• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • 5 Minutes With… Adrian Firth, Mattioli Woods

    Adrian Firth is the Employee Benefits Consultant at Mattioli Woods. Here we speak to him about the HR industry’s biggest challenges, the Millennial generation in the workplace, wellbeing, and the advice his Dad gave him… 

    • Tell us about your company, products and services.

    Mattioli Woods is a leading UK provider of wealth management and employee benefits, with offices in Aberdeen, Buckingham, Glasgow, Leicester, London, Manchester, Newmarket, Preston and Solihull. We administer over 10,000 individual and corporate clients and hold over £8 billion of assets. We pride ourselves in building long-term relationships to provide trusted advice, high standards and a personalised delivery.

    What have been the biggest challenges the HR industry has faced over the past 12 months?

    Our clients tell us that their biggest challenges – last year and this – remain how to achieve the perfect mix of attraction, motivation, retention and engagement.

    And what have been the biggest opportunities?

    In order to support attraction, motivation, retention and engagement, there is a huge growth in complementary employee services which place ‘wellbeing’ at the heart of everything. This extends to both their mental and physical wellbeing, delivering everything from workplace health checks to financial education.

    What is the biggest priority for the HR industry in 2018?

    Wellbeing. Getting employees to take small, positive steps which can make a big difference overall.

    What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2018?

    An increased focus on employee health and wealth. Health initiatives and financial education in the workplace are on the rise, and I think this will be a major trend in 2018.

    What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

    With only 12% of employers having a fully flexible benefits platform, I feel this will be an area of growth in the year ahead. Benefits administration can be burdensome when not managed properly – so having a platform brings time savings and automation which will help HR professionals see long-term return on investment and help employees to better understand the value of benefits in place.

    In 2020 we’ll all be talking about…?

    The ‘millennial’ generation in the workplace. Currently we have five generations in the workplace, spanning the last of our baby boomers to our new millennials. But I think our youngest will look for working environments and employee benefits which are different to the current accepted norm.  

    Which person in, or associated with, the HR industry would you most like to meet?

    Not necessarily HR specific but I wish I had met Steve Jobs. As a business leader, he’s a legend. His best quote for me was: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me; going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

    You go to the bar at the Manchester HR Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

    Club Soda. Sorry, I’m teetotal.

    What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

    Meeting hundreds and hundreds of employees each year at seminars that I deliver – and having the chance to chat and interact with them. I’m a people person.

    And what’s the most challenging?

    The paperwork. Not the best job if you’re a people person!

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

    From my Dad – “Get on with it”. If you have the time to think about it, you should already be doing it.

    Peaky Blinders or The Crown?

    Peaky Blinders, of course!


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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