More than 80 attendees heard from employment law specialist Elaine Gray, business writer and communications expert Kevin Murray, human resources entrepreneur and social media enthusiast Perry Timms, and former stand-up comic and laughologist Stephanie Davies, on the changes that are happening in the world of HR.

The day's theme, 'Be Bold. Be Different. Be Daring' was interpreted differently by each speaker bringing new and varied perspectives to each session.

Advocate Gray, of counsel at Carey Olsen, spoke on the developments that she has encountered in her career and discussed how changes in technology are radically affecting the legal landscape. Social media harassment and defamation cases were cited as some of the new challenges facing businesses, whether they are active online or not. She also noted a number of new legal challenges both domestically and from the EU and international community which are likely to have an impact on working life in Guernsey, including statutory maternity leave, whistleblowing procedures, blacklisting and zero hours contracts.

Mr Murray, who interviewed over 100 business leaders from companies as diverse as Emirates, the British Red Cross and Marks &Spencer for his book, 'The Language of Leaders', spoke about the traits that successful leaders seem to have in common. He found that the key characteristic was an authentic passion which was used to inspire teams towards a common goal.

Mr Timms examined the social constructs of work and showed how businesses are changing from hierarchical systems with rigid management structures to those where employees have responsibility for their own work. This is accompanied by a move away from the traditional nine-to-five role with workers choosing the times that best suit them to complete their work. This model is already being used by a number of businesses with great success; not only in the tech sector where it might be expected but also in blue chip financial institutions.

Ms Davies demonstrated the benefits that increased happiness in the workplace can bring and how humour can be used to break negative thought patterns and help people to think positively. Her company recently introduced laughology methods to a poorly performing school and the change in positive thinking resulted in a 20% increase in Maths and English SAT scores and its first ever 'Good' rating from Ofsted.

CIPD Guernsey Chair, Janine Lane, said: "The local CIPD branch may be one of the smallest but we are also one of the most active with a broad range of events held throughout the year that are well-attended by our members.

We had come across these speakers at CIPD events in the UK and found their enthusiasm so infectious that we wanted to share it with businesses in Guernsey. Naturally, CIPD members are keen to promote happiness in the workplace and having the opportunity to meet industry experts and keep up-to-date with the latest thinking is invaluable in getting to that point."

The half day event, which took place at Les Cotils, was organised by the local branch of the CIPD and hosted representatives from the UK head office.

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