Dazzling efforts make the business case

After the fantastic celebrations at the Personnel Today Awards last week,
it’s appropriate to reflect on how much HR has changed in just a few years.

Our awards are now in their fifth year and in the excitement of Grosvenor
House, London, on Thursday, it was apparent to everyone that HR is no longer a
profession with an inferiority complex. HR has got real attitude and confidence
– and that’s got nothing to do with all the partying.

The common traits found in the 39 teams shortlisted across 13 categories
were their innovation, decisiveness, teamwork and passion for the role. They
were also 110 per cent focused on helping the business or organisation achieve
its strategic goals.

Typical comments from judges included: "closely involved with senior
management and other key stakeholders", "radically transforming the
way they do business", "successfully engaging employees at all levels
to achieve outstanding results", and "spectacular achievements".

The finalists often surprised the judges with their tenacity to drive change
under difficult circumstances.

Let’s face it, 2003 has been another tough year for business and the climate
for investment in HR initiatives has not been sunny. Yet these teams have
overcome inertia and all sorts of obstacles to build strong business cases for
their actions.

Great leadership was a major factor and special tributes should be given to
the HR managers and their directors heading up these teams. They have shown
tireless advocacy and commitment in changing behaviours and attitudes towards
the line that people really are the greatest source of competitive advantage.

The public and voluntary sector organisations performed extremely well this
year, proving that trailblazing HR work is thriving in environments where the
political context is often difficult and funding hard to win.

Although we had to pick category winners, in reality all 39 finalists have
been stars. They are an inspiration to a more proactive and confident
profession. They underline just what it takes for HR to earn the respect and
influence it richly deserves within the boardrooms and top teams of
organisations everywhere.

By Jane King, editor

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