By Cheranka Mendis
The HRM Awards 2012 held on Tuesday saw 10 top business entities taking home Gold and 12 others securing Silver as well as special commendations.
Winning Gold were Unichela Pvt. Ltd., Aviva NDB Insurance, Brandix Lanka Ltd, Virtusa, DIMO, Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, Fonterra Brands and Ceylon Tobacco Company. The Silvers went to 10 private sector entities – NDB, Airtel, DHL Keells, Coca Cola, Amba Research, MAS Active, GlaxoSmithKline, HNB, Aitken Spence and HSBC, while Sri Lanka Telecom and SriLankan Airlines won Silvers in the Public Sector category.
Six special awards were given under sub categories as well. Unilever took home the Special Award for Rewards and Recognition, Virtusa for Employee Relation and People Administration, Standard Chartered Bank for Performance Management Systems, Ceylon Tobacco Company for Talent Supply, HSBC for Leadership and Key Talent Management, and Fonterra for Building Capability.
Held for the fifth consecutive year, the HRM Awards was held at Cinnamon Grand to a packed audience of HRM professionals. Getting bigger and better each year, this year some 80 companies had submitted their applications for the awards ceremony, of which 33 were shortlisted and 22 awarded.
ILO Consultant and former Director General of Employers Federation of Ceylon Franklyn Amerasinghe who was the Chief Guest at the event said that human resource practices had changed over time to become strategic and demanding at present. Noting that being an HR professional was not a 20-20 style but rather one with long innings, Amerasinghe stated that the country’s HR profession had grown by leaps and bounds over the years.
He stated that most companies were now engaged in CSR activities, ensuring financial rewards were given to their employees, developing their skills, and ensuring sustainability in future growth. “Corporate entities are now engaged in responsible behaviour.”
Even though people management must be set against a proper contextual background today, HR managers are put in a narrow role where the goal is to keep shareholders and directors happy. “Human Resources need to now evaluate themselves and what they do to contribute to the people and people management,” Amerasinghe said. “HR strategy must be incorporated with corporate strategy.”
Speaking on behalf of the Panel of Judges – which consisted of IPMA HR Executive Director Neil Reichenberg, Johnson & Johnson Vice President for South Asia Yashwant Sadashivrao, EFC CEO and Director General Ravi Peiris and CASL and CIM Fellow Chandra Jayaratne and headed by Prof. Uditha Liyanage, director and Chairman of Board of Management of PIM.
Liyanage stated that the panel was highly impressed by the number of applications as well as the strategic approaches, clearly-articulated plans and competency-based recruitment and appraisals, along with the best practices engaged by the local companies.
Highlighting points for the future development of the industry, he stated that employee branding in companies was poor. “We did not see this much. There also seemed to be no clear articulation and therefore no proper value proposition,” he said.
In a number of cases the panel also did not see a clear articulation between values and behaviours. “We need to see the connection between desired behaviour, recognition and succession planning.”