This year we have introduced four new categories. Each category recognises outstanding achievement and contribution to business sustainability and success.
The judges are looking for evidence that a particular business issue was tackled through a people management initiative and how business performance was enhanced as a result. They want to see real results and measurability as well as innovation and creativity that sets new standards of best practice.
BUILDING HR CAPABILITY
This award will recognise organisations that show a firm commitment to ensuring that HR has the skills needed to play a vital role in enhancing business performance, both now and in the future. You'll need to demonstrate the steps you're taking to align HR with business strategy. You'll be applying business awareness and insight to evolve and to identify the skills that will be needed over the next decade. You'll address how you'll ensure that these skill needs are met (at an individual and a team level), to encourage career development for individuals, and to measure the impact of HR capability building on organisational performance.
We'll be looking for entries from organisations that have enhanced business performance by implementing a programme of major change. You'll need to show that your plans are in alignment with the desired organisation culture, your organisation's strategy and are being driven by the leadership team. Consider, how have you established roles and responsibilities? How have you ensured that employees are involved and engaged? What is your communications strategy for all involved? Your entry should demonstrate HR’s impact through all stages of the programme, from the business case to measuring the overall impact of the change programme.
CIPD SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Awarded to an individual or an organisation that has shown an outstanding commitment and contribution to the people management and development. This category is not open for entries and will be awarded at the CIPD’s discretion.
CONSULTANT OF THE YEAR ****NEW****
We recognise that consultants play an increasingly important role in helping organisations deliver business impact through people. In this category we'll be looking for entries from consultants who have worked with a client on a specific project to address a strategic issue. The entry will demonstrate how they've worked collaboratively with the HR team and wider organisation to undertake a specific people related project. They also need to demonstrate that both consultants and employees of the organisation were involved and engaged. The entry needs to show how the project has delivered tangible business benefits to the organisation. This category is open to both individuals and companies or any size.
We're looking for entries which illustrate the key role HR has played in embedding an ethical and sustainable approach to business. How have you worked with stakeholders to integrate responsible practices into business-as-usual? What actions have you taken to engage employees with the organisation’s values and purpose? How has the HR team overcome challenges and made the most of opportunities to deliver on this agenda? Successful entries will provide evidence of how HR has made responsible practices part of the organisation’s culture and demonstrate the impact of HR activity on achievement of the organisation’s sustainability objectives.
DEVELOPING TOMORROW’S WORKFORCE ****NEW****
In this category, we’ll be looking for innovative initiatives that increase employment opportunities for young people. You must clearly demonstrate how your initiative(s) supports your business strategy and the impact it’s had on organisational success, outlining the impact it has had on organisation culture. You’ll also need to show how you’ve adapted your recruitment practices to attract and support young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Successful entries will need to include all aspects of the process, from attracting young people, supporting /training line managers, right through to embedding career pathways to support the progression of young people. Entries should cover initiatives such as graduate programmes, internships, undergraduate placements, school leaver programmes and/or work experience placements. They may also include work you’ve done in the community or by going into schools to support young people into employment.
The employment and development of people demands that all policies, practices and procedures are based on being inclusive and open to diversity and regularly checked to tackle and remove unfair bias. Driving progress and gaining traction in the ways in which organisations seek to become more diverse and inclusive is a long game. it demands openness, transparency and authentic behaviour, clear values that engage employee commitment and evidence to show how being both diverse and inclusive improves business performance. Judges will be looking for examples of how organisations are driving the diversity and inclusion agenda, how they are breaking ground and overcoming resistance, what changes they have made and what business benefits have been gained.
There a growing body of evidence to prove that engaged employees deliver better performance and organisational effectiveness. Can you demonstrate a real understanding of what the engagement of your employees looks like in your organisation, what factors are contributing to building and sustaining the relationship with employees and what the impact is in terms of organisational performance? We're looking for evidence that initiatives are focused on organisational needs, objectives and linked to real drivers of engagement. Initiatives will not only need to demonstrate clearly an understanding and evaluation of key data including survey results, absence levels and staff turnover but also an ability to get behind the data to really understand what it is to meaningfully engage with employees (e.g. leadership and culture), the link with performance and the impact the initiatives have on business objectives.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
We will recognise organisations that have demonstrated a clear link between initiatives to support employee health and wellbeing and business objectives. Successful entries will demonstrate an understanding of the holistic nature of employee health and wellbeing, for example, ensuring that leadership and management capability, wider workforce skills development or job design compliment initiatives such as the introduction of new programmes and benefits. As well as describing the work the organisation has undertaken to support health and wellbeing, entrants need to provide clear evidence of impact, such as a reduction in absence levels, accident levels and or improvements in staff engagement/performance.
HR INNOVATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
In recent years, technology, (in particular social media) has been a huge driving force and enabler of successful HR practice. In this category, we’re looking for submissions from organisations that have gained business benefit and achieved strategic objectives through the innovative use of technology. How has the HR function exploited and anticipated the opportunities for innovative solutions that new forms of technology bring? What specific changes were made and how did innovative use of technology facilitate this? And how did your workforce embrace these changes?
MANAGING HR ACROSS BOUNDARIES
More and more organisations are operating across geographical boundaries as they look to penetrate new markets. How can HR be most effective in a multinational firm? We are looking for entries where there is strong evidence of a strategic approach to managing HR across boundaries. How do you develop a coherent strategy that is relevant and effective across the various locations? Do you apply a single set of company values and employer brand or do you differentiate? How do you communicate and share knowledge across country HR teams (if any) and what role does technology play? What evidence do you have to show the benefits of a joined-up approach to HR delivery across boundaries.
MICHAEL KELLY OUTSTANDING STUDENT AWARDS- OPEN AT ALL LEVELS
Studying is not just about acquiring relevant knowledge – successful students apply what they have learnt to bring about real business benefits.
We’re looking for an exceptional individual who is currently studying or has recently completed a recognised CIPD qualification at Postgraduate, Intermediate or Foundation-level. Successful applications will demonstrate how their studies have enabled them to initiate and implement business improvements, either within their own organisation or organisations they work for.
Only students that are currently studying or have successfully completed (since 1 January 2012) a recognised CIPD qualification at Postgraduate, Intermediate or Foundation-level can apply.
Here, the judges will be looking for entries that demonstrate a strong link between learning and development initiatives and business growth. Successful submissions should demonstrate an organisational culture that promotes learning, focusing on talent and performance as well as encouraging openness among employees about their development needs. You should give a clear description of the business objectives that prompted your learning culture, drove your approach, and explain how you measured their effectiveness. You should also indicate the context for your activities, such as a change management programme.
PERFORMANCE AND REWARD
We want to know how you create value for your organisation by designing and implementing programmes that reward and recognise crucial skills, behaviours and performances. Successful entries will need to demonstrate what objectives the initiative is trying to meet and how success is being measured and assessed in terms of sustainable HR and business outcomes. Successful entries will also need to show that their programmes are evidence based, competitive, cost effective and designed to meet the needs and preferences of a diverse workforce.
SME HR INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
We’re looking for small or medium-sized businesses (50 to 250 employees, European Commission definition) that are transforming the way they deliver HR in order to build sustainable organisation performance. The judges will be looking for evidence of the impact the you have had on business success. As well as describing how HR delivery has changed, and the reasons for this transformation. Successful submissions should also clearly demonstrate the transition path that the HR team has taken (for example new team, new skills, behaviours and ways of working) and provide evidence of the impact that new relationships and/or ways of operating have had on the business.
SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR ****NEW****
We recognise that HR suppliers play an increasingly important role in helping organisations deliver business impact through people. In this category we'll be looking for entries from HR suppliers who have worked with a client on a specific project to address a strategic issue. The entry will demonstrate how they've worked collaboratively with the HR team and wider organisation to undertake a specific people related project. They also need to demonstrate that both supplier and employees of the organisation were involved and engaged. The entry needs to show how the project has delivered tangible business benefits to the organisation.
TALENT ATTRACTION AND MANAGEMENT
How creative and proactive has your organisation been in approaching talent attraction and management? Are you actively building a talent pipeline across the organisation designed to take into account current and future needs? Have you collaborated widely on your talent attraction and management strategy and is it owned by the business? The judges want to see evidence of how your initiative has benefited the business and met current business objectives; how it has supported organisation agility; and the impact it will have on future business objectives.