CIPD Awards recognise top HR talent in Wales

CIPD Wales, the professional body for HR and people development, has recognised those at the top of Wales’ HR industry at its 2019 awards.

The CIPD Wales Awards, which are now in their third year, recognise outstanding individuals and teams as the best in HR, learning, and people management practice in businesses across Wales.

This year, Cardiff’s City Hall hosted the awards, on an evening that saw four outstanding individuals and 11 companies claim the industry’s most coveted accolades.

Thousands of people are employed in the people profession across Wales, with HR and leadership development spanning every industry. The CIPD Wales awards recognise some of the country’s top businesses and organisations including: Hafod Housing, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, SSCL and Bridgend College.

This year’s winners were selected by a judging panel of top HR and business professionals, including CIPD Chief Adviser for HR Practice, Tony Vickers-Byrne, Director of effectusHR, Nia Bennett, Corporate Services Director for Welsh Government, Peter Kennedy and Caroline Belasco of the CIPD South West Wales Branch and Executive Director of HR and Corporate Services at Coastal Housing Group.  

Lesley Richards, head of CIPD Wales, said: “This is our third year of the Wales awards and it’s amazing to see the passion and professionalism for the industry. The awards recognise and celebrate the companies and individuals driving HR practices and we were once again delighted by the number and quality of entries, and the dedication to people development that has been showcased.

“HR and people development affect the success and operation of every business and are essential to ensuring employee wellbeing and retaining the best talent. All of tonight’s individuals, businesses and organisations have proven they maximise the utmost potential and opportunities for their employees.”

This year the judges selected two joint winners for the Outstanding Contribution in the Field of People Development in Wales, recognising both Alison Love, managing director of Resolution at Work and David Parsons, director of resourcing services at Newport-based Shared Services Connected Ltd.

Commenting on the decision to award both candidates, Lesley Richards, said: “Both Alison and David demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and are outstanding examples of individuals who practice phenomenal people development.”

On the importance of recognising positive role models across the industry, chief executive of CIPD, Peter Cheese said: “The CIPD stands for excellence in the profession and is committed to supporting and developing HR professionals to ensure exemplary management and development practices across Wales. It’s great to see the continued growth of these awards and the incredible work being done by thousands of people across the HR profession in Wales. The companies who have been recognised at this evening’s awards are of the best in their field. They are the ones to watch and strive to become.”

Winner of the Best Apprenticeship Scheme category, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, has created a range of opportunities for individuals to develop technical and employability skills for those at foundation and higher degree levels. Tara Williams, talent development advisor at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, said: “This award recognizes the hard work of all our workforce who do a great job of investing time into developing our apprentices. We are delighted to be recognized for our work that is so important to futureproofing the business.”  

Elsewhere, Bridgend College picked up two awards for the Embedding a Culture of Workplace Wellbeing category and Best Organisational Design and Learning and Development Initiative. Cardiff and Caerphilly-based Creditsafe Group won in their category for the Best Employee Engagement Initiative and Target Group in Cardiff received the award for the Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

The event sponsors for 2019’s CIPD Wales Awards include: Hugh James Solicitors, Cardiff Business School, Reed Human Resources, Refreshing Law, Coastal Housing Group, University of South Wales, Welsh Government, Hoop Human Resources, Skylite Associates, HR Spectrum, Insight HRC and Human Resourcing.

The winners of the CIPD Wales 2019 awards are:

Category Winner
Best Apprenticeship Scheme Winner: Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water
Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Winner: Target Group
Embedding a Culture of Workplace Wellbeing Winner: Bridgend College Highly Commended: Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Best Employee Engagement Initiative Winner: Creditsafe Group
Best External Consultancy Winner: Sweetmans and Partners Highly Commended: Iceland Foods
Best In-House Team Winner: Hafod Housing Association Highly Commended: Intellectual Property Office
Best Organisational Design and Learning and Development Initiative Winner: Bridgend College
Best Talent Management Initiative Winner: SA Brain
Emerging Practitioner Winner: Keisha Walters – Hafod Housing Association Highly Commended: Beth Thomas – Principality Building Society
Outstanding Contribution in the Field of People Development in Wales Winners: Alison Love – Resolution at Work and David Parsons – SSCL

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water: Partnered with University of South Wales, Cardiff and Vale College and the Princes Trust programmes, offering a diverse range of opportunities for individuals to develop both technical and employability skills from foundation level to higher and degree level apprenticeships.

Target Group: Created ‘Working Group’, a group of people passionate about driving diversity and inclusion for everyone that has generated multiple successes as a result.

Bridgend College: Demonstrated an approach to ensure staff are agile, receptive to change and keeping pace with the skills and knowledge required. The college has also introduced an inclusive approach where staff and students can thrive in terms of accomplishment and wellbeing.

Creditsafe Group: Introduced a hollistic approach to supporting the physical and psychological health of employees through the “Be Well” programme. Also provided evidence of teamwork and leadership by bringing together departments to retain internal talent. 

Sweetmans and Partners: Partnered with Motonovo Finance to deliver a hackathon to gain insight on key leadership skills and how to maintain an entrepreneurial culture within the business. Hackathon included guest speakers, training sessions, strategic toolkit and roundtable for idea pitching.

Hafod Housing: Provided evidence of an exemplary team with exceptional leadership qualities that is contributing great success for the organisation.

SA Brain: Demonstrated a commitment to its team by increasing talent streams, improving employer brand and providing training and support to employees.

Author: Editorial Team

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