University of Wisconsin–Madison

2022 HR@UW HR Partner Team Award

Introducing a partnership award that recognizes two team(s) that modeled consultative partnership throughout the COVID pandemic (2020–2022).

The COVID pandemic interrupted “business as usual” and has catalyzed paradigm shifts that we are seeking to understand and navigate successfully. HR has played a significant role in this work—in everything including (but certainly not limited to):

  • proactively engaging in COVID preparedness efforts
  • shifting the wide range of HR services to virtual platforms
  • managing multiple rounds of furlough, position-specific furloughs, workshare, reassignments, voluntary leave without pay, unemployment, and emergency leave
  • translating urgent communications into five languages
  • providing support to employees
  • meeting accommodation and leave needs
  • supporting urgent testing and tracing needs, supporting Smart Restart efforts, updating the Remote Work Policy and creating means to manage remote work across UW
  • supporting employees in research operations and in essential roles
  • encouraging vaccination and ensuring testing

All of this, of course, was effort on top of the ongoing efforts: TTC, pay plan, SH/SV prevention efforts, single payroll, meeting new challenges in talent acquisition and retention, ATP, etc.

The purpose of our 2022 Partnership Award is to recognize two teams that exemplified what it means for HR to serve in consultative partnership with HR’s customers and colleagues alike. 

Any UW–Madison employee (faculty/staff) may nominate a team of two or more employees who have modeled the way since 2020 or early 2021 through the present. Team is defined here broadly: the team of people nominated can be within one unit or across different units at UW–Madison. Non-HR employees can be nominated as part of the team, provided that there is minimum one member of the team who performs HR work.


All UW–Madison HR employees in Human Resources (including payroll and department administrators) who were employed in an HR capacity at UW–Madison in 2020 or early 2021 through the present, and who functioned as a team with at least one other employee, are eligible to be nominated.


The Office of Human Resources will accept nominations for the 2022 HR Partner Team Award through Friday, November 4, 2022 at 11:59 pm.

Nominate a team

Award Details

Award Criteria

We recognize that it is unlikely for any team to demonstrate fully all of these criteria. You are encouraged to give examples for as many criteria as are met. Examples should highlight activity of significant HR involvement in work that had impact across campus or in a School/College/ Division at the department, division, or institute level.

Behavior #1: Works to ensure the success of one’s organization

  • Understands how one’s organization works
  • Takes ownership of the organization’s results instead of simply executing transactions
  • Models a customer-service orientation by providing help to HR consumers, not solely instruction on compliance
  • Creates and fosters inclusive relationships to develop, expand, and apply HR knowledge and expertise at UW–Madison

Behavior #2: Demonstrates strategic thinking

  • Is mindful of regulations but not paralyzed by them
  • Comes up with shared, reasonable solutions to difficult problems
  • Sees problems before they emerge
  • Offers a coherent vision for any change

Behavior #3: Engages in process improvement

  • Facilitates communication among others
  • Discerns what the organization needs instead of leaping to solve the ‘presenting problem’
  • Coaches others who handle the day-to-day ‘processing’ work so that they begin incorporating partnership practices into their work

Behavior #4: Demonstrates “partnership” attributes

  • Listens deeply and maintains an attitude of humble inquiry
  • Demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills and a history of strong relationships with others
  • Models trustworthiness
  • Demonstrates partnering skills that equal or exceed subject matter expertise.

Judges & Award Presentation

The judges of the awards will include members of prior award winners*, OHR leadership, and HR Communities of Practice. Those include :

  • Ann Bradshaw (2017)
  • Julie Karpelenia (2018)
  • Kristine Schutte (2019)
  • Kim McFarlane (2019)
  • Patrick Sheehan
  • Sarah Carroll
  • Sheryl Frank

*Any former awardees who are nominated as part of a team would be required to recuse themselves from the jury.

The awards will be presented at the 5th (almost) annual 2022 HR@UW Conference: Putting People First at Union South.


  • Team's Information

  • HR Employee's NameSchool/College/DivisionDepartment/Unit 
  • Nominator's Information

  • List up to 5 nominators. Name, Job Title, and S/C/D are all required.
    Nominator's NameNominator's Job TitleNominator's School/College/Division