UHR Awards Winners Announced

Over 300 HR professionals gathered in Newcastle from 9th - 11th May for the UHR annual conference which ended with an awards ceremony recognising some of the most innovative and forward-thinking HR initiatives in the university sector yesterday.

The 2017 UHR Awards hailed projects tackling issues such as building a strong academic workforce, tackling bullying and harassment, succession planning, and stabilising teams following restructuring. The awards were handed out at a gala dinner at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle.

This year’s UHR Conference was held at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, where delegates participated in workshops and discussions around the role of universities in the modern era.

The programme also featured speakers including former Paralympian and Northumbria University chancellor Tanni Grey-Thompson, former BBC Director of Human Resources and Internal Communications Professor Gareth Jones, University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor Professor Janet Beer, and Virgin Money People Director Matthew Elliott.

UHR chair Sandra Heidinger said: “Higher Education is a complex, demanding and changing sector. But we should all be proud of what we deliver and the impact it has on people’s lives.”

Winners and runners up awards were presented to university Human Resources initiatives that had addressed significant issues in an imaginative and effective way.

University of Surrey - Winners of the Business Effectiveness Through Innovation award

The University of Surrey picked up the Business Effectiveness Through Innovation award, which recognised initiatives that had enhanced organisational performance. Its People Planning Process (PPP) challenged institutional leaders to identify how their teams needed to evolve over the next few years, and flagged up departments in which departures may leave a gap.

University of Exeter - Winners of the Learning and Organisational Development award

The University of Exeter launched The Exeter Academic project to attract, support and retain talent, and offer clear development and support for academics. It was presented with the Learning and Organisational Development award, which rewards projects that have addressed and achieved culture change.

University of Manchester - Winners of the Equality and Diversity award

The Equality and Diversity award went to The University of Manchester, which set up the “We Get It” campaign to raise awareness of bullying and harassment, and to make reporting of incidents easier.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) - Winner of the Exceptional HR award

Glasgow Caledonian University’s People Services team won the Exceptional HR award for its activities following a challenging restructuring process in 2011. The team managed a period of stabilisation, in which it improved staff morale, became Scotland’s first accredited “living wage” university, and took steps to address the gender pay gap and female academic progression.

Runners up included: 

The winners and runners-up were picked out by a panel of judges that included Professor Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and President-elect of Universities UK; David D’Souza, the CIPD’s Head of London and Engagement; Professor Gareth Jones, academic, author and speaker; and Sandra Heidinger, UHR’s Chair.

Read case studies on each of the winners and runners-up here.