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HR Thought Leaders Breakfast

Lee Hecht Harrison

Friday, 30 June 2017 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am (AEST)

HR Thought Leaders Breakfast

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HR Thought Leaders Breakfast, Sydney Sold Out 8h 57m Free  

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Lessons from Masters: maintaining employee engagement and productivity during tough times

The closure of Masters Home Improvement stores was certainly one of the largest and most public events in Australian business history.

The well-publicised story of Woolworths’ entry into the competitive Australian home improvement retail space in 2011 through the joint venture with Lowe’s, saw the creation of Masters Home Improvement. While Masters grew to a network of 63 stores in 2016, the business struggled against a well-established competitor and retailers in speciality categories.

When the decision was made to exit the sector; maintaining the engagement and productivity of over 6,000 impacted employees was one of the biggest challenges faced by the organisation, their leaders and HR.

Lee Hecht Harrison is proud to partner with Gillian Davie, the former HR Director for Masters Home Improvement for our upcoming quarterly thought leadership event. During this session, Gillian will share her insights and learnings  on:

  • the importance of leadership and communication during tough times;

  • how Masters were able to strengthen the culture and maintain employee engagement and productivity;

  • the principles and processes that were utilised to ensure the best experience and outcomes were achieved for the impacted employees. 


 Meet the Speaker

After 25 years in retail, and 22 years in HR Gillian Davie has experienced a great deal of change, but she wouldn’t describe herself as a change manager.

Commencing her career as a graduate in a Brisbane Woolworths Supermarkets in 1994, Gillian held management roles in stores before moving into learning and development. In 2000 she moved to Sydney and held a number of Senior HR roles including Head of HR Woolworths IT, National HR Manager Dick Smith Electronics and Group Resourcing Manager responsible for the hiring of 45,000 people per year. Group HR Operations and Remuneration Manager was her next role before moving with her family to New Zealand in 2010. There, she was the General Manager HR for NZs largest private employer with 18,000 employees – Progressive Enterprises.

In 2016 as the Director HR for Masters and Home Timber and Hardware, she led the people plan and successful execution   of the sale of Home Timber and Hardware and for Masters    the largest voluntary business wind down ever undertaken in Australia

Finally, she’s a strong advocate for gender diversity, women in leadership roles and inclusion for people with disability. She has held board of director roles on multiple boards representing these interests.

Have questions about HR Thought Leaders Breakfast? Contact Lee Hecht Harrison

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When & Where

The AMP Building
Level 25
33 Alfred Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Friday, 30 June 2017 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am (AEST)

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Lee Hecht Harrison

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About Lee Hecht Harrison Australia and New Zealand

Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) is a world-leading talent and career development organisation. We partner with clients in periods of organisational transformation to increase workforce engagement and productivity. We customise solutions to manage, develop and retain organisation’s most important asset - people. To learn more about Lee Hecht Harrison visit us at

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