One day last week, our Managing Director was in attendance at two separate awards ceremonies and, although he was there as a guest rather than a nominee, he did find himself by the winners side at both events.

One of the winners was a carpentry firm that won a supply chain award with a well-known contractor and the other was a charity that won a BBC Three Counties Make a Difference award. Clearly these were two very different organisations but it was interesting to observe them as they both took on the ‘award winning’ accolade.

Here at Sheriff Construction, we’ve been recognised at industry awards in the past but witnessing two new winners all on one day made us wonder about the benefits that such awards offer and whether there are key qualities that make a ‘winner’. Read on to find out more.

Why enter?

These days, there is a huge variety of local and national awards that businesses and other organisations can put themselves up for (or be nominated for). Some are industry specific while others are based on certain criteria, for instance leadership, product quality, customer service, design, safety and social impact. Some will offer prizes or incentives like free coaching or training but there are lots of other benefits that come with entering an award, for example:

  • Free marketing –Winning (or even just being shortlisted for) an award is a great opportunity to raise awareness of your brand, promote your business and break into new markets. Sharing your award-winning achievements can be a real door-opener!
  • Credibility – Awards can act like a third party endorsement of your hard work and quality standards, thereby increasing your business’s credibility and setting you apart from competitors. A win at the award ceremony could turn into a win at the negotiating table.
  • High morale/ motivation – There’s nothing quite like winning an award to boost morale and make people feel proud of where they work, especially if the win is celebratedin a way that recognises everyone’s contribution. This is a great way to keep staff motivated and it can also help when you need to recruit new talent.
  • Benchmarking – When entering an award, the process involved can mean having to look at your business from an outsider’s point of view – what are your doing in comparison to your competitors and what makes you stand out from the crowd? By doing this, you’re more likely to be able to spot areas of best practice and where there’s room for improvement.

And the winner is…

When it comes to the awards ceremony, every nominee wants to be the one whose name is read out after the envelope is opened and those four words “And the winner is…” are spoken.

While different awards will be looking for different things, there are some general qualities that winners tend to have on their side. In no particular order, these include:

Inspirational: While not every industry award category is ultra-exciting, winners tend to find a way to share something that’s inspiring about their story. It could be as simple as having a clear business purpose and passion for the work or perhaps how they’ve used their industry knowledge to deliver something exceptional within a particular project.

Innovative: Winners of awards are very often described as innovative, meaning they’re offering something new and unique in what they do and/or how they do it. Whether that’s a small but significant change or a game-changing approach within their industry, the key is they’re always looking for real improvements.

Relatable: We love to hear honest accounts of what people and businesses are doing – the truth about the challenges they’ve faced in their journey, the mistakes they made along the way and the pride they’ve felt as they came through and achieved success. These are the stories which we can all relate to… and that includes award judges and voters!

People-focused: Award winners are often very people-focussed. They’ll be able to look at what their business is doing from the viewpoint of others and, whether that’s customers, employees, partners or the wider community, their focus will be on making things better.

Energetic: Those who win awards are frequently the kind of people who are full of energy, enthusiasm and natural warmth. They’ll use that energy and drive to be really productive in their work but also to support others around them whenever they need it.

Altruistic: Whilst winners can obviously be very competitive, they’re also usually people that care about more than the benefit to themselves or their business. Their hearts are engaged and they care about the impact they can have on people, local communities and broader global issues like the environment. They want to be on the right side of making a difference.

Do we have what it takes?

Although this blog is by no means offering a checklist of everything required to be an award winner, these are the type of positive characteristics that tend to make winners stand out. We hope that people view Sheriff Construction and the people who work here as having many of these qualities but we’re always looking for ways we might improve too. Perhaps we’ll take our chances and enter into another award soon!


Feature image: Freepik