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'Taking part is important, but winning is nicer' – 2016 Croydon Business Excellence Awards.

Jon and Paul at the 2016 Croydon Business Excellence Awards

Last year I wrote about how important it is to take part in business awards. In my blog, “It’s taking part that is important” The Croydon Business Excellence Awards 2015, I told you the tale of how we were shortlisted for five awards, but in the end we won nothing. As I said at the time, it isn’t the winning but the taking part, that matters. Because our company covers such a large area, it is a great excuse for us to get together and celebrate our business, even if the awards don’t fall our way. I remember the words of our PR consultant Suzi as she left to catch her train, “there’s always next year.”

So now it is 12 months later and we were again shortlisted for five awards. I will admit I had a slightly hollow feeling in my stomach, or was it a case of déjà vu? This time we were shortlisted in the categories of ‘Best Customer Service’, ‘Best Small to Medium Enterprise’, ‘Best Company for Staff Training and Development’, ‘Best Green Business’ and ‘Commitment to the Community’.

On the night we were fortunate enough to be Commended in the categories for ‘Commitment to the Community’ and ‘Best Small to Medium Enterprise’ and Highly Commended in the category for ‘Best Customer Service’. These acknowledgements are important to us. Recognition of our achievements as a business, in terms of running an efficient business offering great customer service, is an acknowledgement of all the hard work our staff members put into Cleankill. In addition, it is really pleasing to receive a commendation for our commitment to the community. Both as a company and as individuals, we truly believe a business can only call itself successful if it is working with, and supporting, its community. To learn more about our commitment to the community, click here.

When it came to the categories of ‘Best Company for Staff Training and Development’ and ‘Best Green Business’, however, this year was very different to last year. We won both categories!

Receiving recognition for our commitment to offering outstanding training and development to our staff, is something we have long been keen to achieve. As you know, we are the only pest control company to have gone beyond the basic standard with Investors in People when, in 2015, we were given Silver accreditation. As a company, we have always been aware that without staff there is no Cleankill. Investing in our staff doesn’t just mean low staff turnover rates, it also helps the business. Because our staff are well-trained and understand the ethos of the business, they project the right image and it is that image which promotes our business.

On the night, perhaps the greatest achievement was winning ‘Best Green Business’. As I often say, it seems counterintuitive – being a ‘green’ pest control company – but it really is very important to us. Reducing waste, reducing mileage, reducing emissions, reducing the use of chemicals in favour of non-toxic treatments, all require time and effort, but we have always felt it is right thing to do and it is what makes us unique.

The 2016 Croydon Business Excellence Awards, in association with Gatwick Airport, were held at the lovely Grand Sapphire, in Croydon, on 6th October. Last year we had James Whale hosting the event, this year it was the broadcaster and journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer. In addition to a first-class meal and the awards ceremony, Crystal Palace legend, John Salako, also presented a charity auction which raised over £10,000 for local charities -  Croydon Commitment, Stanley People’s Initiative and the British Home & Hospital.

Unfortunately, this year our PR consultant Suzi couldn’t attend the event, but I like to think that this year she wouldn’t feel the need to say a comforting, “there’s always next year!”

But, it does make me wonder what I’ll be writing in 12 months’ time, after the 2017 Croydon Business Excellence Awards.