The Culture Club

Jo Rabbett, HR director of i2i Group on the importance of retaining and attaining employees through positive engagement and developments. The success of any organisation depends on having the best possible talent in place. People are important in every industry but in my view none more so than ours, where each year we sell the promise of a better and bigger experience at our events than the year before. Attracting and retaining talent involves engaging employees for the long term. For me a strong employer brand is essential in attracting top talent and is key in communicating our company culture and values to the job market. It is well known that having a highly engaged workforce leads to higher profit, greater revenue growth, higher productivity and lower staff turnover, all of key importance in a highly competitive talent market. At i2i, I am very clear that culture is just as important as strategy as it is people that create value in our business. Our employees are our brand ambassadors and the best advert for attracting further talent to us. So what do I really mean? Over the past two years we have undergone significant re organisation at i2i to create a performance led culture. We have built a business where change is expected. Changing the culture of our company has been a huge challenge for HR both internally and with wider industry perception but it has been well worth the journey.  One of the key elements that I believe differentiates i2i is the amount of investment we put into our reward and recognition schemes. Our company ambition is to be known as a great place to work  and I am passionate that we engage our most important resource, our people, and as a result we have a thriving and dynamic work environment.  Some of the key initiatives that we have introduced have been driven by our staff. We have worked hard to foster an environment of open communication and transparency and to live by our values  with a real focus on a rewarding culture. We invest in our people, creating the best environment for them to perform in. For me, each employee is key in the collaborative culture that we have created and we encourage everyone to make a real contribution to the success of the business. The views, opinions and feedback of employees are vital to i2i and help shape how our  business moves forward. Our employees need to know that their opinions and suggestions are valued by us, see recognition of their achievements within the business and know that the company supports their personal development and their professional ambitions. I love the fact that we have created an environment where i2i employees play as hard as they work. We want to make working at i2i fun. In the last two years we have re-launched our  social committee, introduced monthly socials, organised social events including summer and Christmas parties, X-Factor talent shows and held team building days. We have  introduced CEO breakfasts, where staff can give their feedback on company business and make suggestions and comments, and we hold monthly trading updates and bi-monthly ‘town halls’. i2i offers a range of programmes designed to reward excellence. We have launched an Emerging Leaders Programme,  an 18 month fast track programme for selected high achievers, aimed at nurturing and developing our mid management level emerging talent. The Elite Club Programme rewards our high performers with exceptional incentives, including quarterly events at high end locations and annual 5*holidays around the world, and we hold regular companywide incentives and competitions with prizes including vouchers, dinners, cash and weekends away. So where are we now? Our recent engagement survey demonstrates that our employees are highly engaged with 97 per cent saying that that they are proud to work at i2i. I for one am really proud of this result. However, in order to continue attracting and retaining talent, engagement needs to be sustainable and we are committed to continuously improve and to make i2i an even better place to work. We have made significant progress already but I know that we have lots more to do. This article was first published in the September issue of EN. Any comments? Email Jamie Wallis
Jo Rabbett
Posted by Jo Rabbett
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Circdata reveals launch of new Organiser Portal

Event registration specialist Circdata has announced the launch of its Organiser Portal, as part of the new Fusion 2.0 event technology platform.

NOEA launches Futures Forum white paper

The National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) and GL events have released the industry’s first-ever white paper concerned with the future of outdoor events.

GES: ‘Addition of Poken is a game-changer’

GES has announced the acquisition of cloud-based event management platform, Poken for an undisclosed sum.

Others on EN

Show or tell?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.
You get what you ask for

You get what you ask for

Sue Berry, managing director at TimelessTime Ltd, discusses the importance of people metrics and measurable objectives.
The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

Following the global cyber attack on 12 May, event tech supplier RefTech has compiled a checklist for individuals and companies to follow to help them reduce the risk of future attacks.

EN Awards Highlights

silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Fit for the 21st century

Fit for the 21st century

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, says we should always fight to bring talent into the industry and encourage an appetite for success.
I'm a believer

I'm a believer

Sam Cande, group commercial director at Centaur Media, says no secret sales technique can compete with belief in a product.
Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.

Latest News

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.
BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

Lego event BRICKLIVE has announced a new partnership with toy megastore chain Toys R Us, which will be hosting a pop-up at the show.
First five shows confirmed for Farnborough

First five shows confirmed for Farnborough

National Pet Show, Home Building & Renovating and more have been confirmed by Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, which will open in early 2018.

Latest Features

Students: Pests or guests?

Students: Pests or guests?

It’s a question all organisers have to address – what should my show’s relationship with students look like?
Flying the nest

Flying the nest

Ever thought about going freelance? Do you have what it takes to go solo? Three event professionals tell EN their stories of building their own businesses.
Spreading the word

Spreading the word

With Global Exhibitions Day just a couple of months away, EN asks what three global exhibition associations are doing to celebrate this year.

Latest Galleries

Grand Designs Live 2017

Grand Designs Live 2017

The 13th edition of Media 10’s Grand Designs Live returned to ExCeL London from 29 April to 7 May, featuring more than 500 exhibitors across six key sections. Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud one again hosted the nine-day exhibition.
Insomnia60

Insomnia60

Over 50,000 video game fans from across the country descended on Birmingham’s NEC on 14-17 April for Insomnia60, the UK’s largest gaming festival.
A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.