Winners of HR Profession’s Highest Awards are Announced

Sep 25, 2008

Winners of HR Profession’s Highest Awards are Announced

SHRM 2008 Human Capital Leadership Awards recognize superior performance

Alexandria, Va. – The world’s largest human resource organization today announced the winners of its highest honors, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Human Capital Leadership Awards®. This is the third year that SHRM has made these prestigious awards to human resource leaders and programs for excellence in developing and executing organizational strategy.

The three human resource departments and one HR executive were recognized at SHRM’s Strategic HR Conference in Palm Springs, CA. The independently judged competition chooses winners in four categories: Innovative Business Solution, Competitive Workforce, Strategic HR Leadership, and the Human Capital Business Leader of the Year, recognizing a senior HR executive.

“These winners demonstrated exceptional professionalism and creativity in achieving difficult goals,” said China M. Gorman, SHRM’s acting chief executive officer. “These are truly the best of the best. Their innovative strategies illustrate the significant role HR professionals play in helping organizations succeed in a changing world.”

Winner of theInnovative Business Solution Award was CapitalOne, McLean, VA, for its Web-based internal communication system—“OnePlace.” Employing various elements of new media, including “wikis,” blogs and discussion centers, the intranet boosted employee productivity, innovation and engagement. Surveys showed that the portal was being visited repeatedly every day, as the company said, “by everyone from executives to tellers.”

A Kansas City, KS, furniture store was chosen for the Competitive Workforce Award.TheNebraska Furniture Mart, the largest home furnishings store in North America, was finding that the volume of job applications was no longer meeting its staffing needs. Recognizing the potential in a previously untapped labor pool, the Hispanic community of Kansas City, the company designed and implemented a bi-lingual and multi-cultural recruitment campaign. It also offered a variety of acclimation services for the new employees, including free on-site English classes.

Merck Serono, of Geneva, Switzerland, won the Strategic HR Leadership Award for its multi-faceted campaign that eased the merger of two fundamentally different companies. Serono, a comparatively small biotech company with a “start-up attitude,” was merging with Merck KGaA of Germany, a large chemical and medical corporation with a long-established culture. HR staffs from both companies formed a new team that integrated the two firms seamlessly and without disruption.

Chosen as the Human Capital Business Leader of the Year was Lisa B. Peters, chief human resources officer for The Bank of New York Mellon, New York, NY. She led the creation of a new global human resources organization following the merger of Mellon Financial Corp. with The Bank of New York in July 2007. The successful integration she helped manage created the world’s largest securities servicing and processing firm, with more than 43,000 employees in 34 countries.

In addition to being recognized at the conference in Palm Springs, award winners will be profiled in the November issue of HR Magazine, and highlighted on the SHRM Web site (


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 245,000 members in over 130 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit


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