HR Symposium 2021 in a Hybrid World

HR Symposium 2021 in a Hybrid World

One Year on from Lockdown: How do you gain high trust in a low touch environment?

Workplaces changed irrevocably when we went into lockdown in March 2020. They changed physically and culturally. And HR professionals, managers and employees have had to change with them.

No one sensible believes we will return to full time office working. It makes no sense to have employees arriving for work tired after sitting in traffic jams or squashed into public transport. It makes no sense for them to have to do it in reverse on the way back home.

On the other hand, full time working from home brings different problems – feelings of isolation, disconnection, loss of creativity, separation from organisational culture and values.

The obvious answer for most of us will be some form of hybrid working. It may be that some employees are in the workplace full time, some part time and some almost never. That mixture might be flexible and might suit many, but it brings different problems, such as the fear of missing out (FOMO) for those working from home, different levels of bonding for those in the workplace, and different levels of cultural buy-in.

And what of managers? They are required to use new technology, new engagement techniques, new guidelines. Have they been trained? Have you asked them how they feel, caught between the competing interests of flexibility and productivity?

Most of us have spent years developing organisational culture. None of the textbooks or gurus said it would work best if all of the employees avoided each other and never met in person.

For those who do return to the workplace, at least in part, we face massive change. Not just protocols for hand sanitising and social distancing. Many of us will return to find trusted colleagues missing – possibly redundant, possibly WFH, possibly very sick, burnt out or even dead. That’s a hard situation to be in, suffering from survivor’s guilt or PTSD-type symptoms. Are you equipped to deal with it? Are they?

There are many benefits and opportunities arising from working from home and digitisation and we will deal with those in this event. There are also risks, wherever we work, and we’ll also deal with those.

This online event on 4th March 2021, held in association with Eversheds Sutherland, and developed in conjunction with Caroline Hughes, provides practical advice, examples and options for all employers.

When and Where?

This event will take place online between 9.15 am and 4.30 pm on the 4 March 2021.

Register for your free place

To register for your free place please fill in the following form and a member of Legal Island's customer service team will be in touch with further information closer to the time of the event.

In association with:

Eversheds Sutherland



"Very good event with lots of valuable content"
Austin O'Sullivan, Director of Resources, WALK

"Extremely well planned out and excellent topics."
Bláthnaid Carolan, Head of HR, Liferay

"Very professionally run. A great variety of topics available. "
Caroline Dempsey, Administrative Officer, Offaly County Council

"Super event really well run and excellent speakers. I'd highly recommend it."
Gráinne Gibbons , HR Specialist, The Anne Sullivan Centre

"Found the event overall very informative Good choice of issues covered."
Moira Haslam, Admin Manager, Fórsa Trade Union



  • Caroline Hughes
    Caroline Hughes Global Executive, Coach and Mentor

    Caroline Hughes is a highly accomplished global talent and leadership executive and strong advocate of people development. She has specific capability in building and curating well-chosen professional development experiences and programmes to enable talent to progress within an organisation. Caroline is an experienced leader of global functions, having led both Global Leadership Development (teams in Dublin, Amsterdam, Atlanta) and global Inclusion and Diversity in CRH, Ireland’s largest PLC, a global building materials company with €27.7bn assets and 89,000 staff worldwide.

    Caroline has also held senior leadership roles and lead large-scale organisation transformation in Banking, Central Banking, and within the committee structure of the European Central Bank (ECB). She is well versed in organisation behaviour, people politics and how to navigate the variety of stakeholders needed to coalesce on a desired outcome.

  • Julie Galbraith
    Julie Galbraith Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Julie is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland who regularly advises clients on all aspects of the employment relationship from recruitment to termination. She works with public and private sector clients to draft employment contracts, service agreements and confidentiality agreements to best suit the needs of the organisation. 

  • Joanne Hyde
    Joanne Hyde Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Joanne is a pragmatic and business-focused employment lawyer.
    Her experience as an in-house employment lawyer for Intel Corporation, one of Ireland’s leading multi-national employers has given her a strong insight into the HR concerns and complexities facing clients. In addition, Joanne has many years’ experience advising both international and indigenous clients on a wide range of employment and industrial relations issues. Her comprehensive experience includes advising on employment law challenges arising from commercial transactions, employment disputes and litigation as well as providing strategic and proactive advice on HR issues.

  • Lisa Bryson
    Lisa Bryson Partner
    Eversheds Sutherland

    Lisa is a partner in the employment and immigration team of Eversheds Sutherland.  Lisa trained and qualified with Eversheds LLP (as was then) in Nottingham and London before moving back ‘home’ in 2009.  She has led the employment and immigration practice in Northern Ireland since re-joining the firm in 2017.

    Lisa has considerable experience of providing contentious and non-contentious employment law advice to private and public sector clients.   She specialises in restructuring and TUPE work, major change programmes, executive matters and severances and Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunal litigation.  Lisa is an experienced Tribunal advocate and has appeared in numerous hearings both in Northern Ireland and England.  Lisa advises clients across a broad range of sectors with a particular interest in the financial and professional services, retail, media and telecommunications, transport and logistics and manufacturing sectors.

    The practice group works closely with businesses preparing for the immigration implications of Brexit and those businesses seeking to move their workforce around the globe and recruit new employees to ensure that all legal requirements are met.

  • Jim Norris
    Jim Norris Director of Human Resources
    Allstate Northern Ireland

    Jim Norris has over 20 years experience in Human Resources and a further 14 years working in manufacturing roles.  Jim has been with Allstate since 1999 in a variety of HR roles and currently is Senior HR manager with responsibility for the HR and Talent Acquisition function for Allstate’s Technology services with over 2,000 employees across three sites in Northern Ireland.

  • Marie Toft
    Marie Toft CEO/Content Creation Consultant

    Marie Toft is an award winning, multi-disciplined content creator and communications executive with over 20 years experience in flagship projects in broadcast, social and print media. She has worked at senior level across the world for several media organisations including RTE, BBC, TV3, Today FM and SBS Australia. As Executive and Series Producer with RTE, Marie’s key skills include creativity and co-ordination, along with training and mentoring staff. Marie has lectured in TV production and story-telling at Dublin City University and Cork Institute of Technology where she honed her presentation, training and development skills.

  • Padraig Berry
    Padraig Berry CEO
    TTI Success Insights Ireland

    Actively involved in business leadership positions across the globe for the last 35 years Padraig transitioned from the world of investment (he holds an M.B.A. from ESSEC Paris and ran Chuck Feeney’s Investment Company in Ireland) to ‘people’ in the mid-nineties when he realized that the key to organisational success is the right people in the right seats - that culture eats strategy for breakfast. 

    As CEO of TTI Success Insights Ireland Padraig works with 'Human Talent Professionals' who want credible, reliable, science-based tools to significantly improve results for themselves, their organisations and their clients. 

  • Kevin Empey
    Kevin Empey Director

    Kevin has specialised in organization development, leadership development and people strategy for over 25 years.

    With a background in technology and business development, Kevin developed an international career in people consulting and leadership development working across a wide range of organizations, sectors and geographies.

    Before establishing WorkMatters, he founded and led several start-up companies and was a Partner and Director in Willis Towers Watson where he led the firms HR and Talent consulting business in Ireland from 2002 to 2015. He also established the firm’s ‘Future of Work’ offering in Ireland.

  • Alan Lyons
    Alan Lyons Managing Partner

    Alan is a managing partner in KinchLyons – where psychology means business! He is a business psychologist and bestselling author who works internationally as a leadership coach, psychometrician, facilitator and keynote speaker. Alan is passionate about helping people to perform at their optimal level through leveraging emotional intelligence, clarifying purpose, disciplined execution and mental toughness. Building on the best positive psychology he created the acclaimed Solution Turbine™, a compelling framework that enables individual optimal functioning and unleashes leaders and their teams towards high performance. This is imperative as academic studies have shown that a positive mindset results in 31% higher levels of productivity. Alan is a chartered coaching psychologist and a founding member of the Society for Coaching Psychology.

  • Mary Connaughton
    Mary Connaughton Director
    CIPD Ireland

    Mary is the Director of CIPD Ireland where she works on the growth, development and contribution of the HR profession in Ireland. With 6,000 members in Ireland, CIPD works on championing better work and working lives in a complex changing world.  Mary represents the HR profession at the European Association of People Management and is on the Boards of the Public Appointments Service and the Retirement Planning Council. 

Event details


9.15am - 4.30pm


04 March 2021




To register for your free place: