These days there’s an award for almost every area of business – from best social media campaign to the most innovative company. Whatever the accolade, scooping the top spot can bring you a lot of positives - it’s a superb reputation-booster, but which categories could deliver the most value back for your area of work?
The Cambridge Evening News Business Excellence Awards is a fantastic example of a prestigious ceremony that celebrates achievements of local industry. And there’s a category attracting a lot of attention– Employer of the Year. Last year’s winners, Cambridge Consultants, used the award to attract specialist staff as part of a wider recruitment strategy.
In fact, there are lots of ways you can use such recognition as a great employer to benefit your firm. Here are a few ideas…
1. Use it to engage with staff
You’ve won a ‘best employer’ award! Why not invest it back into your employee engagement strategy and develop this area of business even further? If the award involved an employee survey or interviews, then your staff have helped you win. Make the achievement meaningful and personal – thank everyone for their part in the victory. An open show of gratitude can be an amazing morale booster and can help give people a real feeling of pride. Also, employees who feel valued and recognised for their commitment are more likely to stay with you for the long term.
2. Tell the press
Many newspapers such as the Cambridge Evening News run regional awards, so it’s likely that you’re going to get coverage if you win. But if it’s not a media-related event, get a press release drafted the day before the ceremony. If you win, the hot-off-the-press announcement will be ready to send out to your key newspapers, magazines and websites. This is a rare opportunity to make a big splash, so go for it! And don’t forget the all-important photo with a punchy caption.
3. Mention it in job ads
Take a lesson from Cambridge Consultants’ approach to recruitment; tell job seekers that they’d be working for an award-winning employer. Smart job seekers want to know about a firm’s ethics: how they support the local community and how it treats it workers. So when advertising your vacancies, make you sure you attract savvy candidates by mentioning the award in the copy or use an awards logo.
4. Celebrate with key stakeholders
Another way to involve your employees is to mark the award with a celebration of some kind. It can be in the office get together or a big picnic. It can also be a brilliant excuse to invite investors (show them how well you’re doing) and any other stakeholders you want to engage with. And why not invite partners and kids, making it a family affair?
5. Show it off to clients
Customers increasingly want to know they’re doing business with ethical companies. The recession has caused people to look out for issues such as mismanagement - they want to know that they’re giving their money to firms with an honest approach to all areas of work. It also demonstrates that you have the edge over your competitors. All of this can have a positive impact on the bottom line.
There’s no doubt that an accolade, which rubber-stamps your status as a good employer, can help propel your business forward. So, why not give the Cambridge Evening News Business Excellence Awards a bash this year? Sponsored by Pure, Employer of the Year could attract invaluable PR, as well as the best talent, enthusiastic investors and loyal customers.
Also, watch this space for news on how you can get your hands on another award; the 2014 Best Employer, Eastern Region (BEER) employee survey and awards is due to launch soon!
Lynn is a founding Director of Pure and leads Pure Executive with over 25 years recruiting for Executive appointments. Lynn supports East of England-based businesses with senior management and Board level recruitment. Lynn leads the Best Employer Eastern Region Initiative and the Women In Leadership Programme both of which are aimed at helping companies and people to develop.