Awards > Awards 2018

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2018 UHR Awards for Excellence in HR

Unfortunately, the deadline for submissions for the UHR 2018 Awards for Excellence in HR in higher education has now passed.

A key UHR aim is to enable HR innovation and learning from each other, and to build our professional skills base: these awards give a great opportunity to do this, and highlight creativity and success.  We want to show the sector and the HR professionals beyond HE that our HR practitioners introduce cutting edge and impactful practices which enhance organisational culture and performance within UK universities.

It’s a great opportunity to encourage and motivate the HR team, even in preparing an entry – and even more so if you win.  The publicity that follows from winning these awards is also incredibly valuable, and entries often feature in national events and publications about effectiveness and good practice in the sector.

The categories

  • Business effectiveness and organisational performance: for an initiative that has driven and demonstrably enhanced organisational performance and competitive advantage.
  • Organisational development and culture change: for an initiative that achieved transformational culture change or greater staff engagement, or involved collaborative work with another organisation, enabling the university effectively to meet future challenges and uncertainty.
  • Equality and diversity: for an initiative that improved equality or diversity in the organisation, and brought demonstrable improvements to performance or engagement.
  • Exceptional HR: for exceptional achievement by an HR team or individual.

The awards will be presented at our UHR annual conference in Bristol, on the evening of 24 May, during the conference gala dinner.  Our theme for the conference will be Universities: competitive advantage or collective advancement?

The 2018 UHR Conference will focus on the people management implications of identifying opportunities for competitive advantage and distinctiveness in our own institution’s mission, whilst recognising the value of collaboration as a sector in responding to common opportunities and threats. This sets the context for the 2018 awards. Entries in the first category might, for example, include internationalisation, outsourcing, collaboration with private providers, and performance management, while the second category could include change management,culture change and organisational or staff development. Diversity, equality and inclusion, cast as widely as possible, comprise the third category, while the last category seeks entries that showcase exceptional HR achievement, in any area of HR and related activity, to give every UHR member organisation the opportunity to enter.

What information should you include in your entry?

Evidence of measurable achievement and impact should be clearly demonstrated, as the purpose of the awards is to be able to spread good practice that actually produces results.  It’s important that your entry is a project or initiative that has already been implemented and had a real effect, rather than a good idea with potential that hasn’t yet made a demonstrable difference. Any UHR member HEI, regardless of size or type can enter: but it’s vital to provide evidence of your activity being cutting edge and of its impact.

Who is judging the entries?

Several key people with experience and knowledge of good people management practices within and beyond higher education, including:

  • Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter (a 2017 UHR award winning organisation) and former President of Universities UK
  • Karen Grave, President-elect of the PPMA
  • Margaret Heffernan, entrepreneur, author and opening plenary speaker at the UHR 2018 conference
  • Sandra Heidinger, Chair of UHR and Director of HR, University of Strathclyde

How do you enter?

Unfortunately, the deadline for submissions for the UHR 2018 Awards for Excellence in HR in higher education has now passed.

What questions are on the form?

So you can prepare the answers in advance of completing the form, here is a reference template of the questions and below summarises what you will be asked:

  1. Describe the on-going work or project deserving an award.
  2. How can the impact of this work be measured?
  3. Describe the longer term impact of the work or initiative on its staff and/or the performance of the organisation. For example, has it affected more than one business unit? How has the workplace or the organisation improved? What evidence demonstrates this link?
  4. How is the work linked to the organisation’s strategy and achievement of its objectives?
  5. What was innovative or outstanding about the work and how can that be demonstrated?
  6. How could other institutions or HR professionals learn from this work and use it in their own organisation?
  7. Any other information the judging panel may find relevant should be given here.
    You may refer to material that can be accessed easily on your institution’s web site without a password, but please note that the panel will not be under any obligation to view any material or information, other than in the online entry form.)

2017 Awards

See the 2017 winners and runners up