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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Robeys Blog: I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition!
Nov16

Robeys Blog: I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition!

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!  Least of all, in my experience, the Spanish Inquisition.  But I, at least, managed to join it with my eyes at least partly open. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it’s the role of HR in the internal disciplinary processes of an organization.  One of my first steps into HR was through the job of Adjutant at the Defence Medical Services Training Centre, a job which also carries the...

Read More
Robeys Blog:Ridicule is good for you
Nov02

Robeys Blog:Ridicule is good for you

I can see that you’re not convinced and are possibly wondering what sort of HR Manager I think I am with an introduction like that.  But bear with me. You may have noticed a lot more clowns in the news, recently, than is usually the case.  Thanks to the alleged proliferation of “scary clowns”, proper clowns feel as if their dignity and credibility is under pressure.  When the art of falling headfirst into a bucket of shaving foam...

Read More
Robeys Blog: Work: the Game
Oct26

Robeys Blog: Work: the Game

  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably picked up that I’m a bit of a fan of what I call “unplugged” games: board games, card games, roleplay games and miniature games.  Some people call these “traditional” games, but I tend to think that this puts people in mind of the perennial family staples of Scrabble, Connect Four, Cluedo or Monopoly.  The world of unplugged games, however, is surprisingly dynamic. ...

Read More
Robeys Blog: Wonderful Work
Oct19

Robeys Blog: Wonderful Work

When did you last look forward to going to work? I’m guessing it was probably a time in the first few weeks of a job starting, when you still had your shine and so did your new employer.  But fairly quickly the daily grind will have set in.  The cultural obstacles will have been encountered.  And your own shortfalls may have suffered an airing, too.  Work quickly becomes a chore: something to be tolerated and endured until the...

Read More