Hello PPMA members and friends

On Friday, 9 July, I had the privilege of judging The MJ Award for Workforce Transformation along with my fellow judges Tom Black and Anthony Francis, from Hammond Clarke, Caroline Nugent HR Director at Financial Ombudsman and past president of PPMA, Shawna Gleeson, Deputy HR Director at Manchester City Council and joint PPMA Peer of the Year 2020. Unfortunately, the final member of our judging panel, Charles Obazuaye from London Borough of Bromley and PPMA Ambassador wasn’t able to make it because of a last minute work commitment. I would also like to give a special shout out to Leatham Green our Executive Director, who hosted and organised the day.

This was a tough category to judge since there are always lots of entries for this award and this year there were even more than usual with 25 entries in total, all showcasing the great work that public service and HR teams have been doing over the last couple of years.

A few weeks ago, I read through all 25 submissions and with great difficulty, managed to whittle it down to 12 entries and then with the help of Leatham, we managed to identify our six finalists – London Borough of Harrow, London Borough of Hounslow, North Tyneside Council, Somerset County Council, South Kesteven District Council and Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council. Below is a snapshot of the finalists from The MJ Awards 2021 brochure with a brief overview of each entry.

We had a diverse range of entries relating to workforce transformation and I’m pleased to say it wasn’t completely dominated by Covid 19. The Pandemic has of course been responsible for many changes, but there has also been lots of great transformation work done despite this.

All 25 submissions demonstrated great engagement with their workforces and powerful stories of change and transformation. There were some great examples of innovation as well, with Portsmouth City Council developing a digital work bulletin with online content and you tube videos to maintain the fun and engagement with staff during the pandemic; Aberdeenshire Council created a bespoke digital platform to allow staff to work remotely, but effectively manage, support and deploy a humanitarian hub during the pandemic for its residents; Swansea Council showcased a new homes project building energy efficient homes with a workforce that provided over 60 apprenticeships; and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Services combined their services with the help of innovative ICT and telephony, to enable the effective joining of both services staff to work as one coherent service.

Because of this great work, the above 4 organisations were COMMENDED, but didn’t make our final six. Each one has a great story to tell, but what also struck us, was the strong level of workforce engagement they had from top to bottom and the way they outlined the benefits that their transformations brought, to not only their workforce, but the wider communities they serve.

At the end of the day there can only be one winner though, but you will have to wait for the announcement on 17 September when The MJ are hosting an awards ceremony at London’s Hilton Hotel.

Congratulations to all of the finalists for this Workforce Transformation award, as well all of the other MJ Award category finalists, we wish you the best of luck for the finals on 17th September.

As I said earlier, it was a privilege to judge the work of these incredible public service organisations and I know from the record number of entries we received for our own PPMA Excellence in People Management Awards 2021 that there are many more examples of fantastic work that’s happened over the last couple of years and I hope that you will join us on 14 & 15 September at our virtual conference when we will be announcing many of the winners.

Steve Davies

PPMA President