The former director general of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller and Brian Newman, vice-president of HR at Live Nation Entertainment, were among the keynote speakers at Employee Benefits Live on 25 and 26 September at Olympia, London, each opening a day of the conference.
During two packed days of top-level conference sessions, numerous leading employers and industry experts shared their experiences and expertise on a wide range of topics from pensions auto-enrolment, healthcare and wellbeing, flexible benefits and tax-efficient benefits to name but a few.
Closing the first day of the conference, seven previous Employee Benefits Awards winners, including Asda, FirstGroup, Capital One and Random House Group, shared their top tips for success, along with details of their award-winning benefits schemes.
The two opening keynote speakers, however, were among the conference highlights at Employee Benefits Live, both touching on in management and impact of wide-reaching change programmes. Live Nation’s Newman, for example, described how the organisation overcame the challenges of engaging with employees following a merger.
Meanwhile, Manningham-Buller discussed the concept of managing change under pressure.
Friendships and the feeling that employees are united by a common cause are considered to be the main benefits of working for MI5. These were key to engaging staff during a period of significant cultural change, which saw the organisation double in size over five or six years.
As a public sector organisation, MI5 does not have a huge benefits budget, so seeks other means to engage and motivate staff.
MI5 also works hard to ensure its employees are supported and can achieve a good work-life balance. For example, although employees are often unable to tell people about their work for security reasons, the organisation wanted to thank their families for supporting them and showing understanding towards their work. For this reason, it introduced family days.
Relatively small things were also important, such as getting in touch with an employee personally if he or she was off sick for some time.