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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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...

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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...

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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. ...

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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...

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Robeys Blog: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Oct12

Robeys Blog: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I recently blogged, fairly scathingly, on the subject of “fun” in the workplace, but I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m some sort of grim, Victorian beadle, gleefully handing out meagre portions of thin gruel.  I recently polled my organization on a range of topics, from how connected they feel to our strategic plan to how satisfied they are with management.  But I included, in there, a question that clearly caused a degree of...

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Cultural Agility – How Boards Shape Organizational Momentum
Sep29

Cultural Agility – How Boards Shape Organizational Momentum

Guest blog by Robey Jenkins, HR Manager for Age UK Gloucestershire.  Robey shares his weekly blog with HR News readers on a variety of HR topics. Almost a year of HR News! Astonishingly, it is coming up fast on a year since I first began writing a more-or-less weekly blog for HR News.  It’s been a useful opportunity for me to take a step back and meditate upon my work, my progress, my lack of progress, what’s good about working where...

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No one cares about the bean bags
Sep14

No one cares about the bean bags

I’ve been thinking a great deal about “fun” recently, at least partly inspired by BrightHR‘s aggressive marketing campaign through People Management and the CIPD.  After all, just because obvious marketing campaign is obvious, doesn’t mean they aren’t making a good point. The academic underpinning of what constitutes a fun workplace is very interesting and is largely about transforming our...

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Delegating with confidence
Sep08

Delegating with confidence

    So for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been looking at where SMEs enjoy advantages in people and change management.  The general thrust of this argument has been that leaders in SMEs should make sure that they are taking full advantage of their size while they remain small (or medium-sized) before they become medium-sized (or large!). But size also comes with some counter-intuitive drawbacks.  One of these concerns the...

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Robeys Blog: Problems & Possibilities
Sep01

Robeys Blog: Problems & Possibilities

  At least part of my holiday, this year, was spent brainstorming a new boardgame, inspired by the works of Jane Austen and modern authors of bodice-ripping Regency romance novels.  But as Pride & Prejudice falls aside, returning to work I find myself wondering about problems and possibilities. The axiom that a problem is just an opportunity you haven’t seen yet is so over-used (often by people who expect their minions to...

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Robeys Blog: Unconscious bias – how to wake up
Aug24

Robeys Blog: Unconscious bias – how to wake up

I wrote, last time, about my fractured and winding path from Army officer to charity HR manager, and the obstacles I’d had to overcome despite enjoying every advantage society could confer upon me. Unconscious bias has been a bit of a popular phrase, recently.  On the one hand, it’s definitely a thing – you can prove it in repeatable sociology experiments (I don’t care what the mean kids say; it is a proper science!).  On the other...

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