Why winning awards is good for business

The range of awards businesses can win is pretty expansive, from company awards like “Best Place to Work” to “Customer Service Champion”. As a Chairman of one of these awards committees and a past award winner, I can tell that winning awards can be very good for business.

External Marketing
Awards are great marketing tools. They can add credibility to your sales pitch or just give you something new to share with your customers.

My company has been recognized as a Champion of Learning by the American Society for Training and Development. This award was fairly easy to win since it wasn’t a competition, but rather recognition for supporting Employee Learning Week. Nonetheless, I can accurately tell my clients that Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. is a Champion of Learning. If it comes down to a choice between a Champion and an also-ran, you can bet that clients are going to hire the Champ.

Internal Recognition
Departments and teams within companies often have to work hard to get the resources and executive level support they need to be successful. Awards are a great way to shine the spotlight on what your team is doing and rally the whole company around your initiatives.

I currently chair a committee called PEAK that recognizes companies in the San Diego community for best practices in employee training and development. Many of the past winners have their trophy proudly displayed in their offices so visitors will see that they’ve been recognized for outstanding achievement.

Some of my readers may be interested in applying for the 2011 PEAK Award. You can access more information and an application here.

Awards are often built around best practices or industry standards. Applying for an award can help an organization discover success stories, identify opportunities for improvement, and motivate the company or team to reach for new levels of performance.

Many awards also provide applicants with feedback, so you gain valuable insight even if your organization doesn’t win. For example, applicants for the 2011 PEAK Award will get pointers from the panel of judges on how to make their employee training initiatives even more effective.

Ready to Apply?
Applying for an award is usually fairly easy. Here are three steps to get you started.

  1. Pick a topic or focus area that is important to your business or department. For example, if you want to be a customer service leader then find awards that focus on customer service.
  2. Search for relevant awards. A simple internet search will get you started. You may also want to ask colleagues, trade groups, customers, and suppliers for suggestions.
  3. Apply!