Debate: Getting their just rewards

In association with

How do awards and honours impact on businesses and are they worth all the effort? Those were some of the questions we put to the panel of award and accreditation winners, judges and supporters that we brought together with Boost Business Lancashire at Cotton Court, Preston.

PRESENT: Richard Slater ~ Lancashire Business View, Chair • Andrew Leeming ~ Boost • John Chesworth ~ Harrison Drury • Nathaniel Cassidy ~ 3Man Factory • Amanda Meachin ~ Community and Business Partners • Dharma Kovvuri ~ UCLan • Laura Hartley ~ LHR • Cheryl Ashton ~ Fairbanks • Tim Mills ~ PM+M

Awards, honours, accreditations, are they worth the effort?

JC: There’s a whole range of rewards. The obvious one is public recognition and positive PR, getting your name and brand out there. You are also sending a message to people inside the business that you are successful and they are part of something to be proud of. It’s someone externally and objectively looking at you and saying you are on the right track, which helps not only the leadership team but everyone throughout the business.

CA: It takes time and a lot of thought but taking part is worth the effort. It helps you realise how many good things you have done, to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the business. It is very thought-provoking. Our managing director is very keen on sharing awards wins with staff. Last year we had an enormous party for the Queen’s Award and all the staff got involved. We had silly games and lots of drinks and food. It’s good for morale.

AM: In a lot of tendering processes having an industry award or nomination becomes part of the sift, so it is crucial to whether we get on the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile. Being externally recognised is a fundamental need for us. It gives an edge in a competitive environment.

NC: In the marketing industry your clients want to win awards so they expect you to be able to write and craft awardwinning entries for yourself. So for us it helps win pitches and tenders and it helps us retain the business we have already.

DK: You need to have some accreditations even to be part of a tendering or bidding process.

AL: Awards are important but they aren’t the be all and end all. For me it’s about employer engagement. You should be rewarding your staff every day. You should be making them feel like superstars because they are the people who are making your business work. There are other ways to create a conversation which isn’t just about awards once or twice a year.

LH: Being involved in honours, accreditations and awards gives us credibility, it demonstrates that that we are commercial and understand people’s challenges. It gives us the opportunity to talk to our clients about what’s going on in their business and we encourage them to enter awards. Saying you’re an award-winner in a recruitment campaign is fantastic. Everyone wants to work for an awardwinning business.

NC: If you have a smaller team and have a close relationship, a pat on the back or some positivity is seen as an everyday thing. An award win is a little bit more and there’s huge value in it.

TM: It’s not necessarily about having the award at the end of the day. You enter because you would like to win, but it is a process. The team have been involved all the way through and if there’s a night to go to, they go to it.