At Onecom we put time and effort into winning awards – and we’re seeing some success too. But this is not a vanity exercise aimed at self-praise and nights out in black tie. Oh no.
This is our way of keeping the business on its toes, reflecting on what we’re doing well and discovering gaps we’d like to plug, writes Sarah Van Michael.
We’d recommend all businesses invest some time to find an award that motivates change, reflection and the teams involved. There are several reasons why entering an award is good for business. Here are our top 6.
1 See how you measure up
Most award categories provide useful criteria for measuring what best in class looks like. This can offer a new perspective on how you measure business success and test what you think good really looks like. Using award criteria can be a useful external gauge on how well your business is performing.
Bringing together evidence highlights areas of strength and weakness. And whilst it’s great to acknowledge your strengths, identifying areas for further refinement or change is critical for business performance.
Writing awards is not the job of the marketing department alone. To pull together a decent submission often requires cross-functional teamwork. Working towards an award can bring teams together and whether you win or lose, the shared experience often makes relationships stronger.
3 Credibility and the bottom line
Customers and partners like to see businesses that can demonstrate award-winning talents. It demonstrates excellence, shows you care about performance and makes you more credible. Winning an ‘industry leader’ badge gives you permission to talk with authority and confidence. For existing customers, it reinforces their decision to choose you and makes you more attractive for prospects.
Ultimately this can lead to more sales to existing and new customers, making awards good for business.
Choose your awards carefully though, as some carry more weight than others.
4 Brand building
Awards are a great way to get your brand out there, creating opportunities for PR trade, local and national press. Communities love to hear about a local business doing well and will be happy to celebrate with you. The award organisers should also help promote your win, making awards a key element of your marketing plan.
Take full opportunity to weave your successes into social media. You might be surprised how many people will like and share award wins, giving your brand exposure, reasons for people to engage and without once needing to directly sell what you do.
5 Motivate the business
Employees love working for award-winning businesses. Awards allow employees to bask in communal glory by making their
collective achievements public and externally recognised. The energy and buzz that follows a win can be extremely motivating and encourage more teams to step up to the plate and show their might further down the line.
What’s more, inviting employees to the award night itself can really help to add to motivation and form part of your reward and recognition scheme. It also helps to improve communications, especially if you share the reasons why the award was entered or won.
Gaining awards plays a role in winning the talent war – jobseekers are more likely to want to join a business that is recognised as award-winning.
6 Networking opportunities
Awards nights are great opportunities to get in touch with other leaders in your industry so don’t be shy. Work the room, see who is there and find out what is going on. Meeting with suppliers or partners in an informal setting like this can get more business done in one night than in the previous 6 months. Take full advantage.
Convinced? Which award will you sign up your company to?
Onecom is a leading provider of telecommunications for UK businesses.
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