SHRM HR Awards 2021

SHRM HR Awards 2021

The SHRM HR Awards 2021

The SHRM HR Awards have been instituted as an exemplary platform to recognize organizations that put people first, deliver future focused excellence in the field of People Management and understand the importance of human capital as a key contributor to business outcomes.

The SHRM HR Awards Intent

These awards recognize the pioneering and innovative people management practices that impact not just organizations but also business, society and the profession as a whole.

We invite you and your organizations to apply for the SHRM HR Awards in its 10th consecutive year. These awards are founded on the philosophy to recognize organizations, which have excelled in bringing NEXT into their people practices and empowered HR to become a Strategic Business Partner. These Awards will also celebrate and acknowledge organizations that work passionately towards raising the bar for the profession through constant innovation.

Award Categories

The Awards recognize excellence in the following categories:

  • Excellence in HR Analytics
  • Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion
  • Excellence in Community Impact
  • Excellence in Developing Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Excellence in Talent Acquisition
  • Excellence in Learning & Development
  • Excellence in Health and Wellness Initiatives
  • Excellence in Leveraging HR Technology
  • Excellence in Managing the Hybrid Workplace - The HR Lens


Why your organization should enter the SHRM HR Awards Competition

As an Award Winner, your organization will be recognized and feted as a Leader in NEXT People Practices. In addition, these Awards will establish:

Your position as a trailblazer
The SHRM HR Awards recognize your organization’s practices as a benchmark of the highest quality within the HR community, be it national, global or virtual.

A framework to measure your organization’s performance
The SHRM Awards identify and recognize existing and emerging areas in HR, which will have significant and widespread implications for the profession in the coming years. The Awards framework and platform allows you to present the evidence of what your organization and teams do in a measurable manner.

An opportunity to advance the profession
These unique Awards will acknowledge how organizations and their teams have contributed to the advancement of the HR profession through innovative thought processes, impactful implementation and commitment.

An opportunity to inspire other organizations and professionals
Showcasing your work on the SHRM HR Awards platform will raise the bar for the profession by demonstrating how the best organizations deliver excellence. Your work will inspire other organizations to aim for the next level and set higher quality standards for the entire profession.

Definition & Measures for Award Categories


Human Capital Analytics is the process by which the value of the organization’s people is measured and improved for the purpose of enhancing overall organizational performance.

The key elements that are important for Human Capital Analytics in the organization are those that add value to your organization which include the tools and technology being adopted, integrating analytics with organizational financials, educating stakeholders and the competency of an individual in this area.

The HR Analytics Award recognizes the ability of the organization in incorporating all these key elements in their Human Capital Analytics approach.

Overall Measures:
  • Robust Human Capital Model which ensures that the HR function is involved in developing, implementing and measuring the organizational strategy
  • HR Dashboard used to track progress on HR Strategy and the measurements used to detail performance
  • HR Technology and Tools used for capturing accurate data for business needs and utilization of this data for decision making.
  • Process of measuring contribution at primarily 3 levels – organizational (in terms of human capital cost efficiency and ROI), functional / business unit level (contribution of human capital to the unit’s productivity) and human capital management (in terms of effectiveness of the HR department, employee turnover and other related metrics).
  • Competency of the HR Professional in Human Capital Analytics (e.g. use of Human Capital Analytics by the HR Professional in their daily working, HR people with HR Analytics skills)
  • Trainings undertaken for business management in HR Analytics and its usage
  • Initiatives undertaken to educate stakeholders in Human Capital Analytics
  • Usage of HR Analytics by the top management
  • Usage of HR Analytics by business managers


Diversity & Inclusion is the collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes for example, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences and behaviors.

It has three primary dimensions -

  • Internal dimensions of diversity, such as age, sexual orientation, race and gender.
  • External dimensions of diversity, such as religion, marital status, income and educational background.
  • Organizational dimensions of diversity, such as work location, function, seniority and management status.

This Award therefore recognizes companies that have adopted and implemented policies and practices to build in and promote diversity and inclusion. It seeks to reward the thought process that the "culture of inclusion" has become a business imperative.

Overall Measures:
  • Effective implementation of a proactive strategy in Diversity (for Gender, Generation, Culture, Physical Disabilities and so on)
  • Financial and resource investments for diversity initiatives
  • Process of measuring Diversity ROI, either through impact on the bottom line or the top line.
  • Employee perception Audits and Surveys conducted
  • Increase in organization’s market share, profits and customer satisfaction in diverse market niches or geographical regions
  • Diversity ratio and workforce composition at senior leadership levels and at the time of promotions
  • Performance metrics defined for managers, for diverse teams
  • Focus on resolving perception based differences in performance ratings for different employee groups (e.g. women and men) undergoing similar talent development trainings
  • Availability of infrastructure that is suitable for all employee groups
  • Regular employee survey to assess employee perception of inclusion in the organization
  • Diversity initiatives covering different areas of HR – Hiring, Training, Employee Communication, Engagement, Grievance Redressal, Flexible Policies
  • Focus on increasing diversity in the Supplier base (e.g. empaneling high quality minority suppliers as a business practice).
  • Demonstrate formal or informal leadership by embracing inclusion through positive interactions


The Community Impact award showcases organizations which have created a significant impact on community through their sustainable social initiatives, particularly in the people realm. It seeks to recognize the commitment of these firms in creating a balanced approach between economic growth and profits on one hand, and community development related initiatives aimed at creating higher societal value on the other.

The areas of impact can range at the micro level, from improving the quality of life for communities that their businesses are operating in, to driving financial empowerment and enterprise development at the macro level. The sectors can vary from Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Livelihood-related training and so on. 

The essence of the Award is to recognize the spirit of being responsible as a corporate entity, towards contributing to solutions for identified social concerns by utilizing the organization’s own financial and people resources.

Overall Measures:
  • Metrics used to measure the Community Impact (and Societal Value) of the initiatives, over a predefined timeframe.
  • New initiatives added in the past 3-5 years, to which budgeted funds have been allocated
  • Financial and people investments made in this area
  • Process used to track accountability of funded programs through regular measurement and reporting of outcomes.
  • Initiatives undertaken to increase Employee Involvement in the Community programs supported by the organization.
  • Initiatives to develop community networks, facilitated/led by the organizations that are self-sustaining.


Developing the Leaders of Tomorrow requires a different kind of approach as compared to the leadership development frameworks that organizations typically have. The need of the market is to have a holistic LEADER development approach, which focuses on elements such as sustainability, a global mindset, value system based on ethics, accountability and so on.

This award therefore seeks to recognize organizations which have been implementing best/next practices/programs in this area in order to develop their potential leaders (3 to 5 years) or emerging leaders (roles which are a level below the CXO roles), for roles which are new and far more challenging than those in the past, due to the rapid market changes.

Overall Measures:
  • Growth in the number/percentage of potential and emerging leaders identified in-house for future roles
  • Quality and diversity of developmental projects/initiatives provided to potential leaders
  • Parameters used to measure business and strategic impact of these programs
  • Evaluation approach identified to assess the performance of the identified future leaders in roles which require them to demonstrate the requisite attributes.
  • Financial and people related investments made in programs and practices in this area.
  • Retention of high potential leadership talent that has been identified through this process.


Talent Acquisition is a critical component of any organizations HR strategy. These practices determine the manpower that enters and eventually runs the organization machinery and have an important impact on the employer brand and perceived employee value proposition.

First impressions are often lasting impressions; and thus, the talent sourcing and staffing practice is critical in creating that undying impact on prospective and new hires. This practice also has an immense impact on the organizations’ topline and bottom line as both are ultimately driven by the employees.

This award, therefore, recognizes organizations that have instituted excellent practices in the field of talent sourcing and staffing and have elevated the talent acquisition lifecycle (sourcing, hiring, and onboarding) to a highly productive level.

Overall Measures:
  • Presence of a comprehensive and proactive sourcing strategy aligned to business needs
  • Variety of approaches used to source talent
  • Use of effective performance metrics to track success of the talent sourcing and staffing process- time to hire, cost per hire, hire yield ratio etc.
  • Financial and people related investments made in this area
  • Routine and consistency in the talent sourcing through established norms and detailed guidelines
  • Efforts to reduce overall hiring costs through well-crafted and automated processes
  • Favorable Employee feedback, through employee satisfaction scores
  • Building the Employer brand and the ability to position itself as the “employer of choice”.


A learning organization is one which promotes and enhances continuous learning of its employees in order to remain competitive. Learning and knowledge acquisition encourage critical thinking and experimentation resulting in improved employee contributions over time.

This award therefore seeks to recognize organizations with demonstrated success in learning initiatives that include training, development and knowledge management. Learning includes acquisition of knowledge (tacit & explicit), skills, behaviors or competencies which are critical for organizational success.

Overall Measures:
  • Opportunities provided to employees for development – in-house and external training programs conducted, sponsoring employee higher education, etc.
  • Quality and diversity of training available to employees
  • Parameters used to measure business and strategic impact of the training programs
  • Use of technology either alone as a supplement to other learning methods or to facilitate learning and transfer of training
  • Evaluation approach used to assess the improvement in performance of the employees who have undergone training (Lead and the Lag measures)
  • Evaluating the extent to which such initiatives have benefitted the organization in terms of better productivity, attracting better talent, retention, etc.
  • Extent to which learning and development is used in change management and OD.
  • Financial and people related investments made in L&D initiatives
  • Partnerships with academic institutions to provide basic skills training, develop customized programs etc.


This award seeks to recognize organizations that understand the linkage of employee health to business productivity. These have proactively identified or designed specific health and wellness programs which can support the needs of their employee segments.

The initiatives that can be covered under these go beyond insurance plans. These can be onsite healthcare facilities or online health assessment tools, programs and information providers for healthy lifestyles, regular medical employee health screening camps, wellness and nutrition coaching/ counseling, tie-ups with any hospitals, club or gym memberships, women’s health, stress management counseling. The programs for senior leadership can also be included in this category.

Within the gamut of this award, will also be healthcare support provided to disabled employees or those who have been injured while at work, assistance provided to those who have a dependency on tobacco or alcohol, suffering from obesity. In inclusive and forward thinking organization, this could also involve counseling related to raising awareness in HIV/AIDS.

Overall Measures:
  • Number and frequency of the health and wellness employee initiatives.
  • Range (wide/diverse) of initiatives provided from the list shared above (and any others) and provisions made under each of these.
  • Investment made (financial and people) in employee health and wellness related programs
  • Parameters used to measure the satisfaction, usage and value of these programs to the employees and percentage of employees covered by these programs
  • External partnerships and tie-ups for the programs
  • Organization culture and Infrastructural changes made to incorporate these programs
  • Any process used to track the positive business impact of these programs


Leveraging HR Technology is the extent to which organizations are able to effectively use technology to drive and deliver organizational / HR goals in order to gain competitive advantage. It seeks to transform the role of HR from merely administrative and operational to a more consultative and strategic one.

The key elements that are important for Leveraging HR Technology in an organization are those that facilitate the digitization of HR processes which include the scale and depth of technology implementation, the ease with which HR data can be accessed and analyzed, whether automation has facilitated alignment of HR goals with business goals, and ensuring that it is a process of continuous improvement rather than a one-time intervention.

This award therefore recognizes the ability of the organization in incorporating all these key elements to make their internal HR processes more efficient and also better align their HR goals to business goals.

Overall Measures:
  • Number of HR processes automated and number of business units/ locations covered
  • HR Dashboard used to track progress on effectiveness of HR automation and the measurements used to detail performance
  • Technology and Tools used for automation of HR processes and effectively using them to achieve organizational objectives
  • Process of measuring contribution at primarily 3 levels:
    • Organizational Level (extent to which use of technology helped align HR goals with business goals)
    • Functional / Business Unit Level (extent to which digitization of HR processes led to improvement in the unit’s productivity)
    • Individual Employee Level (in terms of increased employee/manager self-service)
  • Transitioning HR roles from mainly administrative to consultative and strategic – as perceived both by HR and business
  • Financial & people related investments made
  • Initiatives undertaken to educate stakeholders and ensure smooth transition from manual to automated HR processes
  • Usage of HR technology by senior leaders
  • Usage of HR technology by business managers
  • Usage of HR technology by employees


Managing the hybrid workplace is the process by which an organization facilitates and manages the change from working in a complete physical office environment to a mix of physical and remote working environment – referred to as a hybrid work format. A remote workspace can be defined as an environment where employees work away from company premises and communicate with their respective workplaces via telephone and/or computer devices.

The key elements that are important for managing hybrid workplaces are those that help employees to adjust to the new work ethic and provide the organization with methodologies that ensure business continuity, while delivering high levels of economic value to the business.

With an emphasis on a solutions-based approach, this award category focusses on critical elements organisations have explored to successfully manage a hybrid organization, including; leadership styles, effectiveness of virtual working teams (Local & Global), communication, technology and related infrastructure, training & people development.

This Award recognizes the effort, ability, systems & processes set up by HR in incorporating all these key elements in their approach.

Overall Measures:
  • Key measures to ensure continuous communication and employee motivation & engagement.
  • Communicating and managing the change effectively with all stakeholders, providing support wherever needed.
  • Key measures taken to ensure that employees continue to perform at or better than physical working levels:
    • Providing necessary technology & Infrastructure for remote employees
    • Providing training for skills upgrade
  • Measures taken to increase Organizational Effectiveness:
    • Designing a roadmap for digital transformation
    • Measures taken to upgrade technology / move to newer collaborating tools
    • Cost saving measures
    • Policy changes to deal with new work ethic
  • Building a culture that embraces technology and is open to change/ transformation, resulting in making the employees and organization more adaptable and agile.
  • Reimaging the way an organization positions itself against competition, benchmarking against industry trends & best practices

Eligibility Criteria for participation in the Awards

Participation is open to the following organizations:
  • Participation is open to both SHRM members as well as SHRM non-members
  • Industry: Firms operating in any of the industry segments within the categories of Services, Manufacturing and Agriculture
  • Origin:
    • Indian organizations – Multinational corporations, family owned business houses which have domestic and/or international operations
    • Foreign owned Multinational corporations, their captives and MNC third-party players with operations in India that cater to both domestic and export markets
    • Organisations with set up in South Asia: In case organizations based in South Asia apply for the awards, they would need to specify the country of operation.

  • Legal status:
    • Private sector
    • Public sector enterprise

  • Participating organizations should preferably have sound financial performance in the past 3 years
  • The SHRM Awards 2021 will look at awarding Initiatives / Projects that are initiated/ implemented during the FY 2020 – 21 i.e. 1st April, 2020 to 31st March, 2021 or its equivalent thereof.
  • The Initiatives / Projects shared in the Application form should be completely executed or should be an ongoing initiative/project. No initiatives in the planning/ conceptualizing stage may be mentioned.
  • The Awards Management has the right to ask for documentary proof of information provided/ audit the information shared.
  • The Awards Management holds the right to disqualify any application which does not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • If at any time, any information provided by the nominating organisation is found to be incorrect in any manner, the nominating organisation will be disqualified from the Awards process.
  • To enable equal representation of large and small to medium sized companies, and achieve an objective comparison, two categories have been created. However, separate assessment of the applications category wise will only be carried out if there are sufficient applications in that category, else all the applications will be reviewed together in an award category.
For the purpose of these awards MSME is defined as under: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are classified in two Classes:

(a) Manufacturing Enterprises - The enterprises engaged in the manufacture or production of goods pertaining to any industry
(b) Service Enterprises - The enterprises engaged in providing or rendering of services

Manufacturing Sector
Enterprises Investment in Plant & Machinery
Micro Enterprises Does not exceed twenty five lakh rupees
Small Enterprises More than twenty five lakh rupees but does not exceed five crore rupees
Medium Enterprises More than five crore rupees but does not exceed ten crore rupees
Service Sector
Enterprises Investment in Equipment
Micro Enterprises Does not exceed ten lakh rupees:
Small Enterprises More than ten lakh rupees but does not exceed two crore rupees
Medium Enterprises More than two crore rupees but does not exceed five core rupees

Application Process

Step 1: Register for the SHRM HR Awards 2021 by sending across a duly filled, signed and stamped copy of the Declaration Form to our official awards mailbox - [email protected]. You may also reach out to this email address for any clarifications.
Download Declaration Form
Step 2: Request the SHRM team for an invoice depending on the categories you have applied for. All applicants would need to make a one-time (non - refundable) Application Fee based on the number of categories the organization wishes to participate in.

1 Category


Award Application Fee

2 Categories


Award Application Fee

3 Categories


Award Application Fee

4 Categories


Award Application Fee

*GST Applicable/-

Each Organization can participate in a maximum of 4 award categories.

The payment of the Application fee can be made online by clicking on the below Link:

Make Payment Online

A cheque/ demand draft can also be drawn in favour of Strategic Human Resource Management Pvt. Ltd. or SHRM India Pvt. Ltd and sent across to the SHRM Gurgaon office:

Mr. Mayank Runthla
SHRM India Pvt. Ltd.
1507, 15th Floor, Tower-D, Global Business Park, M.G. Road, Sector-26
Opp. Guru Dronacharya Metro Station
Gurgaon - 122002 (Haryana)
Step 3: Download the Application forms for the specific Award categories, you wish to apply, from the links below. Fill out the details required for your respective Application Forms and send it to us at [email protected]. You can also attach supporting documents of maximum 15 pages/slides for a particular Award category. These collaterals will be accepted only in the form of PPT, PDF or WORD documents. No excel formats, links hyperlinked in text will be accepted. This year, Applicants will also have the option to submit a video of up to 5 min to support their application. This video needs to talk specifically about the intervention/ practice been showcased and should not be a generic one.
Download Application form for the following award categories:
All applications must be sent through an official email address and one single point of contact should send across all forms as well as queries.

Award Registrations Open – 28th May, 2021.

Last date to accept nominations and pay the Application fee - 28th September, 2021

Last date to submit completed Application forms – 1st October, 2021

The completed Application forms (soft copy) should reach the SHRM Mailbox - [email protected] not later than 5:00 pm on 1st October, 2021.

Evaluation Process

All Applications will be put through a three - level evaluation process:
1. Level 1 - Evaluation Round: 2nd - 5th October, 2021
Evaluating all application submissions.
2. Level 2 - Jury Round: 6th - 13th October, 2021
Application forms will be reviewed on various parameters, by the jury. They will arrive at a list of shortlisted finalists which will proceed to the Final presentation round.
3. Final Jury Presentation Round: 9th - 10th November, 2021
The finalists that emerge through the Level 2 evaluation, would be required to make a presentation to the Final Jury Panel on either of the above mentioned dates. A senior representative from the shortlisted organization would need to make the final presentation and respond to any questions the jury may have. All applicants will be informed via email if they have been shortlisted or not. Respective organisation representatives would accordingly need to make themselves available. The winners of the SHRM HR Awards will be announced and awarded at the SHRM India Annual Conference, scheduled on 2- 3 December 2021.
Evaluation Parameters
The jury will be evaluating participating organizations on three broad parameters:

  • Innovation in the Initiative: This parameter evaluates the originality in the said HR initiative/process. An innovative practice or system is one, which is highly unusual, creative and unique to the company’s culture and overall strategy.

    This encompasses innovation in the design, delivery mechanisms, implementation and tracking of the system/process. It also includes original communication campaigns and design of metrics around it.

  • Impact on Stakeholders: This parameter evaluates the business and strategic impact of the said HR initiative. An impactful system/ process is one, which involves a variety of stakeholders in its design and implementation and is of immense satisfaction, usage and value to the target audience.

    Recognition of the system/process in external and internal forums and tracking of metrics showcasing its success are also encompassed in this parameter.

  • Sustainability and Scalability: This parameter talks of the routine and consistency in the said HR initiative. A sustainable and scalable system/process is one, which has detailed norms and guidelines, attached to it and improves itself basis feedback and audits.

    Financial, people, organization culture or infrastructure related investments and changes as well as communication and branding of the system/process contribute in making it sustainable and scalable.