Gordons launches HR Leadership Forum

Monday 26th October 2015

Gordons has launched an innovative HR leadership forum which allows companies to collaborate and share their approach to employee engagement, company culture and best practice.

The forum’s inaugural event took place in Leeds at the beginning of the month, and brought together HR directors, business owners and managing directors from across the region to discuss people, performance and change issues, with a focus on creating a high performing culture. First conceived by Gordons’ people and change consultant, Sheena Pickersgill, the meeting provided an informal basis for business owners and senior HR executives to share information and good practice in relation to people, performance and change.

The first event attracted 20 attendees from several Yorkshire-based firms and was co-ordinated with support from Sharp Recruitment Consultancy and PwC. Qamar Anwar, managing director of Huddersfield based claims management company First4Lawyers was invited to speak. Qamar discussed how his company laid the foundations for a high performing culture through the development of a compelling vision, clear values and behaviours, leadership coaching and by encouraging employee feedback and ideas.

Fiona Lowe, head of HR and development at Westfield Health, attended the event. She said: “I really enjoyed the interaction with HR colleagues from other industries. There was lively debate as we discussed the importance of developing the culture within business and constantly embedding the values.

“We discussed inspiring leadership and ensuring there are no double standards. Getting back to the shop floor was also a key theme and making sure you have a good temperature gauge of the organisation to improve engagement and continuous improvement. A very worthy event and I have taken away some good hints and tips for my own organisation.”

Meanwhile, Andrea Corns, director of HR at Support Warehouse, added: “The forum provides a good opportunity to meet other senior HR professionals and discuss people and performance related issues. It’s the ideal place to share best practice, as well as offer support to others in the sector. I believe the forum has a lot to offer and will be beneficial to everyone involved.”

With such a positive response to the event from all attendees, it was agreed that the event will become a quarterly fixture, with the next forum to focus on employee rewards and recognition.

Commenting on the event, Ms Pickersgill said: “When speaking to people at this level in HR or in business generally there is a definite desire to share ideas and experiences, but with many people wary of speaking out there can be a sense that it’s ‘lonely at the top’.

“The aim of this event was to provide business leaders with a chance to collaborate and share what is working for them in terms of company culture and HR leadership, which would benefit companies and their employees. With the economy improving, there is a definite shift to a candidate-led environment which means that attracting and retaining the best employees will become more challenging – so it makes perfect sense to ensure that your HR practice is as robust as possible.”