Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Best in HR Showcased in CIPD Wales Awards 2018


CIPD Wales, the professional body for HR and people development, has recognised those at the forefront of Wales’ HR industry at the CIPD Wales Awards 2018.

The awards acknowledge outstanding individuals and teams as the best in HR, learning, and people management practice in businesses across Wales.

The prestigious National Museum Cardiff provided the backdrop for the awards, on an evening that saw three outstanding individuals and eight 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 awards recognise some of Wales’ top businesses and organisations including: Doncasters UK Forgings, Conduit Global, National Assembly for Wales and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

This year’s winners were selected by a judging panel of top HR and business professionals, including CIPD Director of Business and Markets Development Gill White, Corporate Services Director for Welsh Government Peter Kennedy, and Partner and Head of Employment Law and HR Services at Hugh James, Emma Burns.

Lesley Richards, Head of CIPD Wales, said:

“Wales is a great place to do business, and HR and people development are factors affecting every business’ success and it is incredible to see the passion and professionalism for the industry in Wales. The awards recognise and celebrate the companies driving HR practices and learning forward and we have been delighted by the number of entries, and the outstanding quality of work showcased.

“People development is fundamental to how businesses operate and is essential to ensuring employee wellbeing and retaining the best possible talent. All of tonight’s shortlisted companies have proven they go above and beyond to support and maximise potential in their employees.”

The individual accolade for emerging practitioner was awarded to Molly Downs, Group HR Assistant at global credit report company Creditsafe. Molly was commended for her people centric relationship building and warmth and integrity when helping people through change.

Molly Downs said:

“This is a huge confidence boost so early on in my career. I’ve only been with Creditsafe for two years but I’ve had so much support and encouragement from the company. I’m currently doing a coaching qualification to help me support colleagues on a one to one basis with a view to helping individuals develop, something I’m really passionate about.”

The judges were unable to choose just one gold winner for the Outstanding Contribution in the Field of People Development in Wales and recognised both Dr Margaret Inman, Head of Swansea Business School, and Michael Beynon, Head of Recruitment and Vetting Services at Shared Services Connected Ltd.

Commenting on why they felt it was just to award both shortlisted candidates, Lesley Richards added:

“Both Margaret and Michael demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities and their transformative and innovative approaches to delivery practice have established a positive culture for learners, they are both exceptional examples of HR excellence.”

On the importance of recognising positive role models across the industry, Chief Executive of CIPD, Peter Chesse 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 exciting to see the continued growth of these awards recognising the great work of our profession.

“It is more important than ever to focus on people at the heart of organisations, and create fair working opportunities that benefit individuals, organisations, and ultimately the wider economy and society at large. The companies and individuals recognised here are very positive role models.”

Winning gold in the Best Apprenticeship Scheme category, Doncaster UK Forgings in Blaenavon has overcome the recruitment challenges created by their rural location and limited talent pool in a programme that has successfully raised their profile within neighbouring communities and highlighted the opportunities available within the company.

Elsewhere, National Assembly for Wales picked up the gold award for Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, following their strategic work to better engage with the BAME community.

The event sponsors for 2018’s CIPD Wales Awards include premium sponsors Hugh James and LHH Penna alongside Welsh Government, HR Human Resourcing, HR Spectrum Ltd, Resolution at Work, Reed, Mind Cymru, University of South Wales, Insight and GJR Performance Solutions.

The winners of the DIPD Wales 2018 awards are:

Best Apprenticeship Scheme

  • Gold: Doncasters UK Forgings
  • Silver: Urdd Gobaith Cymru

Best Change Management Initiative

  • Gold: Conduit Global
  • Silver: Swansea Business School, UWTSD

Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

  • Gold: National Assembly for Wales
  • Silver: Principality Building Society

Best Employee Engagement Initiative

  • Gold: Companies House
  • Silver: Wales and West Utilities

Best Health and Well-being Initiative

  • Gold: Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
  • Silver: Coastal Housing Group

Best HR/L&D Consultancy

  • Gold: Shared Services Connected Ltd
  • Silver: Sweetmans and Partners

Best In-house Team

  • Gold: Office for National Statistics
  • Silver: Circle IT Solutions

Best Example of Great HR in a SME

  • Gold: Circle IT Solutions
  • Silver: Coastal Housing Group

Emerging Practitioner

  • Gold: Molly Downs of Creditsafe
  • Silver: Lucy Webb of Bridgend College

Outstanding Contribution in the Field of People Development in Wales

  • Dr Margaret Inman of Swansea Business School
  • Michael Beynon of Shared Services Connected Ltd

Doncaster UK Forgings: overcome the recruitment challenges created by their rural location and limited talent pool in a programme that has successfully raised their profile within neighbouring communities and highlighted the opportunities available away from the M4 as well as towards it.

Conduit Global: Clearly identified a costly and dis-engaging business issue and implemented a positive redesign of the structure to solve the issue and develop the team. The new structure was followed by impressive results.

National Assembly for Wales: Demonstrated a commitment to championing diversity via new recruitment initiatives that focused on face to face interactions with the BAME community and encouraged people from all backgrounds to apply.

Companies House: Provided tangible evidence of the positive impacts listening and engaging with employees can have on performance, wellbeing and engagement.

Welsh Water: Introduced a holistic approach to employee wellbeing and encouraged transparency around mental health issues.

SSCL: Demonstrated an innovative approach to meeting and exceeding the requirements and expectations of the client.

Office for National Statistics: Provided evidence of exemplary teamwork and enabling leadership, to adopt a new approach that is delivering great results for the organisation.

Circle IT Solutions: The winner demonstrated excellent engagement of the senior stakeholders, placing people at the centre of the business agenda.