This week I am volunteering at the CIPD Northern Area Partnership conference. It’s my favourite event of the year, and it is privilege to be part of the organising committee.
Why do I think the NAP conference is so special?
A few reasons. First of all, the conference is run entirely by volunteers, for other HR professionals. The aim behind the very small organising committee is simple: create a great couple of days at a reasonable price. It isn’t about making a profit, it’s about learning and connecting and sharing.
I love NAP because the delegates love it. Every year people tell us that it’s the best conference they go to. And that is why we do it. It is why the speakers give their time, for free.
Of course it also gives me the opportunity to go back to beautiful Yorkshire. And, if I am honest, there is wine and dancing and laughing and friends.
So very early Friday morning you will find me putting up signs and helping exhibitors and handing out name badges and tweeting and running a fringe session and sorting out slide decks and making sure that the sweet stand is full (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it) and any of the other many, many things that need doing before the delegates arrive and the learning begins.
The subject of the conference this year is employee experience. There’s a reason that we picked this subject over employee engagement. Everyone wants engaged employees. It’s a given. A look through the theory will tell you the stuff that drives it. Allegedly, it’s all about having organisational integrity, inspiring leaders, an organisational narrative, strong employee voice.
So far, so good.
There is other stuff too. It’s in the day to day. Engagement can be about big programmes, projects and initiatives. But it’s all the little things too. The individual employee experience.
The emails sent to the candidate in the application process.
The welcome on day one.
The food in the canteen.
The thought put into induction.
The office environment people are expected to work in.
The policies and procedures that must be adhered to.
The tools provided to do the job.
The quality of the conversation with the manager.
The training courses.
The internal communications issued.
Every interaction. Every day.
Real stuff. Stuff that can be worked on. Every day.
This blog is a thank you to every that is coming this year to speak, to facilitate, to volunteer. To talk about employee experience from a whole range of perspectives. Thank you to everyone that is giving their time to help others learn.
If you can’t make it, follow the hashtag on Twitter for all the commentary and blogs > #cipdnap17
And if you are coming…. I’ll see you on the dancefloor!