Stop getting your politics all over my workplace!
Aug10

Stop getting your politics all over my workplace!

So this week Google worker, James Damore, lost his job after circulating a 10-page “diversity manifesto” that ascribed gender imbalance to biological differences between men and women. Personally, I’d have seen him fired for wasting his time writing a 10-page memo instead of doing his job, regardless of what it said.  But Google does encourage its people to think outside the box in many ways, so perhaps Damore thought this was an...

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Robey’s Blog: Making Sickness Work
Aug03

Robey’s Blog: Making Sickness Work

Our popular columnist Robey discusses the difficult question of sickness absence and how to handle it. Twice in the last week, from quite separate directions, I’ve fielded identical queries about sickness absence, which is always a sign that perhaps it’s something worth writing about here. In each case, a manager was worried about how to handle a new hire who was taking a lot of time off sick within their first few months of work. ...

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Robey’s blog: The Taylor Report – A Perspective from the Front Line
Jul20

Robey’s blog: The Taylor Report – A Perspective from the Front Line

No doubt the HR blogosphere will be all a-twitter this week with the recommendations of Matthew Taylor’s long-awaited report, commissioned under the Cameron government.  I thought I’d share my perspective not as a legal expert or as a strategic leader, but as a common-or-garden HR Manager just trying to get through the day without punching someone. There are two points that have caught most people’s attention and these are what...

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Robey’s Blog: Health & Safety – Just Say “Yes”!
Jul05

Robey’s Blog: Health & Safety – Just Say “Yes”!

I really much prefer to share with you the direct experiences of my HR career, but occasionally, with a weekly blog, I have to dip more into my expectations, aspirations or suspicions than I can into cold, hard experience.  And this is one of those weeks. I find myself troubled by Health & Safety.  Not, I hasten to add, that there’s anything wrong with the Health & Safety of our staff and clients at Age UK Gloucestershire! ...

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Robey’s Blog: Three reasons NOT to reject a job candidate
Jun22

Robey’s Blog: Three reasons NOT to reject a job candidate

Robey Jenkins, HR Manager for Age UK Gloucestershire shares his weekly blog.  This week, he talks about how not to reject a candidate. No one likes making the phone call to an unsuccessful candidate.  And no one enjoys getting the call that says they haven’t got the job.  But the process is made far worse for both sides when the decision has been made based on the wrong things.  Candidates know instantly when they’ve been judged on...

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Robey’s Blog: Don’t let your recruitment get Trumped!
Jun15

Robey’s Blog: Don’t let your recruitment get Trumped!

  Poor Donald Trump[1].  It seems that POTUS has been having trouble with his recruitment efforts.  It seems to me – expert in US political analysis as I am – that Donald’s problems arise from a serious conflict of priorities: on the one hand, he yearns for the political credibility that emerges from the ability to assemble an executive team of high-performing professionals; but on the other, it seems that he struggles to work...

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Robey’s Blog: A dispassionate look at compassionate leave
Jun08

Robey’s Blog: A dispassionate look at compassionate leave

There aren’t many questions from managers that I really dread, but questions about compassionate leave are definitely on the list. There’s such a lack of understanding about what it is, what it’s for and how it’s managed that it can be a minefield that’s only made more explosive by the raw emotion that’s often exposed by the sorts of circumstances that cause the questions to be asked.  So in the hope of sparing some of you some...

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Robey’s Blog: Letting Appraisal Evolve
May31

Robey’s Blog: Letting Appraisal Evolve

For quite a few years, now, HR has been collectively banging its drum about staff appraisals.  The impetus came from two directions: On the one hand, managers wanted to dispense with poor performers, but had no adequate trail of evidence to demonstrate the issues of which they were complaining. On the other hand, employees were complaining that they didn’t get feedback on their work or have a clear understanding of how they were...

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Robey’s Blog: Balance with what?
May18

Robey’s Blog: Balance with what?

If you’re working in HR, it’s likely that you will see or hear the expression “work/life balance” at least weekly, if not daily.  But as employers come to grips with a growing catalogue of new legislation; an impending recruitment cliff with the approach of Brexit, and the nebulous expectations of the millennial generation and their successors, it seems timely to take a harder look at this idea. I was prompted to start thinking about...

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Robey’s Blog: The SME’s Guide to Bad Interviews
May10

Robey’s Blog: The SME’s Guide to Bad Interviews

I could probably write a decent-sized book on the whole topic of effective recruitment for SMEs, of which the interview would be a substantial chapter or two.  But we’ll keep this as short as usual, so forgive me if I skip over a few things. Interviews, it is often noted, are a less-than-perfect tool for recruitment.  The principle problem with them is that they select mainly for people who are good at interviews rather than good at...

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Robey’s blog: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit…
May03

Robey’s blog: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit…

  Is there anything more corrosive to everything HR stands for than gossip?  It undermines morale, wastes time, reduces productivity, affects mental health and creates conflict.  And that’s just in the HR team! But tackling office gossip can feel like Canute on the seashore, trying to hold back the tide.  After all, we like communication.  We want people to build bridges and talk and not sit in their functional silos.  We like...

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Robey’s Blog: The Hippo in the Room
Apr20

Robey’s Blog: The Hippo in the Room

So, new research has revealed that businesses – and SMEs in particular – are labouring under the burden of a significant risk factor that has, until now, been hiding in plain sight: hippos. And whilst this may or may not be connected to my dream last night that we had acquired an office pig as a security measure, I don’t, of course, mean that there are 3-tonne semi-aquatic mammals hiding in the breakroom and stealing all the...

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Robey’s Blog: The Careers Day Speech That Never Was
Apr13

Robey’s Blog: The Careers Day Speech That Never Was

Every year, the secretary of my alumnus body invites me to speak at the school careers day and, every year, I can’t make it.  So, if I could, this is what I’d say… I’m not here to persuade you that a glittering future awaits you in the exciting world of Human Resources[1].  If you’re already thinking about it, then I’m not going to dissuade you.  If you’re not, good.  I’m yet to meet an HR person who didn’t find themselves in HR...

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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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