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Thoughts on the CIPD Conference

29 Jul 2016


​Brightwater attended the CIPD conference in Dublin last Thursday (16th June). The theme, “Shaping Engagement and Wellbeing to improve performance” ; we thought that it would be another conference revisiting the topic, but delighted to be proven wrong! The variety of perspectives and speakers brought the core themes of engagement and wellness to life!

Why did the conference stand out? Instead of simply inviting theorists/consultants to speak, this conference went above and beyond.  It included case studies and the science behind the success stories from Bord Gais, PayPal and future generations insight from the Principal of Colaiste Bride Secondary School. A highlight was hearing Louise Phelan, VP of Global Operations, PayPal EMEA. She was superb, and spoke about the simple formula for success: Look after yourself and your colleagues and the company will thrive. In a nutshell, a healthy workforce = productive workforce.

Leadership, Engagement & Wellbeing

The mindset has shifted from the notion that longer hours bring a better result. Leaders need to look at working smarter, likely with a leaner (potentially overworked) workforce as a result of the recession. Absenteeism is a threat, but so is PRESENTEEISM, when an employee is physically present but has mentally checked out..

You might think that some of the big names that were present would have an easier time facilitating employee wellness. In fact, PayPal started out with just 20 people and have been consistent in their company culture from day 1. Google might seem like they rank number 1 in every aspect of employer desirability, but they also have their issues. The “Google diet”.  refers to the realisation among Googlers that they were collectively gaining weight thanks to abundant, free food and requested healthier alternatives.

AFRESH gave us an actual demo to show exactly how to incorporate wellness daily, by showing us all practical, free tips – Drink water, stand up and get moving every 90 minutes, talking to someone , just breathe! Ultimately, we’re all responsible for our own wellbeing but companies share in the responsibility of looking after everyone on their teams.

Smart hiring is hiring people who are innately motivated and want to do well. It’s vital to ensure that your leadership team is motivated, ready to engage and in possession of solid Emotional Intelligence. Speaker Prof Sir Gary Cooper highlighted the need for leaders to manage their teams with praise and reward rather than through fault finding.