Awards for Excellence 2018

HR in hospitality 2018 Awards is now open for entry!

Once again we are delighted to announce that this year’s awards are now open and we are looking to recognise those wonderful HR teams and individuals within the hospitality sector for delivering People Excellence in all that they do. It will be your chance to demonstrate and recognise a team or individual efforts who have shown great people practices. Share some of your projects, initiatives or campaigns that you have been working on in the last 12 to 24 months.

Entries close on Friday 20th July 2018. Shortlist will be announced Friday 10th August 2018 and the award ceremony will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Friday 28th September 2018. We will as always, be raising funds for our two charities; Hospitality Action and Springboard.

Any organisation in the hospitality sector may enter; the awards are open to (but not limited to) hotels, restaurants, high street retail café operators and contract caterers who are currently members of HR in hospitality or looking to join. These awards are Free to enter. We would welcome entries from the hospitality sector that are not currently members of HR in hospitality.

Entries must not exceed 1200 words and should fully answer the 4 key questions within each award category. If you experience any difficulty uploading your entry then please email your entry direct in either pdf or word format to Esther O’Halloran, Chair of HR in Hospitality at

We would encourage you to include supporting material; this does not contribute to the 1200-word limit of the entry document. No more than five supporting appendices please.

Supporting material may include, but is not limited to:

  • Photographs
  • Testimonials
  • Graphs/data
  • PDF’s of any printed material (adverts, brochures, news articles etc)
  • Links to videos.

We would prefer that any supporting materials are uploaded or emailed (as part of our CSR strategy to reduce paper wastage), however if you do need to post hard copies or examples then these can be sent to the following address:

HR in Hospitality for the attention of Esther
23 Wynton Gardens, London, SE25 5RS

Here are some tips on entering the awards:

Start early! Give yourself time to write your entry. Consider using previous award entries that you have written.
Answer the question! Explain to the judges what you did, what was the impact and benefit to the business and fully answer each question.
Keep it simple! Give specific examples, stick to the facts, less fluff and no jargon!
Tell your story! Be passionate, engage your reader (judge) provide context!
Provide evidence! Use statistics, data and testimonials to prove your point.
Proof read! We strongly encourage you to proof read and spell check before uploading.
Stick to the word count! Please! Consider using bullet points to make things clear.


On-line via our website or Email


1. Excellence in Employee Engagement
2. Excellence in Learning & Development
3. Excellence in Talent Attraction
4. Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion
5. Excellence in promoting Careers
6. HR Team of the Year
7. HR Rising Star
8. Outstanding Leader of the Year (Tom Crowley Award)


1. Excellence in Employee Engagement

This award looks for how HR has helped build business success in the last 12 to 24 months through engaging its people. The judges will want to see what you have done to get the people bit right, how you have motivated your staff to be more productive (unlock discretionary effort) and deliver better performance. You need to demonstrate that the values are lived and not just spoken. What do you do to get your people engaged and on-board, to deliver that great service and go that extra mile?

1. What were your objectives and challenge to get people engaged? Why?
2. Give a clear example of an employee engagement initiative in your organisation and how you have unlocked that discretionary effort from staff? What did you do?
3. How did you measure the impact of your engagement initiative? What were the results? (Please provide measurable evidence, staff survey, opinions, HR metrics)
4. What benefits have you seen for your organisation in terms of motivation and business benefits?

2. Excellence in Learning & Development

This award is all about Building Capability within your organisation. To win this award we are looking for a learning and development initiative within the last 12 to 24 months or a way of operating/working that develops the talent of individuals and/or team(s). The judges will be looking for evidence that building capability through learning is embedded in the business. They will want to see well-delivered and well-designed learning and development programmes. What impact did this initiative have on the business and how did it help staff focus on key organisational objectives?

1. What was your overall L&D approach to Building Capability? What was the business need/challenge you were trying to address?
2. What skills and capabilities were you trying to improve? Why was this important? What were the challenges you faced?
3. How did you deliver your learning initiative across the business? What results did you see and how did you measure them? (Please provide supporting data)
4. What were the benefits and impact of the learning initiative for the business? How is learning now embedded in the business?

3. Excellence in Talent Attraction

This award is all about Innovation in Recruitment and what you have done to attract and retain talent in the last 12 to 24 months, either externally or internally. To win this award we are looking for effective recruitment solutions that have helped you attract and select talent at all levels across the organisation. You may include more than one initiative or recruitment approach to be considered. The judges will be particularly interested in self-sufficient methods (i.e. the vacancy is not simply passed to a third party to source). How does your recruitment initiative feed into your succession plan or talent pool? What methods do you use to attract the right talent? (social media, employer brand) and how do you measure and assess the capability of applicants? (internal and external methods can be included).

1. What was the business need or challenge for your recruitment initiative? How did it meet the business and operational needs?
2. What did you do to ensure that the recruitment initiative was, innovative, self sufficient, cost effective and delivered on time?
3. How does your recruitment plan feed into your succession planning and talent pool? How have you measured the success? (Please provide supporting data, attraction materials, social media campaigns or assessment criteria)
4. What has been the benefit or value to the business as a result of this recruitment initiative? Has it worked?

4. Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion

This award is all about demonstrating the value of a diverse workforce to your business. To win this award we are looking for evidence that an organisation is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and has taken measures to put some great processes in place to encourage this. What initiatives have you been working on for the last 12 to 24 months that have delivered positive results around staff engagement, recruitment (of targeted or under represented groups) and retention, flexible working or other positive campaigns around promoting equality?

1. What was the initiative you implemented and why? How does it support the overall business strategy or challenge?
2. What have you worked on to include equality in HR best practices and people policies such as recruitment, training and flexible working?
3. How did you communicate this initiative/plan to the relevant stakeholders in the organisation?
4. What has been the impact and benefits (results) of this initiative? How have you measured the results? (Please include data around diversity, demographics and impact on equality)

5. Excellence in Promoting Careers

This award is all about attracting untapped talent, providing development opportunities and promoting the sector as a ‘Great Place to Work’. To win this award judges are looking for a team or individual who has built strong links in the education sector (schools, colleges or universities) or working alongside charities to encourage and inspire people to join the industry. They work to help change perceptions of a career in hospitality and will have developed a solid employer brand. A one off event could achieve this or by building a long term partnership and programme over the last 12 to 24 months.

1. What was the business challenge or need? What did you do to build positive relationships and external links to promote careers in hospitality?
2. How was the programme or initiative inspiring? What did you focus on and do? For example, Apprenticeships, Ambassadors programme, mentoring students, work experience or trainees?
3. How have you supported this initiative? What was the impact on the wider community?
4. What impact or benefits did this have on the organisation? How have you measured the results? (Please provide tangible measures and examples to support your initiative)

6. HR Team of the Year

This award is aimed at HR teams that can demonstrate genuine strategic status and adding value within their organisations with tangible measurable results. Entries should explain the business strategy and the contribution of the HR team to meeting objectives. Judges will look at the team’s own HR strategy, how this was devised and implemented, the involvement and collaboration with other functions and what results have been achieved. Entries should explain how the team identified priorities and how HR has measured the benefits over the last 12 to 24 month period. The entry can include specific projects that you have worked on and can also demonstrate the function’s collaborative approach and ability to attract and develop excellent HR people and build relationships.

1. What was the business strategy or challenge you needed to address? What approach did you use to meet the strategic needs of your organisation?
2. What have you done to demonstrate that you have developed an effective, collaborative HR team? How have you shown HR at its most creative and flexible?
3. What were your HR priorities and what measures did you put in place to meet the needs for an ever-changing market?
4. What has been the benefit or added value seen as a result of the HR teams contribution? (Please provide measurable evidence of the results you have achieved)



7. HR Rising Star

We are looking for that HR Rising Star, the one to watch, who will be a future HR Leader. The winner of this award will also receive a scholarship for their development from They are on a career development path where their contribution to the HR team is really making a difference. This person may be in any role within the HR team, but you can see their potential through their skills, the way they work and the results they are achieving. Entrants can self-nominate or be entered by their organisation, ideally they need to have worked in HR for at least 2 years but not necessarily in their current position within the team. Testimonial statements from the HR Director or other managers can be submitted in support of this entry. The winner of this award will also receive a scholarship to use towards developing their personal HR training or qualifications.

1. Why should the nominee win the Rising Star award? What is it about them that makes them stand out and be the one to watch?
2. How has the nominee contributed to the success of the performance of the HR department? What results have you seen them deliver? (Please provide testimonials or evidence to support this nomination)
3. What has been the nominee’s personnel development plan and achievements in their career so far, that makes them a Rising Star?
4. What will be the benefit to them and the organisation for them achieving this award?

8. Outstanding Leader of the Year (Tom Crowley Award)

This is a truly special award for an individual line manager who really embodies excellent people management skills within their department. The Tom Crowley Award recognises an individual line manager, in any function across the organisation, not necessarily HR, this could go to an Executive Chef, Housekeeper or Restaurant Manager. Someone who has promoted recognition in the workplace takes time to get to know their team, celebrate successes with their teams and really delivers excellence in people best practise. The judges will be looking for evidence that this person gets on and manages and develops the potential in their people. They are the line manager their people trust and will go that extra mile for. They are able to demonstrate their effectiveness through tangible results such as staff surveys, retention or other business measures. The winner of this special award will receive a beautiful handcrafted bronze statue for the year.

1. How has this manager influenced their employees to excel in their job role? Why do they deserve to be recognised for this award?
2. How has this manager promoted the concept of recognition in the workplace when the team does well and how do they celebrate success with their team?
3. What is it about this manager that makes them outstanding, sets them apart from others and why they are great at managing teams and delivering results through people?
4. How does this leader demonstrate they have improved business results through the way they manage their team? (Please provide evidence and tangible results or measurements).



Category for which you are submitting this nomination:

Name of the Person / Team you are nominating:

Your Details


Job Title:


Post Code:



Summary of your Organisation (max 250 words):

Your Entry

Your Entry (max 1200 words):

Any supporting materials: