HR · 20 April 2018

Perkbox Live: Why HR should be at the top table of every business

The Perkbox Live event discussed current business worries such as the ender pay gap.

In the heart of East London, at The Brewery on Chiswell Street, Business Advice heard from a panel of HR gurus at Perkbox’s “Whoever said HR doesn’t deserve a seat at the top table?” live event. Here’s what we found out.

The event,  which took place on April 19 explored HR’s most stubborn barriers to the top table, with expert pannelists ways to dismantle them with a “people-first vision”, business acumen and emotional intelligence.

Speakers included Paula Leach, the Home Office’s chief people officer, Ian Jardine, a performance coach and leadership trainer, and disruptive coach Natasha Wallace.

Commenting on this, Paula Leach, chief people officer, said: “We have been doing research in the Home Office about wellbeing, and we have a new phrase that we are using: ‘It’s not all about pilates and fruit.’

“As great as they may be – and it’s lovely to show that we are caring – the research evidence from the Institute of Employee Studies is that when you look at the indicators of wellbeing in a business, those things aren’t actually what make a difference. The things that make a difference are about leadership.”

Afterwards, we caught up with Perkbox cofounder Chieu Cao, who spoke about how important these events are and the influence he hopes his company can make.

He told us: “For us the society starts in the workplace, we want to make sure people have better workplace experiences, better management and better culture.

“What we have today is special to us because I see Perkbox as a business in the sense of commercial entity we have clients and commercial aspirations. But there is another side to Perkbox which is our mission and how we want to connect with the community. To be thought leaders and to bring thought leaders at venues alike this to be bring energy and that buzz.

“It’s a big challenge, we talk about workplace happiness and employee engagement. Perkbox isn’t a cure, giving employees perks and benefits isn’t going to solve all your problems, but it’s at starting point. The real challenge is around the relationship around employees and management and creating a better culture.”

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Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.