Every industry has its fair share of awards. From PR to advertising, film to radio, architecture to flexible workspace, there is a vast array of awards up for grabs and the chance for the elite few to add ‘award-winning’ to their resumé.
For some, a certain award is seen as the Holy Grail. For others, it’s a low priority that falls in line behind other revenue-driving objectives. Of course awards do have the potential to generate PR and various advertising opportunities among other benefits. But with resources tight and cost-cutting a high priority in our age of austerity, why do business awards really matter?
David Thorp from the Chartered Institute of Marketing describes business awards as “a powerful way of differentiating your firm from competitors”. He added: “It gives a distinctive seal of approval to your activities and is a sign of quality for potential customers. Just being shortlisted can improve brand awareness, boost employee motivation and help relationships with customers and suppliers.”
Flexible workspace awards
In the flexible workspace sector alone there are a number of awards on the table. ABCN offers its very own set of awards across the industry, with Orega scooping last year’s ABCN UK Operator of the Year. The Business Centre Association (BCA) hosts an annual award ceremony with five separate awards, while individual business centres, brokers and suppliers also host their own award schemes in recognition of the companies they work with.
Take Business Environment for example. BE delivers its own annual award – SMARTpreneur – as a way of encouraging entrepreneurs and providing support for innovative business ideas.
BE is clearly an advocate of business awards. Various business centres under the BE brand have won the BCA’s Business Centre of the Year Award – seven years running no less – while the company has also won or been shortlisted for other titles including The Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For, National Customer Service Awards, Data Cabling Infrastructure Solution of the Year, Investors in People, and the Interact Intranet Excellence Awards.
Brokerage firm officebroker.com, itself a winner of a BCA gong, launched its own award series in 2010 – the Business Centre of the Month Award. Under this scheme, a business centre is chosen each month based on various criteria including client feedback and internal procedures. At the end of the year an overall winner is chosen as its Business Centre of the Year Award.
So the flexible workspace industry is no stranger to awards, and many leading brands not only aspire to these titles but host their own recognition programmes too.
As for the benefits of business awards, these four reasons highlight just why recognition and awards really do matter:
Strategic thinking: Many awards invite nominations which actually help professionals to think in a structured way. This may include strategies such as analysing business needs and objectives, striving for high quality service and positive feedback, and strengthening client relationships. Even in times of austerity, these strategies are conducive to good business.
Raising the bar: Awards help businesses to raise the bar and go that little bit further. It acts as a benchmark and can even help employees go that extra mile, potentially winning new business or boosting revenue in the process.
Share knowledge: Awards provide an opportunity for shared knowledge within an industry, and outside of it too. All of that additional PR, buzz and news of the ‘scoop’ has the potential to be heard far and wide, which not only promotes the winner but also the industry as a whole.
Morale and motivation: Even in difficult economic times, an award has the power to raise team spirits and boost motivation among employees. As we have heard so often here on Officing Today, high levels of motivation boosts workers and sets productivity in motion. That spells good news – whatever line of work you’re in.
Awards have many purposes and come in many different shapes and sizes. Above all, awards get people talking, encourage teams to go that extra mile and can even help companies to raise their standards of service and delivery. Even for those companies that don’t win, surely that’s a win-win situation?