Robey’s Blog: What’s Toxic?
Apr06

Robey’s Blog: What’s Toxic?

My goodness me, but HR people love a buzz word, don’t they?  In a field locked in perpetual revolution I suppose we shouldn’t be all that surprised, but it ain’t ‘alf frustrating for those of us trying to persuade our colleagues to trust and respect our contribution when we keep ladling on new layers of vocabulary. The latest one I’ve noticed that seems to have been absorbed almost without comment is “toxic”. Atmospheres are toxic. ...

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Robeys Blog: A Vision of Loveliness
Mar15

Robeys Blog: A Vision of Loveliness

I’m know I’m almost alone in this, but when I start a new job, one of the first things I want to know is whether the company has a Vision Statement. I’ve always found it a real window into the heart of a company… but possibly not for the reasons that the authors intended.  For example, where a vision is vaguely worded but grandiose, I see a lack of confidence and direction.  Where a vision is long-winded and unmemorable, I see a...

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Robey’s Blog: ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’
Mar09

Robey’s Blog: ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’

Robey Jenkins, HR Manager for Age UK Gloucestershire, shares his weekly blog.  This week he discusses how HR can overcome the challenges of communicating with a multi-generational workforce: I found myself, once more, spending a good portion of a day off in a local school conducting mock interviews with Year 10 children (ages 14-15).  In the course of the day I interviewed them for jobs as diverse as sports coach, accountant,...

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Robey’s Blog: Why SMEs should pay attention to the Apprenticeship Levy
Mar02

Robey’s Blog: Why SMEs should pay attention to the Apprenticeship Levy

I didn’t pay much attention to news of the Apprenticeship Levy.  I knew it was happening, of course.  But I wasn’t very interested.  The levy is a tax on businesses that applies to any business with a wage bill of £3m or more – I should be so lucky, I thought, and moved on to the next thing. But at the HRD Summit in January I happened to fall into conversation with Chris, from AO who had recently taken on responsibility for his...

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Robeys Blog: Learning to learn
Feb23

Robeys Blog: Learning to learn

I do sometimes (often, actually) wish the HR profession wasn’t so jargon-filled.  It makes us easy targets for ridicule and derision, which in its turn means that our value is often overlooked.  But we have always been a profession in which immense significance can turn upon the choice of one word over another: something we share with politicians and lawyers.  As a result, we do tend to get bogged down in semantics that are of immense...

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Robeys Blog: Next stop, the future.  All Change.
Feb16

Robeys Blog: Next stop, the future.  All Change.

  Some topics just seem to be everywhere I look, just as I’m thinking about them.  The week after I have a conversation with Tammy Erikson about how legislation is going to be needed to re-shape the employment relationship, People Management reports “some politicians have talked about the need for a fourth categorisation between ‘worker’ and ‘self-employed’”, and the BBC reports that Matthew Taylor, CEO at RSA and lead on a...

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Small Enterprise, Big Impact?
Feb08

Small Enterprise, Big Impact?

I recently got to attend the HRD Summit in Birmingham. I feel like I need to qualify that statement.  For a start, the “D” in “HRD” stands for “Director” – something I’m not.  Moreover, I didn’t pay to go and nor did my employer.  Instead, by dint of my status as a long-time blogger for HR News, I was privileged to be offered a media pass.  Age UK Gloucestershire, meanwhile, paid for the train ticket and gave the days paid, while I...

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Robeys Blog: Please confirm you’ve read our terms and conditions
Jan25

Robeys Blog: Please confirm you’ve read our terms and conditions

  I’m sure you haven’t.  This is especially true if you are buying something on the Internet.  We ignore the hyperlink, tick the checkbox and click “Pay Now” and ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter for two reasons: first, because you and the vendor are operating in good faith.  They have a thing you want.  You have money.  The exchange occurs and, more often than not, that’s the end of the...

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Robeys Blog: The Supermarket Trolley Problem
Jan11

Robeys Blog: The Supermarket Trolley Problem

After leaving my car in the morning, my walk to work takes me through the car park of a local supermarket and I often find my passage impeded by abandoned trolleys.  As an able-bodied, unimpeded pedestrian, this really doesn’t affect me.  But I regularly see parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and the elderly struggling to negotiate these obstacle courses.  It irks me.  But the more I thought about it, the more I saw that there...

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Robeys Blog: Becoming the Best
Jan04

Robeys Blog: Becoming the Best

It’s funny when the universe talks to you. I had been scratching my head about what to write about this week when I heard a Thought for the Day presenter talk about “being the best version of ourselves” and suddenly the thoughts started tumbling.  It wasn’t just that presenter.  It’s a New Year, after all, when everyone is thinking about fresh starts and hope for the future and making resolutions to improve themselves[1].  But there...

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The last word of 2016: Robey’s Christmas Voluntary
Dec23

The last word of 2016: Robey’s Christmas Voluntary

Our popular columnist, Robey Jenkins, HR Manager for Age UK Gloucestershire shares his weekly blog with us.   This week, in our last post of 2016, Robey discusses the challenges of recruiting volunteers, something HR Managers working in the third sector know only too well.    It’s been recruitment season again, here at Age UK Gloucestershire.  An odd time of year to do it, I’ll admit, but nevertheless it seems that scarcely a week...

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Robeys Blog:Bully for you
Dec14

Robeys Blog:Bully for you

I finally got around to seeing Ender’s Game last weekend.  I’ve read the book several times and was looking forward to seeing how well it translated to the big screen.  The answer is: pretty well.  But in doing so, I think it departed from some of the themes of the original and emphasized others more strongly.  And this is relevant because one of the movie’s big themes that I don’t feel is as present in the...

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Robeys Blog: What a performance!
Dec07

Robeys Blog: What a performance!

  I may, possibly, have written about this before.  But like all good HR professionals, I am on a journey of discovery, perpetually trying to understand better how people and organizations can co-exist in ever more harmonious synthesis.  I’ve been reading some really excellent books, recently.  Not just about behavioural economics, but also about neuroscience, about statistics and about psychology.  All of it feeds back into how...

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Robeys Blog: Do you speak my language?
Nov30

Robeys Blog: Do you speak my language?

I recently went to see Arrival, a new movie taking a fascinating look at the human response to first contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence.  First thing: it’s amazing.  It truly is one of the best movies I’ve seen for decades for all sorts of reasons and if you haven’t seen it, you should.  But it was especially interesting for me because it’s fundamentally a science fiction movie about language.  And not only am I science...

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Robeys Blog: Nudge, nudge, wink, wink
Nov24

Robeys Blog: Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

I seem to be on a bit of a Monty Python roll at the moment, what with the Spanish Inquisition last week.  I make no apology for that.  There is, literally, nothing funnier in the known universe than Monty Python.  Say no more. However, our nudging in this blog is not in the hope of salacious gossip on a park bench, but a more benevolent sort of nudge, and I need to preface my thoughts here with a very clear disclaimer: I am an HR...

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