Recognising excellence

9th of November 2015 Article by Lynn Webster
Recognising excellence

Lynn Webster, independent consultant for the cleaning sector in the UK, writes her first blog for the ECJ website. She gives a round of applause for cleaning sector awards organisers and the winners.

Pass a parade of shops or shopping mall, trawl the internet or open a magazine and what do we see? Logos and banners that herald awards won and achievements gained. Whether it’s a sign proclaiming, ‘fish and chip shop of the year’, or ‘the prettiest roundabout in Yorkshire’, awards are all around.

The nature of awards can lead to them being treated dismissively with little consideration. Awards in every industry can become activities that happen at certain times of year, usually involving a celebration lunch or dinner, with a number of forms to fill in. But it is useful to stop and take stock of what awards stand for, and what they can mean to winners; individual and corporate and the wider arena in which we operate.

Awards are a means of offering praise, regardless of what the award itself is for. Awards may result in a physical memento of achievement: whether as a logo to use in publicity and client-facing materials, a certificate to hang on the wall, a beautiful (or possibly not so beautiful) trophy to place with pride in the head office reception (or to hide in the back of a cleaning cupboard), or a voucher for a treat or purchase. PR and communications consultants love awards for their multitude of tangible marketing and ‘shout out’ possibilities.  Awards praise winners and of course most people like to win, and to be associated with winners.

Awards recognise the achievement and maintenance of high standards, both for an organisation and the individual. Where these standards are industry-recognised the value to the business can be quantifiable. Organisations that achieve awards for commitment, for improving staff performance through improved and revised training schemes demonstrate investment in the human resource. Awards relating to improved and excellent environmental practices demonstrate a commitment to and investment in the future. Innovation is essential in the cleaning industry and awards for innovation proclaim an industry moving forward.

Delighting in the accolade that an award nomination or a finalist place gives can become a deflating blow when the results are announced. So let’s not forget the benefit of being an Oscar nominee and what that does for the actor or actress in negotiations for their next film. There is great achievement in reaching the podium even if only as a runner-up.

In every instance the winning of an award is a declaration of excellence to existing and potential clients, to stakeholders, staff and competitors. At the same time consider that such a declaration of excellence can be seen as a challenge, one that drives the industry forward, to the benefit of all, long into the future. And of course let’s not lose sight of the value of awards to the individual winner. When a manager proposes an individual for an award this is a public acknowledgement of achievement. Such a powerful form of praise and feedback can have positive ripple effects across the organisation.

Awards badge achievement and highlight organisational and individual excellence. Awards are essential for the cleaning industry in that every award focuses the spotlight on an industry continually striving to be exceptional so congratulations to all those who have not only been winners but nominated finalists too in most significantly the BICSc Annual Awards and the biennial Golden Service Awards.

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