No matter what industry you operate in, it is always gratifying to be recognised by your peers. Entering, and winning, awards is a great way to develop awareness and validation for your organisation. In addition, awards can act as a powerful brand building tool. They ensure that you are being spoken about in the same context as the other major players in your industry.
Force your company to look inwardly
Preparing an awards submission takes a considerable amount of effort, and the process often begins weeks or even months in advance of a deadline. One of the most important elements of any awards application is the involvement of your employees. In larger organisations, try to put a project team in place tasked with compiling your submission. Ensure that a wide range of departments are represented within said team. By working collaboratively on your submission, you can ensure that different perspectives are captured. This will give you the most complete overview possible. By having your staff look inwardly at your company, your achievements and your values, they will gain a greater understanding of what the company stands for. This will ensure that it is a worthwhile exercise no matter the outcome.
Enhance your reputation
The validation that comes from being shortlisted for (or winning!) an award is significant. Many of the leading industry awards in Ireland must first go through an extensive review and judging process before a shortlist is announced. If your company makes it to the final stage of the process, it will go a long way towards strengthening your position within your own industry. It gives you a definitive means to differentiate your business from competitors, which is particularly helpful if you operate in a crowded market. Just being shortlisted for an award gives you the opportunity to use this for generating publicity. Generally, you will be given the opportunity to use the awards branding on your website and in your marketing materials, all of which help build familiarity with your target audiences.
Assist with staff recruitment and retention
External endorsement of the merits of your company can assist you in the competition for talent that exists in Ireland. Every company wants to attract the brightest and best graduates and employees. The prestige of winning an award will help draw the desired attention to your business. Most employers are now offering similar benefits and terms of employment. Therefore, an award can act as a valuable differentiator in the crowded and competitive area of talent recruitment. In addition, being successful in your pursuit of award recognition will lead to increased morale amongst your existing staff. As your own employees are often your best brand ambassadors, their increased motivation and pride in their workplace can lead to creating an attractive proposition for potential new recruits. If you are recognised as the best in the industry, then the best talent will want to work with you.
Reinforce your commitment to values
Some industry awards put your values and initiatives under the microscope. This can provide an excellent avenue through which you can justify your commitment to having a positive impact on society. For instance, perhaps you prioritise sustainability initiatives or foster a culture of diversity and inclusion within your workplace. There are industry awards that you can prepare submissions for that, should your entry be successful, can help to prove your commitment to the CSR initiatives that your company values highly. This tangible proof of your values helps to reinforce your commitment. In addition, it will also motivate your team to remain aligned with the company’s culture.
Awards celebrate achievements and can provide an excellent boost to team morale. However, the hard work doesn’t stop after your application is submitted. An award win provides an excellent PR opportunity for any business, and it is important to capitalise on that. If the above points resonate with you, perhaps it might be time to start looking at what awards your business could consider.