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HR Excellence Awards winners proud of work during COVID-19

The winners of last year's HR Excellence Awards are proud to have had their hard work during the pandemic recognised.

The impact coronavirus has had on the UK workforce is undisputed, however, from managing the shift to remote work to keeping employee engagement high, HR rose to the challenge. As a result, this year’s theme is celebrating the magic of HR – in times of crisis as well as calm.

To learn more about what last year's accolades meant to them, HR magazine spoke to some of the winners of the 2020 HR Excellence Awards.


HR team of the year 2020: Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Sarah-Jane Savage, head of employee experience at FSCS, said in a year like no other, winning the HR Team of the Year for the second time was special.

She told HR magazine: “Having also won in 2016, it felt incredible to be recognised by our peers in the industry for the hard work and effort we put in as a team to ensure our people were supported during a really challenging time for all, both professionally and personally.

“Every member of the people team genuinely cares about our employees, and we work hard to make sure we deliver the best possible employee experience, enabling our people to do the same for our customers.”

Savage said the team appreciated attending the virtual ceremony together to celebrate, and that it was one of the highlights of the year.

She said: “Each member of our team brings a different skill and perspective to the table, so to win an award that celebrates our collective impact was a proud achievement for us all.

“Our employee engagement scores have never been higher.”


Best health and wellbeing strategy 2020 winner: Natwest Group

Fiona McAslan, wellbeing lead, colleague experience and HR transformation at Natwest Group, told HR magazine winning last year’s award certified how hard the business worked to look after its staff during the pandemic.

She said: “We were extremely proud to the win the best health and wellbeing strategy award after what has been such a challenging year for everyone. 

“Our strategy was built on our group strategy as a purpose-led organisation and being able to help our customers, colleagues, communities and businesses thrive at this time is at the heart of what we do.”

McAslan said the whole HR team felt an overwhelming sense of pride after winning. 

“Every single person across the function played a part in supporting our colleagues and customers over the last year putting wellbeing first,” she said.

The HR Excellence Awards 2021 are now open for entries. Two new categories have been added for this year too: Best Crisis Management Strategy and Best Flexible Working Strategy.

The annual event will be held in person at the London Hilton on 1 December.

Click here to enter now.