document : Volkswagen brings the big prize home

Volkswagen brings the big prize home
information supplied by: Volkswagen SA - Corporate 20 November 2012

Volkswagen brings the big prize home
Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) human resources employee Liza Wilmot has won a prestigious accolade at the 56th gala convention of the HR industry’s professional body, the Institute for People Management (IPM).
Wilmot, Volkswagen Production Academy manager, received the coveted Human Resources Business Partner of the Year award.
With just four awards presented – including CEO of the year, HR director of the year and branch of the year – Wilmot beat other nominees from around the country who were interviewed by a panel of judges which included academics, HR gurus and politicians.
Wilmot said although she was surprised to have made it all the way after being nominated by a colleague, the award was a reflection on her 23-strong team which focuses on training and growing employees on the company’s production plant in Uitenhage.
The Production Academy falls under Volkswagen’s Learning Academy, which also covers the areas of leadership, technical, commercial and national sales.
Since the inception of the Learning Academy in 2008, Wilmot’s team has helped Volkswagen to vastly improve its overall production positioning within the group globally.
“We needed to take our training and development to a new level,” said Wilmot. “To impact positively on the business, a new approach and learning solution was required to develop the right skills, competencies and behaviours.”
IPM said the purpose of the HR Business Partner of the Year award was to recognise professionals with a proven track record of excellence in developing and implementing plans that enable the business strategy.
“These business partners will also have worked effectively with line managers to attract, develop, engage and retain employees in the organisation,” IPM said. 
Wilmot said: “It is often tough for HR to be viewed as a strategic business partner in organisations. The award is about recognising where this has successfully happened.”
Head of the Learning Academy Dr Lesley Lee said Wilmot’s achievement showed she was “passionate about people development, and she does this exceptionally well”.
“Liza plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the training that is provided for our production employees both from shop level to top management is able to meet the global standards required for the business,” said Lee.
“Liza and her team ensure that line managers are actively involved in the various training initiatives. Liza always acts in a pro-active manner that contributes to the company, but more especially to the individual concerned.”
IPM president Raj Seeparsad said the awards represented the cream of the country’s HR crop.
“For someone to nominate you they have to have a lot of faith in how the nominee has advanced the profession. The panel goes through a list of criteria,” he said.
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