New human resources award launched

The Cayman Islands Society of Human Resources Professionals launched a new initiative to recognise 10 exemplary employers last week at the Marriott Beach Resort.

human resources

Director Ahisha Bodden; Treasurer Marco Miranda; Director Milly Serpell; Vice President Samantha Nehra; and Immediate Past President Stacey VanDevelde. Missing from the photo is Director Anna Pereira-Johnson. Photo: Alan Markoff

Society president Philip Jackson explained what the award was all about.

‘Being a top employer doesn’t necessarily mean you pay the best salaries or provide the coolest perks and benefits; it goes much further than that,’ he said. ‘It means the majority of employees wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work each day.’

The definition of a top employer in relation to the award was, according to Mr. Jackson, a workplace where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do and enjoy the people with whom they work.

‘That definition allows a great workplace to be measured by the quality of three relationships: The relationship between employees and management; the relationship between employees and other employees; and the relationship between employees and their jobs,’ he said.

Mr. Jackson said the competition was open to applicants from the public, private and non-profit sectors as long as an organisation had at least 10 employees.

The application process entails filling out and submitting an application with a $300 fee before 30 November. A survey will then be sent to all employees.

The application fee will go towards funding a scholarship for someone to pursue a master’s degree in human resources or an MBA.

Mr. Jackson said all information received on the applications and in the employee surveys would be kept confidential and that only he and the three judges would have access to them.

The competition will be judged by a panel consisting of one local judge and two overseas judges with experience in similar programmes. Phillip Scott, the head of the Investors in People programme in Cayman, will serve as the local judge.

Nine workplace elements will be scored, including physical environment; work atmosphere and camaraderie; compensation and benefits; management practice; employee communications; performance management; learning and development; community involvement; and diversity.

Seventy-five per cent of the points awarded in the various categories will come from the employee survey results, with the balance coming from the application.

‘The primary goal of the award programme is to make the Cayman Islands a better place to work,’ Mr. Jackson said. ‘In the end, a better workplace for employees means a better place for our clients and a better global ranking for the Cayman islands as a place to do business.’

AGM results

Immediately prior to launching its Top Employer initiative, the CISHPR held its annual general meeting.

Four officers, including Mr. Jackson, Immediate Past President Stacey VanDevelde, Vice President Samantha Nehra and Secretary Morven Bodden retained their positions automatically for another year.

Mr. Jackson said he had achieved four out of the eight goals he has during his two-year tenure as president, with the top employer award being one of them, along with providing a scholarship for study in the field of HR; introducing a certificate in HR studies and partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and the University College of the Cayman Islands to review, develop and deliver HR courses.

Still on his agenda before he steps down as president is to implement a human resources mentoring programme; to introduce a Member of the Year Award; to gain affiliation with an international human resources association; and to establish national standards for the profession and have the CISHRP act as the registering body for every human resources practitioner in the Cayman Islands.

In the AGM’s elections, four directors’ spots and the treasurer position were subject to voting. The treasurer position was vacant because long-time CISHRP member Mario Ebanks decided to retire from the board after 10 years of service.

‘He’s a founding father and we’re sad to see him go,’ said Mrs. VanDevelde.

The CISHRP members elected Ahisha Bodden, Milly Serpell, Ceili Fitzgerald and Anna Pereira-Johnson to the vacant directors’ posts and Marco Miranda to the treasurer position.