While the idea of entering business awards may be eminently appealing for many organisations, one of the main barriers to entry is the concern that it will be too time-consuming. Of course, there are professional awards writers on hand to help with the submission process (*waves*), but it’s also worth thinking strategically, and building award-focused activity into your internal communications to keep things moving in the right direction.
A simple shift in your strategy can really help you to collate the data and evidence required for an award entry – and once implemented, it becomes a rolling process that can enhance team morale and open up further opportunities for your business. So how do you do it?
Dedication, that’s what you need
Firstly, you need to engage your employees. Use any means at your disposal to inform and motivate them: intranet, newsletter, monthly departmental meetings – whatever works for you. Share success stories via these mediums and make sure any big contract wins or exceptional feedback is shared among the team. If you’re a large organisation, you could assign one person per department/unit to collate evidence and forward to your awards submission writer.
These morale-building exercises will encourage productivity, with everyone wanting to be part of the next win. You can highlight specific awards you’re targeting to focus your people, keep things general and find awards to fit the results, or even a bit of both. The trick is to use awards as a mechanism to encourage staff to raise the profile of your business, both internally and externally.
What kind of evidence?
Successful award submissions are all about proving high standards – so you need to look for things you can measure or compare to something else in order to highlight why that achievement is so special. Ask your staff to think more broadly. For example, if they feel particularly proud of something, or felt a particular project or result was worth mentioning in a board meeting or report, ask them to step back and ask ‘Is this something we actually do a lot of? Is this something we can consistently prove or measure?’
If the answer is yes, then you may be onto something – so keep track of details and use your internal comms to see if anyone else in the business has similar evidence they can put forward to strengthen your case. Not only are you slowly building a portfolio of award-ready information, but you’re also instilling a sense of satisfaction within the team too.
Assessing award value
If your strategy is to identify specific awards you’d like to enter, think about the value each one potentially offers. This could be improving customer perception of your brand, attending ceremonies that will enable you to meet influential industry leaders, or something that will bring amazing PR opportunities.
Use the submission guidelines for your chosen award(s) to pin down what you need your staff to do to help you win – and use your internal communications to convey this. You can dangle a carrot in front of them, with the promise that the key players in any successful entry will be chosen to attend the ceremony. Oh, and if you’re not sure what kinds of awards your business could be eligible for (and there are a lot more than you’d think), we offer an awards research service that may be of interest…