Kerry Foods’ Emma Rose wins HRD of the Year

Rose beat off tough competition from the industry’s brightest and best

HR director of Kerry Foods Emma Rose has won HRD of the Year at the HR Excellence Awards 2018. Rose was honoured with the prestigious accolade at the 23rd awards ceremony, at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in London, last night.

Her team at Kerry Foods also took home the awards for Outstanding employee engagement strategy and the Gold award.

Speaking to HR magazine about her HRD of the Year win, Rose said: “It’s such an amazing recognition and a shock. Such an amazing group pf people were nominated and shortlisted for the award so I’m feeling quite overwhelmed.”

Since taking the helm of HR at Kerry Foods two years ago, Rose has transformed the function, making some tough decisions. An example of one of these is Kerry’s new ways of working, which Rose played a key leadership role on. She also identified areas for focus and opportunity for the HR function, including bringing recruitment in house.

Other activity has included launching a new employer brand, the Trailblazer engagement initiative, and a new ‘Talent Deal’. Wellbeing and flexible working are next on the agenda.

“In just over two years Emma has completely transformed our HR function, which is now firmly at the heart of our business. The impact she had from day one on those in her team, our Kerry Foods leadership team and the business was incredible,” said CEO Duncan Everett in her nomination.

It’s a sentiment shared by many, strongly evidenced in the number of senior leaders at Kerry Foods voting for Rose to win HRD of the Year.

“Emma has been an exceptional people-focused leader since she joined Kerry Foods. She has had huge input in advancing Kerry's first employee engagement survey and in promoting diversity and community through our new sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland\GB,” a fellow director at the business commented.

And Rose’s impact clearly goes far beyond her current HR role, with many former colleagues taking the time to share the lasting positive impact she’s had on them. “I had the pleasure of working with Emma during her time at IHG and she has integrity bursting out at the seams and provided me with a level of personal support that was above and beyond,” commented one former colleague from InterContinental Hotel Group, where Rose was VP HR group corporate functions.

Rose told HR magazine that she is excited about the journey HR is on today.

“I think the profile of HR in every business is on the rise year in year out,” she said. “Most business people know that the people are key to unlocking performance and it’s just a fantastic time to be in the function.”

The HRD of the Year shortlist is produced following nominations and input from the HR magazine editorial team, readers and industry experts and is based on achievements during the last year. Readers then vote for their winner.