Robert Ordever is the Managing Director of O.C. Tanner UK – the leading global employee recognition and rewards agency.  We asked him some questions on the make up of a good MD, what value his HR background has had to building a successful company, his take on technology ( old and new) and what affect Brexit has had on business so far.  Here are his musings….

1, You have been working for and had a super career at O.C Tanner for over 5 and a half years now. What is so special about the company? In a word, culture. What I love is that the focus is always on the long-term future and never on knee jerk reactions. That allows us to be thoughtful, research led and very client focused rather than reactive or driven by short-term needs or shareholder pressure. We think of ourselves as a 93-year-old start-up – here for the long-term but always driven to innovate and lead in our space.

2. Your HR background is obviously very significant to the work you do with clients. Has it influenced your idea of how “people” behave and like to be recognised in the workplace? I was lucky enough to be a client of OC Tanner before joining the organisation. First-hand, I have seen our work make a difference to a business’s values, behaviours and ultimately results. It was that confidence that persuaded me to commit to the OCT opportunity.

3. Some people would question how you have led a 50 strong UK business to success without having a “Sales” career beforehand. What’s your secret? I am not sure it’s a secret. I aim to surround myself with great people and I try to be a good connector, mentor, coach and enabler. I am not sure any leader can remain expert in all of the fields they lead. I just aim to work hard, innovate and continue to learn every day.

4. O C Tanner has a European business vision and you already have a fulfillment centre in Germany but what affect (if any!) will Brexit have on the current and long term strategy? Thankfully, our German business means that we will be unaffected by Brexit directly. Any impact on the economy is still unknown, but the importance of great workplace culture and the focus from the C-Suite on building thriving cultures, has never been more prominent.  

5. Technology is right now everywhere. What is old school but is here to stay forever, do you think?

That’s a really interesting question. Technology is simply a tool – one of many. We get told time and time again of the joy at receiving something symbolic, personalised and delivered in truly authentic way. I recently had my 5-year anniversary, and nothing beat showing my family my Yearbook, filled with comments and photos from my colleagues around the world. No monetary award or gift card could ever replicate that feeling.

Quick fire questions:

  • London or Paris? London (unless the Paris option was Disneyland Paris)
  • Sweet or savoury? Savoury
  • Beach or explore? Explore
  • Netflix or Prime? Netflix
  • Gift card or physical gift? Physical Gift
  • Wine or Beer? Beer
  • Ability to fly or matter transportation? Matter Transportation
  • In in or out out? Out Out

Contact Robert on 020 8418 7400 or visit