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Connect HR Forum addresses how employee engagement can make or break a business


The latest Connect HR Forum hosted by Steele Raymond LLP Solicitors and TeamJobs addressed how employee engagement can make or break a business.

The guest speaker was James Collins. Delegates representing around 15 companies attended the event at Steele Raymond’s HQ in Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, where James Collins of Insure4Retirement, shared how he transformed staff engagement from poor to award winning. Collins became Managing Director of the Gallagher-owned Insure4Retirement in 2015. The company in Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, specialises in home insurance for the over 50s.

He said: “There were huge, staff retention and engagement problems.” Collins conducted employee surveys and one-to-one meetings to identify key problems and implemented a 100-day programme of change. Measures included improving communication and the working environment and providing more fun and incentives.”

Collins said: “People management isn’t a science, it’s an art, and in every company it requires different things. But what it always requires is communication and respect. It is vital to listen to your workforce and respond to them. Democratising the workforce – giving them a vote – is very empowering. We also increased reward and recognition and invested in learning and development.” Collins, who also became MD of Gallagher’s property company Deacon in early 2018, added: “I believe The Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone was right when he said: “Without the people there is no plan.” 

Peter Rolph, Managing Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution at Steele Raymond, also delivered the Forum’s customary legal update, shedding light on the issue of harassment in the workplace.

Peter said:

“This was the latest in a line of extremely interesting Forums. James Collins is an excellent speaker, whose insightful delivery and fascinating experiences prompted many questions and discussions amongst our audience. This is exactly what Connect HR was set up to do – educate, inform and ultimately encourage businesses to work more effectively together.”

Connect HR started in January and comprises The Connect HR Forum – where human resources professionals and business leaders can discuss the hot topics affecting business, from harassment to data protection – and The Connect HR Academy, which enables delegates to drill down on these major issues, to gain insight from high profile speakers and invest in theirs and their company’s Continuous Professional Development.

The Connect HR Forum is free to attend but spaces are limited and all delegates must pre-register. If you are interested in attending please contact Lee Taylor for more information.

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