HR professionals, nominate thyself (Editor’s notes)

HR needs to do better at recognizing its achievements

HR professionals know the value of recognizing staff for a job well done. HR departments, after all, are the ones who champion recognition programs and reinforce the importance of line managers saying, “thank you” to staff.

So why, when it comes to honouring the best and brightest in the human resources profession, do HR professionals suddenly become shy?

In Edmonton last month, the Human Resources Institute of Alberta honoured the top HR professionals in the province at its annual conference. It held a gala awards dinner, entitled “Celebrating Excellence,” that was attended by hundreds of professionals.

Three awards were to be handed out — Rising Star Award, Award of Excellence and Distinguished Career Award.

Alexis MacDonald of Uniglobe Geo Travel took home the Rising Star Award and Adam Czarnecki of GreatWest Kenworth was given the Award of Excellence.

But when it came time to hand out the Distinguished Career Award, Charlotte Bouchard, chair of HRIA’s board of directors, told the crowd nobody would be receiving the award this year because there wasn’t a single nomination.

That’s stunning. Alberta is full of HR professionals who have had distinguished careers. I ran into at least half-a-dozen HR professionals at the dinner alone who would have been worthy recipients — including senior professionals who had been on the job for decades at some of the largest corporations in the country.

Alberta is hardly alone on this front — HR associations across the country struggle and scramble to receive nominations for awards.

Why? It can’t be HR doesn’t appreciate the value of awards and recognition —they’re the champions. That leaves shyness as the only possible explanation.

So I’ll be the first to say it: HR, you’re doing a heck of a job. It’s time to step into the limelight and accept your kudos.

The next time you receive an email from your HR association seeking nominations, put your thinking cap on and submit the names of colleagues for consideration.

And there’s no time like the present — the 2012 HR Summit Awards, presented by Canadian HR Reporter and the Human Resources Professionals Association, is looking to honour the best and brightest in HR.

For more information, see the back page of this issue or go to And be sure to attend the awards in person. It’s a great evening for networking and honouring the best in the human resources profession.

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