Proclaimed as the highlight of the HR Calendar and hosted amusingly by the dead pan Sandi Toksvig at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane the CIPD awards commenced resplendent with sparkly dresses and straining dinner jackets. We sat at the Santander Career Choices table amongst colleagues from Grassroots (an IT consultancy) and the Santander HR Team.
Our horse was running in the Best Technology race, although we knew we were handicapped by being a large bank (“of course your projects should be good”, the prevailing experts would say, “you have all the money”!). We were also limited in disclosing the scale of what was achieved, as we had delivered this project alongside two other major initiatives: a new online performance management scheme (never popular) and reformed a defined benefit pension scheme (even less popular).
It didn’t seem that the awards were very interested in the hard yards, dirty work or the unpopular. And yet my thoughts were exactly that – how are the ugly essentials of HR recognised? Why should this area of work (plausibly of far greater importance) be pushed under the rug? A bit like an embarrassing relation at a wedding I wondered how these heroes were feeling in the room (if they’d been invited…), knowing what they had achieved and yet out of the spotlight. My hope was they felt confident that somewhere, someone was raising a glass to them and saying “good job”. I certainly raised my glass to all you that didn’t win (but should have)!