HR magazine is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2017 HR Excellence Awards. Please click here to see who impressed our crack panel of judges this year.
We received a record number of entries this year and the standard was incredibly high. That means that being shortlisted for this year’s HR Excellence Awards was tougher than ever. Our judging panel consisted of top HR directors from a diverse collection of organisations. Representing a range of sectors and with years of executive experience between them, these judges know true excellence when they see it.
The entries that have made this shortlist impressed our judges with the innovative ways they are using HR to solve business problems, championing value creation through the power of people. Congratulations to all our finalists. This was not an easy shortlist to get on.
We look forward to welcoming you to the awards ceremony, taking place on Tuesday 27th June at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
Kindly sponsored by:
The HR Excellence Awards ceremony is renowned as THE night in the HR calendar, attracting the UK’s most talented HR individuals, teams and companies. By attending the awards you will have the opportunity to network with over 600 fellow HR professionals and learn about the strategies that raise the profile of HR.
The gala dinner and awards ceremony for the 22nd Annual HR Excellence Awards will take place on Tuesday 27th June, at the prestigious London Hilton on Park Lane.
Your ticket prices includes champagne on arrival overlooking London’s stunning Hyde Park, an excellence three course meal including half a bottle of wine per person and live entertainment from a top class host, as well as attendance at the most prestigious awards in HR.
Book now: Click here to book now
Date: Tuesday 27th June 2017
Dress code: Black tie
Venue: London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE
Prices until 28th April 2017
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Prices from 28th April 2017
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Please note all prices exclude VAT.
Please note that Premium tables are not subject to any discounts.
Please ensure that you have read our terms and conditions before booking – which notes details about our cancellation policy
10Eighty are experts in increasing employee engagement. We know that engaged employees are more productive, deliver exceptional client service, go the extra mile and stay longer with the organisation. The key driver of employee engagement is having a manager who cares, listens, stretches and develops their employees.
We develop people. We give them confidence, build their self-esteem and give them skills that enrich their futures. We use a strengths-based philosophy to increase career resilience and enhance career success. We understand the components that drive high team performance.
10Eighty delivers a range of career management and leadership development interventions. Using our unique and innovative tools such as the CareerCENTRE, Strengthscope and the Leadership Cloud, we deliver one to one coaching, workshops and support for career transitions.
10Eighty develops leadership capability and, in particular, training in career conversations to increase employee engagement. We also develop management capability to build managers who inspire, coach and motivate their employees to outstanding levels of performance.
Banyan Flow is a pioneering cloud-based performance management, employee engagement and skill set management software.
Like no other HRM software on the market, Banyan Flow allows business leaders to manage in the moment harnessing and utilising employees’ unique skill sets.
Compatible with all HRM systems Banyan Flow engages daily with management and their teams enabling them to assimilate in real time:
Banyan Flow offers transparency for both managers and their team members to enhance workplace happiness, employee retention and career development. Banyan Flow encourages a collaborative work environment for faster reactions to work tasks and performance management, ensuring successful streamlined task allocation and overall management of resources.
Dorchester Collection was established in 2006 to manage a portfolio of some of the world’s foremost luxury hotels in Europe and the USA. By applying its unrivalled experience in owning and operating some of the world’s great individual hotels, the company’s vision is to become the ultimate hotel management company, with a passion for excellence and innovation, honouring the individuality and heritage of its hotels. This is achieved through both acquiring hotels and managing hotels on behalf of third party owners. People know the hotels of Dorchester Collection. They are icons in their own right with worldwide reputations as places offering the best and most sought-after experiences of good living, charm, elegance and service. Each hotel celebrates its own original character enriched by contemporary styling and state-of-the-art facilities. With historic buildings in outstanding locations each hotel also embodies the culture of its city.
School for CEOs is a unique concept in executive education, helping organisations strengthen and deliver their succession pipeline and individuals prepare for senior leadership positions.
The emphasis is on practical lessons for immediate use – taught by people with real boardroom experience – rather than academic theories and models.
The School is aimed at high-potential senior executives who aspire to become CEOs as well as existing CEOs who wish to achieve greater success.
There are two open programmes:
Summit Events have been creating sector-leading business-to-business networking events since the company was founded in 1994. Our aim is to provide a high-quality, personalised service to our clients, and ensure that they get the maximum value from our events.
The Summits bring a group of business solutions providers together with potential purchasers, people who hold significant budgets in major blue-chip organisations. Over two and a half days both parties meet for one-to-one discussions, to see if the needs of one can be met by the offerings of the other. When they can, business results! The Summit creates the perfect environment for these initial discussions to take place. Informal networking, strategic seminars and social events add to their overall value.
WeThrive. Happier People. Better Results
WeThrive unifies and supports your engagement, retention, wellbeing and productivity strategies. The platform goes deeper than traditional engagement surveys revealing the opportunities to get your people more emotionally connected to your business.
Engagement surveys tend to be directed by a fixed understanding of the organisation as determined by the researcher, rather than by specific organisational drivers.
WeThrive is positioned as a test on how well the organisation is enabling the staff to perform – rather than a test on the individuals. This yields incredibly rich, detailed quantitative and qualitative data that can be used to drive long-term sustainable change at organisational and line manager level.
Customers include ICBC Bank, Paypoint, Creditsafe & Carnival UK.
The HR Excellence Awards are recognised as the benchmark of excellence in the HR community. Now in their 22nd year, the HR Excellence Awards are a unique opportunity for the whole industry to gather on a single evening to celebrate the best in achievement, ability and performance. The Awards Ceremony takes place on the 27th June at the prestigious London Hilton Hotel and it sees the industry’s leading movers and shakers gather to honour their peers in the HR community. In 2016 we had a record-breaking number of nominations and over 600 industry professionals attended making it the most prestigious event in the HR calendar.
Please get in touch with our sponsorship team to discuss how we can help your organisation maximise its exposure by becoming identified with the most prestigious awards in the industry.
To discuss your options contact:
From highways and rail management to waste collection, Amey’s people work in a wide variety of roles; many of which are risky and dangerous. Ensuring all employees understand the risks they navigate on a daily basis is a top priority of Amey’s communication team, reflected in their safety campaign Target Zero (TZ).
The philosophy of TZ is simple: Injuries are not inevitable, harm is not acceptable, and risks are ours to manage. The message to employees was one of empowerment, reminding employees they have the skills and knowledge to mitigate risks, rather than take them.
The judges were impressed by the alignment of the campaign to Amey’s values of being progressive, accountable, collaborative and effective.
As the executive team understands, even one injury is too many. With fewer and fewer people being hurt on the job, it appears the target of zero harm could soon be within their grasp.
Please click here to find out more about why Amey won this year’s Most effective use of internal communications.
The Body Shop
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
In order for a HR team to keep their employees engaged and their culture healthy against such a backdrop, they need to consider news ‘ways of working’ – which is exactly what FSCS have done.
Their innovations so far have been creative and exciting. Their newly developed Competency Framework allows FSCS to generate a personalised competency development plan for everyone, tailored to their strengths. Learning Pathways show a journey of possible courses and learning opportunities, to help an individual prepare to do a specific job role, allowing them to take control of their future within the organisation.
The panel of judges praised the team’s focus on their ambitious targets. By 2018/19, FSCS’s people team hope to be recognised as a Sunday Times Top 100 employer, maintain a sickness target of 2%, and be recognised as a Gold Investor In People. We hope the HR Excellence Award they receive tonight will provide further encouragement in pursuit of these goals.
Please click here to find out more about why Financial Services Compensation Scheme won this year’s Best HR team.
Highly Commended: The University of Sheffield
United Learning Trust
Wales & West Utilities
Dubai Police, United Arab Emirates
Like all police forces, the Dubai Police faces the training challenge of wanting to up-skill officers in an environment that is both safe and practical. But when officers might have to deal with everything from traffic accidents to hostage situations, what’s the solution? In move our HR Excellence Awards judges described as “brilliant” and “innovative’, Dubai Police has embraced cutting-edge video game technology to create virtual incidents, developing its training programme and all related technology entirely in house.
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is its nation’s champion for technology and is spearheading the transformation of Singapore’s vision to be the world’s first ‘Smart Nation’. To make that happen, it needs the talent, which is where IDA’s award-winning strategy comes into its own.
It has fully aligned its internal and external brands, connecting its corporate brand with its employer one, under the ‘Influencing Tomorrow’ campaign. The Influence Tomorrow concept forms an umbrella brand for all employer branding activity. Our judges praised this diverse and fully integrated campaign for living the objectives the Authority set out to achieve in digital.
Please click here to find out more about why Dubai Police & Infocomm Development Authority of Sinapore won this year’s Best HR strategy from overseas.
Ajman Police, United Arab Emirates
In 2007, LV= had no in-house resourcing capabilities, no employer brand, and 86% of recruitment was done through agencies. Fast forward to 2015, and the landscape looks completely different, with 96% of recruitment delivered directly by a 19-strong internal resourcing team and a brilliant employer brand. Their key to success has been a total transformation of the recruitment strategy, the tools they use and their resourcing team structure.
In 2014, 20% of group risk hires were made through third parties. By 2015, only 6% were. Since February 2015, LV=’s dedicated careers website has seen a 32% increase in applications.
LV= said that they view their new strategy as a journey – one with strong foundations and a clear direction. It is clear this is not only making LV= a great place to work for potential candidates, but also an even better workplace for the wider business.
Please click here to find out more about why LV= won this year’s Most effective recruitment strategy.
Foster + Partners
If you’re looking for an icon to base your L&D strategy on, who better than Albert Einstein? That was the view of Stonegate Pub Company, and it’s led to this award-winning strategy, praised by our judges as “creative”, “impressive” and “fun”.
The company wanted to offer a career pathway with blended learning development, assessment and evaluation for every level, to its 14,000 employees operating in hundreds of locations across the UK.
So, the L&D team hit upon the idea of Albert’s Theory of Progression, using Einstein as inspiration. The team created a learning pathway loosely based on the periodic table and created online platform ‘Albert Online’, split into stages.
Turnover has dropped dramatically, particularly among those employees sent on development programmes. Online training has an almost 100% completion rate and Stonegate has introduced Albert’s App for on-the-move learning.
Please click here to find out more about why Stonegate Pub Company won this year’s Best learning and development strategy.
Highly commended: Pizza Hut Restaurants
The Belfry Hotel & Resort
Foster and Partners
Questback’s business model is based on feedback, as it offers entreprise feedback management technology to companies to use in customer, employee and market research. So, it’s only right the firm practices what it preaches.
After a period of rapid growth, the company decided it needed to look to its own employees to help drive change and encourage innovation.
Step forward: MySay, a feedback platform. MySay went live in July 2015 and allows every employee to provide their feedback and ideas through a simple, mobile friendly software platform. It aims to help employees mobilise and feel empowered to share their ideas.
In the first six months of MySay, more than 3,800 dialogues took place – an average of more than 12 per employee. Of these, 10-15% resulted in immediate changes.
Our judges praised this entry as “fresh and interesting”.
Please click here to find out more about why Questback won this year’s Most innovative deployment of HR technology.
As the largest privately owned health club group in the world, with 360 clubs worldwide and almost 930,000 members in 16 countries, Fitness First needs to take a truly global view. Following major organisational changes and a rebrand, the chain refocused its efforts on talent investment in all of its markets.
The HR team worked closely with the global CEO, executive team and regional HR teams to design a set of comms tools which showed how all the strands of the strategy fitted together. These tools were designed to work across a diverse range of cultures.
Fitness First’s approach impressed our judges, who described it as a “broad and truly global strategy”, bringing in success metrics from the company’s various markets. They praised the chain for its performance in a tough market, adding that the implementation of the global people strategy was particularly impressive given the backdrop of the general redesign of the brand and wider business.
Please click here to find out more about why Fitness First won this year’s Best global HR strategy.
Allstate Northern Ireland
Foster + Partners
Wincanton recognised it needed to focus on building strong foundations to overcome future skills shortages, and that raising the profile and importance of talent management as an essential component to business success was key.
With the business at the heart of their thinking, the HR team created a governance structure for its talent strategy, getting essential buy in from key stakeholders.
The team build a new talent identifying tool into its performance processes, focused on exploring potential. An Aspiring General Manager programme has been very successful, with a 70% promotion success rate.
With the logistics sector facing skills shortages, talent attraction is equally critical and Wincanton has committed to finding talent in underrepresented groups, in particular young people and women.
This winning entry is all the more impressive given Wincanton had little or no structure in place only three years ago. The HR Excellence Awards judges praised the company’s vision and commitment to engaging hard to reach groups.
Please click here to find out more about why Wincanton won this year’s Best talent management strategy.
Highly commended: XPO Logistics UK
The University of Sheffield
There aren’t many HR departments that can claim to have actually saved lives. Or certainly not as confidently as Wincanton’s can. When it experienced some driver deaths linked to long term health and lifestyle issues, this kick-started a two-year programme of increasing health awareness. The result: a significant reduction in deaths related to heart conditions- from ten in 2014 to three in 2015. Other results of the health and wellbeing strategy are a reduction in absence rates which saved the company a staggering £335,000. Our judges were blown away by this strategy as one with “great solutions to real issues” and as: “simple, inexpensive and impactful.” One judge simply commented: “Wow- love this”, with another humbled and impressed by HR as “literally lifesaving”. No doubt more lives will be saved -and many more radically improved- in the years to come.
Please click here to find out more about why Wincanton won this year’s Health and wellbeing award.
Highly commended: SLH Group
Allstate Northern Ireland
Situated in the heart of the Black Country, Sandwell is a large, multicultural metropolitan borough with a population of over 308,000. Sandwell Council is the largest employer in the area with approximately 4,500 employees and a constant need to attract, recruit and retain talented and dedicated people.
The council needed a benefits programme to offer an alternative monetary reward for council employees, provide significant financial savings for the council, contribute to a workforce that is motivated, engaged and productive, and support local prosperity.
They settled on an excellent solution; a single reward platform, providing retail discounts and access to the entire benefits offering, with a variety of salary sacrifice options, an employee assistance programme and local offers in the local economy.
Clearly, this project has been of great value to both the employees of Sandwell Council and to their wider community, fuelled by a clear and well-articulated vision.
Please click here to find out more about why Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council won this year’s Most effective benefits programme.
Long gone are the days, thankfully, where a strong CSR strategy involved simply painting homeless shelter walls or charity bake sales. And the winning strategy for this year perfectly epitomises this, with Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Winning the War for Military Talent strategy highly business focused from the off. Chief executive officer Ralf Speth puts it perfectly: “Military servicemen and women are extremely well-trained. Their unique skills and behaviours will be an asset to many companies so, we will support the reintegration of ex-service personnel to compete for new civilian careers.” To date, JLR has assisted more than 200 ex-armed forces personnel to find employment and potentially life-changing opportunities across the company, saving an estimated £700,000 in recruitment costs. In January JLR was awarded the prestigious Gold Award by the Ministry of Defence at an event at No.10 Downing Street, in recognition of the company’s work here. One of our judges commented that it was “very interesting to see what comes next.” We can’t wait to see what comes next either.
Please click here to find out more about why Jaguar Land Rover won this year’s Best CSR strategy.
Six Degrees Group
The historical change management approach at West Dunbartonshire Council is one that many will be all-too familiar with. Typically it was, the council admits, one that addressed a one direction change initiation, from the top down, resulting in increased resistance, lack of staff engagement, no clear communication strategies and ultimately the failure or lengthy implementation of change initiatives. But this certainly wasn’t the process or result of its latest programme to successfully relocate 300 staff to a new state of the art facility. The approach was very much one of involving all employees in understanding the change and feeding back their thoughts on this. The results speak for themselves, and the judges were certainly impressed by the metrics achieved, particularly given the scale of the challenge. “When people don’t have a desk anymore, culturally it can be a nightmare,” commented one judge, while another commented that no one should be in any doubt that this is “hard stuff to do.”
Please click here to find out more about why West Dunbartonshire Council won this year’s Most successful change management strategy..
An in-house employee survey at United Learning Trust in 2011 attracted just 46% response rate and demonstrated significant concerns about levels of engagement as well as mistrust about the survey itself. So the HR team identified ‘staff survey ambassador’ in each of United’s then 31 schools, responsible for managing the survey and local action planning. School leaders took the survey seriously and heavily promoted it to their staff, achieving a leap in response rates to 70% by 2013. A host of other impressive activities supported this, leading to an impressive result of employee engagement leaping to 72%- well in excess of the MORI Education sector norm of 60%. Judges praised this entry’s “clear strategic link to the business case” and the fact this was a “big investment leveraged.” And with United’s HR function having set its sights firmly on teacher workload and wellbeing as the next business critical issue to tackle this year, no doubt there’s much exciting work to come.
Please click here to find out more about why United Learning Trust won this year’s Outstanding employee engagement strategy.
Highly Commended: Durham Constabulary
London Overground Rail Operations Limited
My Home Move
Wales & West Utilities
Transport is still very much a male-dominated sector; in rail alone, only 15% of the industry’s employees are women. Transport for London’s (TfL) 100 Years of Women in Transport (YOWIT) campaign sought to seize the opportunity of this centenary to play its part in ensuring this starts to change. The initiative sought to positively recognise and celebrate the fact that things are now moving in the right direction, with thousands of women in the industry making outstanding contributions and building exceptional careers that should be showcased to inspire generations to come. The judges loved the creativity of this strategy, describing it as “in a different league” and “streets ahead.” Another judge commented: “Love this. Creative, powerful, impactful. Make sure they keep up the momentum.” We’re sure they will.
Please click here to find out more about why Transport for London won this year’s Diversity and inclusion award.
Chartered Insurance Institute
Rachel Bushby began her career with M&S, completing their store leadership programme before taking on the role of store manager. Her passion for HR led her to rake a role with a specialist recruitment agency, then join Tesco in 2011 as a recruitment manager for online and digital marketing.
One of Bushby’s major achievements is the improvement of the Tesco’s Early Careers team. Over the past two years, 50% of their original resource has been redeployed due to the efficiencies she has instigated. She also led significant improvements in cost, removing 47% of the cost over the past year.
The judges agreed Bushby’s track record of success and her positive, collaborative attitude mark her out as a leader of the future. Despite the large size of her employer, Bushby has already managed to stand out as an exceptional HR practitioner, and we expect great things from her in years to come.
Please click here to find out more about why Rachel Bushby won this year’s HR future leader of the year.
Georgina Stephens, Ceviche
Martin Bennett, HomeServe
Home repairs and insurance firm HomeServe had been through torrid times, but Bennett’s leadership has helped it back onto an even keel. He became group CEO in January 2014 and his direction has seen engagement rise from 56% to 84%, customer retention rates to 83% and profits to £56.4 million. An impressive 94% of employees agree they understand what Homeserve is trying to achieve as a business, up a huge 19 percentage points from the year before. And Bennett is one of the highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor.
“[Bennett] has driven root and branch change through people,” said one of our judges. Another praised Bennett’s “impressive turnaround in both business results and the engagement of his people...in a difficult and largely unloved sector”, adding “he took time out to plan and then execute his unique strategy”.
David Done, RHP Group
When one of our HR director judges says “I want to work here” about your submission, you know you must be doing something right. At housing association RHP, which won Investors in People’s Gold Employer of the Year award, a positive ‘can do’ approach to work is king and is evidenced by its impressive results – in the past five years its operating surplus has increased from £13 million to £18.6 million, it has had a 24% reduction in complaints and its service has been rated the friendliest in the UK by the UK Customer Service Institute.
Our judges praised Done’s authenticity. “He comes over as someone who truly believes what he says,” commented one. “He seems to have managed to create a real customer focussed culture where employees are valued and developed.”
Please click here to find out more about whyMartin Bennett & David Done won this year’s Most people-focused CEO.
Mark Constantine, Lush Cosmetics
David Dyson, Three UK
Martin Hellawell, Softcat
Andrew Kluge, Cosatto
Andrew Lawson, Salesforce
Paul Pomroy, McDonald’s UK
Jonathan Raggett, Red Carnation Hotels
Jason Stockwood, Simply Business
In 2010, when Austin joined, Pizza Hut was a brand in decline and hadn’t had a profitable year since 2006. It’s a very different story now and Austin has been instrumental in its turnaround. In its final quarter of 2015 the chain reported its ninth consecutive quarter of growth, thanks to a strategy that puts people at its heart, and the complete alignment of the internal and external, as exemplified by Austin’s leadership of not only the HR, but also the marketing function.
Austin’s achievements impressed many of her HR director peers. “It's great to see an HR person responsible for another area of the business and make a demonstrable contribution to business success,” was one comment. Another describes her as “an exemplar for HR”, adding “practical business focussed and incredibly innovative at the same time.” “The way that the employee engagement and external marketing/customer service narratives have been woven together is exceptional,” another says.
Please click here to find out more about why Kathryn Austin won this HR director of the year.
Sharon Ashcroft, TrustFord
Karen Bowes, Capital One
Jean Cabena, Remploy
Sue Evans, Warwickshire County Council
John Greatex, Unipart
Danielle Harmer, Metrobank
Guy Pink, Addaction
Richard Summerfield, JT Group
Julie Welch, Wincanton
Wincanton’s people practices are in another league to those of the majority of its peers. But to leave recognising the company’s excellence at this, would be to seriously downplay the extent to which the organisation’s HR initiatives are thought-leading and worthy of special recognition overall. The firm is heartening evidence of the integral role HR, when done well, can play not only in supporting business success, but also changing –even saving- lives. Take its HR Excellence Award 2016-winning Health and Wellbeing strategy which has brought deaths related to heart conditions down from ten in 2014 to three in 2015. A simplicity and clear business alignment is also in evidence in Wincanton’s HR Excellence 2016 award-winning talent management strategy. And with such impressive results, it’s little wonder then that group HR director Julie Welch was a worthy HRD of the Year contender.
Please click here to find out more about why Wincanton won this HR Excellence Gold award.
Please see answers to some frequently asked questions below. If your question is not answered here, please get in touch with the awards team on 020 7501 6782, who will be happy to help.
A: You must submit your entry/entries by Monday 6th March 2017.
A: For private companies, it costs £385.
For public and not-for-profit companies, it costs £195.
For private companies entering more than one award, each subsequent entry costs £195.
All prices exclude VAT.
A: There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit. However, you should avoid duplicating entries across multiple categories, tailoring the entry specifically to the criteria of the category you are entering.
A: Yes, although their permission must be obtained and evidence of this shown. You will be asked to provide contact details of a senior person at the organisation. We may or may not contact this person.
A: In 2017 international companies can enter the ‘Best HR strategy from overseas’ AND ‘Most innovative deployment of HR technology’. International companies who have a presence in (have offices in or do a lot of business in) the UK are able to enter any category.
A: If you are a UK headquartered multinational with a HR strategy in a subsidiary abroad, you are not eligible to enter this category. If you are a multinational organisation with a presence in the UK, you are not eligible to enter this category, but are welcome to enter any of the other categories.
A: This category is not open for general entry via the website. However, you may suggest nominating your HR director by contacting the editorial team.
A: This category is not open for general entry.
A: The main component of your entry is your 2000 word entry document. All key information listed in the criteria for the category needs to be in the entry document and not in the supporting material.
Supporting material is optional and may be submitted in addition to the entry document. It should be used to illustrate/demonstrate what is in the entry document. Supporting material may include, but is not limited to: photographs, testimonials, graphs/data, videos (please send USB stick), hard copies of any printed material (eg brochures).
A: In terms of entries, once your entry is submitted, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions and are unable to cancel your entry.
In terms of table and seat bookings at the awards ceremony, written cancellations received within six weeks prior to the event will be accepted and a refund of 90% of the booking charge will be made. After this date, no refunds can be given. Please click here to read our terms and conditions in full.
A: Once you have submitted your entries they will be processed by the awards team, ready for judging. Judging takes place in April and we will announce the shortlist during the week of 10th April.
A: The winners are announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 27th June, in London. Please keep this date free in your diary.
A: The HR Excellence Awards 2017 will be judged by a panel of judges made up of some of the UK’s top HR directors working in leading organisations.