News / Business

Redefining the workplace

By ellie pipe, Thursday Oct 31, 2019

Business leaders and experts met in Bristol to showcase a different way of working that puts employee wellbeing and motivation at its centre.

The Irresistible Organisation event, held in the offices of law firm DAC Beachcroft in Portwall Place, also focused on addressing challenges of recruiting, retaining and motivating a workforce, the role of company culture and talent management.

It was jointly hosted by flexible working consultancy Flexology, workplace culture experts Hello Performance and wellness specialists Discover Your Bounce.

Kristal McNamara, pictured with co-founder Shelley Snelson, says it’s a difficult time for businesses and staff

Kristal McNamara, director at Flexology, said: “We wanted to create this event, with our partners, to focus on culture, talent and wellbeing in the workplace as these are themes that we know businesses struggle with.

“Unemployment is at an all-time low and competition for the best people is a huge challenge, with CIPD research finding that 67 per cent of organisations currently hiring say high skilled vacancies are proving difficult to fill. Staff turnover is rising and mental health issues are also on the increase.

“It’s a difficult time for businesses and also for staff. We hear stories every day of the challenges facing people across Bristol and the South West – the interview bias they have experienced; that they were overlooked for promotion; that their role lacks purpose; that they don’t feel represented or have a career path with their employer.

“With research finding that a third of employees say they are not motivated at work, often blaming lack of progression and poor senior management communication, it’s important that businesses have the tools to overcome these challenges.

“This event aimed to tackle these challenges head on. We wanted to enable leaders to take meaningful actions back to their businesses, as well as creating a panel discussion to share insight, experience and debate from business leaders across Bristol and the South West.”

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Around 40 delegates from large and small companies attended the event,

A panel discussion featured Susan Durbin, professor of employment studies and human resource management at UWE Bristol’s Business School, Caitlin Kirwan, internal communications and engagement manager at DAS UK Group, James Reed, partner at DAC Beachcroft; and Alan Bec a social entrepreneur and speaker who has designed a tool called The Wellbeing Indicator Badge.

Nicky Marshall, director at Discover Your Bounce, said: “Our company was founded in response to the biggest epidemic business had seen in the last 50 years: stress. To combat it, focusing on an area like mental health is great, but working on mind, body, spirit and vision provides a longer-term, thorough solution that will lead to happier people and a healthy bottom line.”

Marita Howell, director at Hello Performance, added: “We all inherently understand the benefits of a thriving workplace culture but often fail to recognise the early warning signals which indicate that there may be cultural challenges ahead.

“Culture can often feel rather abstract but in reality, it stems from a few simple principles. The sizzle factor comes from how well equipped an organisation is to manage, develop and grow these elements and allowing them to live and breathe.  Done well, management of culture, talent and wellbeing really will help you take steps towards forming an Irresistible Organisation.”

Main photo: Organisers of The Irresistible Organisation – l to r – Kristal McNamara of Flexology, Nicky Marshall and Sharon Critchlow of Discover Your Bounce, Marita Howell and Ben Price of Hello Performance

Read more: Bristol charity calls for companies to invest more in mental health support

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