HR Symposium 2021: Employee Engagement in a Hybrid World

HR Symposium 2021: Employee Engagement in a Hybrid World

One Year on from Lockdown: How do you gain high trust in a low touch environment?


Workplaces changed irrevocably when we went into lockdown in March 2020. They changed physically and culturally. And HR professionals, managers and employees have had to change with them.

No one sensible believes we will return to full time office working.  Indeed, on 15th January this year, the Irish government made that plain by publishing the National Remote Working Strategy, including plans for a right to disconnect from work.

It makes no sense to have employees arriving for work tired after sitting in traffic jams or squashed into public transport. It makes no sense for them to have to do it in reverse on the way back home.

On the other hand, full time working from home brings different problems – feelings of isolation, disconnection, loss of creativity, separation from organisational culture and values.

The obvious answer for most of us will be some form of hybrid working. It may be that some employees are in the workplace full time, some part time and some almost never. That mixture might be flexible and might suit many, but it brings different problems, such as the fear of missing out (FOMO) for those working from home, different levels of bonding for those in the workplace, and different levels of cultural buy-in.

And what of managers? They are required to use new technology, new engagement techniques, new guidelines. Have they been trained? Have you asked them how they feel, caught between the competing interests of flexibility and productivity?

Most of us have spent years developing organisational culture. None of the textbooks or gurus said it would work best if all of the employees avoided each other and never met in person.

For those who do return to the workplace, at least in part, we face massive change. Not just protocols for hand sanitising and social distancing. Many of us will return to find trusted colleagues missing – possibly redundant, possibly WFH, possibly very sick, burnt out or even dead. That’s a hard situation to be in, suffering from survivor’s guilt or PTSD-type symptoms. Are you equipped to deal with it? Are they?

There are many benefits and opportunities arising from working from home and digitisation and we will deal with those in this event. There are also risks, wherever we work, and we’ll also deal with those.

This online event on 4th March 2021, held in association with Eversheds Sutherland, and developed in conjunction with Caroline Hughes, Global Leadership & Talent Executive, provides practical advice, examples and options for all employers.

Delegates will receive practical checklists and useful takeaways plus 33% discount on the WorkMatters Organisational Agility Programme and all delegates are offered a free TriMetrixDNA profile report (value €400) and can compare their individual profile with the average scores for peers in order to help them plan their career.

When and Where?

This event will take place online between 9.15 am and 4.30 pm on the 4 March 2021.


Standard rate: £195 +VAT
Save an additional £20 when you book and pay online.

More about our online events platform Hopin

This event will be hosted on a browser based platform named Hopin.  We have provided some information below to assist you when accessing the event:-

  • If you are using a Laptop. PC or Apple Mac please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers
  • The latest version of Edge may be used as long as all recent updates have been made within the last 4 weeks
  • If you are using a mobile device then Safari is recommended for IOS and Google Chrome on Android

We understand that some IT policies may restrict the downloading of new browsers, please check and if this is the case you may have to use your own personal device to access the event.

If you would like further information regarding the above, please contact us at and we will be happy to discuss with you further

In association with:

Eversheds Sutherland


View the Short Programme or View the Long Programme


Short Programme




Meet the Chairs and Partners - Louisa Meehan, Director Woodview HRM and President of Network Ireland; Becky Jones, In-House Global Employment Counsel at Citco; and Joanne Hyde, Partner and Head of Employment, Eversheds Sutherland.


Morning Keynote Presentation:

Culture Change: How do you gain high trust in a low touch environment? 

Caroline Hughes, Global Leadership & Talent Executive


Time to Choose: Delegates now have a choice of employment law updates from our partners at Eversheds Sutherland.


In Brief: Eversheds Sutherland’s Annual Review of Employment Law Refresher Session: Republic of Ireland Developments 

with Partner Julie Galbraith

In Brief: Eversheds Sutherland’s Annual Review of Employment Law Refresher Session: Northern Ireland Developments 

with Partner Lisa Bryson





What’s coming up after the break

What’s coming up after the break


Break and Networking


A Choice of Topics: We welcome delegates back for a choice of two streams. Stream One focuses on Engagement and Remote Working. Stream Two considers Practical Policies of Remote Working.


Stream One

Stream Two


HR Quick Wins 1: Maintaining Connections and Building Goodwill

Rishi Chopra, Alumni Manager at Eversheds Sutherland.

HR Quick Wins 1: Ready to Resume Programme

Jim Norris, Senior HRM Allstate NI


HR Quick Wins 2: Future-Proofing Your Workforce: Optimising Performance Management in Distributed Teams

Aldagh McDonogh Co-Founder of Frankli 

HR Quick Wins 2: A New Reward Model for the Changing World of Work

Kevin Empey, future of work expert and Founder of WorkMatters


HR Quick Wins 3: Discover the Secrets of How to Remotely Connect with and Recruit the New Wave of Employees

Marie Toft, CEO and Founder of Emotionise and former RTÉ and BBC senior executive.

HR Quick Wins 3: NET Better Off

Audrey O’Mahony, Managing Director, Talent & Organisation Consulting, Accenture Ireland 


Comfort Break – final chance to send in questions before discussion

Comfort Break – final chance to send in questions before discussion


Roundtable Discussion

Roundtable Discussion


Lunch and Networking


Five Courageous Wellbeing Conversations You Need to Have Now

Alan Lyons, Partner and Business Psychologist, KinchLyons




Break and Networking


What is the Culture in the Room after Lockdown? 

Padraig Berry, CEO, TTI Success Insights Ireland




Comfort Break


Afternoon Keynote Presentation

People Profession 2030: A Collective View of Future Trends

Mary Connaughton, Director, CIPD Ireland


Q&A, Takeaways and Closing Remarks




"Very good event with lots of valuable content"
Austin O'Sullivan, Director of Resources, WALK

"Extremely well planned out and excellent topics."
Bláthnaid Carolan, Head of HR, Liferay

"Very professionally run. A great variety of topics available. "
Caroline Dempsey, Administrative Officer, Offaly County Council

"Super event really well run and excellent speakers. I'd highly recommend it."
Gráinne Gibbons , HR Specialist, The Anne Sullivan Centre

"Found the event overall very informative Good choice of issues covered."
Moira Haslam, Admin Manager, Fórsa Trade Union



  • Louisa Meehan
    Louisa Meehan President Network Ireland 2020; Owner, Woodview HRM; PT Lecturer, UCD & Smurfit
    Woodview HRM

    As the owner of Woodview HRM, Louisa provides HR & Workplace Mediation Solutions to organisations through consultancy, mentoring and training.  She is an accredited mediator with The Mediators' Institute of Ireland, a recognised public speaker and lectures part-time at UCD and Smurfit on the areas of HR and Organisational Behaviour.  She was a founding member of Network Ireland’s Wicklow Branch and is the National President of Network Ireland for 2020 – an organisation supporting the development of professional women.

  • Becky Jones
    Becky Jones In-House Global Employment Counsel

    Becky is In-House Global Employment Counsel at Citco. Becky’s primary objective in Citco to provide counsel to senior leaders on employment related legal issues, policies and procedures influenced by domestic and international employment legislation. As part of the CITCO’s HR team Becky has a global consultancy role, with responsibility for designing, coordinating and communicating the implementation of best in class employee relations practices across Citco offices.  She is also responsible for driving Diversity & Inclusion and best employment practices across the company.

    Previously Becky worked in FMCG as Legal Director, Compliance Officer and a member of senior management teams for Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland and also Regional Legal Counsel for Diageo Ireland providing practical commercial legal solutions for the entire business as well as pioneering new technological solutions and creating diversity and inclusion networks.  She is passionate about personal development and is a coach and mentor to a number of people.  She regularly speaks about D&I matters including mental health and resilience as well as providing training on a variety of legal topics.

  • Caroline Hughes
    Caroline Hughes Global Executive, Coach and Mentor

    Caroline Hughes is a highly accomplished global talent and leadership executive and strong advocate of people development. She has specific capability in building and curating well-chosen professional development experiences and programmes to enable talent to progress within an organisation. Caroline is an experienced leader of global functions, having led both Global Leadership Development (teams in Dublin, Amsterdam, Atlanta) and global Inclusion and Diversity in CRH, Ireland’s largest PLC, a global building materials company with €27.7bn assets and 89,000 staff worldwide.

    Caroline has also held senior leadership roles and lead large-scale organisation transformation in Banking, Central Banking, and within the committee structure of the European Central Bank (ECB). She is well versed in organisation behaviour, people politics and how to navigate the variety of stakeholders needed to coalesce on a desired outcome.

  • Joanne Hyde
    Joanne Hyde Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Joanne is a pragmatic and business-focused employment lawyer.
    Her experience as an in-house employment lawyer for Intel Corporation, one of Ireland’s leading multi-national employers has given her a strong insight into the HR concerns and complexities facing clients. In addition, Joanne has many years’ experience advising both international and indigenous clients on a wide range of employment and industrial relations issues. Her comprehensive experience includes advising on employment law challenges arising from commercial transactions, employment disputes and litigation as well as providing strategic and proactive advice on HR issues.

  • Julie Galbraith
    Julie Galbraith Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Julie is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland who regularly advises clients on all aspects of the employment relationship from recruitment to termination. She works with public and private sector clients to draft employment contracts, service agreements and confidentiality agreements to best suit the needs of the organisation. 

  • Lisa Bryson
    Lisa Bryson Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Lisa is a partner in the employment and immigration team of Eversheds Sutherland.  Lisa trained and qualified with Eversheds LLP (as was then) in Nottingham and London before moving back ‘home’ in 2009.  She has led the employment and immigration practice in Northern Ireland since re-joining the firm in 2017.

    Lisa has considerable experience of providing contentious and non-contentious employment law advice to private and public sector clients.   She specialises in restructuring and TUPE work, major change programmes, executive matters and severances and Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunal litigation.  Lisa is an experienced Tribunal advocate and has appeared in numerous hearings both in Northern Ireland and England.  Lisa advises clients across a broad range of sectors with a particular interest in the financial and professional services, retail, media and telecommunications, transport and logistics and manufacturing sectors.

    The practice group works closely with businesses preparing for the immigration implications of Brexit and those businesses seeking to move their workforce around the globe and recruit new employees to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

  • Rishi Chopra
    Rishi Chopra Alumni Manager
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Rishi Chopra has spent the past decade building and delivering strategic alumni programmes in the education and legal sectors. In 2020, he launched the new Eversheds Sutherland Alumni Network in an entirely virtual environment to a global audience. Rishi has previously managed alumni networks at Herbert Smith Freehills and Latymer Upper School. He believes passionately in the power of harnessing relationships to create mutual value for the organisation and its alumni community.

  • Jim Norris
    Jim Norris Director of Human Resources
    Allstate Northern Ireland

    Jim Norris has over 20 years' experience in Human Resources and a further 14 years working in manufacturing roles.  Jim has been with Allstate since 1999 in a variety of HR roles and currently is Senior HR manager with responsibility for the HR and Talent Acquisition function for Allstate’s Technology services with over 2,000 employees across three sites in Northern Ireland.

  • Aldagh McDonogh
    Aldagh McDonogh Former CEO, Co-Founder

    Aldagh McDonogh is Co-Founder of Frankli, a powerful all-in-one Performance Management platform and formerly CEO of Morgan McKinley, a global professional recruitment and talent management company.  Aldagh was previously co-founder of a leading marketing services company in Ireland and was a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Competition. She was formerly Global Marketing Director for Baileys and also worked at the global soft drinks giant Coca-Cola as Head of Consumer Marketing for Ireland. She is a member of the Institute of Directors.

  • Kevin Empey
    Kevin Empey Director

    Kevin has specialised in organization development, leadership development and people strategy for over 25 years.

    With a background in technology and business development, Kevin developed an international career in people consulting and leadership development working across a wide range of organizations, sectors and geographies.

    Before establishing WorkMatters, he founded and led several start-up companies and was a Partner and Director in Willis Towers Watson where he led the firms HR and Talent consulting business in Ireland from 2002 to 2015. He also established the firm’s ‘Future of Work’ offering in Ireland.

  • Marie Toft
    Marie Toft CEO/Content Creation Consultant

    Marie Toft is an award winning, multi-disciplined content creator and communications executive with over 20 years' experience in flagship projects in broadcast, social and print media. She has worked at senior level across the world for several media organisations including RTE, BBC, TV3, Today FM and SBS Australia. As Executive and Series Producer with RTE, Marie’s key skills include creativity and co-ordination, along with training and mentoring staff. Marie has lectured in TV production and story-telling at Dublin City University and Cork Institute of Technology where she honed her presentation, training and development skills.

  • Audrey O'Mahony
    Audrey O'Mahony Managing Director

    Audrey leads the Talent and Organisation practice within Accenture’s Strategy and Management Consulting business in Ireland. Audrey has spent most of her career working on large scale business transformation programmes both in Ireland and the UK. In recent years, she has led a range of workforce transformation programmes as well as supporting clients on their talent management agendas. Since the Covid-19 crisis, she has led Accenture Ireland’s Remote Working Campaign for its 4,500 employees in Ireland.

  • Alan Lyons
    Alan Lyons Managing Partner

    Alan is a managing partner in KinchLyons – where psychology means business! He is a business psychologist and bestselling author who works internationally as a leadership coach, psychometrician, facilitator and keynote speaker. Alan is passionate about helping people to perform at their optimal level through leveraging emotional intelligence, clarifying purpose, disciplined execution and mental toughness. Building on the best positive psychology he created the acclaimed Solution Turbine™, a compelling framework that enables individual optimal functioning and unleashes leaders and their teams towards high performance. This is imperative as academic studies have shown that a positive mindset results in 31% higher levels of productivity. Alan is a chartered coaching psychologist and a founding member of the Society for Coaching Psychology.

  • Padraig Berry
    Padraig Berry CEO
    TTI Success Insights Ireland

    Actively involved in business leadership positions across the globe for the last 35 years Padraig transitioned from the world of investment (he holds an M.B.A. from ESSEC Paris and ran Chuck Feeney’s Investment Company in Ireland) to ‘people’ in the mid-nineties when he realized that the key to organisational success is the right people in the right seats - that culture eats strategy for breakfast. 

    As CEO of TTI Success Insights Ireland Padraig works with 'Human Talent Professionals' who want credible, reliable, science-based tools to significantly improve results for themselves, their organisations and their clients. 

  • Mary Connaughton
    Mary Connaughton Director
    CIPD Ireland

    Mary is the Director of CIPD Ireland where she works on the growth, development and contribution of the HR profession in Ireland. With 6,000 members in Ireland, CIPD works on championing better work and working lives in a complex changing world.  Mary represents the HR profession at the European Association of People Management and is on the Boards of the Public Appointments Service and the Retirement Planning Council. 

Event details


9.15am - 4.30pm


04 March 2021




Standard rate: £195
Save an additional £20 when you book and pay online.