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CII National HR Excellence Award

  • About Award
  • Recognition Methodology
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Application Process
  • Award Assessment Process
  • Evaluation Process
  • Award Model
The Core Belief… Underlying thrust of the CII HR Excellence Award system is that the companies do not compete against each other but against the HR Award Model Criteria and hence the scoring is absolute and not relative.
CII-HR Excellence Award Model is based on the CII-Exim Bank Excellence Award encompassing all aspects of human resource management and acts as a practical tool for
1) Self- Assessment by measuring the current status and thus identifying the gaps to stimulate solutions.
2) As a framework to position various HR initiatives and identify gaps.
3) A basis to develop a common understanding of various terms used in the HR Management.

The model can be effectively used as a framework to position HR initiatives, measure current status, and identify gaps to stimulate solutions. Through this model, CII aims to help improve HR performance practices and capabilities by providing objective feedback for improvement while also facilitating communication and sharing of best practices and information within and among organizations.

The HR Excellence Award aims to achieve the following:

1) To help improve Human Resources and performance practices, capabilities, by providing objective feedback for improvement to each applicant.
2)To facilitate communication and sharing of information in best practices within and among organizations of all types
3) To recognize organizations for Excellence in Human Resources practices and programs.
Levels of Recognition
There are four levels of recognition, starting from the commendation certificate for strong commitment and going up to the Award. These levels signify the various milestones which the Organizations can aim for as they progress on their journey towards achieving HR Excellence. Therefore, Organizations at different levels of competitiveness can benefit from participating in the Award process.


HR Excellence Award – Presented to the Organization judged to be the best among the prize winners and role model of HR Excellence.

Prizes – Awarded to Organizations that demonstrate Excellence in development & Management of human resources through continuous improvement – the leaders.

Commendation Certificates – These certificates are given to Organizations, which have made good progress on their journey towards HR Excellence but fall short of the level attained by the prize winners, the criterion is to be decided by the Jury. Awards & Recognition Presentation Ceremony would be held to recognize HR Excellence Award winner, prize winners and commendation certificate awardees. The following outlines the benefits to all applicants and winning companies.

All Organizations operating in India are eligible to apply for the Award. The applicant must be actively in business at least for the past three years.

A) Organisations having multiple businesses in different sectors cannot apply under a single umbrella. All their businesses need to apply separately as different entities / units.

B) Only Organisations having multiple businesses in the same sector / domain are eligible to apply as a single entity

* The above guideline is to ensure value add of the assessments as well as to maintain the sanctity of the recognitions, spread of the units and the sampling of units considering the complexity of the Organisation and the maturity of processes.
The process for submitting an application can be broken into the following steps:
1. Read the application brochure to gain an overall understanding of the purpose of the criteria, scoring rationale and application process
2. Meet with HR staff to assign responses to each aspect of the criteria
3. Develop draft response to each aspect of the criteria of the Model
4. Edit and develop final overall response to each aspect from the drafts
5. Submit overall Application Document as per format

Application Requirements
Applicants will submit an application package that consists of:
1. The Position Report (Requirements explained elsewhere) – Seven Copies
2. Application Fee as applicable.
3. Site visit is part of the review process. Expenses for the site visit (Travel, Boarding & Lodging, local travel regarding site visit, both at site location and assessor location – ex travel to airport/ railway station) will be borne by the applicant.

Assessment Process
Stage 1 – Assessment of each application by a team of qualified assessors followed by the site visit.
Stage 2 – Submission of report by the assessors.
Stage 3 – Review by distinguished Jury to determine award recipients
Stage 4 – Feedback to applicants

Award Process
1. First time Applicant Organisations are required to depute a Senior HR Functionary for the Assessor Training with a minimum of 10 years of experience without which the Applicant will not be eligible for an onsite visit. (Subject to the position report being cleared for adequacy).

2. All participating Organisations are required to nominate at least one resource as an Assessor for the Award Assessment process (Minimum of 10 years of Experience is a requirement) to ensure adequate bandwidth to run the Award process as an active stakeholder.

3. Onsite assessments are mandatory for Organisations who are in the band of 550+ aiming for a Prize / Award. Phygital assessments are a minimum, in case of any restrictions owing to uncertainty.

4. Assessors and Senior Assessors for any Applicant (working professionals and Freelancers) are assigned based on multiple considerations and complexities including team dynamics, experience, expertise etc. Except for genuine conflict of interest reasons, the decision of the Award Admin is final for the team constitution.

5. Kindly note that Assessment is a point of view. The process does not allow any review of the scores / recognition band nor contesting the findings of the assessment at any point of time citing internal/ external assessments or historical data. However, all stakeholders are welcome to share their feedback which will be used as inputs for process refinement.

Feedback Process
All applicants who complete the HR Excellence Awards process will receive the feedback report covering strengths, opportunities for improvement and score profile against each of the criteria.

Each application will be reviewed by a Panel of Assessors. All applicants will be subjected to a site visit. The applicant will be required to facilitate an open and unbiased examination. Any applicant selected to receive recognition agrees to share non-proprietary information on its performance, practices and capabilities. An applicant can indicate in its application document or during the site visit that certain information is proprietary in nature. The CII, members of the Panel of Assessors and the Jury agree to keep such designated information as confidential, except as may be required by law or order of a court. Members of the Panel of Assessors and the Jury sign Non-disclosure agreement to hold in confidence such proprietary information obtained in the course of assessment process for the award.
SL NO Process Explanation
1 Registration Potential applicants fill in the online registration form or share the same by email Website: www.ciihrexcellenceaward.com
3 Applicant Submits Documents Applicant sends the 50 page (maximum) application document to CII on successful completion of the complimentary Assessor Training Workshop.
2 Selection of Assessors Senior Managers from Industry are selected as Assessors. They should have undergone an intensive 3 days HR excellence assessment programme on understanding the award criteria & assessment process.
4 Assessment, Consensus Scoring and Site Visit Assessor team is appointed for each applicant. Assessors individually list strengths / opportunities for improvement and score as a part of self study. Team assembles at site to reach consensus score followed by the Site Visits to check the validity of application and clarify issues. Applications are re-scored and reports finalized. (Typically the whole process lasts for 3 to 4 days.)
5 Jury Meeting (National Level) Based on reports from site-visit teams, Jurors decide on the winners of the Award, Prizes and Commendation Certificates
6 Feedback Report Senior Assessors (leaders of the Assessment team) write Feedback Reports to all applicants identifying the strengths/opportunities for improvement. Score- ranges are also given for each criterion. On request, Senior Assessor visits applicant to discuss feedback report.
7 Award Presentation The HR Excellence Award, Prizes and Commendations are presented to the winning applicants.
The HR Excellence Model is developed based on Frameworks used in Global Excellence assessments & contemporary models worldwide. Many inputs have alsobeen taken from the emerging HR Trends & India specific compliancerequirements along with inputs from various stakeholders in the Excellence community. Applicants will be assessed as per the CII–HR Excellence Model, as shown below:


The Applicant organization is scored on a scale 0 to 1000 points using the CII-HR Excellence Model. The six boxes in the model correspond to the criteria, used to assess the applicant Organization’s progress towards HR Excellence.

The Results criterion is concerned with what the Organization has achieved & is achieving. The Enablers criteria are concerned with how the results are being achieved.

Assessment Scoring System
Scoring will be done as per the OPEL logic explained below:
1. OPEL consists of four elements:
2. Outcomes
3. Processes and Practices
4. Evaluation & Assessments
5. Learning & Innovation

Applying the OPEL Logic
The following are the specific elements of the OPEL that are to be addressed.

This covers with what an Organization has achieved & is achieving. In an excellent Organization, the Relevance & Usability of the results will address the people needs & expectations and are in line with the HR strategy. Additionally, Performance of the results will indicate favorable Trends &/or sustained good performance, Targets for Key Results will be appropriate & would have been met or exceeded,Performance will compare well with comparisons & will have been caused by robust approaches. Criteria 6 alone corresponds to results in HR Excellence Model.

Processes & Practices for Approach
This covers what an Organization plans to do and the reasons for it. In an excellent Organization, the approach will be sound-having a clear rationale with well-defined & developed processes & a clear focus on stakeholders needs. The approach is to be integrated to support HR strategy and policies in line with Organizational purpose & linked to other approaches where appropriate.

Processes & practices for Deployment
This covers what an Organization does to deploy / implement the approach. In an excellent Organization, the approach will be implemented in all relevant areas across employee segments and applicable HR Processes in a systematic way with flexibility built in.

Evaluation & Learning
This covers what an Organization does to evaluate, assess & learn, thereby reviewing both the approach & the deployment. In an excellent Organization, the approach & its deployment will be assessed for regular measurement & thereby generating learning triggers. The review from the measurement, & learning will be used to identify, prioritize, plan & implement improvements/ Innovations to Approaches & Deployment as appropriate.

CII-HR Excellence Model is based on the CII-Exim Bank Excellence Award encompassing all aspects of human resource management and acts as a practical tool for 1) A Self- Assessment model for measuring the current status and thus identify the gaps to stimulate solutions 2) A framework to position various HR initiatives and identify gaps. 3) A basis to develop acommon understanding of various terms used in the HR Management.

The model can be effectively used as a framework to position HR initiatives, measure current status, and identify gaps to stimulate solutions. Through this model, CII aims to help improve HR performance practices and capabilities by providing objective feedback for improvement while also facilitating communication and sharing of best practices and information within and among organizations.

The model assesses organizations on the following parameters:

1Leadership (120 points)

Excellent Organizations have leaders who future proof the Organization with a clear purpose. They create a culture of trust, agility and act as role models. Leaders encourage customer centric behavior, and are flexible, enabling the Organization to anticipate and react in a timely manner to ensure the ongoing success of the Organization balancing needs and expectations of all stakeholders.

Areas to be addressed may cover:

  • How do leaders develop the Org's Vision, Mission Values and Culture and communicate them to all employees, partners (including consultants), stakeholders and customers?

  • How do leaders develop and role model ethics and values which support the creation of the "Agile, Inclusive (Equal Opportunity and Diversity) & collaborative Culture" across the Organization.

  • How do Leaders develop and improve Org structure to support delivery of its strategy and achieve its long -term objectives as well as measure the effectiveness of the Organization structure.

  • How do leaders ensure their accessibility and respond positively to the people?How do they build their Leadership Brand and how they review and enhance the effectiveness of their Leadership behavior?

  • How do leaders engage with people and encourage customer centric behavior by enabling Organization policies and processes to meet the customer stated or unstated needs and expectations.

  • How do leaders encourage and enable people participation and involvement in improvement activities for the benefit of "Environment, Society, People and other stakeholders"?

  • How do leaders involve themselves in recognizing both team and individual efforts, at all levels within the Organization, in a timely and an appropriate manner?


An organization may choose to have a Vison, Mission & Value statements or alternatively have a purpose statement with a code of conduct as appropriate.

Stakeholders may be defined by the Organization based on its operating environment and business context.

2Human Resource Strategy (120 points)

Excellent Organizations implement their Mission and Vision by developing stakeholder focused strategy. They develop and implement people policies, strategies, objectives and processes aligned to the Business strategy considering a holistic picture. They value their people, creating a culture that allows mutually beneficial achievement of Organizational and personal goals.

Areas to be addressed may cover:

  • How does HR ensure that various micro and macro HR related factors in the external environment and ecosystem are collected, collated, and provided with insights while formulating the Organization strategy. How does HR input into formulation of the Organization Strategy for varying time zones (short, Medium, Long)?

  • How does Organization Strategy cascade down to HR strategy factoring people performance indicators across the HR Processes from its management systemto meet the Organizational objectives. How does HR develop & deploy an analytics framework capable to analyze performance levels to assist HR & organization with meaningful insights?

  • How does the HR factor in different aspects like Diverse Business Units, Geographies, Products and Employee Segmentation while arriving at HR Strategy (as applicable)? And how does the Org co-create the long term, midterm, and annual HR Plans. How does HR enable setting of clear goals & objectives for Agility, Innovation & sustainability and set platforms to track progress towards the achievement of goals?

  • How does the Organization define Strategic outcomes linking to prioritized HR Practices and corresponding performance measures with relevant targets and comparisons to achieve its strategic HR Objectives?

  • What are the deployment mechanisms for the HR plans and how are they communicated? (including appropriate resources). How are the deployment and effectiveness of HR plans and its impact on Businessreviewed?

  • How does HR scan the environment (Internal & External) for Strategic HR risks across the time horizons? How does HR prioritize and mitigate the HR Risks. What mechanisms are used to identify blind spots across the business and take necessary actions to overcome the same.

  • Describe the changes in HR strategy formulation process over last few years, along with the reasons and spell out their measurable impact.


The Unit HR Strategy and the Corporate HR Strategy if applicable is to be linkedto the applicant’s business context. Based on the scope and complexity a flair of both may be elaborated to understand the development and implementation of the HR Strategy.

3Learning and Development (120 points)

Excellent Organizations endeavor to create a Learning Organization. They institutionalize a culture of learning to future proof the Organization by developing people capabilities to meet the challenges of the present and future. They leverage the ecosystem to create customized learning experiences aligned to the all segments of people thereby adding value to the business.

Areas to be addressed may cover:

  • What is L&D strategy to enable and enhance the organization's core Vision, Mission and achievement of Strategic Objectives?

  • How does the organization address Talent management? How does it attract & engage prospective employees for learning about the role / career / organization?

  • What practices are employed by the organization for identifying people competencies for the current and future requirements based on Business Scenarios, Employee Segmentation and Overall Employee Expectations/Experiences (OEE)

  • What are the various practices, methods and tools adopted by the organization to develop its people competencies to bridge the identified gap (Based on External trends and soft skills) aligned to meet the short, medium and long- term plans of the Organization)

  • What are the practices deployed by organization to develop people using Internal Training Resources / Subject Matter Experts / external sources / providers of knowledge to meet its L & D requirements?

  • How are people competencies enhanced and leveraged to ensure future employability & mobility across functional, geographical and business requirements?

  • How does organization define its Leadership architecture? How does L&D build its Leadership Capabilities in terms of Roadmaps, Numbers and Quality of Leadership pipeline.

  • How is the Knowledge & Competency of HR staff equipped and leveraged to create and manage future ready workforce?

  • What are the systems and processes deployed to assess and enhance the competencies of people in Business Eco system (eg.Outsourced/Third Party/Specialist associates/Resource Eco System(Recruiters,Security,Legal Consultants etc.) to meet the current and future organization requirements.

  • How does the organization evaluate / measure the effectiveness of L&D interventions with intended Business Outcomes. How is culture of learning institutionalized across the organization to make it a Learning Organization?


People in the Business eco system could include all categories such as on rolls, off rolls, temporary employees, Contract partners, consultants etc. who are involved in adding value to the Organization through their contribution.

Customized learning experiences could include traditional to digital methods, new age learning aids etc. as appropriate based on the operating context and workforce dynamics.

4People Well-being, Engagement & Inclusion (120 points)

Excellent Organizations value their people and strive to create a work environment that caters to varying people requirements.They create infrastructure, systems and processes, a support climate that is inclusive and considers holistic well- being. They understand the needs and expectations, involve and engage people in a way that motivates them, builds commitment leading to a productive Organization.Excellent organizations deliver superioremployee experiences built on employee-centric processes and systems.

Areas to be addressed may cover:

Work Environment:

  • How does the Organization ensure that it provides opportunities by creating an equitable & inclusive environmentas well as encourage a culture of mutual support and team spirit across employee segments, including for those involved in outsourced activities?

  • Describe practices within the Organization related to safe & healthy environment for all people, accessible infrastructure and facilities which support inclusion of everybody’s needs

  • How does the Organization design processes concerning the Management of harmonious Employee Relations at all levels including grievance handling? How are relationships with formal employee representatives/ groups enhanced for mutual value add?

  • How does the organizationcollect ideas from different stakeholders and remain connected to enroll people and engage them in designing programs that promote workplace health, safety and wellbeing?

  • Describe practices in the organization for a Healthy work-life balance considering the reality of a networked world, globalization and new ways of working to balance contrasting needs?

Employee Support Climate:

  • Describe Processes/ Policies in the organization related to benefits (Financial and Non- financial), redeployment, redundancy etc. to sustain people involvement as well as provide cultural training and awareness to build an equitable and sustainable organization (e.g. POSH/ RPWD Act)?

  • How are benefits selected and tailored to the needs of a diverse workforce based on employment conditions, locations, gender etc.?

  • Describe the Organization's practices to ensure that the employee benefits (Financial and Non-Financial) are provided for outsourced employees beyond the statutory requirements, if any?

  • Describe the Organization's policies and practices that help people achieve performance, development and aspirational goals. How does the organization create appropriate recognition platforms for employees such as traditional / virtual / tech enabled ones to recognize their alignmentto the Business goals and objectives, as well as demonstrate desired behaviors which reverberate the organization culture and values?

  • Describe the Processes/ Practices for involving people at different levels in identifying opportunities for improvement and participating in implementation of programs that have an impact on the business and the community at large.

Employee Satisfaction:

  • Describe the formal/ informal measures (like Surveys, focused group discussions, etc.) that are used by the Organization to determine key drivers that impact employee well-being, satisfaction, Communication needs and motivation for different categories of employees?

  • How are indicators such as employee retention, absenteeism, grievances and productivity used to assess and improve work environment, employee support climate, & employee well-being as well as enhance satisfaction and motivation?

Employee Wellness:

  • Describe the Organization’s Wellbeing and Engagement strategy which addresses a spectrum of holistic enablers across physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/ purposeful wellbeing? How do they create awareness on healthy habits, ergonomics, etc. & ensure employee involvement in such activities?

  • How does the Organization design and deploy wellness programs for its employees which focus on holistic wellbeing?


Inclusive companies build a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and are enabled to contribute to the organization's success.

Holistic Wellbeing encompasses the three pillars of physical, mental, emotional needsof people which when met will make people more purposeful and productive leading to a charged Organization.

POSH refers to Prevention of Sexual Harassment.

RPWD refers to the Right of persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

5Human Resources Management Processes/ Practices (120 points)

Excellent Organizations drive management systems through a framework of processes including Key processesthat enable and accelerate performancethrough the business ecosystem. The employee lifecycle processes need to be segmented appropriately to tailor them to the various categories of talent that must be tapped to achieve evolving business needs. A culture of communication with knowledge management would enable creating a culture of Hi performance enabling the achievement of Organizational goals.

Areas to be addressed may cover:

  • Describe the architecture of the HR Processes.How are theKey processes identified? How are processes designed, developed, managed and improved?

  • How does the organization monitor and measure performance of the key HR Processes? How is technology leveraged to enhance the effectiveness of the key HR Processes to deliver outstanding experiences to people?

  • How does Organizationmanage the processes of manpower planning, recruitment, career planning?

  • Describe Policies/Practices of the Org, for socially/economically challenged sections of the society, PWDs (persons with disabilities) and management of diversity and inclusion in recruitment.

  • How does PMS encourage, support and empower individuals and teams to enable a high-performance culture? How is the PMS process designed for people to provide continuous and real-time feedback to enable sustained high performance?

  • Does the Rewards, Recognition, Compensation and Benefits Policy / Practice of the company adopt a Total Reward approach? How are policies and practices designed and implemented to cover various types of Flexi-talent? (benefits for Temporary Staff, Consultants, Fixed Term Contracts etc.)

  • How does the Organization gather information on communication needs and Employer Brand perception (internal, external, social media)? What are the various channels/practices deployed to promote dialogue across levels to effectively address the same?

  • What are the processes that are deployed to gather, consolidate and share knowledge amongst people in the organization? What and how are the knowledge management and transfer processes deployed to ensure smooth transition between different layers of the organization and during transition?


The HR architecture can describe the taxonomy and hierarchy of processes with the details of how the key processes are arrived at. Today employees expect every element of their employee experience, from work to development to rewards, to be accessible and easy to use on their mobile devices.

6Results (400 points)

People Perceptions can be presented on the various attributes which determine the satisfaction of the People on the Organizations processes.

Customer, Supplier,Partner and societal perceptions on the Organization’s people can also be presentedbased on the business context.

Perception data presented could be in form of Internal / External surveys, complemented by Dip stick surveys, complaints, compliments, testimonials, feedback etc.

Perception parameters presented could cover attributes under

  • Leadership

  • Learning & development

  • Well- being, engagement, involvement

  • Processes encompassing the employee life cycle

  • Stakeholder perception of the Organization’s people in the Business Eco system

These need to be segmented appropriately with a 3- year trend with Targets and comparisons for Key HR processes

People perception measures may include those relating to:


  • Career development

  • Communication

  • Empowerment

  • Equal opportunities

  • Involvement

  • Leadership

  • Opportunity to learn and achieve

  • Recognition

  • Target setting and appraisal

  • The Organization’s values, mission, vision, policy and strategy

  • Training and development


  • Organization’s administration

  • Employment conditions

  • Facilities and services

  • Health and safety conditions

  • Job security

  • Rewards and recognitions

  • Pay and benefits

  • Grievance handling

  • Peer relationships

  • The management of change

  • The Organization’s environmental policy and impact

  • The Organization’s role in the community / society development working environment

Stakeholders’ perception of Organisation’s people (Customers, Vendors… etc):


  • Accessibility

  • Responsiveness

  • Transparency

Sales and After Sales Support

  • Capabilities and behavior of employees

  • Handling of complaints

Society’s perception of Organization’s people:

  • People Involvement in the development of community/society/environment.

  • Ethical behavior of people.

  • Image of employees as responsible members of community and society.

  • Equal opportunity employer

Performance Indicators (200 Points)

These are the internal measures used by the Organization in order to monitor, understand and improve the performance 2016of the Organization’s people and to predict their impact on perceptions.

Performance indicators may include :


  • Competency requirements versus competencies available

  • Leadership performance

  • Productivity

  • Success rates of training and development to meet objectives

Motivation and involvement

  • Involvement in improvement activities (individuals/teams)

  • Levels of training and development

  • Measurable benefits of team work

  • Recognition of individuals and teams

  • Response rates to people surveys

Equal Opportunity Employment

  • Segmentation of employees

  • Gender composition

  • Recruitment / Attrition rates


  • Absenteeism and sickness levels

  • Accident levels

  • Grievances

  • Recruitment trends

  • Staff turnover

  • Strikes

  • Sexual harassment/non compliance incidents

  • Pending legal cases

  • Use of benefits

  • Use of Organization provided facilities (e.g., recreational, crèche).

Services provided to the Organization’s people

  • Accuracy of personnel administration

  • Communication effectiveness

  • Speed of response to enquiries

  • Training evaluation

  • Effectiveness of grievance redressed

Operational measures used by the Organisation to monitor and understand the HR processes which directly impact Key Business outcomes. These may include:

  • Innovations/breakthrough improvements

  • Information and knowledge (accessibility, integrity, value of intellectual property/capital)

  • Profitability per employee

  • Value Added (VA) per Re of employee cost


Attributes presented should cover most HR Processes within/ outside the Organization based on the business context as appropriate.

People would include employees on rolls and external partners like contract workmen, temporary workmen, interns, consultants and any other stakeholders contributing to the Organization based on the business context.