We came, we saw, we were informed and we were entertained. On a rooftop. In New York City.

Whether it was Aaron Hurst’s charismatic opening keynote about purpose, Joaquin Roca’s Twitter cloud, our expert panel discussions or Stowe Boyd’s powerful closing keynote on the Future of Engagement, there was something for everyone at our first US Employee Engagement Conference, and we all came away with a lot to mull over and talk about in our own organisations.

Our editor Jamie Lawrence was one of the first speakers of the day, who highlighted how crucial employee engagement is to every organisation, especially given its direct impact on customer service and brand reputation.

The Importance of Purpose

This sense of urgency was carried on by Aaron Hurst, whose statement “We cannot continue to have work so fundamentally broken” set the tone for his presentation of revamping the workplace as we know it – giving ourselves purpose (“Engage yourself!”) and revitalising our organisations. He pointed out that purpose-driven individuals are far more beneficial to a company, as they’re more likely to contribute more to not only their work, but also to their friends and society.

Are you a purpose driven individual? Or are you more motivated by ego or money? I think the consensus among the audience was that we’re all driven by different motivations at different times, even if our roles stay the same – but the point remains that we need to have enthusiasm and belief in the job and organisation we work in if we want to do our best.

Forget the ‘folklore’

I also really enjoyed Jasmine Gartner and Stowe Boyd’s presentations in the afternoon, they were a good contrast to the earlier talks in that they focused more on dispelling the myths and “folklore” (to borrow Stowe Boyd’s turn of phrase) surrounding employee engagement; whether it’s misguidedly equating engagement with ‘happiness’ (which is too subjective to be used fairly in an organisation) or trying to follow a trend rather than basing any organisational change on data.

It was refreshing to hear some perspectives that went beyond merely telling organisations to inspire and engage their people, but instead asked them to really think about how and why they should be doing it in the first place.

Round-ups and Feedback

We’re pleased that our delegates, speakers and award winners had such a fun and inspiring day – you can also read two more blogs about the event:

You can also see our full list of award winners in our awards round-up.

We’ve gathered the day’s best tweets below (our audience were very active on Twitter throughout the day!), and if you’re sad you missed the US event then fear not, as we’re taking our conference to London in September, followed by a UK awards early next year. 

Were you at the event, or do you have any thoughts on the points that were discussed? Let us know in the comments below!



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