The Oxford Dictionary definition of award-winning is;
‘Having won a prize in recognition of quality’
From our point of view here at The Awards People we’re very pleased to see the word ‘quality’ included in the definition, but to us award winning means so much more than just the receipt of a prize.
By simply entering an award a business has had to undertake some degree of self-reflection and in our experience that can only ever be a good thing for both customers and employees alike. The companies who tend to have the worst records when it comes to poor customer service or woeful employee relations are those who never take the time to take a step back and look at their operation and activities, and who instead simply march on with what they personally think is ‘good enough’.
Open to scrutiny
Putting yourself up for an award is also essentially putting your head above the parapet (in business terms of course; there’s no physical battle involved – we hope!). You’re delivering yourself to be judged against your peers and that experience can be scary and enlightening in equal measure. If you proceed to finalist – or even better still, win the award – you have been compared to others and found to be best in class. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean you are better than everyone else who entered in EVERY aspect of what you do, it means that overall the judges found your activities, achievement and / or approach to be more impressive than those of the other contenders.
Now here at TAP HQ we’d add something else to the ‘list of greatness’ by saying that, in winning the award you entered, you illustrated a talent for presenting your case. We know first-hand that businesses who have achieved great things in the space of a year can still fail to win as a result of a poor quality award entry. As we’ve covered on many occasions before (most recently in last week’s post) there is a real talent to planning, writing and checking your award entry to satisfy the judges’ criteria and both gain and maintain their attention. This skill, we’d argue, reflects some other fabulous and much sought-after qualities in a business – organisation, good communication and attention to detail, to name but a few. All good, all positive traits which will be appreciated externally by clients and internally by staff.
What we would say about an award winner, therefore, is that they have been independently judged to be exceptional, not only in their core business activities but in illustrating their achievements and communicating to those not directly involved in their industry. What potential clients will see is a company whose activities, products, services – and even attitude – has been scrutinised, verified and deemed to be excellent. Recommended. Worthy. Award-winning.
Going back to our original dictionary definition, award winners may well have won an actual prize, but in our eyes (and the eyes of others who matter to the success of that business) they have won so much more. They have won acclaim, admiration and respect – and in both the short term and in the longer term, the combination of these may lead to a much bigger prize than the award trophy itself.