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Hazel Robinson: “We’re all in the same boat, just facing a different storm!”

Ahead of the Reward & Payroll Summit, Hazel Robinson, associate director of HR, reward and wellbeing at Brunel University London, takes part in a short interview.


Robinson will be speaking at the summit, taking place as a live digital broadcast on December 10 and 11. In-house professionals are able to attend to first day of the event, sponsored by by Ceridian, Immedis, Cintra HR & Payroll Services, The Payroll Centre and the CIPP, as a guest of Reward Strategy. Apply for your complimentary pass here.


Reward Strategy (RS): Has your job role been taken more seriously during the pandemic?

Hazel Robinson (HR): “Oh absolutely, wellbeing in particular has come to the fore and been at the front of our leadership’s minds in providing the necessary support across the university. We have also needed to adapt to providing wellbeing provision to people working from home, or on furlough and challenged by not working. This agenda has certainly shifted and grown.


“We have also seen a raise of profile around recognition, which is especially difficult when teams are not in the same room and managers are endeavouring to recognise incredible contribution in a virtual setting.”


RS: How has your pay and reward strategy changed in the last 12 months?

HR: “It has certainly become more fleet of foot, responding to the furlough implementation as an example, or the primary change of running the entire payroll virtually.


“In some ways, our strategy was in the final stages of approval, and was welcomed to really underpin the university’s objective to recognise our employees. The only adaptation was to include that we need to be agile and empowered to enable flexibility – recognising how quickly we may need to change because of something as impactful as a pandemic.”


RS: What is your main focus for the new year?

HR: “Hopefully some re-grouping of what we have learnt from 2020, and taking forward some of the positive changes/outcomes. In particular supporting flexibility in work, helping managers enable flexibility whilst still assured of delivery. This works across so many areas, especially work/life balance, which is a continued focus. A second strand is evaluating our benefits around working, such as allowances, holidays, and the such – and making sure we are ready for this new normal!”


RS: Without giving too much away, what two things will delegates learn from your session?

HR: “We are all in the same boat, just facing a slightly different storm! We need to work together, recognising our differences and respecting each other.


“There is so much that we already do – and some of the challenges can be overcome by framing what we already do to meet the more distinct needs people may have."


RS: What other sessions are you looking forward to at this year’s Reward & Payroll Summit?

HR: “I love to keep abreast of what colleagues are doing, and what best practice looks like. Coming away inspired to change even one thing is a successful day, and I have never left a Summit without feeling that.


“Wellbeing is a focus in a few sessions, which I am keen to hear more about as well as finding out more about the impact on reward practitioners have seen in the face of COVID.”


The Rewards, featuring The Reward 300 Awards, sponsored by Cintra HR & Payroll Services, takes place as a live broadcast the evening of December 10.


If you are interested in booking any passes to any of the events, please view the website here or contact Ben Miller on email or 07944780942.

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