Managing Mental Health
Dec04

Managing Mental Health

Guest Blog By Robey Jenkins Last week I looked at the experience of working whilst also living with mental illness. But this isn’t a problem that can be solved only by the sufferer and his or her medical professionals. In a competitive market, employers need every edge they can get to seek out and retain the best people. But no one is perfect. Everyone comes with baggage. And sometimes, that baggage means mental illness.    ...

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Working with Mental Health
Nov23

Working with Mental Health

The issue of mental health in the workplace has become a common topic of HR discussion, blogging and print media in the last year or so, which is a Really Good Thing. There is a long way to go when it comes to getting the management and understanding of mental health embedded in the workplace, particularly in the UK’s SME market, but the journey has begun.   I have a fair amount of experience with dealing with mental health...

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Robey’s Blog: How not to leave your employer
Nov16

Robey’s Blog: How not to leave your employer

Just so we’re clear: I’m not leaving my employer.  I know my boss occasionally checks in on this blog, so I thought I should get that out of the way. But people do leave employers quite often.  In fact, everyone leaves eventually, one way or the other, so why are we so reluctant to talk about it and why, when it happens, do so many people seem to get it wrong? So here are my favourite stupid ways to leave your employer: The Secret...

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Robey’s Blog: Developing Your Development Strategy
Nov08

Robey’s Blog: Developing Your Development Strategy

Some ideas that are accepted wisdom in HR circles are yet to really permeate out into the wider business context – flexible working, for example, and diversity are concepts observed as much in the breach as in the execution.  But there are some ideas that have certainly made the break-through and one of those is the realization that investing in the development of your staff makes good financial sense. Putting time and money into...

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Robey’s Blog: Getting off the Agency crack
Oct24

Robey’s Blog: Getting off the Agency crack

Recruitment agents.  We HR professionals have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them, and I suspect the feeling is mutual.  It’s always been my practice to keep them at arm’s length, to be honest.  Keep turnover down.  Recruit through direct methods.  Turn to the Dark Side only when no other solution will do the job.   But some organizations are well and truly addicted to Agency crack.  They love the quick fix that comes...

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Robey’s Blog: The Importance of Being Wrong: Holiday & Overtime Part 2
Oct20

Robey’s Blog: The Importance of Being Wrong: Holiday & Overtime Part 2

Life is about learning.  And sometimes learning involves being wrong.  And last week I was, in a couple of respects, wrong.   When we work, we sometime earn money in addition to our base salary: commission, bonuses, overtime and tips are all money earned in various roles that are additional to the base salary return for our time.  When we don’t work, we aren’t able to earn that money.  So if you’re on holiday, you can’t makes...

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Robey’s Blog: Overtime and Holiday
Oct12

Robey’s Blog: Overtime and Holiday

We’re getting technical this week, because something big has happened in the world of HR and it’s possible you might not have noticed, because I didn’t until it was brought to my attention yesterday.   The case of Dudley Metropolitan Council v Willets & Others appears to have brought into focus a long-standing legal blur on the topology of holiday and holiday pay. It has always been established in law that “guaranteed...

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Robey’s Blog: Be Water…
Oct05

Robey’s Blog: Be Water…

  “Empty your mind, be formless.  Shapeless, like water.  If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.  You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle.  You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.  Now, water can flow or it can crash.”  -Bruce Lee My opinion of psychometric testing has shifted, somewhat, over the years.  But I can’t deny that it has shaped how I see people and the world.  I learned to think of...

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Robey’s Blog: Space to Talk
Sep27

Robey’s Blog: Space to Talk

Before I got distracted, I was writing about my priorities, having taken up the reins of HR at a commercial SME that’s never have organic HR[1] before.   I began with the data and, I’m happy to say, it’s certainly transformed my understanding of the business, wrangling the chaotic filing cabinet of personal files into something resembling order.  Some gaps have been filled.  Many are still there.  But at least, now, someone can...

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Robey’s Blog: The Common Denominator and the Human Factor
Sep21

Robey’s Blog: The Common Denominator and the Human Factor

  I remember when I was first attempting to break out from the public-sector background in which I cut my HR teeth, and push my way into a commercial or industrial role.  I found myself continually frustrated by the same response from company after company: “Looks good, but lacks sector experience”. Surely, I thought – and it’s a refrain I’ve heard from many HR professionals over the years – humans are humans regardless of your...

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Robey’s Blog: From Nought to HR
Sep14

Robey’s Blog: From Nought to HR

I’m back!  And it’s a new look and a new theme for my blog, because this week I take up the HR reins at Sprint Group Ltd, a small-ish company in Worcestershire.  I’m yet to settle on a concise and informative way of explaining what they do without sounding like an infomercial, but unless you own or want to own a commercial kitchen of some sort – restaurant, canteen, gastropub, hotel, school, café etc – you don’t really need to...

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Robey’s Blog: How to be a Time Lord
Aug24

Robey’s Blog: How to be a Time Lord

  Originally, this blog was called “Faith, HR and Charity”, because HR News had asked me to write about HR from the perspective of a small charity.  Over the last couple of years, though, it has gradually just come to be called “Robey’s Blog” which, if nothing else, will certainly make it easier to search for on Google given the rarity of my first name[1]. It has been an excellent exercise for me, every week, barring a few, to...

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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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