Wales HR Network announces new programme of events

HR Network representatives l-r Fflur Jones, Damian Phillips (Darwin Gray) and Sarah Jones (Acorn)

Following the success of the first ever Wales HR Awards, the Wales HR Network has announced three new seminar dates to address key topics within HR.

The Wales HR Network, created by Wales’ leading recruitment and training agency Acorn and commercial law firm Darwin Gray, offers HR professionals across the country the opportunity to network and engage with others in the industry, swapping experience and best practice.

The first event, ‘Is it the end for annual appraisals?’, will take place on Thursday 25th May at The SSE SWALEC, Cardiff.

The event, which asks if it really is the end for appraisals or if it is just ‘noise’, welcomes Yvonne Murray, head of human resources at Cardiff Airport, who will be speaking about their new performance management framework, and Chris Sweetman, director of people and business development specialists Sweetman and Partners, who will be looking at the features of effective feedback and how to encourage more of it in the work place.

On Wednesday 21st June, the second event will take place at the Village Hotel, Swansea. This time, the focus will be on ‘What is employee engagement anyway?’

To answer that question, Toby Townrow, Managing Director of 10eighty Cymru, has been invited to discuss what employee engagement really means, while Debbie Rainbow, HR director at Bluestone Resorts Limited, will take attendees through her team’s journey to achieve the highly commended IiP Gold Standard.

The third event of the summer is ‘HR – The future is now’. For this event Jim Taylour, Head of Design and Wellbeing at Orangebox and Dr. Sophie Buchaillard, founder of Creative Confidence Consulting have been invited to discuss modern workplace practices such as the ROWE model. The event will be held on Thursday 21st September at Orangebox, Nantgarw.

The summer series of events follows on from the first Wales HR Awards, which recognised and celebrated the best HR professionals and teams across all sectors and locations throughout Wales at a 12-category black tie event, hosted by the BBC’s Sian Lloyd.

Sarah Jones, Head of Marketing for Acorn, said: “We’re delighted to launch the next run of Wales HR Network seminars, all of which have been carefully planned around the topics that our members have requested.   After all, this is what the Wales HR Network is about; to provide a platform for HR professionals to share and learn best practice on topical issues, from highly reputable speakers and each other during informal yet informative seminars.

“And of course, this will be the first event since the Wales HR Awards, so we’re really looking forward to seeing everyone again.”

Fflur Jones, Partner and head of the Employment and HR team at Darwin Gray said: “We’ve organised these events to cover some of the hottest topics in the HR sector at the moment. They will all feature speakers who are at the forefront of their field and have interesting approaches to the subject matter.

“We’re delighted to cover South and West Wales with this series and will soon be launching new dates and topics in North Wales.”

Previous events have seen experts from leading companies such as Royal Mail, EADS, and the Principality Building Society sharing their professional opinion and experience on issues such as managing absenteeism, dealing with poor performance and motivating staff.

For tickets or more information visit