EXCLUSIVE: Delegates at Employee Benefits Connect 2019 will be able to learn about the practicalities, realities and benefits of agile working in the modern world.
Nebel Crowhurst (pictured), head of people experience at high street fashion brand River Island, will present a session titled ‘Reimagining the workplace: Designing people teams that deliver agile and future-focused results’, as part of the technology conference stream on Wednesday 27 February 2019.
The session will demonstrate how the principles of agility can become a practical and real aspect of an organisation’s approach to HR, encouraging delegates to create a culture that supports curiosity and challenges traditional mindsets. Crowhurst will also discuss the practical results, benefits and potential obstacles surrounding agile working, drawing on her own experiences and River Island’s journey.
Crowhurst said: “[I will be] bringing some real life stories around some of the experiences we’ve had. I’ll be able to give some examples of where we’ve used the principles [of agile working], what’s worked, what some of the successes are, what perhaps some of the pitfalls are.”
Crowhurst aims to challenge delegates’ thinking around traditional working structures, provoking innovation and change for the better by questioning the assumption that the systems in place are naturally the most effective.
“A lot of people talk about agile working within the world of HR, but it’s about challenging people’s views on what that actually means,” she explained. “It’s taking that thread, being thought provoking and encouraging people to explore the concept.”
Another goal of the session is to promote and foster connections and experience sharing among delegates, signposting to relevant information and allowing them to explore what elements of agile work might be effective within their own organisations.
“You come to these things to network, learn new ideas and find things that are going to help you to think differently,” Crowhurst said. “Sometimes it reinforces what you’re doing and gives you a sense of confidence, and sometimes it causes you to think ‘I never considered it that way’ and it gets you thinking differently.”
Speaking more broadly on the direction of the reward industry for 2019 and beyond, Crowhurst emphasised the importance of recognition as part of an organisation’s core reward strategy. Citing the success of River Island’s own recently implemented peer-to-peer recognition programme, she noted the importance of employers finding a system that works for them.
This is a topic that will also be explored at Employee Benefits Connect 2019, with the session run by Jamie King, director, global rewards at Xexec, entitled ‘Why is employee recognition more relevant than ever?’
For Crowhurst, the increasing importance of technology as an enabler across many people management and HR functions is another key trend for 2019, alongside the need to review and question rigid structures around the world of work.
Employee Benefits Connect 2019 will take place on Wednesday 27 February 2019 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.