Awards Categories – WEA – The Irish News

Celebrating organisations that successfully implement digital tools or strategies to improve the workplace.

The Best Digital Transformation Award is a prestigious recognition honoring organisations that demonstrate exceptional innovation and success in leveraging digital technologies to revolutionise their operations and achieve significant business growth. This award highlights an organisation’s:

Strategic Vision: Clear and well-defined digital transformation strategy aligned with business objectives.

Innovative Technology Implementation: Use of cutting-edge technologies to drive transformational change and improve efficiency.

Change Management Strategies: Successful navigation of cultural shifts and effective adoption of new technologies.

Data-Driven Decision-Making: Utilisation of data analytics to drive informed decision-making and innovation.

Business Impact and Results: Demonstrated tangible outcomes in terms of revenue growth, cost savings, and competitive advantage.

This award serves as a benchmark for excellence, recognising organisations in Ireland that lead the way in embracing digital innovation to stay competitive, improve customer experiences, and achieve sustainable success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.


Diversity and Inclusion has never before been so much at the forefront of business priorities.Modern businesses need teams that reflect the diverse nature of our society and there has been a much-needed drive towards diversity and inclusion in recent years. This award recognises organisations that have implemented successful programmes to make their workplaces more representative/ welcoming and inclusive.

The winning organisation will need to show how they work hard to create a culture where people are respected, appreciated and feel included, demonstrating how it is harnessing a truly diverse workforce.

This award will recognise the significant efforts of organisations that excel in their commitment to equality and inclusion across all strands of diversity:

Diversity – the range of people in the workforce will be diverse. There will be a good mix of genders, ages, religions, sexual preferences, cultures and disabilities. These differences will be valued, not discriminated against.

Equality – all people will be treated fairly, irrespective of differences.

Inclusion – everyone feels valued. They will feel free to express personal opinions and ideas, discussing any problem areas with management and removing the presence of bullying, harassment and discrimination.


In a fast-moving world a company’s success depends on enhancing the skillset of its employees. This category celebrates organisations that ensure their employees are constantly learning and growing in their roles. The winner will demonstrate how it champions employees’ skills development and has built a lifelong learning culture in the workplace. The award will distinguish your organisation as an outstanding employer that focuses and prioritises employees’ skills development.

It is a prestigious symbol of excellence and will help your company gain a competitive edge in talent attraction and retention.


Honouring companies with exceptional benefits packages that support employees’ financial security and well-being.

The Best Employee Benefits Programme award recognises organizations that excel in providing exceptional and comprehensive benefits packages to their employees. This award highlights a company’s commitment to supporting the well-being, financial security, and overall satisfaction of its workforce. Key aspects of a winning benefits program include providing a wide range of benefits beyond standard offerings, such as healthcare, retirement plans, wellness programs, flexible work arrangements, childcare support, education assistance, and more.

The judges will also be looking at companies that tailor benefits to meet the diverse needs and preferences of employees, considering factors like age, family status, and individual circumstances.

Communication, accessibility and a positive impact on employee satisfaction will be important tangible measurables.


The Best Graduate or Training Scheme award recognises organizations that excel in developing and implementing exceptional programmes aimed at nurturing and empowering young talent, either through graduate programmes or specialised training initiatives.

This award highlights the commitment of an organisation to provide structured and comprehensive programmes designed to cultivate the skills, knowledge, and professional growth of entry-level employees, recent graduates, or trainees.

Judges will be looking for mentorship opportunities, guidance, and support from experienced professionals or mentors within the organisation to help participants navigate their careers, as well as L&D opportunities.

There should be clear pathways for career progression and advancement within the organisation, encouraging long-term commitment and growth and training programmes should be aligned with industry standards and needs, ensuring that participants gain skills and knowledge relevant to the current job market.


The winner of this award will have outperformed the competition with their unique and special benefits, robust training opportunities for professional development, and commitment to employee recognition and appreciation.

What do you believe sets your company apart? Let us into the secrets of how your values have led to a committed, effective and motivated workforce. We’re keen to know what you are doing to empower and engage staff in driving continuous improvement. Make sure to detail the business benefits of the company’s approach to people management and demonstrate a clear strategy and commitment to the development of your workforce, and how it has supported the organisation’s objectives.


This award is open to any organisations that sets new standards in lowering the carbon footprint impact of their business activities, champions sustainability and inspires new ideas and positive change, along with a clear commitment to long-term impact.

This award is open to organisations that have created or refined a particular product, solution or business model which holds the potential to decarbonise business and drive us towards net-zero – ideally with results already being proven and plans for future deployment.

The judges will be looking for evidence that this business is doing their best to reduce and/or eliminate emissions to the greatest extent possible, demonstrating that climate action is good for business.The successful organisation will be able to provide evidence of how their leadership, passion and motivation has helped accelerate their company’s sustainability journey.


This award recognises businesses with healthy and happy staff. They enjoy higher levels of staff morale, productivity and ultimately profitability. The winner will have an excellent approach to work-life balance, health and wellbeing practices. It will also have the support and policies in place to benefit their employees and get results.
The winning organisation will demonstrate how they have linked a healthy workforce, the impact of workplace support and policies, and employee welfare to improved performance within their business.

To demonstrate how you are making health and wellbeing an organisational priority we will be looking for:

Do you have an organisational health and wellbeing strategy?

How do you integrate a health and wellbeing strategy into the organisation’s policies and communications?

Do you empower a team of workplace wellbeing champions to design and implement health-promoting initiatives?

Is health and wellbeing embedded within the organisation’s skills and knowledge requirements of line managers?


The award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme of the Year is open to any company that contributes to the welfare of local communities in which they operate. This can range from involvement with community projects, raising funds and encouraging active involvement of the community in special projects.

  • an initiative to address a specific need identified in the local community
  • a programme or practice demonstrating the corporate social responsibility of your company
  • a creative initiative in which a large impact is made with a small investment
  • a long-term project, intended to be continuously supported by your company

Recognising innovative approaches or technologies used in HR, recruitment, or talent management.

What really excites your talented people and makes them proud to work for you? If you have a uniquely effective approach to encouraging innovation and development from apprentice to boardroom level, then we want to know. Demonstrate how you ensure your organisation’s high performance is driven at every level to propel your business forward effectively. Give examples of how your staff are challenged and stretched within your organisation. Demonstrate your unique excellence in fields such as product innovation, business strategy and customer value, overcoming key industry challenges and accomplishing innovative or disruptive breakthroughs. Finally, tell us how you can further develop high performance from your existing workforce.


Honouring exceptional leadership qualities demonstrated by an individual within the organisation.

The Leadership Excellence Award is a prestigious recognition given to an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities, vision, and impact within their organisation or industry. This award celebrates outstanding leaders who exhibit a remarkable ability to inspire, motivate, and guide others, contributing significantly to the success and growth of their team, company, or industry sector.

Qualities and Criteria for the Leadership Excellence Award:

  • Strategic Vision: The recipient demonstrates an ability to create and communicate a clear and compelling vision for the future, guiding the organisation or team toward achieving long-term goals.
  • Innovation and Adaptability: A leader who encourages innovation, fosters a culture of creativity, and adapts swiftly to changing market dynamics or challenges.
  • Motivational Skills: The awardee is capable of inspiring and empowering individuals and teams to perform at their best, fostering a culture of motivation and enthusiasm.
  • Effective Communication: The leader effectively communicates goals, expectations, and feedback, ensuring alignment and understanding among team members.
  • Transparency and Accountability: Leads with transparency, fosters collaboration, builds strong teams, and encourages a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and mutual respect.
  • Employee Development: Invests in the growth and development of team members, providing mentorship and opportunities for career advancement.
  • Achievement of Goals: Shows a track record of achieving significant organisational or industry-specific goals, driving tangible and measurable results.
  • Positive Organisational Impact: The leader’s actions and decisions contribute to the overall success, growth, and positive impact of the organization or industry.

The Leadership Excellence Award recognises the invaluable contributions and impact of exceptional leaders in steering organisations toward success, fostering innovation, and nurturing a culture of excellence, teamwork, and integrity. The award serves to highlight and honour dedication, vision, and leadership prowess.


Teamwork is fundamental for businesses/organisations to succeed and thrive, and the winning company will detail a well built, integrated, cross-company team with a defined purpose. The award will go to the organisation that has an exemplar team, by providing evidence of how collaboration within a team has worked for the overall benefit of the organisation, highlighting how a productive team spirit has been developed.

Your entry for this award should cover:

  • How the team has demonstrated excellent, creative teamwork in improving delivery against organisational goals
  • How the team met and overcame the challenges of dealing with more exceptional circumstances or projects
  • When and how the team has developed an innovative solution that has contributed to best practice within the organisation; and
  • Any additional reasons why you feel you should win the Team of the Year award

*Ten awards will be categorised into SME and Large Business.

*Two awards - Best Place to Work and Team of the Year - will be categorised into Small, Medium and Large Business.

*To learn which category your business will fall into, please see our FAQ section.

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