Human Resources Awards Blog

3 Tips on Best HR Practices, From a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, May 18, 2012 @ 10:19 AM

John Hovnanian, Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Talent Officer at Williams Lea Americas, will Chair the final judging committee for the HR awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. (Final judging is now underway for the 2012 ABAs. 2012 winners will be announced at one of our two awards banquets: June 18th at the Marriott Marquis in New York City or September 17th at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. Click here to order tickets.) Here we speak to human resource awards judge, John Hovnanian, about his top three tips for best practices in human resources.

HR Awards JudgeWhat are your top 3 tips on best practices in HR?

  1. HR is a business of people and should hold a significant place within an organization. At Williams Lea, we are not in the business of making widgets, we are a people business, and so HR plays a strategic role in the company.

  2. One of the most important functions of an HR department is to ensure that the company is a great place to work.   It should provide opportunities for employees—and therefore the organization—to grow.

  3. An HR department should have a set of values and goals that everyone can believe in and commit to. At Williams Lea, we have established five guiding principles:
  • We are one integrated, aligned team
  • We are students of the business
  • We foster a strong customer-service culture
  • We value our diversity and are respectful of each other
  • We balance the need to think things through and have a consensus as a department with the pace of the business

Do you have a favorite app?
I read The New York Times online every morning on my phone, which keeps me abreast of everything that’s happening in the world.  Apart from that, I use Map My Run, as I run at least three times a week. I bring my phone with me on the run and it plots my course and my time. It also records my workouts and is a great app for helping me keep fit.

Who inspires you as a leader and why?
John F. Kennedy set a vision in place that had a lasting effect. He put a stake in the ground at the beginning of a decade and declared that we would land a man on the moon—something that had never been done before—and he inspired an entire generation to achieve that goal.

When you’re not at the office, what are you up to?
My wife, Marylou, and I were married in November. At the weekend, we like to take my Harley-Davidson out for a long Sunday-afternoon ride through the country and find a nice place to stop for lunch. Or we’ll go for a hike with our dog, Phin. Marylou is a professional photographer, so she takes amazing pictures of our adventures.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Musician. In fact, I’ve been both a professional and semi-professional musician for 30 years. I play bass, rhythm, and lead guitar, and I sing. I’ve played in R&B bands, big horn bands, and rock bands. I’ve opened for bands like Blue Öyster Cult and The Marshall Tucker Band, and even played Woodstock in 1999. Currently, I’m in the process of recording a rock ’n’ roll jam album with a friend of mine. Our sound is along the lines of The Allman Brothers Band.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The people. It’s the people who make a company and at Williams Lea everyone is working towards a common goal. There is an inherent lack of selfishness in everyone who works here that’s both exciting and infectious. The company works as a team.

About John Hovnanian:
John Hovnanian leads the Human Resources Department of Williams Lea Americas in New York. Prior to his current role, John spent several years at DHL serving as the Americas Region Vice President of Human Resources for DHL Global Forwarding (DGF), Vice President of Human Resources for North America, and as the Director of Human Resources for DHL Express. In addition to DHL, John has worked as an HR executive for several other major U.S. corporations, including The Hartford and Pitney Bowes. John holds a Master's degree in labor relations and HR management from the University of New Haven in Connecticut, and a Bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.

About Williams Lea:
The Williams Lea Group is a leading global business-process outsourcing (BPO) organization specializing in corporate-information solutions that re-engineer end-to-end business processes. By combining its expertise with the latest integrated technology, Williams Lea is able to develop solutions that transform the way organizations communicate and exchange their printed and electronic information. The Williams Lea Group employs approximately 10,500 staff around the globe, with key centers in EMEA, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. Williams Lea works with many of the world’s most respected brands in sectors such as financial services, retail, FMCG, telecoms, investment banking, automotive, pharmaceutical, professional services, and public sectors. For more information, visit

Tags: hr awards, human resource awards, John Hovnanian, Williams Lea, judging, American business awards

3 HR Awards Categories in The International Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 @ 01:26 PM

There are 3 HR awards categories The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, to help you showcase your organization's successes. (All organizations and individuals worldwide may submit nominations. The entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs is 16 May, request your entry kit here.)The Stevie Awards

Our human resource awards categories include: 

Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories include:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since January 1 2011,
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated department or team of up to 100 words, and
  • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

The 8th Annual International Business Awards were presented in October 2011 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. 2011 HR award honorees included:  

2012 honorees will be celebrated at the 9th annual awards banquet on Monday, 15 October in Seoul, South Korea.

Need tips for submitting
human resource award entries? Download our 10 Tips for Winning HR Awards in the 2012 Stevie® Awards tipsheet. Our tipsheet will provide helpful tips and tools for making the most out of your entries.  

Tags: hr awards, hr award, human resource awards, human resource award, Human Resources Department of the Year, Human Resources Team of the Year, Human Resources Executive of the Year, business awards, International business awards

Five Tips for Winning HR Awards in The 2012 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 09:28 AM

The entry deadline for 2012 (10th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., is this Wednesday, March 28. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and you will receive it right away.

To make the most out of your HR awards entries, we suggest the following five tips:

The Stevie Awards1. Review the business awards categories.
There are three award categories that are specifically labeled as human resource awards:

We have several other human resources award categories including:

  • App Awards categories include Professional Education and Training
  • Live Event Awards categories include Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event and Best Sales Meeting
  • Video Awards categories include Internal/Employee Communications, Motivational, Orientation, and Training, among others
  • Website Awards categories include Best Training Site and Best Video Site

2. Review the entry submission criteria.
Make sure your HR award entries include all required submission information.

3. Download our 10 Tips for Winning HR Awards in the 2012 Stevie® Awards tipsheet.
Our tipsheet will provide helpful tips and tools for making the most out of your entries.  

4.  Watch our video, How to Enter The 2012 American Business Awards.
Get step-by-step instruction on how to submit your 2012 entries.

5. Contact us!
We love to answer your last minute questions. Contact us at and we'll help direct you to categories that are right for your organization.

Looking for more ways to connect with the Stevies?
Join us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn for the latest ABA updates.

Tags: hr awards, hr award, hr department of the year, human resource awards, human resource award, business awards, app awards, live event awards, video awards, website awards, American business awards

6 Strategies for Strengthening Workforce, From HR Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 @ 06:22 PM

Accenture Services Ltd of India won a Stevie® Award for Human Resources Department of the Year in the HR awards categories of The 2011 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards  program. (The 2012 IBAs are now open for entries. We invite all organizations and individuals worldwide to submit entries by the April 11 early-bird deadline for discounted entry fees; you can request your entry kit here.)

Accenture LogoAccenture Services is a global management, technology services, and outsourcing company. In 2010, Accenture's human resource department implemented a new initiative- The Human Capital Strategy - to support workforce engagement and strengthen business.  The human resource award winning department focused on six strategies:

1. Recruit Talent
One major focus of the HR department was hiring talented employees. The new initiative allowed the HR department to:

  • Source 6 resumes every minute,
  • Conduct 170 interviews per hour, and
  • Offer 2 new employee orientation sessions each day.

2. Develop Leadership
As part of The Human Capital Strategy, Accenture's human resource awards winning department placed a large focus on developing the talent of its leaders. Accenture now offers tailored development programs, certification programs for new managers, and hosts business information seminars to strengthen leadership.

3. Give Back to Employees
In addition to offering educational opportunities, the team introduced personal development programs including employee recognition programs, free career counseling, and vacation balance sharing to keep employees engaged.

4. Focus on Client Needs
The Human Capital Strategy also places a strong emphasis on client needs through employee development. The HR award winner was able to:

  • Increase  market facing capacity by staffing 40% additional senior executives,
  • Provide a  sales academy to employees to increase customer satisfaction and sales,
  • Deliver technology boot-camp for targeted employees, and
  • Collaborate with leading universities/institutes to deliver higher education programs.

5. Integrate Global Offices
The Human Capital Strategy was not only adopted in the India office but globally as well. The HR strategy provides cross-business career opportunities, promotes integration across geographies, and encourages employees to take advantage of internal social media platforms as means to connect with other employees.

6. Update Processes
The HR department of the year also restructured several processes including performance excellence methodologies and the HR organization structure. In addition to these changes, Accenture was able to hire more than 200 new employees and advance more than 125 current employees.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, with nearly 245,000 employees serving customers in more than 120 countries. Accenture collaborates with organizations and governments across the globe to help them become high-performance businesses through their unparalleled services, business capabilities and research methods. During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Accenture generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion.

Tags: hr awards, hr award, hr department of the year, human resource awards, human resource award, business awards, International business awards, Accenture, Human Resource Department of the Year