CIPD Festival of Work highlights: part one

CIPD Festival of Work highlights: part one

Catch up on the best of this year’s Ciphr talks in the first part of our show roundup


Ciphr news Future of Work Technology


Catch up on the best of this year’s Ciphr talks in the first part of our show roundup

Ciphr’s stand at the inaugural CIPD Festival of Work (12-13 June 2019) played host to a series of thought-provoking free learning sessions across the show’s two days.

If you missed the live presentations, catch up on part one of our highlights below, and then read part two here.


“Data helps you to back up gut instinct with evidence”

Pat Ashworth and Gemma Kelly from AdviserPlus teamed up with Suzanne Dunkley, executive director of workforce and OD at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, to share the trust’s experience of using management information to successfully reduce absence rates. “It was about backing up that HR gut feeling with evidence,” said Dunkley. “We knew there were trends among certain staff groups, but we didn’t have a clear picture of absence.” In fact, the data showed that part-time workers were more included to show absence, and be absent from work for longer than full-time employees – suggesting that flexible working arrangements might not be enough to properly support staff with caring responsibilities. Effective interventions around absence included upskilling managers to hold better return-to-work (RTW) interventions, making staff more aware of the impact of their absence on their teammates, and being more open around mental health conversations. ­

Watch AdviserPlus’s presentation >


“Compliance pressures are driving HR systems integration”

Ciphr’s Rob Oehlers and Claire Williams presented results from Ciphr’s own research, that has found that nearly three-quarters (71%) of HR professionals believe that manually transferring and updating data between systems represents a significant security risk to their organisation. Regulatory requirements that have been introduced during recent years – including gender pay gap reporting and the introduction of the GDPR – have been major forces in encouraging HR teams to integrate their systems and get smarter about the use of data, said Oehlers, while Williams also explored how Ciphr is using integrated systems to improve HR efficiency and the end-user experience for its staff.

Watch Ciphr’s presentation >


“How much of the technology we use at work is designed for the players, not the payers?”

That consumer technology is “miles ahead” of the technology we use at work is “really problematic” for engagement and productivity, said Marcus Thornley, founder of gamified engagement app Totem. “Consumer products make sure they are fun, and that the consumer – the player – is at the heart of the product,” he said. “How much of the shiny work technology is designed for the players, not the payers?” Games are brilliant at engaging people for three reasons, he said: they give the player autonomy, the chance to develop mastery, and offer a sense of purpose. “Do you get any of that at work?” asked Thornley. “In mang organisations, autonomy, mastery and purpose exist at the top – but not at the lower levels of the hierarchy.”

Watch Totem’s presentation >


“The tech we have available today is better than ever – so why wouldn’t you use it?”

Andrew Drake from PES illustrated the development of workplace technology by contrasting his experiences of running with those of his father. Drake’s dad – an avid runner – kept a manual log of his mileage, times and weather conditions on a wall chart tucked away in a cupboard. Drake – also an avid runner – keeps the same logs but, thanks to his Garmin smartwatch, iPhone and the app Strava, is able to gather and interrogate a wider range of metrics about his performance. “It means I can identify the areas that I need to work on most,” he said. “There was nothing wrong with recording performance on paper when there was no other option. But now we should be making the most of the best technology that is available to you at the moment.”

Watch PES’s presentation >


“Being more transparent and honest will help you make better hires”

Nearly half (48%) of respondents to a recent Thrivemap survey said they have left a role because the reality of the job didn’t meet their expectations, revealed Nathan Verrall. The most commons cause of these mismatched expectations included job responsibilities (cited by 59% of those surveyed), working environment (42%) and working hours (35%). “In this candidates’ market, employers have to meet candidates’ expectations,” he said. “The advent of ‘quick apply’ buttons mean you might be getting lots of applicants who might not actually want to work there, and therefore they will quickly leave your company after they are hired.” One ways to solve this mismatch – and to improve the quality of your hires – is to be more honest about your culture and the role you’re hiring for, he said.

Watch Thrivemap’s presentation >