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HR Excellence Awards 2009: HR's finest hour

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Winning an award can be a great morale booster for staff - which is why it is important to enter the HR Excellence Awards 2009 and gain recognition for the work you and your team are doing.

Recession, redundanices, reorganisation. If ever there were a time for HR to shine it is now. It is also a time for recognition. Recognition for the great work you are doing, for your team and, of course, your employees.

The HR Excellence Awards 2009 are your chance to achieve that recognition and celebrate your teams and organisations. In 2009 good HR practice and employer reputation are going to be in the spotlight as never before as organisations seek to motivate and engage staff while driving performance in what will probably be the most challenging time for half a century.

Since their launch in 1995 the awards have established themselves as one of the key events for our profession. At HR magazine we are proud to be involved in something making such a positive statement about the the profession's great work during the past 12 months.

Areas such as talent management, change management, employee engagement, retention, flexible working and internal communications are going to be vital to get through the downturn and we will be looking to reward the best in these categories. The awards also focus on important areas such as learning and development, technology and health and wellbeing. We know there are great examples out there and are looking forward to seeing best practice and the results they have brought to organisations.

New categories

This year we are adding some new categories and redefining others. Our new CSR category will recognise the huge business benefits that result from bringing the people element into CSR. We are also introducing new public-sector and third-sector categories following feedback from last year's awards. Both sectors traditionally perform well in the regular HR Excellence categories, beating private-sector counterparts to win the top accolades. But these additions are recognition of some of the specific people issues facing both sectors.

'People are our greatest asset.' How many CEOs and MDs do we know who say that? This year the HR Excellence Awards will be scrutinising their words and awarding the CEO or MD who has delivered results by putting people at the top of the agenda. And, of course, we will be announcing the HR Director of the Year and HR Gold Award at the ceremony on 1 July 2009.

The full list of categories is opposite and HR will be showcasing previous winners and giving suggestions on writing a winning entry over the coming months, both in the magazine and online at www.hrmagazine.co.uk

The deadline for entries is 20 March. For more information and details of how to enter the HR Excellence Awards, click HERE

CATEGORIES

- Best talent management strategy Entrants should give details of how their organisation defines and spots talent, delivers appropriate development opportunities and measures success

- Most successful change management programme

This covers organisations that have completed a successful change programme. Areas include the business case, its communication, implementation and measurement

- Most effective benefits strategy Entrants should provide evidence of a benefits strategy that clearly aligns with business needs, showing how the strategy was communicated, staff take-up and business benefit

- Most compelling motivation scheme Judges will be looking for evidence of a specific staff motivation scheme that made a significant difference to an organisation's performance

- Most effective use of internal communications The communications strategy can be part of an ongoing process or related to a one-off event or development. Judges will award high marks only for entries with measurable evidence that the process has proved effective

- Outstanding employee engagement strategy Judges will be looking for a strategy linking employee engagement to the heart of the business. Entrants should provide details of the strategy and how it measures improvements

- Most effective recruitment and retention Judges will be looking for evidence of innovation and bottom line contribution through enhanced recruitment and improved retention

- Best learning and development strategy Entrants should include details about the business need, what the strategy entails and how it was communicated to the workforce

- Health and wellbeing award This award will go to the organisation that provides the most compelling evidence that its strategy for health and wellbeing in the workplace not only works but has created a measurable return on investment

- Most effective use of workplace flexibility Judges will be looking for specific examples of flexible working strategies that have actively contributed to success

- Best HR strategy in company with under 250 employees

Judges will be looking at the best example of great people practices from any organisation without full time support from an HR function

- Most innovative use of technology This award recognisese the use of technology to move HR forward. It could be via the use of HR software, and analytic systems, online recruitment or an e-learning programme

Best public sector HR strategy or initiative

This award recognises oustanding HR excellence in the public sector and can comprise one or a series of HR initiatives

Best third sector HR strategy or initiative

This award recognises oustanding HR excellence in the third sector and can comprise one or a series of HR initiatives

Best use of CSR in HR

Entrants should demonstrate the role HR has played in the strategy and execution of corporate social responsibility initiatives

The following awards will be announced at the presentation ceremony and are not open to entry:

Most people-focused CEO

- HR director of the year

- HR Gold Award

WHAT THE JUDGES ARE LOOKING FOR

- A clearly defined vision and goals

- Creative approach and differentiation

- A strongly developed business case showing how the initiative is aligned to the organisation's priorities

- Senior level commitment

- Tangible evidence of the impact of the project and financial result

To enter the HR Excellence Awards, click HERE