Dilys Robinson

BA, MBA, FCIPD

staff photo

Principal Associate

dilys.robinson@employment-studies.co.uk

+44(0)1273 763 448

Dilys was formerly employed by the NHS, where she held a variety of HR and project management posts at Regional, District and hospital level. Dilys's main areas of experience at IES are employee engagement, workforce planning and talent management, and evaluation.

Employee engagement

Dilys has conducted a variety of employee opinion surveys for employers in the private and public sectors, including managing a four year project to conduct annual surveys for a consortium of 55 London NHS trusts and health authorities, together with annual benchmarking reports. Examples of recent employee survey clients are the Housing Ombudsman Service, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, the Architects Registration Board and the Institute of Cancer Research. In addition, she has conducted follow-up work in organisations (for example, the Health and Safety Executive) to delve deeper into their engagement survey results.

Dilys has also managed several surveys of professions, including a survey of senior HR professionals exploring HR career paths for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD); several surveys of the veterinary profession for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the latest being 2014; and for the Bar Council and Bar Standards Board, the first and second (2011 and 2013) biennial surveys of practising barristers.

Studies for the Ministry of Defence have examined a variety of topics under the broad headings of 'Personnel' and 'Training', for the UK Armed Forces. A Department of Health project involved the production of business case materials in support of the NHS staff survey. Dilys has also managed the production of an 'Engagement in HE' toolkit for UCEA and UHR, and a further activity to devise and test an engagement measure for use within the HE sector. Currently, she is running a series of two-day courses on engaging management for line managers in the NHS.

Dilys has led IES's research into employee engagement since 2002, and is currently developing a manager assessment tool based on her 'Engaging Manager' research which explored engaging and disengaging managerial behaviours. She is a member of CIPD Engagement Forum's steering group and advised the MacLeod Review in 2008 to 2009, after which she became a member of the steering group for the Engage for Success movement's guru group. She is co-facilitating a special interest group for Engage for Success, exploring the future direction of engagement (as both a concept and a practice), and is part of a team that carried out a systematic review of staff engagement in the NHS for the National Institute of Health Research.

Workforce planning and talent management

Dilys has run a number of workshops for different clients, including the NHS, Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Royal Navy, to introduce participants to workforce planning techniques. Recently, she co-facilitated an action learning set on strategic workforce planning for IES's HR Network members. She has participated in a study for a large accountancy company to examine the way that trainees move through the organisation.

A project for the Association of Chief Police Officers modelled promotions into the senior ranks of the police force, and a follow-up project examined the issue of how many new entrants should be recruited onto the police fast track graduate scheme each year. Two studies for HSBC produced forecasts of the future progression of members of various talent pools.

For the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), she carried out a study of veterinary career choices, and a further study of perceptions of veterinary careers was funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), as part of the 'Gateways to the Professions' initiative. A study for the Royal Navy explored flexible careers options, and for the Family Nurse Partnership National Unit, Dilys led a study into the Family Nurse workforce. Currently, Dilys is co-facilitating an IES HR Network interest group on talent management.

Evaluation

Examples of the evaluations Dilys has managed includes the NHS team pay pilot study, which examined the impact of introducing team pay bonuses and improvement funds in selected trusts in England. A collaborative project for the Department of Health evaluated Nurse Education Partnership learning at the demonstration sites. For the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement she has carried out several evaluations, including the pilot phase of the introduction of innovation and improvement learning modules, the No Delays Achiever spread and adoption pilot, and an OD programme at an NHS Foundation Trust. Dilys has conducted an evaluation of partnership working within the Sussex Dementia Partnership, and is about to begin a benefits realisation project for the Police Federation, and an evaluation of a leadership programme for the NHS Leadership Academy.

Education

2000 Open University MBA
1997 University of Brighton Certificate in Research Methodology
1977 University of Durham BA, Modern History

Career

1990-1996 PreMIS Project Manager, S.E. Thames Regional Health Authority
1988-1990 Assistant Personnel Director, Brighton Health Authority
1987-1988 Assistant Personnel Director, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's Special Health Authority
1986-1987 Workforce Information and Planning Manager, Brighton Health Authority
1979-1986  Personnel Trainee, then Workforce Information and Planning Officer, S.E. Thames Regional Health Authority
1977-1979 Assistant Auditor, Exchequer and Audit Department

Research publications

Articles and chapters

Conference appearances

  • Can we be happy at work?, Robinson D, Brighton Action for Happiness, Brighton Action for Happiness Group, Brighton, September 2015
  • Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Lecture to International Masters students, Brighton Business School, Brighton, May 2015
  • Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Lecture to Mid Sussex College CIPD students, Mid Sussex College , Horsham, April 2015
  • Staff engagement in HE: A tricky path to navigate, Robinson D, ODHE Network conference, ODHE Network, Poole, March 2015
  • Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Lecture to Brighton Business School Masters CIPD students, Brighton Business School , Brighton, March 2015
  • Expert interviewee, Robinson D, Podcast: Analyzing the impact of staff engagement in the NHS - an overview, NHS Employers, July 2014
  • Expert interviewee, Robinson D, Podcast: What are the drivers of staff engagement and what actions can be taken by line managers?, NHS Employers, July 2014
  • Panel member: Future of engagement, Robinson D, From the future of engagement, to engagement in the future, Engage for Success, Birmingham, July 2014
  • Panel member: Future of engagement, Robinson D, From the future of engagement, to engagement in the future, Engage for Success, Birmingham, July 2014.
  • Employee Engagement: Future Gazing, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Summit, Symposium Events, London, April 2014
  • Engaging and disengaging managerial behaviours: What to look out for, Robinson D, Health and Wellbeing at Work, Health and Wellbeing at Work Network, Birmingham, March 2014
  • Behaviours of engaging managers, Robinson D, Managers Conference, Lambeth Living, London, February 2014
  • Insights and ideas - Engage for Success Thought Pieces, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Special Interest Group meeting, Lancaster University Management School, London, December 2013
  • New roles in the health sector: drivers, deployment, development, Miller L, Robinson D, Innovation and developments in the role of healthcare support workers, M&K Conferences, London, November 2013
  • New roles in the health sector: drivers, deployment, development, Miller L, Robinson D, Innovation and Developments in the Role of Health Care Support Workers, London, November 2013
  • NIHR Evidence Review: Staff Engagement in the NHS, Robinson D, Workforce Leaders Summit, NHS Employers, London, November 2013
  • The importance of engagement - the line manager's role, Robinson D, Shine Recognition of Excellence Awards Dinner, NHS Blood and Transplant, Birmingham, November 2013
  • Expert panel member, Robinson D, Engaging Leadership, Engage for Success and Chartered Institute of Management, Huddersfield, June 2013
  • Engagement in a unionised environment workshop, Robinson D, Universities HR Annual conference, Universities HR, York, May 2013
  • Chair, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Summit 2013, London, April 2013
  • Building Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Employee Engagement in HE, Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), London, June 2012
  • The Engaging Manager workshop, Robinson D, Universities Human Resources (UHR) Annual Conference, Universities Human Resources, Ashford, Kent, May 2012
  • Chair, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Summit 2012, Canary Wharf, London, March 2012
  • Leadership and Engagement session, Robinson, D, Engaging Public Sector Talent 2011, GovNet, London, September 2011
  • The Engaging Manager, Robinson D, Employee Engagement and the Individual: The Psychology and Experience of Engaging, LSE/ESRC, London, June 2011
  • Ensuring line managers effectively engage employees, Robinson D, Employee Engagament Conference, XPert HR, London, May 2011
  • NHS Employers Webinar: The Engaging Manager, Robinson D, NHS Employers Webinar, NHS EWin, online, March 2011
  • Employee engagement, Robinson, D, HR Strategy: Reward and Motivation Systems, LVA Europe Ltd, London, March 2011
  • Successful staff engagement, Robinson D, Staff Engagement seminar, NHS Employers, London, March 2011
  • Measuring Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Summit 2011, Symposium, London, March 2011
  • Successful staff engagement, Robinson D, Working through change: developing a productive and engaged workforce, National Institute for Health Research, London, January 2011
  • Staff engagement and success, Robinson D, NHS Employers Leading Workforce Thinking conference, London, November 2010
  • Engagement: Involving and Enabling Managers, Robinson D, Enabling Employee Engagement, Manchester Metropolitan Business School/Manchester CIPD, Manchester, July 2010
  • The Engaging Manager, Robinson D, 2010 Engagement Summit, Symposium Events, London, April 2010
  • Employee Engagement: Definitions, Drivers and Behaviours, Robinson D, CIPD Brighton/University of Brighton evening seminar, CIPD Brighton/University of Brighton, Brighton, April 2010
  • Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Human Resources Masters lecture, Brighton University, Brighton University, March 2010
  • Engagement: Benefits, Drivers and Behaviours, Robinson D, Clinical Leadership, Colchester Hospitals University Foundation Trust, February 2010
  • Managing Absence, Robinson D, Fit for work: reducing and preventing absence, Eversheds, London, May 2009
  • Preventing future absence, Robinson D, Fit for work: reducing and preventing absence, Eversheds, London, May 2009
  • Employee financial well-being: what should employers know and do about it?, Robinson D, Fit for work: reducing and preventing absence, Eversheds, London, May 2009
  • Chair, Robinson D, Measuring the Climate and Culture of your Organisation for an Engaged Workforce, Improved Business Performance and Competitive Advantage, Symposium Events, London, December 2008
  • Participant, Robinson D, Technology Roundtable, The HR Director, London, September 2008
  • The evidence base – why staff engagement matters, Robinson D, Engage, involve, improve: making NHS staff engagement a reality, NHS Employers, London, July 2008
  • Engaging line management, Robinson D, People Development Board Conference, West Midlands Police, Birmingham, July 2008
  • Moving Forward with Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Conference, IRS, London, May 2008
  • The critical role of the line manager, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Conference, IRS, London, May 2008
  • Chair, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Summit 2008, Symposium Events, CBI, London, April 2008
  • Improving Business Performance, Creating a Positive Working Environment and Maintaining High Standards, Robinson D, Employee Engagement Summit 2008, Symposium Events, CBI, London, April 2008
  • Keynote, Robinson D, Employee Engagement: The Continuing Story, Symposium, London, October 2007
  • Motivation, round table discussion, Robinson D, Getfeedback/Personnel Today seminar, Getfeedback/Personnel Today, London, January 2007
  • Engaging and disengaging: HR and employee engagement, Robinson D, Sussex CIPD branch programme, Sussex CIPD branch, Brighton, January 2007
  • Engagement Drivers, Robinson D, eReward Update Conference 2006, eReward, London, June 2006
  • Drivers of Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Manchester Metropolitan University/Sussex CIPD Annual HR Conference, Manchester CIPD, Manchester, March 2006
  • Drivers of Employee Engagement, Robinson D, University of Brighton/Sussex CIPD annual HR Conference, University of Brighton Business School, Brighton, November 2005
  • Introduction to the guidance and resource pack for the NHSU Learning Accounts, Robinson D, NHSU: The guidance and resource pack, NHSU, Aston, June 2005
  • A project overview, Robinson D, Evaluation of the NHSU Learning Accounts pilot, NHSU, Birmingham, March 2005
  • What makes a good employer? The links between effective human resource practice, staffing levels, staff involvement and care outcomes, Robinson D, Rafferty A, Maben J, West E, The global workforce initiative, International Council of Nursing (ICN), Geneva, March 2005
  • Gearing up to cope: a professional HR function, Robinson D, HR Practitioners’ Forum, The Chief Fire Officers Association, Warwick University, February 2005
  • Employee Engagement, Robinson D, Hayday S, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Work and Pensions, Sheffield, October 2004
  • Motivation, morale and retention - how to reward, motivate, retain, recruit and keep staff morale, Robinson D, Managing the Remodelled Workforce, Optimus Publishing, NEC, Birmingham, June 2004
  • IES and policy issues, Pearson R, Hillage J, Tamkin P, Robinson D, Tyers C, Connor H, DfES seminar, DfES, London, March 2004
  • Healthy Attitudes: staff attitudes in the London NHS, 2000-2002, Robinson D, Perryman S, Improving Working Lives, Kings Fund/SHRINE/London NHS Confederation, Kings Fund, London, January 2004
  • Flexible Benefits, Robinson D, National Housing Federation HR and IT, Telford International Centre, July 2003
  • Public sector application, Robinson D, Using scorecards to align people and business strategies, IRS/William M Mercer Ltd, London, March 2001
  • ASP - worth biting?, Robinson D, e-HR 2000, IQPC, London, September 2000
  • Using Personnel Systems Effectively, Robinson D, CIP 99, IPD/IES, London, June 1999
  • Retaining Key People, Robinson D, Barber L, IPD Recruitment Forum, IPD, London, March 1998
  • Steering Committee Member, Robinson D, new IPD interest group - HR Systems Forum, IPD, London, March 1998

Advisory roles and affiliations

  • Member of the steering group of CIPD's Engagement Forum (2012 - 2014)
  • Member of the Engage for Success Guru Group's steering committee (2012 - 2013)
  • Member of the Engage for Success Guru Group (2011 - 2014)
  • Member of Department for Business, Innovation and Skills continuing advisory panel for the MacLeod Review into employee engagement (2010 - 2011)
  • Member of Department of Health policy group for the NHS: Staff Engagement Policy Group (2008 - 2012)
  • Member of expert panel for the MacLeod Review of Employee Engagement (2008 - 2009)
  • Member of Next Stage Review Nursing Outcomes Measures, review task and finish group (2008 - 2008)

Projects