Monday October 31, 2011
By Linda McAulay, Managing Director – learnpurple Scotland, Eire, NI
The nights are drawing in which means something glamorous is drawing us out... formal attire, sparkling function suites, an opportunity to celebrate the great and the good and network with our peers. Yes, award season is upon us!
This is the time where excellence in the corporate environment is noted and almost every industry will, over the coming weeks and months, turn the spotlight upon the hard working individuals who really raise the bar.
Whilst the glamour of stunning venues, gorgeous outfits, sumptuous dinners and entertaining hosts are certainly a draw to attendees, the actual principal of award ceremonies has its roots in something of more substance. These events are about acknowledging excellence and demonstrating publicly that achievement should be rewarded. This simple principal is as much for those who do not win awards as it is for those who do – it sets a benchmark for all to aim for and even exceed.
I recently attended the Best Employers in Hospitality (Scotland) awards in conjunction with Caterer.com. The strong bond between the attendees was evident, not only within their own groups, but extending to others within the wider corporate environment. These awards were clearly of immense importance to these extremely hardworking individuals, particularly as they were being recognised as leading employers in this very competitive industry. With a roll of the drums, the presentations began, marking achievements in the worlds of contract catering through to suppliers, to travel companies, to hotel groups, culminating in the award of the evening........the best employer in the industry! Awarded to Summer Isles Hotel, a huge cheer made its way around the room with the successful recipients glowing and basking in their moment of fame.
As the party atmosphere continued and the industry’s finest moved to the unbelievably sparkly dance floor, it was clear that the reason for their attendance at this event was obvious – they were there to celebrate their industry at its best.
However, as the evening drew to a close, I wondered what would become of those fantastically sculpted awards once they found their way to a proud shelf in the office.
What would these awards mean to the companies who had won them? How were they going to share this recognition with their people? How would they make the accolades mean something every day? It was back to reality on a Wednesday morning for each of these winners, no doubt to a day filled with operational requirements and little time to reflect.
However, reflecting on such a great achievement would be the very best use of operational time. It would be a great opportunity to build team spirit, it would be the ideal time to encourage and entice their people to improve even further.
I would hope that the winners would adopt best practice and engage and revel in the success of being the best in class. An awards win should be used as a springboard to excel every day- to actually be the best every day and not just during awards season. Awards are seldom really won by the efforts of just one person – this would be the ideal time to send out a letter / email note of congratulations to the team. Better still, call a meeting and thank everyone personally. It would also be the perfect time to solicit opinion on how to drive the company forward and build on the success.
Sparkly dresses and tuxedos on a dark cold evening with the great and the good from the industry is indeed one of the highlights of the season. However a bigger highlight would be taking forward any success gained over award season and staying on top for another year. That would be an achievement that everyone could applaud every day.
Have you won an award recently? What do you do once the celebrations are over in order to keep the momentum flowing?