2021 Award categories

1. Excellence in Business Transformation

This category recognises HR teams that have completed a successful people-focused business transformation programme that responds to a required business case that needs change.

2. Excellence in HR Innovation

This award honors HR teams that pave the way for their peers as they redefine and redesign their organisation in preparation for the workplace of the future.

3. Excellence in employer branding

This category is on the lookout for organisations with a well-established and thoughtfully crafted employer brand that stands out in the fierce competition for top talent.

4. Excellence in Workplace Culture

This award recognises HR teams that have purposefully and consciously shaped their company’s culture to provide a positive, open and adaptive environment for their employees to thrive in.

5. Excellence in Talent Acquisition

Judges will be looking for innovative and effective talent acquisition strategies that not only help fill vacancies but focus on long-term workforce strategy and manpower planning.

6. Excellence in Graduate Recruitment & Development

The most effective graduate training programme that develops capable, well-trained and agile young leaders will be the one to prevail in this category.

7. Excellence in Total Rewards Strategy

Judges will be looking for thoughtful and cost-effective total rewards programmes that effectively weave together C&B, flexibility and employee recognition to drive business growth.

8. Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing

Workplace wellbeing programmes that have been carefully designed to ensure employees work in a safe and quality workspace with supportive colleagues and smart benefits will win in this category.

9. Excellence in Learning & Development

Judges are looking for innovative L&D programmes that are well structured, with a proven record of achieving their talent development objectives effectively.

10. Excellence in Leadership Development

This award recognises HR teams that have devised clear, measurable and high impact leadership programmes that identify and develop high potentials.

11. Excellence in Employee Engagement

Judges will be on the lookout for robust communication channels alongside employee feedback, empowerment and enablement, which form the building blocks of programmes that foster engagement.

12. Excellence in Work-Life Integration

This award celebrates organisations committed to raising the quality of life and professional excellence as a healthy and engaged workforce boosts business results.

13. Excellence in Corporate Wellness

Organisations that position wellness programmes as a strategic business opportunity and create a positive environment to empower employees to lead healthy lives will win in this category.

14. Excellence in CSR Strategy

This category honours organisations that are inspiring role models through their impactful CSR framework that clearly outlines sustainability, stakeholder engagement and values alignment.

15. Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

Organisations that demonstrate continuous commitment to creating and supporting an open environment that includes cultural, gender, physically disabled and other minority groups will win.

16. Excellence in Digital Transformation

Teams that develop a customised employee experience that meets the needs of the workforce through multiple digital platforms will be crowned winners.

17. Excellence in HR Communication Strategy

HR teams that can effectively help to recalibrate the business model by transforming the transactional relationship through the use of internal channels will walk home as award winners for this category.

18. Excellence in Talent Management

This award honours employers who manage the professional welfare of employees throughout their full life cycle from recruitment to retirement.

19. Excellence in Women Empowerment Strategy

Winning this award would mean organisations have consciously built a safe working space that enables female empowerment, promotion of women in key management positions and room for flexibility to accommodate womens’ needs.

20. Excellence in Business Transformation

This category recognises HR teams that have completed a successful people-focused business transformation programme that responds to a required business case that needs change.

21. Excellence in Retention Strategy

This award recognises excellence in maintaining employees in a highly competitive HR landscape while keeping the attrition rate at a low level, ensuring minimal business impact.

22. Excellence in HR Team Collaboration

HR teams that have achieved exceptional results in areas such as team morale and engagement, teamwork and cohesiveness, which has led to a direct contribution to the organisation’s business strategy and its results will win.

23. Employer of the Year

This category is open only to companies that have entered at least three or more categories in the HR Excellence Awards. Organisations that clearly value employee welfare and deliver the best for their workforce with holistic C&B packages, inclusive environments, talent development or more are forward thinking entities that deserve to win this category.

24. Excellence in Crisis Management and Recovery

This category recognises organisations that have taken the lead in the fields of crisis management, business continuity planning, and recovery. Entries that detail how the HR team has proactively identified the crisis, crafted out phases of the business continuity plan, implemented the strategy and tracked the progress will stand out – all while keeping employees motivated, engaged and safe. 

25. Young HR Talent of the Year (INDIVIDUAL WINNER CATEGORY)

This award recognises the game-changing HR leaders of the future who have five or less years of HR experience and are deemed ‘young’ not in terms of age, but in terms of their work experience in the HR domain.


The individual to be crowned winner of this prestigious award has played an instrumental role in leading transformational changes and ensuring HR’s seat at top management’s table is well-deserving and heard during reviewing business plans.


The most people-focused CEO empowers employees to drive groundbreaking initiatives to propel radical business transformation.

28. HR Grand Winner 2020 (Not open for entry)

This is awarded to the organisation that has secured the most wins across all categories. This is not open for entry.

View 2020 categories

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2020 Winners

Entry guidelines