Awards for Excellence 2016

HR in hospitality 2016 Awards is now open for entry!

We are looking to award HR teams and individuals within hospitality for HR Excellence in all that they do. It will be your chance to demonstrate and recognise a team or individual efforts within best people practices.

Entries close on Friday 29th July 2016. Shortlist will be announced Monday 8th August 2016 and the award ceremony will be held at the Jumeirah Knightsbridge on Friday 30h September.

Any organisation in the hospitality sector may enter; the awards are open to (but not limited to) hotels, restaurants, high street retail café operators and contract caterers who are currently members of HR in hospitality or looking to join. These awards are Free to enter.

Entries must not exceed 1200 words and should fully answer the 4 key questions within each award category. If you experience any difficulty uploading your entry then please email your entry direct in either pdf or word format to

You may wish to send in supporting material; this does not contribute to the 1200-word limit of the entry document. No more than five supporting files; each file can have a maximum of 10 pages per file.

Supporting material may include, but is not limited to:

  • Photographs
  • Testimonials
  • Graphs/data
  • PDF’s of any printed material (adverts, brochures, news articles etc)
  • Links to videos.

We would prefer that any supporting materials are uploaded or emailed (as part of our CSR strategy), however if you do need to post hard copies or examples then these can be sent to the following address:

HR in Hospitality for the attention of Esther
23 Wynton Gardens, London, SE25 5RS

Tips on entering the awards:

We strongly encourage you to write out your entry first (in word) before uploading as this will enable you to proof read and spell check. Make sure you fully answer the question and be clear and specific. Stick to the word count and provide sufficient evidence that the judges can use when assessing your entry.



1. Excellence in Employee Engagement

This award looks for how HR has helped build business success through engaging its people. The judges will want to see what you have done to get the people bit right, how you have motivated your staff to be more productive and deliver better performance. You need to demonstrate that the values are lived and not just spoken. What do you do to get your people engaged and on-board, to deliver that great service and go that extra mile?

You are asked to give an example of an employee engagement initiative in your organisation and how you have unlocked that discretionary effort from staff. Provide evidence of great leadership, exceptional levels of communication and any culture initiatives that were focused on organisation needs. Include measurement data (such as; employee engagement surveys, staff turnover, absence metrics) and show how you really understood the link between performance and engagement.

  • What did you do to get your people engaged and on-board; to deliver that great service, what were your objectives?
  • Give a clear example of an employee engagement initiative in your organisation and how you have unlocked that discretionary effort from staff?
  • How did you measure the impact of your engagement initiative? What were the results?
  • What benefits have you seen for your organisation in terms of motivation and business benefits?

2. Excellence in Building Capability

To win this award we are looking for a learning and development initiative or way of operating/working that develops the talent of individuals and/or team(s) development to meet the changing or challenging needs of the business. Outline what the challenges, changes or needs were within the business? What were the development needs and how this gap was closed? What impact did this activity have on the business and how did it help staff focus on key organisational objectives? What was learned from this approach? How does your organisation meet the needs of individuals, teams and the business on an on-going basis? The judges will look for well-designed, innovative and well-delivered learning and development programmes.

  • Outline what your approach was to Building Capability and how closely aligned to the business strategy or needs it was?
  • How was the learning initiative implemented at both strategic and operational levels? What were the challenges you faced?
  • What were the outcomes learnt from this approach, both expected and unexpected for the business and individuals who were part of this initiative? What results did you see and how did you measure them?
  • What were the benefits and impact of the learning initiative for the business? Did it add value and did you achieve a ROI?

3. HR Team of the Year

This award is aimed at HR teams that can demonstrate genuine strategic status and adding value within their organisations. Entries should explain the business strategy and the contribution of the HR team to meeting objectives. Judges will look at the team’s own HR strategy, how this was devised and implemented, the involvement and collaboration with other functions and what results have been achieved. Entries should explain how the team identified priorities and how HR has measured the benefits. The entry can include specific projects that you have worked on and can also demonstrate the function’s collaborative approach and ability to attract and develop excellent HR people.

  • How have you shown HR at its most creative and flexible? What approach did you use to meet the strategic needs of your organisation?
  • What have you done to demonstrate that you have developed an effective, collaborative HR team?
  • What were your priorities and what measures did you put in place to meet the needs for an ever-changing market?
  • What has been the benefit or added value seen as a result of the HR teams contribution?

4. Excellence in Innovative Recruitment

To win this award we are looking for innovative recruitment solutions that prove to be efficient and effective that support the business needs. You may include more than one recruitment initiative to be considered.  This might be shown via timely lead in times, leaving little or no disruption to the business or is a cost efficient or innovative recruitment process.  The judges will be particularly interested in self-sufficient methods (i.e. the vacancy is not simply passed to a third party to source).  How does your recruitment initiative feed into your succession plan or talent pool? To support this award entry you would outline what has been learned and applied to enable a new approach to maintain this effective and efficient approach to recruitment, along with the operational considerations.

  • What was the business need for developing your recruitment initiative? How did it meet the business and operational needs?
  • What did you do to ensure that the recruitment initiative was, self sufficient, cost effective and delivered on time?
  • How does your recruitment plan feed into your succession planning and talent pool? How have you measured the success?
  • What has been the benefit or value to the business as a result of this recruitment initiative? What have you learnt as a result?

5. Excellence in Embedding Company Culture

To win this award we are looking for evidence throughout the business that proves that the company values and culture is alive. What is the culture striving to achieve within the business? Who is involved with focusing on this activity? How is the whole of the workforce inspired and encouraged to live the company culture and values? How does this impact on the business results? How is this maintained? What does the workforce and other people (evidence from front line colleagues and support function colleagues) think and feel about working in your organisation? Judges will be looking for evidence of a strong company culture that makes your organisation a great place to work, where people feel valued and motivated and you can see visible strategic benefits.

  • Describe your company culture and how your cultural activity and focus has been aligned to what the company is striving for?
  • How have you worked to maintain the company values, keeping them alive and embedded in the culture of your organisation?
  • What activities take place that ensures all colleagues from all aspects of the business are valued and involved as part of the cultural strategy?
  • Provide evidence that demonstrates the business benefits of your strategy and focus, and how has this has added value?

6. Excellence in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility initiative)

To win this award we are looking for evidence that an organisation is committed to the ‘People’ aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility and they can clearly demonstrate the impact throughout the organisation. In particular we will be looking at the pillars of your CSR strategy that cover the people element of your policy. Entrants should demonstrate the role HR has played in the strategy and execution of CSR initiatives. Judges will mark highly CSR initiatives/strategies that demonstrate a clear link between corporate strategy, community benefits and societal responsibility and education. Your entry needs to demonstrate the link between the people elements and the business strategy. What impact this initiative has had on the internal/external Employer Brand? How was this initiative/practices communicated to the relevant stakeholders?

  • What was the CSR initiative you implemented? How does it support the overall business strategy?
  • How have you worked to include CSR in HR best practices people policies such as recruitment, training and communication?
  • How did you communicate to the relevant stakeholders and ensured all colleagues from all aspects of the business are involved in your CSR strategy?
  • What has been the impact and benefits of this CSR initiative/practice on the Employer Brand? How have you measured the results?

7. Excellence in Promoting Careers

To win this award we are looking for a team or individual who has built strong links in the education sector (schools, colleges or universities) or working alongside charities. They work to help change perceptions of a career in hospitality. They are constantly working to promote the industry as a ‘Great Place to Work’ and have inspired people to join hospitality. A one off event could achieve this or by building a long term partnership, and can include programmes around work experience, apprenticeships, placements, graduate programmes or Ambassadors. Judges will look for initiatives or programmes that not only encourage people into careers in hospitality but also provide additional skills and learning opportunities for their colleagues through involvement in these initiatives.

  • What have you done to build strong links and promote careers in hospitality?
  • How was the programme or initiative inspiring? Was the design creative and who else in the business was involved other than HR?
  • How have you supported external initiatives, for example: Ambassadors programme, mentoring students or work experience? How have you measured this initiative?
  • What impact or benefits did this have on the organisation?


8. HR Rising Star

We are looking for that HR Rising Star the one to watch, who will be a future HR Leader. They are on a career development path where their contribution to the HR team is really making a difference. This person may be in any role within the HR team, but you can see their potential through their skills, the way they work and the results they are achieving. Entrants can self-nominate or be entered by their organisation, ideally they need to have worked in HR for at least 2 years but not necessarily in their current position within the team. Statements from the HR Director or other managers can be submitted in support of this entry. The winner of this award will also receive a scholarship to use towards developing their personal HR training or qualifications.

  • Why should the nominee win the Rising Star award? What is it about them that make them stand out and be the one to watch?
  • How has the nominee contributed to the success of the performance of the HR department? What results have you seen them deliver?
  • What has been the nominee’s personnel development plan and achievements in their career so far, that makes them a Rising Star?
  • What will be the benefit to them and the organisation for them achieving this award?

9. Tom Crowley Award

This is a truly special award for an individual line manager who really embodies excellent people management skills within their department. The Tom Crowley Award recognises an individual line manager, in any function across the organisation, not necessarily HR, this could go to an Executive Chef, Housekeeper or Restaurant Manager. Someone who has promoted recognition in the workplace takes time to celebrate or reflect on successes with their teams and really delivers excellence in people best practise. They are that line manager that really believes in developing their team and spends time getting to know them. The judges will be looking for evidence that this person gets on and manages and develops the potential in their people. They are the line manager their people trust and will go that extra mile for. They are able to demonstrate their effectiveness through tangible results such as staff surveys, retention or other business measures. The winner of this special award will receive a beautiful handcrafted bronze statue for the year.

  • How has this manager influenced their employees to excel in their job role? Why do they deserve to be recognised for this award?
  • How has this manager promoted the concept of reward and recognition in the workplace when the team does well and how do they celebrate success with their team?
  • What is it about this manager that makes them great at managing teams and delivering great results through people?
  • Provide evidence and tangible results or measurements that demonstrate this manager has improved business results through the way they manage their team.

Nomination Criteria and Entry Form sponsored by:


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Summary of your Organisation (max 250 words):

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