EN editor Saul Leese spoke to HR director Stephanie Rogers about the cultural shift at Reed Exhibitions.
Listening to Reed Exhibition HR director Stephanie Rogers speak at a conference recently, I decided she would be ideal for a story in EN. Reed feels like it’s been going through a bit of a cultural transformation recently. Rogers joined Reed two years ago and her attitude towards her work colleagues is infectious. She said: “I don’t see my role as doing everything, but rather as supporting the teams and bringing people together to generate the ideas. It’s also a key element of my role to create the right environment and culture for the new initiatives to be brought to life.” Rogers answers our questions on this transformation.
How has Reed changed over the past few years in its approach to attracting and retaining employees?
We look now, not only at the role itself (and the content of the role), but also plenty of other issues including how people can progress within Reed Exhibitions UK. We have launched two new development programmes for our rising and shining stars to support this.
Our office environment is important, so we have moved towards a much brighter and more flexible working environment with breakout spaces. We also offer flexible working with the option to start or end your day earlier or later, whilst also having the opportunity to work from home each week.
We have set up a Talent Acquisition team across Europe to improve our approach to recruitment and to ensure that we not only reach the best candidates, but also provide them with a good experience when they consider a role with us. To support our resourcing, we have also teamed up with a recruitment partner – Korn Ferry. Korn Ferry are true experts in the field of recruitment and are really helping us improve the entire hiring process.
We are focusing on our inclusion and diversity agenda also, to ensure that we are truly an organisation which welcomes individuals from all backgrounds.
Are there any particular incentives or initiatives that you feel have made an impact on staff and recruiting?
Like many other organisations, we carry out regular employee opinion surveys to understand what we are doing well and what we need to improve. Working with teams across the business, we have identified three areas that will have a real impact on the day to day working lives of our colleagues.
These areas are employee wellbeing, communication and recognition. The groups were agreed with HR and are led and run by passionate team members across the business. Initiatives agreed by these groups include:
- Sessions focusing on mindfulness, yoga, walking, exercising in Richmond park and learning a new language.
- Mental-health first-aid and awareness training to improve our ability to support colleagues experiencing mental-health issues.
- A revamp of our annual achievement awards.
We are about to launch our line manager conference which provides strategic and tactical leadership and management support for our first line manager community.
What makes Reed different from other large event organisers?
We recognise that our people have choice in terms of where they work, what they do and who they work with. We want people to love working here and, as a result, we are working hard to listen to the teams and put in place practical initiatives that will make a difference. For example, we have recently set up regular fruit deliveries to our office to ensure our employees have access to healthy food. Furthermore, we have the support of RELX to progress our ideas in the field of employee engagement.
During October, over 100 representatives from across RELX came together to discuss the various employee groups we have set up (focusing on women in the workplace, mentoring for key talent, LGBTQ+ colleagues etc). to connect these groups, and share learnings.
What’s Reed’s ethos and how does this affect behaviours?
We believe in working together, challenging careers and maintaining a relentless focus on our employees and customers. We have recently provided lots of opportunity for our people to come together to focus on a whole range of important topics including ‘How to Eliminate Unconscious Bias in the Workplace’ and ‘How to Flourish in a Matrix Environment’. It’s a long journey, we have lots of new initiatives in place but there is still much to do. Positively, there is a great, can-do attitude across the teams and a real passion for the business so I am sure that we will achieve a lot more during the year to come.”
This article featured in the December issue of Exhibition News Magazine. To read more content like this, click here.