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HR Excellence Awards 2010: HR Excellence Gold Award - Winner: B&Q

It is B&Q's insatiable desire to invest, innovate and take risks when it could have played safe that makes the DIY giant a worthy winner of HR magazine's Gold Award.

Instead of being satisfied with its great strides in employee engagement (see p61) and learning and development (p66), in 2009 the company embarked on its most fundamental appraisal of where it was going, and which behaviours it felt it needed to thrive for another 40 years (the anniversary it celebrated last year). Under the stewardship of HRD Liz Bell (right), the resulting 'Transforming B&Q' strategy was communicated with impressive clarity and it is for this that B&Q scoops this award.

B&Q engaged employees from the start in the development of its 'Purpose and Values' strategy. The firm used multiple channels to disseminate its vision, from its payslip publication, Talking Point, in-store briefings, in-house teaser campaigns, breakout discussions and articles by the CEO in its employee magazine. The communications campaign devised a new set of customer promises, a new business scorecard (comprising seven main business plans), and explained the firm's '300-300 aim' of securing a £300 million profit and a share price of 300p by 2012.

Against already high staff engagement figures B&Q has demonstrated yet another improvement in employee satisfaction. Results from its November engagement survey show its highest-ever scores, while it recorded a +0.19 improvement in the statement 'the mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important' and a +0.1 improvement in 'I know what is expected of me'. In March 2010, B&Q won the Gallup Great Workplace Award for the fourth consecutive year.

As for its 300-300 mission, considerable progress was been made in a market usually referred to as flat or declining. By the end of 2009, its UK sales had gone up 6%, while profits had risen by an impressive 5%.

Judges described B&Q's work as incorporating "real variety of efforts, with real imagination". Another praised its "great ambition with big achievement". For its unswerving dedication to excellence in HR and business transformation, B&Q is this year's worthy Gold winner.