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Highlights from Europe’s Largest Employee Engagement Summit

6 minute read

Earlier this week, we held our annual Employee Engagement Summit and welcomed over 1,000 delegates into The Brewery on Chiswell Street. The event was a huge success, with speakers from world-leading brands such as Virgin Atlantic, Deliveroo, Bupa, Lipsy London, Royal Air Force (Ministry of Defence), Nando’s, Unicef UK, John Lewis Partnership, OVO, Engage for Success and more, taking the stage on the day.

Known as Europe’s largest employee engagement conference, this event touched on every subject impacting the modern workforce and today’s leaders. With 70 case studies and exclusive interviews taking place across five different halls, the Summit left no stone unturned.


Before delving into innovative employee engagement strategies, it is important to understand how our people are feeling in 2024. For this reason, our opening keynote session presented the findings of the recent Engage for Success (EFS) UK engagement survey.

Dr Sarah Pass, member of the Engage for Success (EFS) Advisory Board, revealed that engagement levels have stagnated following the drop in engagement during COVID and there is now a concerning lack of rebound.

Furthermore, she shared that two in five people feel that their managers and social leaders do not prioritise people issues. Unmanageable job stress levels were also found to be five times higher for this group. Thus, there is a clear need to prioritise the people issues in organisations.

Other takeaways from the UK Engagement Survey were:

  • The choice of engagement model is less important than how it is implemented.
  • Groups of practices have a significant impact on engagement.
  • Employees experience engagement in different ways.


Shortly after our opening keynote, we welcomed our celebrity headliner Ruby Wax OBE. Clapping and cheering echoed throughout the hall, as the British-American actress, comedian, author, and mental health campaigner walked onto the stage. She quickly and effortlessly captured the attention of the crowd, revealing her journey from show business to being one of the most highly regarded mental health speakers in the industry.

Ruby discussed forming a connection with your people, explaining that the key lies in showing that you are human. This means having a sense of humour (but not faking it) and sharing your problems in order to connect with others.

Titled ‘How to De-Frazzle in a Chaotic World’, Ruby’s talk primarily focused on learning how to deal with stress during an age in which being too busy is seen as somewhat of a status symbol. She also touched on our addiction to adrenaline and how our brains are not wired to deal with the complexities of the 21st century. According to her, we must work to “upgrade our minds as much as we upgrade our iPhones” by learning how to be mindful and reduce our cortisol levels in stress-inducing situations.

Sharing a few mindfulness practices, Ruby suggested leaning into one of our senses – for example, listening. To emphasise this point, she remained silent for a moment, leaving the attendees to notice the space around them.

Underlining the importance of such practices, Ruby shared that while some people might alleviate stress by going to the gym or playing golf, this is not possible during stress-inducing meetings. Instead, we must learn how to tap into ourselves, focus on our senses and reduce our cortisol levels at any given moment. Otherwise, you can pass your distress to co-workers, who take it home to their kids, their community, and the planet.

Ruby WAXRuby Wax OBE on stage


The topic of wellbeing was explored by numerous speakers following Ruby’s session. However, Pluxee’s CEO Burcin Ressamoglu and HR Business Partner Tom Nash took the subject of wellbeing a step further, zeroing in on financial wellbeing.

Our speakers explained that financial wellbeing is far more than just our salary as they discussed the findings of their recent Money Mastery Survey. According to their study, 78% of respondents said their financial wellbeing added stress to their lives and 57% said it led to poor mental health. Moreover, nearly half of those surveyed (48%) rated their financial wellbeing as average, poor or very poor.

These findings are alarming when considering that poor financial wellbeing leads to increased anxiety and less productivity. What is worse, the survey also found that only 12% might speak to employers about financial issues, with many fearing that they will be seen as financially irresponsible if they do so.

So, what do employees want and what can employers do?

According to the Money Mastery Survey, people want to see their organisations offer employee saving schemes, money management tools, financial education and advice, and financial coaches.

“Employee wellbeing isn’t a nice to have but an essential,” our speakers stressed.


Many of our speakers shared exemplary stories of success, presenting innovative case studies and ideas for enhancing employee engagement. Two brands – namely Virgin Atlantic and Lipsy London – stood out especially, impressing the audience with the unique ways in which they engage their people.


Steve Clarke, People Communications Lead at Virgin Atlantic, amazed the audience as he recounted how the organisation’s internal comms team use video storytelling to superpower engagement. Through Workplace Live recordings with their CEO and Video Features, Virgin Atlantic have successfully increased colleague happiness and inclusion by seven and nine points, respectively. Both the live events and video features have recorded a reach of 90%, which is extraordinary when considering that all content is recorded in-house.

According to Steve, the internal comms team embarked on their video storytelling journey two years ago, making six-minute-long videos and editing content using iPads. Now, they have invested in second-hand equipment and mixers, allowing them to create short, high-quality videos. Although this has been a long and steep learning curve for the team, Steve noted that they have successfully cut on spending (e.g., no longer bringing in live events teams) and enhanced engagement.


Anaïs Nebel, Group Culture and Communications Manager at Lipsy London, began her presentation with a shocking statistic: one in two people feel more self-doubt than self-love.

Knowing the value of unlocking high self-esteem, Anaïs gave herself the task of organising an event that would make people feel empowered. Thus, she came up with the idea to set up ‘Glow Days’. Working in collaboration with the self-portrait studio Candid, Lipsy London organised a photoshoot for their employees with the aim of boosting their self-empowerment.

Before the event, the team encouraged people to sign up, sent out a survey asking for employees’ favourite confidence-boosting songs, and shared a video from Candid explaining how to use their self-portrait studio.

During the event, Lipsy London’s team had set up pop culture posters in the room, hired a makeup artist, served champagne, and offered a clothing rack of empowering clothes (i.e., blazers). In addition to this, the self-portrait studio had the confidence playlist playing in the background, and pictures of power poses.

After the event, participants gained access to their digital photographs, filled out a survey, and received discounted rates for the Candid studios.

The impact? 100% of the Glow Days slots were filled by people from all levels and self-empowerment levels increased by a whopping 40%.


The 2024 Employee Engagement Summit was a huge success, with a record-breaking number of attendees coming together to learn from industry-leading brands and experts. Due to our exponential growth, we are now excited to reveal that next year’s Summit will take place at Evolution at Battersea Park in London!

Make sure you don’t miss out on Europe’s largest event of its kind by registering for the 2025 Summit today.

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