Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Reward of Awards

awardHow does you business recognize individual employees? Like many businesses, you may have an internal award program that recognizes employees for excellent customer service, environmental stewardship, safety, etc. Far too few businesses recognize the opportunities to nominate their employees for external awards in similar categories. This is a tremendous opportunity lost because individual awards are usually far more engaging and relevant to your customers. Personal success stories are a wonderful way to communicate your company values in a way that relates well to your customers.

As a member of the membership committee for our local chamber of commerce, I enjoy the opportunity to help determine the recipient of our Western Hospitality Award each quarter. This award is given to the individual or business that exceeds the expectations of their customers and exemplifies true genuine hospitality.  What troubles me though is how few nominations we actually receive.  With 20,000 people in our county, and well over 1,000,000 tourists visiting Jackson Hole each year, we usually receive only a half dozen nominations for the Western Hospitality Award each quarter. I know that there are more than six instances of true genuine hospitality every season, and I don't understand why companies aren’t more proactive about nominating their employees for this award.

Engaging Marketing Opportunity

Nominating your employees for individual awards in your community, state, and industry are wonderful ways to receive great press for your company. More often than not, the positive press is generated by someone other than your PR department as the awarding organizations are communicating directly with newspapers, radio, and TV stations. Awards and nominations are also EXCELLENT content for your blog/website, Facebook, Twitter, and every other social network your company uses.

Employee Engagement Opportunity

Don't underestimate how motivating it is for your employees to be recognized in public for their good service. Promoting your award winners on your social media networks provides your employees an opportunity to spread the information easily to their friends and family without it seeming too self promoting. Other employees become inspired by the work that their peers have done, which can be far more motivating than awards and accolades the organization receives as a whole.

I guarantee that your community has a variety of awards that are presented to individuals and businesses every year. Check with your chamber of commerce, civic organizations like Rotary and Lions Club, and within your industry. Make an effort to nominate at least one employee for each award. Often times the nominees receive significant publicity as well, so just getting your "hat in the ring" provides some great benefits. This is one of the cheapest, easiest, and most "feel good" ways to promote your business.

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