Business leaders discuss challenges of maintaining a happy workforce

Business leaders roundtable held at Birketts' Norwich office <i>(Image: Birketts)</i>
Business leaders roundtable held at Birketts' Norwich office (Image: Birketts)

Business leaders from across the East gathered last week for a roundtable discussion exploring topics as diverse as working from home and employee retention.

As part of the Best Employers project, law firm Birketts held the breakfast meeting at their Norwich office which was chaired by Eastern Daily Press editor Richard Porritt.

Guests included Claudia Roberts, chief executive of the Zoological Society of East Anglia, Sarah Atkins, director of people and culture of East Anglian Air Ambulance, Will Bridgman, managing director, Warren Services, Tim Smith, CEO of The AFE Group, Paul Lewis, managing director, Evander, Jeanette Wheeler, Birkett's partner and head of employment, Mat Newnham, a partner at Birketts and Lynn Walters the executive director of Pure Resourcing.

Discussing how firms are increasingly focussing on their workforces, Ms Walters said: "What we have seen is that there are more businesses of a smaller size that are appointing people and engagement directors. So there is somebody there who puts people at the centre.

"The organisations that are able to engage their people are constantly changing things up.

"During Covid we became very good at drawing people back into the workforce by creating a social hub and by creating working spaces where there is a sense of belonging and people want to spend time there."

Mr Porritt added: "It was a really engaging and lively discussion - and it was very encouraging to hear some of the innovative ways our business leaders are helping the people in their organisations get better."

The Best Employers Eastern Region programme was founded in 2012 by recruitment specialists Pure and psychometrics experts eras and is supported by LOCALiQ and full-service law firm Birketts.

For more information, and to register for the 2023 programme, please visit