Day three of the CIPD Festival of Work

The CIPD’s Festival of Work has been a little different this year, swapping the Olympia in London for a virtual conference experience fit with exhibitors, speakers, and wellbeing facilities.

Here, HR magazine rounds up three key elements learned from day three of the conference.


Crisis does represent danger but it also represents opportunity to lead as well”, said Peter Cheese, chief executive of CIPD.

Cheese acknowledged the number of crises HR professionals are having to deal with at the moment, from environmental strikes and the Extinction Rebellion movement, to the ongoing protests of Black Lives Matter activists and the challenges of dealing with coronavirus. While providing an overview of the Festival of Work, he appealed to the HR community and beyond to work together to fight for fairness, highlighting just how important the role of business is in creating an equal society.


“Insight without action is meaningless. Strategic workforce planning is about ensuring we have the right skills in the right place at the right cost”, said Justine Thompson, head of strategic workforce planning at Lloyds.

Thompson spoke of the challenges large businesses such as Lloyds have when changing how they operate and the services the provide. With any decision potentially impacting Lloyds’ millions of UK customers, she stressed the importance of using strong workforce analytics to show why and how workforce planning can be used most effectively and understand its direct connection to business strategy.



"Unless you start thinking about environmental issues from a board perspective there is going to be a tremendous downturn for businesses anyway because one of the consequences of climate change is we can't control it," said Veronica Hope-Hailey, university vice president and dean of the school of management at the University of Bath.

For this panel, speakers described why they thought COVID-19 had brought about more responsibility for businesses and their people, and that this renewed focus made them hopeful of positive change where sustainability is concerned.

As Amanda MacKenzie, chief executive of Business in the Community, described it: “What we've spent the past three months doing is metaphorically wrapping our arms around society […] [A sense of] community has been reignited, what it means and how it feels importantly. And we know if you feel about something, it's a great driver of change.”

Click here for roundups of day one and day two.