This award is for individual HR directors who demonstrate outstanding leadership. Entries explained the contribution made to both their own team and to the organisation as a whole. Candidates demonstrated they had developed an effective team and presented evidence of their contribution to the business. Past winners have submitted internal testimonials and those from customers to back up their entries.
Ceridian is a leading HR service provider, globally serving more than 25 million employees. The company has more than 40 years' experience in payroll and outsourced HR services, including employee assistance programmes, flexible benefits and HR consulting.
Sharon Benson is HR director of Trinity-Chiesi Pharmaceuticals, the sales and marketing affiliate of Chiesi Pharmaceutici, a European pharmaceutical company. Her work earned her the HR Director of the Year award in 2007. With limited resources and budget, she delivered increased performance levels and significantly reduced staff turnover. Having gained management buy-in, a number of the initiatives she introduced in the UK have since been adopted in Italy and at affiliate companies across Europe.
David Fairhurst, McDonald's Restaurants
Number in team: 10 Number of staff the team is responsible for: 67,000
About the entrant
David Fairhurst is senior vice-president, chief people officer (Northern Europe) at McDonald's - one of the most recognisable brands in the world.
A negative perception of McDonald's as a brand, due to its association with unhealthy food and the obesity debate, as well as the struggle to shake off the 'McJob' tag coined to describe an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects.
What the director did
- Assembled a 'reputation team' tasked with transforming perceptions of McDonald's as an employer, reclaiming the phrase McJob and boosting employee motivation and morale
- Developed an integrated programme of initiatives, communications and events, drawing on expertise from marketing, PR, advertising, HR and learnin