Margaret Collins, Chairperson, CIPD Ireland Southern Region, opened the event and welcomed attendees. Margaret reiterated the current importance of employee engagement as a strategic HR topic, both for regional members, and as validated in Fastnet – The Talent Group’s recent survey that 44% of employees are likely to move roles in the coming 18 months.

Following Margaret’s introduction, Niamh O’Driscoll, Managing Partner, Fastnet – The Talent Group, provided context as to Fastnet’s continued expansion in an ever-evolving talent landscape, including the recent appointments of Richard Butler as Director, Executive Search and Dave Barry as Director, Talent & Transformation.

Commenting on the CIPD Ireland breakfast as its sponsor, Niamh said 'We continue to see that companies investing in talent management, with a real focus on today’s topic of employee engagement, are reaping rewards. It’s an ongoing process in any organisation, but it is as critical part of operational success.' Introducing the speaker, Niamh said that both Mary Leamy as an individual, and Biomarin as an organisation, are clients with exemplary engagement focus.

To a room of engaged HR leaders, Mary Leamy provided the global context that 28% of employees in the US and Canada have considered leaving their employer in the last 12 months, nearly half of US employees are confident they can find a job that matches their compensation level within six months, and two thirds in tech could find a better job in 60 days.

'The real reason employees leave companies is based on how they feel in the workplace, so employee experience and culture are vital to keep your talent,' Mary said. With the number of open jobs growing, and the pool of qualified candidates shrinking, it is more competitive than ever.

Some key engagement considerations are:

  • Ultimately, talent magnet companies live their values, with trust/character, engagement, energy and focus/good priorities constituting the top four that strongly guiding them
  • The four keys to building an engaging culture are:
    • employee experience journey mapping
    • getting all functions involved in generating talent magnetism
    • being honest about what employees should expect – and delivering on it
    • learning, exploring and adapting
  • The Passion Pyramid of leadership skills, employee needs and outcomes is a great way to think about creating a vibrant culture
  • According to Professor Linda A Hill of Harvard Business School, engagement magic is comprised of challenge, learning, variety, significance, autonomy, trust and shared values

Download Mary's slides below.

To bring the event to a close, Margaret Collins thanked Mary for her highly engaging talk, and CIPD Ireland Southern Region committee member Charlie Dolan presented Mary with a gift to mark the occasion, kindly sponsored by The Irish Examiner. Sincere thanks were also extended to Fastnet – The Talent Group for their sponsorship and organisation of this event, and to the staff of The Clayton Hotel, Cork.

Mary Leamy

Mary Leamy is passionate about people, and has enjoyed an established career attracting, leading, developing, engaging and retaining people, through ever-changing business environments. She has played a key role in a number of downsizing, restructuring and divesting initiatives.

In direct comparison, for the last two years, Mary has been instrumental in starting-up and growing the BioMarin business in Ireland. Mary has a wealth of HR experience, and very recently embarked on the exciting opportunity of growing the European footprint of the BioMarin business.

She has led many strategic HR and organisation development initiatives in previous roles. Mary held key roles at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, as well as recruitment and L&D roles in Kerry Group PLC.

Fastnet - The Talent Group

Fastnet – The Talent Group is a dynamic and innovative talent and recruitment consultancy, which was established in 1999. They are the market leader in the life sciences sector, and their team of expert talent consultants provide a diverse portfolio of talent solutions to many leading multinational and indigenous firms. With almost 20 years’ experience in all aspects of recruitment and staffing, Fastnet – The Talent Group has built a business on growing and developing highly effective strategic partnerships with key clients and working with candidates to optimise their career prospects.