By Koketso Mamabolo
You’ve heard it before: You have to put yourself out there. But like recipes passed through generations unchanged, that little piece of advice is repeated because it is as true as the food is delicious. We often don’t think of entering an award as good for business because we don’t know if we’re going to win. However reaching the final stages, and merely putting your name in the hat can have a wide range of benefits for both the business and the individuals within it.
A study by the University of Leicester found that within three years of receiving an award companies see increases in, amongst others things, sales and share value. By entering an award you are exposing the world to your product or service and opening up the opportunity to be recognised for your achievements.
Over the years we’ve gathered insights into how entering an award can benefit your business and know that with recognition and exposure come avenues for growth and spaces where you can network.
Differentiate your business from competitors
Usain Bolt is loved not only for his achievements, but how he differentiated himself from his competitors. Entering an award allows you to do the same. You have the opportunity to tell your company’s story. People will see what makes you unique and what you had to overcome to be where you are.
Attract investors and customers
Customers and investors want to know they’re putting their time and money into the best that is on offer. Entering an award opens up the opportunity for investors and customers to see what your company is about and where you are compared to your competitors.
High-volume, impactful press coverage
Awards and the ceremonies themselves bring with them a large amount of press coverage. As a finalist or winner, your achievements will be broadcast on multiple channels, reaching a wide audience. Whether it’s the organisation that presented the award, their sponsors, or the media, the results and build-up to the ceremony will be covered extensively, giving you another marketing platform.
Attract and retain top talent
The best want to work with the best; it’s that simple. If you’re looking to recruit the best and retain top performers, entering an award will elevate your status, whether that’s with current or future employees. Through the awards process, talented individuals can take a deeper look into your business and the arena it is in.
Network with fellow business individuals
Award ceremonies are an opportunity for the business community to come together. You are able to network with people, inside and outside your sector, exchanging ideas, opinions, stories and contact details.
Position your brand on a leadership platform
Measure your performance against the best
It is said that sprinters run faster times when they have people to compete against. They’re given a push knowing they have someone to measure themselves against. Entering an award will allow you to see where you stand in your industry and the broader business community. If you’re ahead of the pack, you can see why and vice-versa. You can also pick up on the details that make the best who they are.
Recognised by peers
Competition does not mean peers cannot celebrate each other’s achievements. There’s an old African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.
Celebrate your achievements
We’re continually moving forward and often don’t have time to pause and reflect on the journey we’ve taken. Sitting down to submit an application for an award and putting together a motivation allows you to look back on what you’ve achieved. It allows you to celebrate yourself, your company and how far you’ve come.
Achievement is often linked to KPIs, incentives, promotion etc.
From an individual’s perspective, winning an award or being shortlisted for one can be an indicator of good performance, or trigger incentives and promotions in recognition of your stellar work.
Good for employee morale
Awards are an opportunity to boost employee morale. Focusing on your success as you come up with a motivation highlights the positives. Attending the ceremony offers an opportunity for employees to build relationships. Your company could host a staff party to celebrate winning or being chosen as a finalist. Knowing their work is recognised and that they work at a place of excellence will boost their confidence.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Don’t just take it from us. Read what award entrants have to say about what awards have done for them:
“I can never thank you enough for the award that I won many years ago – Business Woman of the Year (2013). It motivated me to work harder, and not only that, it was that award which led the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to notice my name on Google. It has opened many doors”
– Lynette Magasa, CEO Boniswa Corporate Solution
“Over the last couple of years we have participated in Standard Bank Top Women Awards to get a check of how we compare with similar or like-minded companies. We have been hugely gratified that the thorough and rigorous evaluation process undertaken in the Awards process has found our company worthy of the award. This has given us the confidence in our strategies and plans. We can proudly and unapologetically display our transformation credentials including this award. The result is that we are a respected good corporate citizen because we have objective confirmation from a third party that what we do in the empowerment space has an impact and makes a difference in the economy. The awards ceremony provides a wonderful opportunity to be celebrated as a company that is committed to the realization of an inclusive economy. We are proud to have been recognised among the top companies that do this year-in and year-out.”
– Dr Jerry Gule, Former General Manager, Total Sa (Pty) Ltd