Agenda : Employee Experience Seminar

On Thursday 1st – Friday 2nd December, iCON Group Present

Employee Experience Seminar
Excellence in Employee Experience

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Look forward to:
  • International Delegates from top organisations to benchmark with
  • Senior Level Speakers, Practitioners & Thought Leaders to learn from
  • Interactive sessions with clear take-aways on an exciting new mainstream HR interest
  • Expert Partners that can help you deliver results
  • Workshops for experiential learning
  • Panel Discussions
  • Participant Led Q&A Sessions, getting answers to your specific challenges
  • Opportunities for networking with practitioners, thought-leaders & authors
Day 1


08:35 – 09:05

Welcome Coffee & Registration

09:05 – 09:15

Chair opening Address


Ben Whitter, Director of Organisational Development, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)

09:15 – 10:15

Opening Presentation


Employee Experience by Design; A Workplace Revolution

Ben Whitter

Ben Whitter – Global HR/OD Leader & Director of Organisational Development

The whole world is talking about employee experience right now and it is very much in the global spotlight; engaging staff, supporting them to perform, and getting productivity up all remain crucial things to focus on within organisational life yet with more and more companies embracing employee experience approaches, the game is changing, significantly.

Developing the workplace as an experience taking into account everything that affects people from technology to physical infrastructure to leadership, HR functions are being asked to reform with the employee experience in mind; the new norm for organisations and HR is the creation of employee experiences that matter, are meaningful, and have every part aligned and driving great strategic and operational results. Yet, the fundamental questions remain; what is the right employee experience approach for a particular context? How do you build employee experiences that help deliver superior engagement and performance levels? Where do we start with this from here and now?

During this presentation, Ben will take you on a journey of employee experience and help you think more about the employee experience that is right for your business context; an employee experience that engages, inspires and connects your organisation to deliver something really meaningful for you and your customers. Employee Experience is THE business. Come and find out why.

This session will explore:

  • Getting started on the employee experience journey- what this means for the organisation and HR?
  • Discovering what constitutes a ‘great experience’ for employees and the benefits of putting employee experience on your change agenda
  • Delivering  a great employee experience at each and every touch point from HR to Strategy to Operations

10:15 – 10:45

Networking Tea & Coffee Break

10:45 – 11:30


Joining the dots is hard!

Alison Todd

Alison Todd – Head of Exployee Experience

Sky is a fast paced, rapidly growing business with big global ambitions.
My starting point, as the Head of Employee Experience 12 months ago, after we put a completely new HR operating model in place, was to look at the experience of our employees throughout their time at Sky. We set off a number of initiatives, as well as strengthening some of the good things we already had in play.

What my team and I have learned in that year, by talking to our people, was that however good some of the parts are (and some are amazing!) that the gaps in between, where things don’t join up, impact the whole experience for them.

We have therefore embarked on a number of things that are harder to deliver because we have to work with multiple stakeholders across the business

  • Moving the dial on the approach to flexible working with colleagues from the workplace team
  • Creating a clearly understood approach to move towards a truly inclusive culture with colleagues across the business
  • Creating an communications umbrella with our workplace and internal comms colleagues under which we can deliver a better, more joined up experience for our people and some new mechanics to make this super easy for people at Sky
  • Starting to think about the elements of our work that we need to join up internationally
  • Using the power of our people Forum to find out what our people think as we step through changing our approach
  • Then…. talking about this, using the power of social media, to attract the best people to work at Sky

It has become clearer and clearer that some of these things are immensely hard to do in an organisation that moves so quickly and where change is constant, but that the results are really worth the effort.

11:30 – 12:15


Maude Julien

Maude Julien – Senior associate

David Wreford

David Wreford – European Practice Leader Workforce Rewards

How to design the right Employee Value Proposition

The World Economic Forum is calling it the fourth industrial revolution. Work environments and employment structures are being redefined by new business models and disruptive social and digital change. Many organisations are wrestling with the complexity of preparing themselves in light of the enormous impact these internal and external forces will have on their talent and in turn their future business success. Even in the short term competition for talent is expected to further increase in 2016.

Demand continues to outstrip supply for talent with analytic, leadership and people development skills, as well as specialised technical skills in growing areas such as STEM and IT. Also in short supply are those with the skills to manage in complex, global organisations, especially in industries facing the prospect of disruptive innovation.

Regardless of whether an organisation drives a people strategy focused on building talent or buying talent, the shifts in employees expectations now force organisations to stand out as they face shortages for these critical skills. 30% of employees, plan to leave their current employer within the next 12 months. The entire suite of HR solutions has to be re-aligned.

As one key component, the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) defines the total employee experience that will make the right talent want to join, stay and deliver their best performance. However, EVPs are rarely specific enough to inform the design of reward and talent programmes and are seldom a reflection of what it’s truly like to work for an organisation.

During this session, we will explore the importance of a strong analytical foundation in ensuring your Employee Value Proposition will maximise your ability to retain and attract your critical talent. Using a real life example, we will show you how to assess if you are investing in the right HR policies and practices.

12:15 – 13:15

Working Lunch

13:30 – 14:00

Group Exercise

14:00 – 14:40

Panel Discussion

Ben Whitter

Ben Whitter – University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Maxine Kohn

Maxine Kohn – Google

Alison Todd

Alison Todd – Sky

What does employee experience mean in practice for the work around culture and engagement

How HR, engagement and culture functions compete within business given the rise of employee experience?


Ben Whitter – Global HR/OD Leader – University of Nottingham Ningbo China


Maxine Kohn – Global Head of Culture Programs and Communications – Google

Alison Todd – Head of Employee Experience – Sky

14:40 – 15:25

GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)

Extending Employee Experience beyond the corporate walls!

Rebecca Harvey

Rebecca Harvey – Director, Global Talent Programmes

As a science-led, global healthcare company, our mission is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer. It is a core part of our employee value propositions and we capture this in our external brand as “careers with purpose”.

People come to work at GSK as they have a high sense of purpose and want to make a difference in the world. This lives through our employee experience, either by increasing their sense of connection to our patients and consumers through their day-to-day work, or by encouraging our employees to step outside of GSK walls to volunteer their time and expertise to support and strengthen communities around the world.

We have different employee volunteering options, ranging from days (Orange Days) or months (PULSE), to fit with their aspirations and life. Since its launch in 2009, our skills-based PULSE Volunteer Partnership has matched more than 550 GSK employees with over 100 non-governmental organisations, to volunteer their skills to solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad.

The programme enables our employees to work full-time ‘on the ground’, leveraging their professional expertise and knowledge while developing themselves as leaders in the process. Key to this experience is our employees’ ability to bring back to GSK their first-hand learnings and a bigger view of the world.

Through their changed perspective, our employees help to bring the ‘outside in,’ ensuring GSK continues to stay in step with society and truly drives innovation to serve the needs of diverse patient populations around the world. This session will share an overview of GSK’s volunteering options, along with the benefits seen and lessons learned.

15:25 – 15:55

Networking Tea & Coffee Break

15:55 – 16:40


During this session, you’ll learn how Cisco connects everything, innovates everywhere and benefits everyone.

El Cavanagh-Lomas

El Cavanagh-Lomas – VP Human Resources Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia

For 30 years Cisco technology has changed the way the world works, lives, plays and learns. Our edge doesn’t come from technology. It comes from our People…

Our People manifesto shares the story of who we are, what we do and where we’re heading but it’s also the foundation of Our People Deal, outlining what our employees can expect of us as a company and what we expect of our employees. It came from what our employees told us Cisco was like on our very best day and our aspiration is to make every day a ‘best day’.

We bring our People Deal to life through the Employee Experience, because without action, our People Deal remains just a set of words on a page. We deliver on our People Deal through the everyday tangible experiences our employees have, ranging from flexible working options to paid time off for Giving Back activities, from a Birthday Day Off to Lifestyle and Motivational coaching. One size fits one is our mantra. We craft our strategies through listening to what our employees say in a variety of internal and external channels about the experience. We share this transparently in what we call our ‘Real Deal’. It keeps us honest.

We also care passionately about the experience of the future and are busy with strategies that reflect the way people want to use and develop their skills, how they want to be rewarded and we are investing hugely in our belief that performance takes place on great teams and that dynamic teams are the future of Cisco.

16:40 – 17:20

1st day round up / Delegate led Q&A

El Cavanagh-Lomas

El Cavanagh-Lomas – VP Human Resources Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia

Rebecca Harvey

Rebecca Harvey – Director Global Talent Programmes

Led by Rebecca Harvey – GSK & El Cavanagh-Lomas – CISCO


Evening Networking Dinner

Day 2


9:15 – 10:00


Christian Kuhna

Christian Kuhna – Director HR Strategy – Think Thank Future Trends & Innovation

The Global Megatrends and the Future of Work – and the Future of Organizations

Christian will talk about the big mega trends, and how they will influence and shape not only the workplace, but the future of work and the future of organizations.

10:00 – 10:45


Employee experience, the promise in actions

Sophie Clejan

Sophie Clejan – Employee Experience Director

Being a digital and caring employer

Working for Orange is a “unique” experience , digital and caring, equal to the one we wish to give our customers.

  • What is the articulation between the employer promise and the employee experience?
  • How do we define employee experience?
  • What are our levers of actions and the first concrete actions?
  • How do we measure employees satisfaction?

10:45 – 11:15

Networking Tea & Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:00

David Macleod OBE

How To Manage People In Increasingly Demanding Times

David MacLeod OBE

Co-Chair – Engage for Success: Employee Engagement Task Force launched by Prime Minister 2011

David will identify the four external pressures bearing down on work places and at the same time four growing demands from people at work.

Too often the typical responses to these pressures and demands are totally inappropriate since they lead to poor outcomes for both the organisation and the individuals who work there.

However there are a range of workplaces that have responded more appropriately and more successfully to these pressures and demands. He will outline four enablers that these organisations adopt in order to achieve higher levels of employee engagement with the resultant enhanced organisational success.

12:00 – 12:45

Take 5. Reflection Session:

Chairman & delegate led session

You are a day & a half into this event, you have heard from many experts at this stage, it’s time to digest , reflect & open dialogue on how you can actually apply these learnings to the workplace. If not, why not?, if so, why?

What absolutely has to change to make emp ex a reality in your business?

13:00 – 14:00


14:00 – 14:45


Mark Levy

Mark Levy – Global Head of Employee Experience

How Airbnb engages their global community through a shared mission of belonging and their core values

You Will Learn:

  • How to rethink the role of “HR” in the organization to focus on the entire employee experience
  • How to introduce and reinforce your mission and values through the entire employee journey, from candidate through alumni
  • How to break down the walls between employees and customers (in our case hosts and guests) to improve productivity, performance and engagement

14:45 – 15:45

Employee Ex Hackathon Ideas:

Group workshop session led by Airb bnb / Ben Whitter

Mark Levy

Mark Levy – Airbnb

Ben Whitter

Ben Whitter – University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Icon will be producing a one day hackathon in 2017 around Employee Experience. In preparation for that event we will be putting the wheels in motion for this Hackathon. We will be splitting the room up into 3 separate groups to focus on the following topics :

  1. Re-Imagining the Employee Experience
  2. Data and digital to re-engineer processes within the employee experience
  3. The final topic will be decided on the day

15:45 – 16:00


Please note that for each Icon Group Event, participants are provided with an official Post-Event Report containing notes from all presentations and sessions.
This report is supplied in the days following the event.