The shortlist is produced following nominations and input from the HR editorial team, readers, and industry experts and is based on the individual's achievements during the period 2016 to 2017.
This award is for someone with exceptional skills at putting people top of their agenda; someone the world of HR should look up to as an example of excellence.
The deadline is 21 May and the winner will be announced at the HR Excellence Awards ceremony on Tuesday 27 June at the London Hilton on Park Lane. For more information about attending the awards and to book click here.
We can reveal that our finalists are:
Shakil Butt, former HROD director, Islamic Relief Worldwide
Managing an employee base across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, operating in challenging conditions, is no mean feat. But this is exactly what Butt has done over the last seven years, transforming Islamic Relief Worldwide from an organisation where staff were disengaged and didn’t have confidence that the senior leadership team would listen to their suggestions, to one that's already won multiple awards.
Fiona Evans, HR director, The Zoological Society of London (ZSL)
Evans arrived for her first day at The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) – her dream job – at the end of January 2014 knowing there was lots of scope to improve things. Fast forward to 2017 and both the HR team and organisation have been totally transformed. Some of these changes include: carrying out employee surveys, overhauling the recruitment process and induction programme, and introducing family-friendly policies.
Janet King, director of HR and corporate services, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
HR has been central to the success of this organisation’s turnaround. Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust acquired Wexham Park and Heatherwood hospitals in 2014, but Wexham & Heatherwood had been placed into special measures and was struggling on all key organisational indicators. Within a short period of time evidence that the new HR plan, spearheaded by King, was working became obvious. The atmosphere changed and pulse surveys showed remarkable improvements. King's OD work on inspiring staff to deliver a new level of self-belief and confidence was pivotal in turning the organisation around.
Kathryn Pritchard, group chief people officer, Odeon Cinemas Group
Pritchard’s vision and creativity have been fundamental to Odeon’s transformation and success in the last two years. She has designed and delivered a people strategy that has reached and positively affected every aspect of the business, from the leaders in every territory to the hosts in every cinema. Her inspiration and focus have galvanised its teams to deliver significantly improved business performance alongside dramatic improvements in organisational health scores.
Pauline Prow, chief people officer, Monarch
Airline group Monarch has faced some stormy skies recently. Prow has guided the business through a number of restructures, including closure of the DB pension scheme. In October 2014 the business was sold to GreyBull Capital, which involved taking 700 roles out and renegotiating T&Cs across the group. That would be a big ask for anyone, but Prow had to manage it in only three weeks. Against all this change engagement was naturally low at 67%. But after 12 months of hard work the score rose to 83%.
Lisa Robbins, director of partner resources, Starbucks UK
With around half of Starbucks partners (employees) under the age of 24, Robbins demonstrates a real passion for elevating the employment experience for young partners and retaining high-potential team players. She was instrumental in the development of the business' apprenticeship offering and the work with The Challenge Headstart programme – helping to build the confidence of young people and those in danger of becoming NEET, and get them into work.
Ollie Roberts, vice president, people integration, AB InBev
Roberts led the people, OD and planning work during the M&A and integration planning process of the acquisition of SABMiller, which completed in October 2016. Much of his focus during the deal process was on ensuring retention and engagement was successfully managed during this uncertain time for employees. He has a particular passion for diversity and inclusion, having developed commercial partnerships with Pride in London and being a sponsor of SABMiller’s LGBT network and Women in Leadership Forum.
Melvin Rogers, director of HR, Sytner
Rogers has been instrumental to Sytner’s success in the Sunday Times Best Company to Work For Competition. After eight years in the top five, Sytner Group was named the number one Best Big Company to Work For in the UK this year. This prestigious award was made all the more significant because it was directly voted for by the company’s employees. Rogers has shown himself to be an inspirational HR leader and someone delivering HR excellence as well as actual results.
Mark Simmons, HR & QHSE director, XPO Logistics
Simmons has been instrumental in developing a people-focused culture that has been at the foundation of the success of XPO Logistics’ supply chain business in the UK over the past few years. He is an exceptional communicator, negotiator and influencer who can tackle complex issues and translate business goals into practical strategies. Simmons and his team have implemented substantial people programmes to foster a culture of entrepreneurialism and enthusiasm.
Vicky Williams, people director, Lawn Tennis Association
Williams' personal passion is nurturing talent, and at the LTA she has created a flexible, high-performing working environment – in particular championing women returners and young talent. Internal promotion statistics and the number of colleagues with outstanding performance ratings have doubled during her term as people director. She also campaigns to extend this into the wider British Tennis Network, supporting tennis star Greg Rusedski and the 30% Club in launching a mentoring programme for women in sport.
*Only votes cast by following the link above will be counted. Please do not attempt to vote by leaving a comment with your chosen winner, as it will not be counted.*