Categories

Best apprenticeship schemeCategory Sponsor

In this category, we will be looking to recognise high-quality apprenticeship programmes that demonstrate clear alignment with the organisation's business and people strategies. Successful programmes will be at level 3 and above, integrated into organisations' wider workforce planning, provide great opportunities for learners to progress, and support efforts to increase diversity and inclusion.

The judges will be looking for:

• Examples of higher-level apprenticeships that provide viable alternatives to university for young people. Entries highlighting partnerships between employers and education institutions will be welcomed

• Evidence of how the levy has influenced your thinking

• Evidence of how the apprentices were recruited and integrated into the organisation

• Evidence of good-quality mentoring, line management and on-the-job learning are crucial, as is high-quality training in the classroom

• Evidence of learner engagement and satisfaction

• Evidence of the impact to the business in terms of retention, innovation, employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

 

This award recognises employers that have successfully delivered a major organisational change programme. As well as making demonstrable contributions to organisational performance, effective change programmes bring positive impacts to employees and/or clearly minimise the potential negative impacts.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

• How the initiative aligned with operational strategy and the desired organisational culture

• How you diagnosed the problem and developed your understanding of the necessary change

• How you ensured employees were properly informed and consulted, and their interests were taken on board

• How you balanced continuing day-to-day operations with the delivery of change

• How you ensured adoption of systems, processes, behaviours, attitudes

• The demonstrable impact on organisational performance and quality of working life

• HR’s contribution through all stages of the programme, from informing the business case to measuring the impact

 

While new talent-development methods are always emerging, coaching remains one of the top three approaches that deliver tangible improvement and noticeable results in organisations. And the use of coaching and mentoring programmes is growing, as, alongside established initiatives for senior staff, there is notable growth in their use by line mangers, peers and within communities of practices – both face-to-face, and digitally. This award recognises excellence in establishing coaching and mentoring initiatives that support business performance and success.

The judges will be looking for:

• A clear link between the coaching or mentoring strategy, organisation goals and development needs

• Evidence of the effectiveness in programme design, resources, delivery, support and outcomes

• A rationale for how coaches and mentors have been selected, supported and integrated into the programme

• Creativity in using coaching approaches, such as one to one, groups, peers and communities of practice, developing in-house capability and in using technology.

 

Technology has become a huge driving force and enabler of successful HR and L&D practice. In this category, we’re looking for submissions from organisations that have understood their end users and their needs to build solutions that have delivered gained business benefits, met user needs and achieved strategic objectives through the innovative use of technology or digital solutions.

The judges will be looking for:

• The achievement of strategic objectives through the innovative and appropriate use of technology/digital solutions

• That makes your initiative stand out, including what you’ve done that’s innovative

• Evidence of engagement and collaboration with stakeholders and intended users

• Evidence of the impact of the changes made on the business and individuals, and how this initiative facilitated these changes.

 

 

This award recognises employers who are genuinely dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. The employment and development of people demands that all policies, practices and procedures are based on the principles of fairness and inclusion, and are regularly checked to identify and remove unfair bias. Becoming a truly inclusive workplace requires openness, transparency and authentic behaviour, driven by a core belief in equality of opportunity.

The judges will be looking for:

• details of the initiative your organisation has undertaken to create a diverse and inclusive workplace

• information about why action in this area is so important for your organisation

• evidence of how you are breaking ground and overcoming challenges and resistance to drive sustainable change

• proof of what makes your initiative stand out, including what you’ve done that’s innovative

• evidence that the changes you have made have brought benefits to your people and the organisation.

 

An employee engagement programme can deliver a win-win outcome for the business and its people. Employees who are engaged are more likely to be more fulfilled and benefit from improved well-being, which can result in higher levels of employee loyalty, performance and retention. This category looks for entries where employee engagement initiatives are having a clear and positive impact on organisational performance.

The judges will be looking for employee engagement programmes that:

• foster an employee relations culture that enhances engagement, well-being and the contribution of employees in working towards the success of the business

• show evidence of strong working relationships and opportunities for dialogue across the organisation

• are business-focused and aligned to strategic objectives

• demonstrate a clear understanding of data and evaluation (e.g. through survey results, absence levels and staff turnover rates)

• generate insight into the value of engagement in driving broad and, ideally, measurable business outcomes, such as leadership and culture, and its relationship with overall performance such as impact on the annual business plan and strategic aspirations.

 

 

 

Best health and well-being initiativeCategory Sponsor

This award recognises employers which place employee well-being centre stage within the organisation and have embedded a strong culture of workplace well-being. Investing in people’s health and well-being is good for business but it’s also the right thing to do. Successful programmes will be preventative and proactive in promoting people’s well-being, as well as demonstrating effective rehabilitation and return to work.

The judges will be looking for:

• a holistic approach that focuses on people’s physical and mental well-being

• how your programme is rooted in effective leadership, culture and people management capability

• how health and well-being activities are integrated across the organisation’s day-to-day operations

• value to the business in terms of reduced stress and sickness absence levels and/or improvements in staff engagement and performance.

 

In this category we’ll be looking for entries from an individual consultant/consultancy who has worked with a client on a specific people-related project to address a strategic issue. The consultancy must include written permission from the client on the entry form and we strongly recommend the client attends the presentation to the panel of judges if you get through to the second stage.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

• how you worked collaboratively with the HR/L&D team and wider organisation to undertake a specific people-related project

• the clear objectives of the initiative and how this links to the broader people strategy, and the business/organisational strategy

• how the project has delivered tangible business benefits to the organisation

• evidence of impact on key business metrics or clear verifiable examples of how it has positively impacted the overall employee experience.

 

In this category we’ll be looking for entries from an individual supplier who has worked with a client on a specific people-related project to address a strategic issue. The supplier must include written permission from the client on the entry form and we strongly recommend the client attends the presentation to the panel of judges if you get through to the second stage.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

• how you have worked collaboratively with the HR/L&D team and wider organisation to undertake a specific people-related project

• the clear objectives of the initiative and how this links to the broader people strategy and the business/organisational strategy

• how the project has delivered tangible business benefits to the organisation

• the impact on key business metrics, or clear verifiable examples of how it has positively impacted the overall employee experience.

 

More and more organisations are operating across geographical boundaries as they look to establish themselves in new areas. This  HR award will recognise effective HR in a pan European or multinational setting.  This category is open to UK-headquartered businesses with operations overseas, as well as businesses headquartered outside the UK with a presence in this country

The judges will be looking for:

• strong evidence of a strategic approach to managing HR across national boundaries

• detail regarding how organisational values and employer brand have been applied to various overseas regions

• evidence regarding excellence in communication practice across HR teams in different countries

• evidence that shows the benefits of a joined-up approach to HR delivery across national boundaries

Those considering submitting for this award should note that the focus is on strong HR practice in an overseas setting

 

This award recognises how a creative and effective L&D initiative has contributed to the success of the organisation and its people. While face-to-face learning is most useful in some contexts, effective organisational learning now embraces a range of approaches such as mobile, socially collaborative, in-the-flow of work, and through communities of practice and peer support. We therefore welcome entries that embrace creative approaches to staff development and learning.

The judges will be looking for:

• a clear link between the L&D initiative and business goals and development needs. You should also indicate the context for your activities, such as a change management programme

• evidence of an organisational culture that promotes learning, and focuses on talent and performance

• what makes your initiative stand out, including what you have done that’s innovative

• evidence of the initiative's effectiveness, and the benefits it has brought to the organisation and its people.

 

This award recognises how a creative and effective L&D initiative has contributed to the success of the organisation and its people. While face-to-face learning is most useful in some contexts, effective organisational learning now embraces a range of approaches such as, mobile, socially collaborative, in-the-flow of work, and through communities of practice and peer support. We therefore welcome entries that embrace creative approaches to staff development and learning.

The judges will be looking for:

• a clear link between the L&D initiative and business goals and development needs. You should also indicate the context for your activities, such as a change management programme

• evidence of an organisational culture that promotes learning, and focuses on talent and performance

• what makes your initiative stand out, including what you have done that’s innovative

• evidence of effectiveness of the initiative, and the benefits it has brought to the organisation and its people.

 

Best recruitment and talent management initiativeCategory Sponsor

This award recognises employers who have designed and implemented a creative and effective talent management strategy to address current and future needs of the organisation. Skills shortages and mismatches have been identified as a concern at the highest level of government, and the impending exit from the EU means both strategic and operational excellence in recruitment are critical for organisations’ performance and sustainability. Identifying, developing and retaining the right people are crucial concerns for HR and L&D teams in every sector.

The judges will be looking for:

• clear objectives for the initiative, and how these have been designed to support the broader business/organisation strategy

• the extent to which you have tailored your approach to reflect the current or desired business model, organisational culture, and employer brand

• what makes your initiative stand out, including what you’ve done that’s innovative

• the extent to which this initiative has become embedded in the business, and the impact it has had on both the organisation’s performance and its people

• evidence of diversity and inclusion considerations.

 

Reward and recognition is central to any people management. They can act as a major lever in improving performance, shaping actions, attracting talent and supporting constructive employment relations. Examples of initiatives in this category could include: a new pay structure; the introduction of a new benefit; an innovative approach to team recognition; a fresh approach to benefits communication; the creation of an employee financial well-being strategy; the introduction of a performance-related reward scheme; or a plan to reduce the gender pay gap.

The judges will be looking for :

• the clear objectives the initiative is trying to meet, and how these link to the broader business/organisation strategy

• how this initiative has had a direct impact both on the performance of the organisation and the contribution of its employees

• how the organisation has tried to make the processes and outcomes fair and transparent

• how the initiative meets the diverse needs and preferences of staff.

 

This award recognises employers that offer innovative, outstanding and mutually beneficial volunteering initiatives to their employees. The emphasis is on the double benefit for organisations and communities by supporting employee development and engagement as well as helping charities or community groups to better achieve their strategic objectives.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

• how well the volunteering initiative is integrated into the organisation’s HR and L&D practices

• the level of take up, and how engaged staff are in the initiative

• whether the volunteering initiative makes the best use of the employees’ skills to add real value to charities or community groups

• the outcome for employees' skills and personal development

• how well the initiative is aligned to the needs of the charity or community group.

 

Best SME people management initiative (<250 employees)Category Sponsor

This award recognises small or medium-sized businesses (fewer than 250 employees) that have transformed the way they manage and develop their people in support of the workforce and wider business objectives. The judges will be looking for evidence of the impact of the new approach for people and the business.

Judges will be looking for:

• how your people management approach has changed, including details of your activity

• the reasons for this transformation, including how this initiative fits with your overall people management approach and business objectives

• how any barriers or challenges were overcome

• what makes your initiative stand out, including what you’ve done that’s innovative

• evidence that the changes you have made have brought benefits to your people and the business.

 

Best HR/L&D team of the yearCategory Sponsor

This award recognises HR/L&D teams that have demonstrated excellence across the organisation to meet both the needs of the business and its people.

Judges will be looking for:

• an HR/L&D team that can demonstrate innovative and unique approaches to addressing either one key business issue across the year or multiple projects

• evidence of why this particular approach was suited to the needs of the organisation

• a strategic approach to all aspects of HR/L&D management

• exceptional teamwork and leadership including working in a timely and effective way

• a quantifiable contribution to commercial or organisational achievements because of exceptional team working

• operational excellence in execution.

 

This award will recognise an exceptional student who’s applied what they have learned as part of their studies to bring about real benefits to their business and its people. We’re looking for an outstanding individual who is currently studying or has recently (since 1 January 2017) completed a recognised CIPD qualification at postgraduate level.

The judges will be looking for:

• how your studies have enabled you to initiate and implement people-related improvements in your own organisation

• evidence of how the initiative aligned to your organisation’s objectives

• what impact the initiative had within your organisation

• how you have taken the learning from your qualification and applied it in your day-to-day work

 

This award will recognise an exceptional student who’s applied what they have learned as part of their studies to bring about real benefits to their business and its people. We’re looking for an outstanding individual who is currently studying or has recently (since 1 January 2017) completed a recognised CIPD qualification at intermediate/foundation level.

The judges will be looking for:

• how your studies have enabled you to initiate and implement people-related improvements in your own organisation

• evidence of how the initiative aligned to your organisation’s objectives

• what impact the initiative had within your organisation

• how you have taken the learning from your qualification and applied it in your day-to-day work

 

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