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Hiring, Firing and Inspiring - Retaining and motivating key people vital to businesses today

31 March 2011 #Employment

Press Release - 31 March 2011

Hiring, Firing and Inspiring -
Retaining and motivating key people vital to businesses today

Hiring, Firing and Inspiring - three of the most vital issues for businesses today and the focus of a high profile conference [1] delivered to 200 business leaders in Reading.

These key subjects of employee engagement, motivation and leadership were covered in presentations from Eton Bridge Partners, Clarkslegal, Grant Thornton, Towers Watson and a key note speech from former Olympic Gold Medallist Adrian Moorhouse, Managing Director of professional performance specialist company Lane 4. The event was chaired by Jim Rogers of Grant Thornton.

In an inspiring speech, Mr Moorhouse pushed delegates to "Manage the moment" in driving their businesses through the economic recovery, emphasising "British people are a self-depreciating bunch. In business, you need to refer to the times when things went well. You`re as good as the things you`ve done, not the last thing you`ve done. Master everything you can do well - that`s how you work through a recession."

Mr Moorhouse continued by urging employers to engage their staff: "I firmly believe in the connection between engagement and performance. Businesses have to create an environment for the talent you put into organisations to allow them to perform to the best of their ability."

These sentiments were echoed by Towers Watson`s Nick Tatchell whose presentation reiterated the importance of inspiring staff: "Employee engagement is a hot topic because it impacts and predicts business performance." However, Mr Tatchell warned that employee engagement "means so many things to so many people and happy employees are not necessarily productive employees." Citing the 2010 Towers Watson ‘Global Workforce Study` he revealed that "only 17% of UK staff are engaged, whereas 42% are either disenchanted or disengaged."

Such figures are frightening to employers, particularly when paired with the thoughts of Ashton Ward from Eton Bridge Partners, warned that "To remain competitive, there is the need for change in businesses." Mark Craddock, also of Eton Bridge, cautioned that employers need to "Gear up for the toughest war on talent yet. The best people today are savvier than ever and even the most loyal employee will consider another opportunity presented to them. People join or leave the business based on the people they work for."

Despite the clear need for businesses to inspire their staff, other presenters identified the potential pitfalls when hiring and firing today. Introducing Clarkslegal`s Michael Sippitt and Grant Thornton`s Caroline Harwood, Chair Jim Rogers warned "There is a lot we can get right in the tax and legal aspects of hiring, firing and inspiring but an awful lot we can get wrong. They have never been as important as they are today."

Mr Sippitt echoed the warnings of Mark Craddock and Jim Rogers, agreeing "The biggest issues today are finding good candidates and keeping the good people you`ve got. People join companies but leave bad managers."

He continued to identify some of the biggest dangers facing employers throughout hiring, firing and inspiring: "It`s very hard to interview someone who isn`t protected by something and firing is a fact of life. Don`t get the process wrong. Avoid prejudice. Lots of lawyers are waiting for their next interesting case."

Mr Sippitt`s presentation was jointly delivered with Grant Thornton`s Caroline Harwood who recommended all employers "Maximise the bang for your buck. Review your remuneration and incentive policies to fit within exemptions of new legislation and make sure your employees get what they want." She warned that "Employers need to look at avoiding enormous tax burdens."

In his closing remarks, conference Chair Jim Rogers summarised Retaining and motivating your key people as the UK emerges from recession is vital to businesses today."


For further information, please contact Matthew Evans, Marketing Manager, on 0118 958 5321 or email:

Notes to Editors
  1. Hiring, Firing and Inspiring took place on 23 March 2011 at the Reading Hilton, hosted by Grant Thornton, Clarkslegal and Eton Bridge and with key note speakers Adrian Moorhouse, Managing Director, Lane4 and Nick Tatchell of Towers Watson.
    Full list of speakers:
  • Jim Rogers, Grant Thornton (Chair)
  • Mark Craddock, Eton Bridge Partners - "Attracting the best talent to your business"
  • Ashton Ward, Eton Bridge Partners - "Headrenting or interim management"
  • Caroline Harwood, Grant Thornton - "Hiring, firing and inspiring tax and legal aspects"
  • Michael Sippitt, Clarkslegal - "Hiring, firing and inspiring tax and legal aspects"
  • Nick Tatchell, Towers Watson - "Harnessing employee engagement for performance"
  • Adrian Moorhouse, Lane4 - "Developing mental toughness"
Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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