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A culture shift is happening and HR Duo is leading the way.

We've just returned from an incredible and invigorating couple of days at the bustling CIPD Festival of Work held at Olympia London. As the largest event in the UK's HR calendar, it brought together thousands of passionate individuals to connect, collaborate, and delve into ways to enhance working life. With a focus on employee engagement, flexible working, and well-being, there were countless highlights that made this event truly unforgettable. And let's not forget about the showstopper—puppy therapy.

The festival exceeded all expectations, with a record-breaking 13,500 delegates registered to attend. This far surpassed the initial estimate of 5,000, demonstrating the immense interest and enthusiasm from HR professionals and industry leaders alike.

Throughout the festival, we were privileged to hear from an array of phenomenal headline speakers. From the insightful discussion on self-care and boundary setting led by Fearne Cotton to the invaluable perspectives shared by MOBO Group founder and CEO Kanya King CBE and the witty and talented comic writer, presenter, and actor Katherine Ryan—the festival was a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration.

Featuring over 150 artists, 200+ exhibitors, and more than 70 hours of enriching content, the festival truly had something for everyone. It was a platform where ideas were exchanged, new solutions were explored, and invaluable connections were made. The theme, "driving people with purpose to thrive," resonated deeply, and various topics were explored within this overarching theme. Discussions ranged from the impact of work/life balance on mental health to removing bias in the recruitment process, measuring the true value of Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG), and the ongoing debate surrounding hybrid work.

HR Duo makes its debut

This year, we had the honour of both exhibiting and speaking at the festival, marking our inaugural attendance. We can confidently say that the experience was tremendously rewarding. Over the course of two days, we engaged with hundreds of HR professionals, exchanging insights, and learning from their unique experiences.

From what we observed and absorbed, it is abundantly clear that we are in the midst of a significant culture shift. The overwhelming consensus was that businesses are eager to revolutionise their approaches to work, emphasising employee engagement, support, development, and well-being. The festival's themes and the sheer number of attendees underscored the genuine desire to create better working environments—an urgent need in the post-Covid world. Employees now demand more from their employers and actively seek a healthier work/life balance.

While understanding this shift is one thing, the real challenge lies in how busy businesses and stretched HR managers can deliver this additional value while still managing compliance, performance, payroll, holidays, recruitment, and the myriad other administrative tasks that inundate their desks daily.

Speaking to an audience of over 250 people, our CEO Jerome Forde led a discussion on how new technologies are laying waste to swathes of administrative tasks, while also playing an increasing role in the interaction between managers and staff.  He also outlined how the power of artificial intelligence and new systems can be leveraged to achieve endless benefits for businesses, such as creating positive employee engagement, building managerial confidence, multiplying the impact of self-service and improving compliance, productivity and performance.

The net result of all of this is to create the vital time and space businesses need to focus on the real value-added work (You can read the full transcript from his talk here).

The HR revolution is already here

This is precisely where our intelligent platform, HR Duo, steps in. By automating up to 80% of day-to-day administrative work and providing real, human, expert HR know-how whenever it's needed, HR Duo frees up vital time and space for HR managers to focus on what truly matters to employees.

During the festival, our stand was abuzz with eager individuals keen to witness how our solution works in practical terms and the remarkable opportunities it presents for businesses. We're thrilled to have numerous follow-up conversations in the days ahead. If you were unable to attend the festival this year, fear not. You can still reach out to us and request a free demo through our website. We highly recommend signing up for next year's event as well. The importance of HR continues to escalate, and it will only grow in prominence as businesses grapple with the task of improving the employee experience alongside various other challenges faced by HR professionals today.

Are you ready to take control of your HR? Book a demo with our team - we look forward to partnering with you on your HR journey.


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