HRM Awards: Battling to be the best

Come February 24th, the HR fraternity will get together in Singapore to herald the 14th HRM Awards. Ahead of Asia’s premier HR awards showpiece event, HRM Asia gives the lowdown on the mechanics behind next year’s edition.

It’s that time of the year again.

For just one night, the HR fraternity in Singapore – comprising of multinational corporations, SMEs and government agencies – will get the rare chance to put their best feet forward, socialise over great food and wine, let their hair down, and most importantly, celebrate the best there is in HR.

Held on February 24th 2017 at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, the 14th edition of HRM Asia’s HRM Awards will once again pay tribute to the sterling work undertaken by HR leaders and departments, regardless of the size of their organisations.

New categories to mirror HR trends

This year’s showpiece event will see companies battle it out in a total of 21 categories.

In line with HR’s commitment to constantly tweak and revamp its people practices to bring the best out of its company’s employees, HRM Asia has also scrutinised its own awards framework and introduced four new categories to reflect the changing trends in the HR profession.

The Best HR Transformation Through Tech award recognises an organisation’s transformation or overhaul of an HR process through the use of technology to improve efficiency, while tackling a workforce challenge.

This award considers how the winning employer has embraced and leveraged technology to move the organisation forward to keep up with the rapidly-changing global environment.

Best Workplace Culture and Engagement is another new category that has been launched for this year’s awards.

It is no secret that an innovative and robust workplace culture lays the foundation for having an engaged workforce.

This gong distinguishes the character and personality of an organisation and its uniqueness in terms of values, traditions, beliefs, and how the organisation has leveraged on this to foster employee engagement.

With change being the only real constant in today’s workforce, it is apt that a new category titled Best Change Management Strategies has been rolled out.

This award celebrates an organisation’s stellar achievement in improving business performance by plotting and executing an effective change strategy. The winning firm will need to demonstrate that the strategy has resulted in a clear transition and improvements to the business.

Last but not least, the Best Next-Gen Opportunities and Development award lauds an organisation’s resolve and willingness to develop its talent pipeline by affording employment and experience opportunities for young people and graduates within the company.

The winner will have crafted detailed and effective graduate, internship, or trainee recruitment, aligned training to organisational goals and future talent needs, devised coaching and mentoring programmes, and measured the impact of that training on graduate retention rates.

Split categories

For the second year running, the 2017 HRM Awards will have split categories that celebrate great HR in both large and small employers.

Following extensive research and feedback, it was found that, similar to SMEs, medium sized companies were also having difficulty in being recognised for their HR work due to manpower and budget constraints, as compared to their bigger local and multinational counterparts.

Hence, the Best Work-Life Balance, Best Talent Management Practices, and Best Workplace Culture and Engagement categories will have awards for both large and small organisations, with those employers with fewer than 500 staff able to compete in isolation.

These will place smaller organisations on a more even keel with their peers when being assessed and honoured for their great HR practices.

The biggest prize of all

Of course, the flagship prize at the HRM Awards remains the Hays Award for Employer of Choice. This year, eight of the best-known and favoured employers will be vying for the title. Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays in Singapore says there is a strong brand connection between the recruitment specialist and the award.

“We believe the HRM Awards provides a benchmark for celebrating and recognising excellence and best practices in HR,” she says. “We are extremely honoured to be the title sponsor of the awards and sponsor of the prestigious Employer of Choice Award for the seventh year running.”

In addition to the 21 categories whose finalists are listed in this special feature, the HRM Awards will also celebrate a unique individual for their efforts to boost and advance the HR profession in the Asia-Pacific region. The winner of the Outstanding Contribution to HR Award will be announced on the night.

The judging process

The winners of each of the HRM Awards are not known until they are announced on stage at the gala ceremony, marking the end of a long journey that commenced in early 2016.

Stage One of the process took place between July and October, with the HRM Awards accepting nomination entries from all HR and related industry professionals. Total nominations, including self-nominations, were limited to eight per company.

The second stage occurred in November, with the HRM Awards 2017 team having presented a summary of all eligible applications to the esteemed judging panel for their consideration and review. The judging panel comprises of independent HR experts and thought leaders from a wide range of sectors.

Finalists were notified, with the full list unveiled for the first time here in HRM Asia magazine.

The third phase involves each of the finalists in each of the categories preparing a detailed report on their candidacy.

The reports will be based on specific category criteria, with finalists given over four weeks to compile and submit.

The final stage is where the panel of esteemed judges will review all finalists’ submissions.

Judges will rely on their years of experience and knowledge to evaluate each of the finalists, and then select the winners. Their adjudications will be kept secret until the gala ceremony on February 24.

This year’s event will see 206 category finalists from a total of 108 organisations.  They will stand against each other to be crowned Singapore’s best in each category.

Among them, 64 companies will be making their first appearance as finalists in the 2017 HRM Awards. They include Vodafone, Tower Transit Singapore, The Body Shop International (Asia-Pacific), and NBCUniversal.

Analysing the Workday advantage

Sandeep Aggarwal, Chief Financial Officer of Aon-Hewitt Asia-Pacific, shares his thoughts on the Workday finance and HR analytics platform. He says the cloud-based system is intuitive and easy-to-use, but still provides powerful insights across the functions.

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