National Carrier, SriLankan Airlines won the “"Excellence in Human Resource - South Asia” award at the annual sessions and SHRM international Award Ceremony, held in India recently. SriLankan was competing with many entities from the South Asian region, excluding those of India, competing under the national category. Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. The competing entities were assessed under the areas of HR Strategy, innovation and employee development initiatives and the Airline emerged the winner for its innovative human resource strategies, policies, processes and services implemented effectively to achieve the Airline’s goals through its workforce. Commenting on the award, SriLankan Airlines’ Head of Human Resources said, Mr. Pradeepa Kekulawela said “The award holds a great significance as the ‘SHRM is considered one of the largest HR consultancy and best practice facilitation organizations in the world. The award recognizes the Airline’s HR practices for innovation, business partnering and people development initiatives. The achievement also identifies the Airline as a pioneer and trend setter in the South Asian region. This is a testament to the HR Management strategy and effective employee development initiatives that the Airline delivers with the tireless efforts of the HR team and entire SriLankan family. It is also very pertinent to place on record the dynamic leadership and guidance given by our Chairman Ajith Dias, pro-tem CEO Rakhita Jayawardene and Executive Director Col Sunil Peiris together with the entire Board for the HR team to excel in this very important turnaround period of the airline.” SriLankan human resources division works with a mission to partner the business by attracting suitable talent at the right time equipped with the right competencies essential for positive engagement and productivity while building management and leadership capabilities for the future to ensure business progress and continuity. Its strategy revolves around developing and managing HR organization to compliment the business strategy to facilitate best practices across the Airline while motivating the workforce to ensure commitment and job role alignment for maximum employee engagement. SriLankan HR division has laid much emphasis on skill development through training, leadership enhancement, rewards and recognition and succession planning programmes to strengthen capability and business continuity. The division has also taken steps to assure free flow of knowledge and information vital for decision-making and employee awareness. The Airline currently steers a range of programmes focusing on leadership development, succession planning and continues professional development of high performing staff and to optimize on the organizational knowledge in hand for strategic knowledge management. Some of SriLankan Airlines’ signature HR initiatives are, “Quest to be the Best” a leadership development programme for different levels of employees, “yoULink”, the Airline’s knowledge portal, to inculcate a knowledge sharing culture in the organization, “Red to Black” initiative to generate ideas to turn SriLankan to profitability and “Synergy plus,” team building programmes for leadership, team and attitude building. The Airline’s HR division has won many national and international accolades, among which are; Best HR Strategy in line with Business Strategy at the 5th Asia’s Best Employer Brand Awards 2014, Singapore, People Development Award 2014 Sri Lankan Institute of Training & Development(SLTAD)– Gold award, IATA (International Air Transport Association)TOP 10 Authorized Training Centre(International Aviation Academy) Globally - in 2013, and Corporate Social Responsibility -Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award 2014.