Meet the Making the Difference Award winners: Zara Zurowski

Submitted by Connie Maddock | 19/02/2024

As the 2024 Making the Difference Awards approach, Vertas Group is delighted to reflect on the outstanding achievements of last year’s winners, fostering a culture of appreciation.

Before the company honour a new group of exceptional individuals at the next annual MTD Awards, Vertas Group is delighted to revisit the incredible talent that defines the business, showcasing last year’s winners.

By celebrating the contributions of individuals, Vertas Group not only endeavour to recognise colleagues for their hard work and dedication but also strives to reinforce values that drive the company forward.

We recently caught up with Zara Zurowski, Lead Partner of People Services, to find out about her experience receiving the Colleagues’ Champion Award. Described as a “pivotal member of the Vertas Derbyshire team”, Zara pours passion and dedication into her work, ensuring she delivers excellence.

Congratulations on your success at Making the Difference Awards 2023 – well done! How did it feel to be selected as the winner? What does this recognition mean?

It was a huge highlight in my career to win Colleagues’ Champion. Vertas Group have been incredibly supportive, allowing me to develop my career. In just over four years with the business, I’ve progressed from an HR Assistant to now holding a senior position leading a brilliant team. In 2021, I completed an apprenticeship and now have my CIPD Level 5 to complement my role as an HR professional.

I understand the importance of building trust and respect, and that this is driven by my actions. I strive to do what I say I am going to do in a timely and supportive way, and I am a huge believer in letting your work do the talking!

Can you tell me about your current duties? What does your role look like day to day?

I lead our business partners and people advisory team to deliver a first-class strategic advisory service to our colleagues and managers. 

I am super passionate about adding value to our organisation and want to improve our operational processes for increased simplicity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Through building a brilliant team with plenty of positivity and a proactive ‘can-do’ attitude, we have a springboard to success! 

Colleagues who are seen to be demonstrating Vertas Group’s values are more likely to be nominated for an MTD award. Can you give specific examples of how the Group’s values have guided your actions and contributed to your MTD nomination?

My core value is integrity, and I aim to instil this in my team, allowing it to guide our actions to treat people how they wish to be treated. We truly put people at the heart – providing the right advice at the right time in a supportive and inclusive way to add value to all we do as an advisory team. Wherever possible, I encourage more face-to-face conversations, rather than emails behind a screen, recognising conversation builds stronger relationships, trust and mutual respect. 

Vertas Group strive to create a positive and productive work environment. How do you feel the MTD Awards contribute to shaping and maintaining a positive company culture? How has this affected your attitude since receiving your award?

Seeing and hearing all of our outstanding colleagues nominated for an MTD award had an amazing feel-good factor. To be part of an organisation that celebrates success together motivates me, not only through MTD but with our quarterly Vertas Finest recognition program. If you work alongside a superstar… get nominating! I look forward to seeing you at the 2024 MTD Awards! 

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