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How to keep your people engaged in the Amazon age

16 Oct
October 16, 2015

Susy Roberts, 19th October 2015


In July this year Amazon outstripped giant Walmart to become the USA’s most valuable retailer at $250 billion. The company is the perfect example of the modern business ideal, what organisations in the digital age aspire to: disruptive, fast-moving, constantly innovating, and rooted in a core of high-performing staff.

From an HR perspective, it’s easy to sell the positives of being an employee. You join an exciting organisation, with opportunities for promotion, for monetary rewards, for your ideas to be recognised. It’s dynamic and funky, the future of work.

The reality of this kind of environment can be very different – as highlighted by the New York Times in an article which gained worldwide attention and started a debate about the way ‘new’ firms like Amazon operate. Journalists broke through the walls of the highly familiar but also highly remote brand, and spoke with 100 employees about what it really meant to work at Amazon’s HQ in Seattle. The result was a picture of relentless pressures from metrics, the stark divide between winners and losers, managers regularly crying at their desks, a culture of unflinching criticism.

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We’ve only gone and won a CIPD People Management Award!

02 Oct
October 2, 2015

Susy Roberts, 2nd October 2015


Hunter Roberts is delighted to announce that all our hard work to help AAB increase revenue by getting managers to think like leaders has been recognised with one of the highest training and development accolades there is: the CIPD People Management Award for Best Learning & Development Initiative.

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Three ways to use digital learning

24 Sep
September 24, 2015

Susy Roberts, 24th September 2015


Given we now unlock our smartphones an average of 110 times a day, our phones and other handheld devices have become an ideal platform to engage employees with self-development.

For those organisations that want to offer blended learning or can’t justify the time, cost or disruption required to take employees out of work for training, digital learning has a vital role to play in changing behaviour and reinforcing a learning-focused culture.

Three cost-effective ways to get the most out of your digital learning strategy are as follows…

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Ever feel like you’re being ignored?

17 Aug
August 17, 2015

Susy Roberts, 17th August 2015


If the last person you were talking to seemed more interested in their phone than what you had to say, you’re not alone. It’s frustrating when you run a coaching session, meeting or workshop, and people are on their phones, texting or emailing the whole time. The problem’s got so bad I’ve started getting everyone to put their smartphones into a box as soon as they walk into the room. My assistant Gemma says she does the same thing when people come over for dinner!

Unfortunately, eliminating physical distractions is just part of the challenge. According to Harvard researchers, we now spend 46.9% of our time thinking about something other than what we’re doing.

So, with everyone becoming more and more distracted and wearable technology set to make things even worse, we’d like to share three ways to secure the undivided attention of others.

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Strategy vs what people want – who wins?

06 Jul
July 6, 2015

Susy Roberts, 6th July 2015


Plans for development are – quite rightly – shaped from the top. The business strategy is the starting point for working out what’s needed from teams and individuals, to support change or improve performance, through people development that creates just the right kind of cogs to make things happen.

But what about when the clearly worked-out development initiative isn’t what employees themselves think or feel they need? It’s a common occurrence in organisations, part of the inevitable tension between ideas on paper and the lived reality of people’s working lives. There is never the option of a simple re-programming, a software update for staff.

What’s needed are practical ways in which a messy and complex relationship between the organisation and the individual can be helped back into alignment.

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