On the 16th March 2017, we will be crossing our fingers once again at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. This year we are lucky enough to be finalists in the category of ‘Green Business of the Year’ – sponsored by Crawley Borough Council.
These awards are always very competitive, with everyone from local sauce manufacturer, Cheeky Boy Sauces, to global hotel chain, The Hilton Group, fighting it out to be on the shortlists. To be shortlisted among such esteemed company is almost enough of a reward, although we really would like to win!
Last year we were lucky enough to be finalists in the category of ‘Customer Delight’ but were, unfortunately, pipped to the post by Club Class Chauffeurs. This year we are hoping to go one better and be crowned ‘Green Business of the Year’.
But, as I’ve said before, it isn’t just the winning that is important, it’s the taking part. In addition to the chance to mix with other businesses in your region, it is also a chance to receive some outside feedback on your company. While we are only shortlisted in the category of ‘Green Business of the Year’, we actually entered several categories and the feedback we have received has been very heartening.
The opinion we received back from the judging sponsor in the category of ‘Employer of the Year’, for example, recognises the effort we have put into creating an open environment for our employees. They also noted that, “staff development and training are at the heart of Cleankill’s employee engagement strategy.” It was also good to know that our policy of actively engaging in team-building exercises, bi-annual employee conferences and awards, are viewed positively by external experts. The four directors always like to feel we are supportive of our staff but to have that acknowledged by an external source is great.
In the same way, the sponsor judge in the category of ‘Developing People for Business Success’, felt that our entry was very strong and showed “significant good practice”. They also acknowledged that we are always looking to improve our business and this is often focussed on staff development. They felt that the proof of our success was demonstrated in our, “high staff retention, low contract termination levels, client satisfaction statistics, etc.”
People in other businesses often ask me what there is to be gained from participating in business awards. They feel that, unless they are guaranteed to win, what is the point? It is a lot of effort but, when you receive informative independent feedback like that, it helps you to keep doing the right things and then you have a much better chance of winning the next year.
I noted, while I was looking on the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards’ website that one of our fellow finalists, in the category of ‘The Place to Meet’, is the East Sussex National Resort. This is funny because this is where we will be spending all day on the day of the ceremony, as one of the sponsors of the Net XP Sussex trade expo. This event is a unique way to market our business, network with other businesses and have fun. The expo will bring together 245 exhibitors and 30 speakers, so it should be a really good day, hopefully topped off with a win at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards.
This year, the ceremony takes place in the Millennium Suite at the Effingham Park Hotel. The night will be hosted by actor and star of ‘Episodes’, Stephen Mangan. Judging by last year’s event, hosted by Sanjeev Bhaskar, this should be a really good night and we are all really looking forward to it.
But, let’s be honest, while it is great to take part, it is very nice to win!
So, fingers crossed...