We’ve put together some hints and tips to help you plan your submission(s):
Choose the right category!
It may sound simple, but the sheer breadth and depth of our profession means that there is potential overlap between many of the award categories. Remember, you can enter more than one category!
Individualise your entry
If you are submitting the same project into different categories, do not cut and paste! Be sure to pay attention to the specific category criteria and tailor your entry accordingly.
Put your entry into context
Our judges are all experts in the people profession but may not have detailed knowledge of your sector. It always helps to put an entry into context to ensure that your reader fully understands.
Clearly describe the business needs
A good submission will clearly indicate the business transformation, change or need that was being addressed, the driver for the initiative, the intended outcome, and of course, the role that HR played. Think about whether the project linked to a change in business strategy, market conditions or legislation? Or whether it was implemented to enable a specific part of the organisation to be more effective?
Show evidence of delivery and achievement
Judges will want to clearly see and identify measurable results and outcomes as a result of the specific activities of the HR team and those who collaborated with the activities. Feedback from previous years is that entrants have described their projects with great enthusiasm, and reported/delivered great results, but what it was meant to achieve and exactly what it did for the organisation has been less obvious to judges.
As part of sharing how decisive and distinctive action got the results you wanted, you might want to share the range of information you used to inform your actions, and quantify using appropriate metrics where possible – this may include financial metrics (e.g revenue, profit, ROI, productivity), customer engagement/satisfaction levels, people-related indicators (e.g absence levels, staff turnover, engagement) as well as less tangible outcomes such as the impact on the credibility and integrity of the function/ profession within the organisation.
Explain the people aspects of the project or initiative
Some people aspects are generic to all categories:
Judges will be interested to hear how you secured support from both the most senior people in the organisation, and the entire workforce. This may have involved interesting and/or innovative communications strategies that get the message across to all stakeholders. What worked best for your organisation?
For projects that involve training/development initiatives, you may want to evidence good quality mentoring, line management, on-the-job learning, high-quality training. And/or the impact on individual outcomes e.g learner satisfaction, engagement, progression and the value to the business in terms of retention and innovation.
For projects focusing on new ways of working, you may want to give examples of how you consulted with employees and took on board their ideas.
Show the distinctiveness of your approach
Finally, bring out what is unique or innovative about your entry, how important it is, the scale and complexity of the challenge(s) that had to be overcome, and how the culture of your organisation evolved to ensure sustainable advantage, engagement and people development.
CIPD professional principles
In line with the CIPD’s profession map, we’re looking for entries that are evidence-based, outcomes-driven and principles-led. Your entry should demonstrate how and why you did the specific initiative, provide clear and quantifiable evidence that shows how it has improved the working lives of your employees and in turn other stakeholder groups including customers, community and the wider organisation.