Award Winners Collect the Gold
There was a time when I’d see a decal on a trailer recognizing the carrier as one of Canada’s best-managed companies and think, “How did that happen?”
The more I thought about it I realized that my question was a good one, but the emphasis was all wrong. Instead of focusing on the other guy and wondering,
“Why them?” I decided to look at my own business and ask, “Why not us?”
A third-party endorsement from a business organization or the media can be priceless when you’re out there peddling your services to prospects, customers and even employees.
Even if you don’t make the podium, just the act of applying for a business award is worth the work. The process requires you to roll up your sleeves, examine what makes your business great, and how you can do better.
Then you have to communicate it on an application – a great exercise, especially when you’re developing an overall business strategy.
The effort pays off in many ways.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. There is no better way to bolster the positive chatter than by having an unbiased third party verify that you know what you are doing. An award can give your brand credibility.
The new generation of customers scopes out companies online long before they ever ask for a price. When they see you’re an “award-winning” operation, they’re far more likely to call you than the competitor down the road. Everyone loves a winner.
Retention and Attraction
Ditto for keeping good employees and attracting quality new ones. People want to work for successful companies. Winning awards reinforces that success. Giving your employees a strut in their step because they play a pivotal role on your championship team will also do wonders for the bottom line.
Do you need an edge putting butts in those empty truck seats? Adding local “Business of the Year” to your advertising is a great place to start.
It’s impossible to put a price tag on the publicity that comes with winning an award.
People pay a lot more attention to what other people have to say about you than what you say about yourself.
The free advertising starts compounding itself when you experience what I refer to as the “ringing” effect. Suddenly industry journalists will be “ringing” your phone off the hook when researching a story. Your company spokesperson is now a credible expert whose opinion is far more valuable than it was during pre award days. That need for expert opinions includes customers, too.
Employees and customers aren’t the only stakeholders who like winners. So do purchasers. The only thing you can guarantee about a business is that one day it will close (sometimes forced) or be sold. With the expected Baby Boom logjam in retirement years, the recognition that comes from winning awards will improve your chances of being noticed when it comes time to pack it in. A company resume full of kudos from outside experts is worth its weight in gold. In this case, your family’s gold.
Deciding what award to apply for is a challenge in itself. There are countless options ranging from community based programs to national ones like Deloitte’s Canada’s Best Managed Companies program which many truckers (including me) have won.
For my money, if you’re in the trucking industry there is no better award to start with than Trucking HR Canada’s Top Fleet Employers program. This annual honor celebrates and recognizes excellence in human resources policies and practices.