Every Office Needs a Rob!

One of the biggest problems which we have in HR how to measure people’s impact and turn the field into a valid science. I recall reading during my MA Human Resource Management the works of Professor Mayo listing the many ways to measure people’s impact on the business. It was and remains (unless we’re talking about financial revenue e.g. sales) difficult.

smiling-office-workerPerhaps, the most difficult and most valuable members of all teams are those who I call the “Robs” and “Beckys”** of the office. These people support the work of the HR team enormously, through their great ability to organise social events, create a relaxed atmosphere through friendly chatting or spontaneously get up to put the food deliveries away.

Most companies pay little attention to these great helpers – they might get an occasional shout-out and an infrequent ‘Employee of the Month’ prize, but in the hierarchy of importance, they routinely come second… or worse. Instead, we are more likely to tolerate bad personalities with great financial pull.

We’re now wising up to the importance of company culture and how these can make or break a firm. Both startup and large multinational companies have weathered scandals on poor people environments. These people, the Robs/Beckys, that are critical in fostering and implementing company cultures and in defusing social tensions. We should court them more and reward them for making the company a better place within which to work.

** Named after my friends that fulfill this role within their respective jobs!



Yinka Opaneye

Yinka Opaneye

Yinka Opaneye is a highly experienced people operations expert with practical knowledge in recruitment, onboarding, and general talent management, culture mapping and change and general Human Resources processes.

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