Unite 22: that's a wrap!
That’s a wrap for Unily’s most ambitious transatlantic conference to date. Discover the highlights of Unite 22 and catch up on all the sessions on-demand now.
The Unite 22 story
While the world is still slowly adjusting back to in-person gatherings, Unily took on the challenge of making Unite 22 our first-ever hybrid, transatlantic event: live streaming from studios in London and New York, with in-person watch-parties in both cities, as well as remote viewers watching from across the globe. It was an ambitious dream, but our hosts, production teams, speakers, and attendees in all four venues topped expectations and made our dream a reality.
More than 4k enterprise attendees joined us to hear from a veritable line-up of internal comms, HR and IT leaders from some of the largest organizations around the globe. We were also treated to inspiring talks by big-picture-thinkers like Seth Godin, Steven Bartlett, and Anne-Lise Kjaer whose words left us all with much to consider. Combined, our speakers brought their visionary minds and expertise together to shed new light on trending topics that will drive the next phase of employee experience innovation. Read on to discover the highlights.
Unite is nothing without YOU!
Before we delve into the best bits of Unite 22, thanks are in order! A huge thank you to all the attendees for joining us, both at our watch parties and virtually. Your comments and questions kept our speakers on their toes and made the event what it was. Unite is about creating space for conversation, and your input is a crucial part of that. And the dialogue doesn’t stop there! Over the next months, we will be delving into the popular topics and themes discussed during the conference. So, watch this space.
To our enviable line-up of speakers, this event would be nothing without you. From Prudential’s Charlotte Mulliner flying in from Hong Kong, to ADP’s Laurel Mangini delivering her keynote 6 months pregnant, you’ve all gone above and beyond to join us and we couldn’t be more grateful. Unfortunately, there’s a word cap on this blog so we can’t thank you all individually, but to everyone that participated to make Unite 22 what it was, thank you!
What did we learn at Unite 22?
Over the three half-days, we had a jam-packed line-up covering a variety of employee experience topics. With so much great content, it’s nearly impossible to pick out the stand-out moments, but here are some of our top takeaways from Unite 22:
Engaging employees in a hybrid workplace requires a bold new approach
This year the conversation was expectedly dominated by an exploration of new tactics for succeeding in the hybrid workplace. As we enter into an experimental era, failing-fast emerged as a dominant theme. Entrepreneur Steven Bartlett impressed upon us the importance of using the principles your company was founded on to influence a reestablished culture.
"When designing a company culture and what working style is best suited to our teams, it all starts with the objective of the company, and what your company was founded to achieve in the world. You have to think about the certain type of individual you want to hire, and you have to factor in what type of work would make that person most motivated, effective and happy."
Meanwhile, marketing expert Seth Godin reminded us that enrollment starts with a meaningful appreciation of employees’ individual contributions. “We are all volunteers,” was the resounding message from this stand-out keynote as he probed us to think about the difference between managers and leaders and fueled us to challenge convention and embrace failure as the only route to success.
Digital employee experience is the new competitive frontier
Outside of high-level discussions around the changing rules of engagement, we also heard from enterprise leaders on how they are optimizing the digital employee experience to meet emerging needs. We looked inside Estée Lauder Companies’ cutting-edge employee experience platform, selected by the Nielsen Norman Group as the World’s Best Intranet of 2022. Kerry O'Donnell gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of ELC's award-winning platform and talked us through what it takes to create a best-in-class intranet.
We also heard from EY's Digital People Transformation Lead Zaynab Zubair on essential trends shaping digital experience strategies and the new mindset people experience leaders need to adopt to succeed in building a more people-centred digital future of work.
"When we design physical environments, we make sure that it is a beautiful environment that is designed with spaces where we can collaborate, focus, and take breaks. But somehow when we design a digital environment, we expose everything. We give people 25 different applications that are not connected to each other and expect them to figure it out. "
The future will be driven by purposeful work that puts a premium on 'why' not 'how'
Futurist Anne-Lise Kjaer opened our eyes to the future of the workplace, diving into all the big topics we’re hearing so much about: people, purpose, the planet and profit. She let us in on how to improve productivity and create more open dialogues to solve problems and unite communities, and left us with the tools to embrace our inner futurists and begin unpacking future trends for ourselves.
"As we rebuild society, continuous learning and design thinking will be crucial. Design thinking has rapidly gained ground as one of the most effective ways to strategize for the future."
Our Ask an IC Expert panel also returned with new insights and opinions on the state of internal comms and advice on overcoming new challenges faced by the field. The session was so popular that we had too many questions to cover in the allotted time, which gives us a great excuse to get our panel back together in the coming months to tackle more of your tough questions. Watch this space!
Don’t worry if you missed any sessions, you can still watch everything on-demand.
Unite 22 is the only employee experience conference you need to attend in 2022. Get ready for 3 half-days that push hybrid event delivery to the MAX with live keynotes, breakouts, and roundtables. Watch online or attend a watch party in London or New York. Get inspired with keynotes from Seth Godin, Steven Bartlett, Patricia Bright, The Estée Lauder Companies, EY, ADP, Cardinal Health, and more. Game on.
Your feedback, please!
It’s safe to say we’ve pushed the boundaries with our hybrid conference this year and set a high bar for our next reunion. Plans for Unite 23 are already underway, and we want you to help us by providing your feedback so we can continue to make Unite the best employee experience conference. Tell us what you loved, what you’d like to see us do differently, and how you’d like to see us make Unite 23 even bigger and better. Thanks again to everyone that tuned in; we can’t wait to see you again next year!
Tell us what you loved, what you’d like to see us do differently, and how you’d like to see us make Unite 23 even bigger and better.