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Our Creative Delivery Director, Joanna Taylor, recently attended the People Power 2019 conference which was held at Northumbria University on Wednesday 12th June. Here she shares her experience, learning and insights from the event.

I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this conference, which is now in its second year, from beginning to end. The breadth of knowledge and expertise of all of the speakers left me both inspired and excited to apply everything I learned throughout the day. The set up at Northumbria University was ideal for a conference of this nature. Delegates could plan their day according to the topics which were most interesting and relevant to them – and in some cases I was completely spoilt for choice! Complementing the programme of speakers was a wide range of exhibitors from many sectors, encouraging networking, uptake of free pens and consumption of free sweets!

After much deliberation, the order of my day went something like this:

1. Emotional Intelligence in a Complex World

This session was a snapshot about the importance of applying emotional intelligence in the workplace. I loved the “thoughts, feelings, actions” exercise and how, by simply flipping one of my answers, I realised that I could change my approach and the ultimate outcome.

2.  Employer Branding

Paul Hitchen’s advice on becoming an employer of choice was fascinating and certainly made me think about any “shadow values” which may be inadvertently hindering our recruitment at Narrative. It has also given me much food for thought as to how to differentiate us as an employer in a world full of trendy “employee benefits” which have now almost become the norm.

3. Driving Productivity Through Employee Engagement

It was great to hear Square One Law’s JP Van Zyl talk about his experience of the most common employer issues and employee frustrations (and how to avoid  them!) from the viewpoint of an employment lawyer. I particularly loved the quote “Your organisation’s culture is the only “truly sustainable” source of competitive advantage”. The advice about supplying immediate and regular feedback and praise also resonated with me.

After a hearty lunch, which continued the networking theme, my afternoon sessions looked like this:

4. What’s Your Company’s Story & Who Do You Tell it to First

This was a fun and interactive session by nesma’s Andy Green about the importance of storytelling in business. I particularly loved swapping anecdotes about our shoes and learning how even such a drab subject has both a story behind it and emotions associated to it.

5. Effective Recruiting Through Values

Jackie le Fevre’s session talked about the importance of consistency of the employee experience from application through to interview and induction (and beyond!).

6. Managing Change Through Effective Internal Comms

This final session of the day involved some top tips from Sally Keith on how to communicate through change effectively, with particular importance on two-way dialogue and listening to those involved and impacted by the change.

All in all this was a fantastic, insightful day and I would certainly recommend it for 2020.  (One final insight from me is how much lecture theatres have moved on since my University days. They are certainly a) much cleaner b) more modern and c) literally state of the art! Students these days don’t know they are born!)

Many thanks to nesma for the complimentary ticket and for sponsoring, curating and hosting the Marketing and Comms stream of the event.

This post was created on 21st June 2019
Under the category Blog
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