The Oxford HR summit took place this week at the hip and quirky Turl Street Kitchen in Oxford. It’s our annual opportunity to catch up with a team spread from Canada, across the UK, Europe, and Africa. An opportunity to take some time out to reflect on how we’re doing as a business, where we think we can improve, and also to put some thought into the coming year.
This summit was a challenge. We’ve made a lot of changes in the past year following a change in leadership of the business. We’ve put in place new technology, which enables our clients and candidates to see, in real time, how we’re doing while we’re working with them. We’ve also re-organised our teams into global regions with a focus on growing our Associate and Consultant numbers. GDPR is bringing challenges in the way we work and our ongoing need to have the best and most capable researchers meant we wanted to spend a significant amount of time on training and learning too.
We were also really glad to have the opportunity to talk to our new partners in Pretoria, One HR and hear more about their growing HR portfolio in the region and, especially, to meet our newest Associate, Carolien Van Bremen, former HRD at Adam Smith International who will be joining us next month in order to help us with HR and OD projects in Europe and Africa.
In contrast to the more serious parts of the summit, we also headed out to the pub, took on the local pub quiz teams, and came away with £104 of winnings, so all in all, a really enjoyable couple of days.
Attending the Oxford HR Summit alongside long-time staff colleagues as a new team member was quite the experience! These two days provided me with the chance to really connect with the people who work so hard to make Oxford HR the amazing company that it is. The biggest takeaway for me was that I wasn’t just joining a company, but a family of supportive, hard-working individuals.
Throughout the week, I got the chance to attend a client briefing with the Asian Development Bank, present on the business opportunities available to Oxford HR in the MENA region, and immerse myself in a fast-paced work environment, right from the get-go. However, the most touching segment of the Summit itself was the closing session, when each of us was tasked with sharing positive adjectives about our fellow employees. The smiles, the laughter, and the positive energy that flooded the room in which we were gathered further signified to me that I had joined the right place, at the right time. Here’s to another successful year ahead!