3 takeaways from our first SagePX customer event

Grainne Shaughnessy
Published on 8th March 2018
4 min read

Our customer user events started a few years ago with a vision to inspire, educate, collaborate, and connect the Sage Business Cloud People customer community. Now with a new look, feel and name – Sage | People Xperience (SagePX) – our first SagePX event of 2018 did not disappoint.

Even the Beast from the East couldn’t stop our Sage customers attending the bi-annual event.

Held at the stunning GSMA offices in London, a customer of ours, the event included live workshop sessions, customer panels, and keynotes.

During the event we explored how HR has changed and continues to evolve. HR and People leaders need to design engaging experiences for employees to excel throughout their employment journey if they want to get ahead in the war for talent.

In fact, those companies that value and put their people first and create valuable, engaging experiences are what we call People Companies. Being a people driven company is vital to business success as you nurture and value your most important business resource, your people – and many of our customers agreed

With that in mind, the event was jammed pack full of useful information for HR and People teams. Here are three key takeaways from the conversations we had with customers across the two-day event which we’d like to share.

1. GDPR is big

Lots of conversations covered at least one aspect of the new General Data Protection Regulation. Due to the nature of HR and dealing with highly sensitive and personal information about employees, everyone at the event unanimously raised their hand when asked if they had some involvement in their company’s GDPR strategy.

During the GDPR session we asked the room to tell us what their three greatest challenges were when it comes to being ready for GDPR. You can see from the word cloud below the challenges were varied but, unsurprisingly, the sheer amount of data and multiple sources of data points entering the business is a big challenge for HR and People teams.

Another concern is how and when data goes to third parties as this is a big consideration under the new legislation.

GDPR isn’t going anywhere and is a big consideration for the HR world. As the essence of the regulation isn’t about fines, it’s about protecting and using data responsibly, a review of working practices and documentation is a must to identify all relevant data points. GDPR will require significant changes to employee data and privacy processes.

When looking at documents and processes in light of GDPR, you’ll probably look at them properly for the first time in ages and see areas where you can make improvements and streamline processes in line with the new regulations.

HR and People teams will need to work to ensure they’re ready for the new regulation, but also communicate with employees to make sure there’s a smooth transition and adherence to new processes.

Want to find out more about GDPR? Read our blog on the 8 things HR leaders need to do to be GDPR-ready.

2. The fight for talent is real

When organizations are driven to find the right fit for new hires, everyone wins. It unlocks limitless potential — increased productivity, higher retention, happier people, more referrals, long term brand loyalty, and boosted business performance. During our customer panel discussion on the second day of the event everyone agreed on this.

However, it’s not just about finding the right people, there’s also the added challenge of ensuring new starters are onboarded properly and actually start. This was another popular topic of discussion. Matt Jolley, senior HR analyst from AVEVA explained to the audience that a week before employees start in their India office they always send them flowers so they feel settled and welcome.

What tactics are you using to win the war for talent? Talent is a crucial driver of value, get it right and costs are decreased while revenue improves. It’s people who power your bottom line.

Find out more about driving productivity and performance through better workforce experiences. Download our research report from 3,500 employees on what really drives them in the workplace.

3. People analytics is a game-changer

HR and People teams need data to ensure they have a valid seat at the table by making evidence-based people decisions. By having the ability to show justification for hires, cuts in recruitment costs, and trends across the business, HR teams can add real value to the business.

Kathryn Gordon, executive director, people and organization development at VSO shared her experience of looking beyond just numbers. She explained: ‘The number itself is no indicator. You have to marry the quantitative and qualitative approach to data. Successful uses of statistics are done through reliable data from a robust system, and interpretation and commentary.’ Changes in data aren’t always a bad thing, it’s about how you interpret those changes and rationalize them.

HR professionals are always keen to keep knowledge in-house so when it comes to retention numbers it’s easy to focus on the number. However, where HR and People leaders can get real insight is looking into what’s behind those numbers.  Some retention losses may not always be bad for business.

In our sessions on People Science during the event, we spoke about how data can be used for predictive purposes, so managers can better understand and make decisions based on people behavior and motivations. It’s not about putting your finger in the air anymore, it’s about identifying trends and potential problems before they happen. This evidence-based approach shows leadership from HR and People teams and ensures the seat at the table is not only valid, but imperative.

Find out how HR and People leaders are moving from instinct to insights. Download our ebook on the 5 steps to greater workforce visibility.


With the new impending GDPR rules, HR and People teams need to be thinking about communications as much as compliance. What actions are you taking to ensure your GDPR strategy is a success across your business?

Of course, we all want to be part of an organization which is winning the war on talent. Once you’ve won the battle and attracted the right talent and ensure they’ve been properly onboarded, it’s about making the best use of the talent which has committed its talents to you. People analytics is a game-changer and needs to form a big part of your people strategy, if it doesn’t already.

All in all, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive from customers and the Sage team enjoyed the event. We’re looking forward to future SagePX events in 2018.


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Customer Success Data Protection Industry Insight
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