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B&Q takes top accolade at HR Excellence Awards

B&Q walked away with the coveted HR Excellence Gold award while Premier Farnell's chief people officer Sandra Campopiano was named HR director of the year at a glittering ceremony at London's Park Lane Hilton last night.

The DIY giant won the award, the ‘best of the best’ from the winners in all the HR Excellence Awards categories, for its Transforming B&Q strategy. Under the stewardship of HRD Liz Bell (pictured with HR editor Sian Harrington and compere Rufus Hound) the strategy was communicated with impressive clarity. Judges described the work as incorporating "real variety of efforts, with real imagination" and praised its "great ambition with big achievement".

Campopiano beat an impressive list of HR directors to get the highest number of votes in our reader poll for HR director of the year. When she joined electronics distribution company Premier Farnell as chief people office in 2006, it was at the start of a three-year transformational journey designed to grow the business profitably and change it from a traditional catalogue-based operation to a web-based business. Four years later the £800 million company is the 35th best performer in the FTSE 250 and has millions of customers in more than 156 industries globally.

Consistent high performance and excellence in service is essential. The firm delivers 99.6% of orders the same or next day, and Campopiano has helped make a significant difference, driving a culture of accountability and high performance throughout the organisation.

The 15th annual HR Excellence Awards recognised excellence in strategies ranging from employee engagement to change management, from health and wellbeing to talent management, as well as the people behind these strategies.

Sainsbury’s was named HR team of the year in a new category rewarding those bringing the next generation of HR directors through the business while Goldman Sachs International's joint CEOs, Michael Sherwood and Richard Gnodde took our Most People Focused CEO - private sector award, developed in conjunction with workplace engagement specialist Best Companies. Detective Superintendent Gary Linton, head of the Association of Police Officers’ Criminal Records Office (ACRO), was Most People Focused CEO in the public sector.

Other winners on the night included Eurostar, British Gas, Indesit, McDonald’s, Hyder Consulting, the London Borough of Lewisham, Kent County Council, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Prudential.

 "This was one of our biggest years yet in terms of sheer number of entries and the competition was fierce," said HR editor Sian Harrington. "All those who made it onto the shortlists have shown proven business cases with robust results. They demonstrate the long way HR has come in proving its value to the business and reflect the strides forward the industry has made in the past year."