Employee Engagement Summit 2015 – Presentations


The summit will offer expert advice from leading professionals and will feature best practice case studies addressing how to implement cost effective and sustainable engagement initiatives to ensure that your employees not only stay with your organisation but deliver maximum results.

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[tab: Summary]

Practical tips to build engagement and increase performance. Update for managers, HR professionals and engagement specialists.

The summit will offer expert advice from leading professionals and will feature best practice case studies addressing how to implement cost effective and sustainable engagement initiatives to ensure that your employees not only stay with your organisation but deliver maximum results.

[tab: Programme]


09:00  Coffee and registration

Chair’s opening remarks

Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation, Cranfield University School of Management

What will engagement look like in the future?

  • Examining the next stage of engage for success
  • Linking engagement and employee wellbeing to drive performance
Cathy Brown, Executive Director, Engage for Success

Engagement as a building block for business; creating a great culture and values

  • Creating an organisation culture that leads to embedded engagement and drives innovation
  • Ensuring your leadership team are delivering on values and promises
  • Examining management behaviours and relationships
  • Setting clear communication
Emma Sutton, SVP – Head of Customer Experience, MBNA Limited

Questions and discussion with speakers


Knowledge share networking

11:15   Refreshments and networking

Sustaining energy levels and engagement

  • Ensuring your workforce is energised
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Top strategies that work
Karen Notaro, Vice Chair, Engagement Champions Forum, Ministry of Justice

Engaging a geographically diverse workforce

  • Awakening the organisation values and vision across the workforce
  • Engaging remote and shift workers
  • Overcoming communication barriers
Malcolm Cotterell, Head of Employee Engagement and Benefits, Arriva

Leadership vs. line manager

  • Examining which has the biggest impact
  • Leaderships role in engagement
  • Improving line manager behaviours and building better relationships
Nikki Jacobi, HR Director, Yell

What to do with the disengaged?

  • Acceptance of ‘non engagement’ can be just as important for future success
  • Overcoming resistance and lack of commitment
Richard Smelt, HR Director, McCain Foods
12:45   Lunch and networking

Knowledge share networking session

On your round table groups discuss your top 5 tips for an engaged organisation


Taking a marketeers approach to employee engagement

  • Applying a consumer methodology to employees: research, segmentation, implementation & analysis
  • Building an emotional connection to your organisation’s brand
  • Making commercial decisions on where to invest your employee engagement budget
  • Quantifying the business analytics of engagement
Tim Pointer, Former HR Director, Pentland Brands

Examining the causes of disengagement

  • What’s behind disengagement?
  • Definitions of engagement
  • Satisfaction Vs Engagement
  • Emotional attachment to the organisation
  • Reducing burn-out
Dr Ann Parkinson, Associate Professor, Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour,Henley Business School
15:05  Questions and discussion with speakers
15:15 Refreshments and networking

Engaging teams through effective leadership that drives organisational improvement

  • Using your leaders to encourage motivated teams and engaged employees – using both HR and sports psychology
  • Developing diverse teams that share the same values and that strive for continuous improvement
  • Building organisational resilience that ensures your people can adapt to and embrace change
Jabbar Sardar, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Cafcass and Rob Vickerman, Ex-Captain, England Rugby Union 7s Team

Building engagement through change and embedding a coaching culture

  • Developing a new programme of engagement
  • Creating culture change and embedding values for high performance
  • Using coaching as a key tool for engagement
Jenn Batey, Senior Business Partner, People & Culture, and Jenny Kidby, Talent Development Specialist, Grant Thornton UK LLP

Questions and discussion with speakers


Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference

[tab: Speakers]

Meet some of the experts speaking at this event:

 Jabbar Sardar 150 x 150


Jabbar Sardar, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Cafcass

Jabbar joined Cafcass in October 2006 and is responsible for the HR, Organisational Development, Health, Safety & Wellbeing and Legal functions. Over the past 8 years, Jabbar has been instrumental in supporting the CEO in transforming the way in which the organisation delivers its services and develops its staff.

In 2013 Jabbar was shortlisted for the prestigious Personnel Today HR Director of the Year Award.  In 2014 he was voted the 6th most influential practitioner by HR magazine, as well as finishing 4th in the readers’ poll.     

 Prior to joining Cafcass, Jabbar worked as a Senior HR professional with a number of large public sector organisations. 

 Ann Parkinson 150x150

Dr Ann Parkinson, Associate Professor Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour, Henley Business School

Ann Parkinson is an Associate Professor in the School of Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour and is currently the Subject Area Leader for Managing People module of the Henley MBA.  She has been associated with Henley for over 20 years. Prior to joining Henley as full time faculty she was a consultant with academic interests in Human Resources and organisational strategy based on international experience and a practitioner background.  This was in designing and introducing cultural and organisational change in a large UK plc. She has been instrumental in designing and planning major development programmes in the areas of HR strategy; managing change and total quality management.  Her practical and consultancy experience has been wide ranging, from telecommunications to the voluntary sector, international assignments in Central Europe and include: career development; climate surveys; performance management; general organisational development; people aspects of business process re-engineering; assessment centres; establishment of new organisation structures. 

Ann’s early career was in ceramics, both teaching and running a small pottery, which started her interest in people at work.  Her doctorate on the psychological contract has provided a focus and interest in the relationship between organisations and their employees, and has also fired a curiosity in the nature of organisations as well as how the individual views and interacts with their work environment.  Through her research and consultancy, Ann has particularly developed her interests in employee engagement, management development and career management, and she is qualified in the use of psychometrics in selection and development of individuals and groups at work. Her most recent research has been into the strategic role of HR.

Clare Kelliher

Dr Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University

Clare is Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University. Clare holds a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from London Business School, an MA in Industrial Relations from the University of Warwick and a first degree in management from the University of Surrey.

Her research interests centre around the organisation of work and the management of the employment relationship. She has a long-standing interest in flexible working and recently directed a major project concerned with examining the impact of flexible working on performance, sponsored by seven companies. She has also recently completed a project looking at employee engagement in multi-national organisations, funded by the US Society for HRM Foundation.


Malcolm Cotterell, Head of Employee Engagement and Benefits, Arriva

Malc is the Head of Employee Engagement and Benefits for Arriva in the UK and recently announced as winner of the Professional of the Year Award at the prestigious ee awards. This makes him happy.

As does having the responsibility for employee engagement across Arriva’s multiple UK train and bus companies. That’s 26,000 people, doing different jobs, in different places, at different times of the day and night. It keeps him busy.

Employee engagement is very simply about people. But people aren’t simple. Malc has brought employee engagement to life within Arriva by recognising the breadth of the remit and subject, and has used his imagination and creativity to address every part of their strategy, keeping it fresh and engaging.

Someone very clever once said, “Find something you love doing and then find someone to pay you to do it.” Malc has taken this advice, quite literally.

Cathy Brown 150 x 150

Cathy Brown, Executive Director, Engage for Success

Currently the director for Engage for Success, Cathy has wide ranging experience across the public, private and third sectors in raising awareness and providing practical guidance to organisations looking to improve employee engagement. With a background in delivering strategic transformation programmes for a FTSE 100 company, she recognises the importance of values, good management, authentic leadership and the ability to listen in creating environments where people can bring the best of themselves to work every day. 

Rob Vickerman 150 x 150

Rob Vickerman, Ex-Captain, England Rugby Union 7s Team

Rob Vickerman started his professional career under the guidance of current England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster who had a huge impact in his development.

After gaining 50 appearances in the Premiership at Leeds and Newcastle it was in the shortened version of the game, Rugby Sevens, in which Rob really thrived. He captained his country throughout his Sevens career; playing in 28 IRB World Series Tournaments, as well as two world cups – making the final in Moscow RWC7’s 2013. 

Rob also has a First Class Degree in Leadership and Management gained whilst playing. He cites self awareness and transformational leadership as key aspects in his life and career – and continues to play at newly named Yorkshire Carnegie. 


Jenn Batey, Senior Business Partner, People & Culture, Grant Thornton UK LLP

Jenn is a qualified and experienced people professional, currently leading the London business partner team at Grant Thornton through a significant cultural change programme. The focus of her role is embedding a high performance culture through coaching, leadership capability and talent development.


Jenn has worked in senior people change roles in organsiations such as BAE Systems and BAA at Heathrow. She has expertise in transformational change projects, developing people strategies to support the employee life cycle, organisational design executive coaching, facilitating talent and leadership programmes and workforce and succession planning.

 Jenny Kidby 150 x 150

Jenny Kidby, Talent Development Specialist, Grant Thornton

Jenny currently leads the Talent Development team at Grant Thornton.  For the last three years the team has been instrumental in creating a mindset and behaviour shift in the firm, developing people to create a high performance and coaching culture.  Jenny’s focus has been working with the leaders of the firm to create a purpose driven and sustainable organisation that makes a positive difference in the world.


Jenny is a chartered occupational psychologist with experience of working as an internal and external consultant to help organisations transform themselves.  She has experience in developing leaders to inspire and lead their teams, individual and team coaching, designing and facilitating programmes to accelerate cultural shift.   Prior to working at Grant Thornton Jenny led the consultancy division of business psychology firm OPP Ltd. 

Richard Smelt 150x150

Richard Smelt, HR Director, McCain Foods

Richard is the HR Director for McCain Foods-the world leader in Fries and other potato products.

Richard has a career at the sharp end of change management. A psychology graduate (Leeds), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and an MBA from London Business School, together with over 25 years experience of real change in businesses.

The career journey has led from the Prudential, involved in a programme to change the “man from the Pru”, to the repositioning of HFC, a consumer finance company, to Kingfisher working in the Electrical Retailing division both in the UK and France, to the downsizing and turnaround at Signet and three years working for Guy Hands at Normura’s Principal Finance Group-now Terra firma, working on the people and organisation implications of some of the biggest Private Equity deals in the UK and Europe.

Richard also worked at The Carphone Warehouse as Group HR Director where the key challenge was growing the business in Europe and across new business streams including the creation of Talk Talk. Richard was also appointed as CEO of OneTel acquired by CPW at the end of 2005 prior to integration into Talk Talk.

Richard Smelt joined Northern Rock as part of the turnaround team as HR Director in 2008 and after splitting northern rock into 2 separate entities, each with a future, left in 2010.

Richard is also a Non Executive Director of Hays Plc, the global specialist recruitment business, and Boxington Corporate Finance

Honesty, openness and pragmatism are core values – commercial organisations exist to make money – this is best done in an environment where people are empowered to do the impossible.

 Karen Notaro 150x150  

Karen Notaro, Vice Chair, Engagement Champions Forum, Ministry of Justice

Karen has held various roles in the Civil Service. She became a member of the Engagement Champions Forum in March 2009 and is now vice-chair, leading on the design of the annual Champions Day, facilitating bespoke sessions across the MOJ family – including; Courts, Tribunals and Prisons and lead champion in the central London tribunal cluster.

 Tim Pointer 150x150

Tim Pointer, Former HR Director, Pentland Brands

Tim is HR Director of Pentland Brands, leading their global people strategy across a portfolio of lifestyle and performance brands (including Canterbury, Speedo, Berghaus, Mitre, ellesse, Lacoste & Ted Baker). The work he has led has been recognised by a number of awards, including:

  • CIPD 2014: Overall Winners
  • CIPD 2014: Employee Engagement Award
  • Great Place to Work 2014 (Large Employers): UK Top 10 & Europe Top 20
  • Employee Benefits Awards 2014.

Tim has 20 years of HR experience, leading business transformation (double-digit growth, mergers, acquisitions & IPO) in global organisations across premium & lifestyle brands, FMCG and retail. He lived and worked in Asia-Pacific for 5 years, leading generalist HR within spirits & wines portfolio Maxxium. On returning to the UK, Tim joined Diesel as UK & Eire HR Director, prior to moving to Pentland. He has also worked for Waterstone’s, and began his career as a Grad with M&S. Tim has an MA from Lancaster University, is studying for an MSc at Ashridge, and is a Fellow of the CIPD. He is a failed actor, occasional goalkeeper, learner guitarist and father of three.