetics in Chelmsford, crowned the region’s Best Overall Large Employer 2014, and Bidwells, RehabWorks and Tobar..

Lynn Walters added: “Best Employers is more than just a survey tool. We don’t just help businesses to gather their data, we provide advice and guidance and share new ideas and thinking through seminars, events and forums. All the businesses involved have a chance of winning one of our Best Employer awards, and these types of accolades really help businesses to raise their employee brand, which inevitably helps to attract future talent to the organisation.”

The Best Employers event is open for businesses of all sizes to attend, although Pure and eras Ltd have requested a  donation of £20 to their nominated charities of Brightstars and St Helena Hospice in Colchester. Brightstars is a newly formed charity, set up by guest speaker Steve Turpie, and his wife Paula, to support disabled children and young people through a Saturday club in Bury St Edmunds.

The Best Employers Eastern Region Event will take place on 28 January at Paddocks House, Newmarket. For more information, or to register to attend, contact Lucy Plumb on

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