Help to Grow: Management event

Employee engagement is a term that is used a lot in the working world, but it can still be an enigmatic concept. To tackle retaining, attracting and engaging staff, Help to Grow: Management alumni gathered in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to get insights from leaders and each other.

Employee Engagement

The event began with a masterclass from Organisational Behaviour Psychologist and Consultant, Professor Adrian Furnham. Furnham focused on what elements can make a leader and how to engage employees. Interestingly, this included theories about what really incentivises staff and when a business may begin to risk losing employees.

This masterclass sparked a fascinating discussion about annual leave and compensation for employees. It turns out that finding a clear motivator for employees can be difficult, as each organisation needs to cater to different needs.


This masterclass was followed by a roundtable focused on the challenges of recruiting staff.

Senior Teaching Fellow and Course Director in Human Resource Management at Birmingham City University, Michalis Kourtidis, chaired the conversation. Paul Marriot, Managing Director of the Midlands Region at Hays, and Carmen Watson, Chairperson at Pertemps Network Group, gave their perspectives on hiring. Notably, there was a focus on the advantages SME leaders and hiring managers should be emphasising during the interview process. For example, the opportunity the potential hire has to positively impact a small organisation.

This sentiment was echoed by Mary Obozua, an SME owner and employee engagement Expert, who noted that understanding the potential opportunities a role can provide to the successful candidate is essential before even posting a vacancy.


Naturally, a primary focus at the event was networking and many attendees were keen to give their feedback.

Hannah Illingworth, Virtual Business Manager and Business Owner of Hi! Virtual, said: ‘This alumni event has been really useful, especially Professor Adrian Furnham’s talk. I have done many management training events, but I’ve taken away a lot today. It was also fantastic to network and meet local business leaders near me.’

The sense of a morning well spent was shared by Gibson Nyendwa, Director at Gibcom Marketing Support, who added: ‘I enjoyed finding out more about recruitment and what motivates potential hires. When I go back to my team, I now understand that it’s not just money that motivates your staff and we can explore that.’

There was a lot of value to be found at the event. This was summarised by speaker Professor Furnham: ‘To be able to gain a bigger network is incredibly important, often leaders are too inwardly focused on their business for these opportunities. The Help to Grow: Management Alumni Network events provide a wonderful opportunity for people to meet, share ideas and network.’

You can find out more about the Help to Grow: Management Course here.

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