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What a difference 20 minutes makes…

With 6 days to go before the deadline for entries to this year’s memcom Excellence Awards, Julian Smith, Director of I am recruiting takes a look at the difference winning an award has made to some of last year’s winners, and the people and organisations who nominated them…

– The deadline for entering the 2018 memcom Excellence Awards is Monday 26th February –

The memcom Excellence Awards are easier to enter than ever before. More than a third of the awards are completely free to enter, and the process has been simplified to level the playing field. Judges are able to consider each application on its merits in a way – so whether you work for one of the top 10 professional bodies, trade associations or membership organisations, or organise everything on a shoestring, you’ll have an equal opportunity to have your ‘excellence’ recognised by the sector.


But with a week to go before the deadline for entries to this year’s memcom Excellence Awards, I wanted to try to convince you to spend 20 minutes nominating somebody in your organisation for their contribution – and the best thing I could think of doing was to go back to some of the winners of memcom 2017 and find out what a difference winning a memcom award has made.


My research has uncovered several interesting effects of the awards that perhaps I hadn’t truly appreciated before, as the below will hopefully demonstrate…


Winning a memcom Excellence Award is good for morale


The most frequent feedback I got from those nominated or shortlisted as well as those who won was that they hade no idea that people were noticing what they did on a day-to-day basis. “Being shortlisted came as a bolt out of the blue” said one award nominee. “I suddenly realised that my hard work really had been appreciated and rewarded – and it’s not something we’d ever seen at my organisation before”.


I asked this particular nominee if just knowing that he had been nominated had made a difference to his work since then, and he replied: “Most definitely. Knowing that my hard work is being appreciated has carried me through the tougher times, and still encourages me to keep going today!”.


One of the category winners explained that winning an award was personal validation, helping her to recognise just how far she’d come. She takes that new sense of self belief with her into meetings and feels that others take her more seriously as a result of her memcom Excellence Award. “Now when I ask for things in meetings, people agree to them straightaway. It’s almost as if they see me in a new light”. The confidence gained in winning her award has clearly contributed to her performance at work, and if anything has built on her sense of gravitas. When I met her 6 months ago, she was enjoying a new-found sense of self worth, but speaking to her today was an absolute joy. The confidence was over-flowing, and the result? Better performance in the work place, and a happier, more productive member of staff.


Nominating a colleague brings you benefits…


One of the more interesting benefits to nominating colleagues or staff for an award is the kudos associated to the nominees themselves. Several of those questioned mentioned their sense of pride that someone in their organisation had won a memcom Excellence Award – and in one case, people from outside of the organisation had actually called in to congratulate the boss of one of the recipients. “The reach of the awards is far bigger than we’d realised” said one respondent, “it goes to show that good news travels fast!”.


But it’s not just about kudos. If your team pick up awards, then some of this rubs off on you. Sharing in the joint sense of achievement can bring a team closer together and increase productivity. It might even increase your profile as a manager; after all, if you take time to nominate your team, it means you really value them and the work they do for you – and these are attractive qualities in any potential line manager.


…and your organisation can also benefit too


Caz Dunn, Corporate Events Manager at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, and recipient of last year’s Outstanding Achiever award told me a wonderful example of how winning had not only built her confidence, but also inspired trust in her from the members:

I was going out to assist some of our members in the organisation of a high-profile event, and as soon as I arrived, they expressed delight that the ‘award-winning events manager’ from Head Office was coming to help them with their event. It really took the pressure out of the situation, since in their eyes, I had both credibility and gravitas from winning the award!


If I haven’t convinced you to enter your colleagues into an award yet, perhaps giving Sinéad Whelan, Head of Membership at TOPRA the final word can convince you of the real value that winning an award can bring your organisation:

One of my team won at the memcom Excellence Awards last year and she is still smiling over the celebrations. Not only that, but Karolina continues to work hard, deliver a high-quality service to all our members and is keen to exceed expectations. 

Recognising staff for their contributions is so easy yet so important for morale and motivation. We actually created an in-house customer service award after the memcom Excellence Awards as we could see the positive impact across the organisation – so we now use that as both a KPI and an employee recognition scheme.“


Enter an award now!


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