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What to avoid in a HR Excellence Award entry

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Writing your submission for the HR Excellence Awards can be tricky business when trying to get all the information in. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid that will help sharpen your entry for the judges.

Already written your entry for the HR Excellence Awards? Enter now here.

  • Entering a submission in the wrong category. You’d be surprised how often we move entries into a category all judges agree makes more sense. But this won’t always be possible.

    Often the way the entry is written, and the details provided, means that although the judges can see it’s really an engagement strategy, say, rather than a talent management one, it can be hard to move successfully. So, think and think again: is this really an overarching engagement strategy, or should it have been entered in L&D?

  • Entering without a UK base. Entries for companies located outside of the UK should enter the Best HR Strategy from Overseas category. Any entry without a UK-based office entering the other categories will not be able to be considered.

    Remind yourself of the entry requirements for each category here.

  • Submitting self-serving ‘aren’t we marvellous’ entries. These don’t fare well with our judges. We ask that all submissions to Best Future Leader, HR Director and People-focussed CEO categories are submitted by peers too, rather than the individual themselves, so judges can gain a sense of how their efforts are perceived by others.

  • Making the submission too long. Some categories have 20 or more shortlisted entries, so you want yours to be easy to read and understand…and memorable. Don’t attach reams of appendices, particularly where the information isn’t relevant.

  • Writing entries in textbook speak. Submissions that seem like they could have come straight from a management textbook won’t capture our judges’ imaginations and can be confusing.

  • Entering an initiative too soon. Often judges will all be in agreement that a HR team is doing some good things, but it seems the strategy has been entered just a year or two too early, i.e. before the team’s had chance to measure and reflect on results.

    Ask yourself if it would be better to wait another year to build up more supporting evidence. As a rule of thumb, one year on from introducing your strategy is often enough time to demonstrate change.

  • Submitting exactly the same entry, word for word, in several categories. It’s fine to enter the same strategy in more than one category. But make sure you tailor your entries. Some judges will be judging both categories, and they will want to see some thought as to why each submission has been entered into each category.

The entry deadline for the 2022 HR Excellence Awards is 5pm Friday 29 July. Submit your entry now.