At this time of year my team and I find ourselves working with clients to prepare submissions for one or more of the many award schemes that operate in and around the facilities management sector. Submitting a winning entry to these programmes takes time and effort and picking up the prize, or at least getting on the shortlist, is usually the objective.
To stand the best chance of picking up a prize you will have to commit management resource to identifying the right award to enter, gathering data, completing entry forms, preparing and attending presentations, meeting judges and organising tours. Not to mention spending money on entry fees, professional photographs, document production, attending the ceremony and maybe hiring some professional help with the writing and presentation.
The question I often get asked is whether it is worth the effort. Of course, the answer depends on how much you want to win and that depends on your particular situation. There are many potential benefits to winning an industry award for the organisation, the team and the individuals concerned. They may not all be relevant to you but some will.
For the organisation the biggest benefit is a boost to corporate reputation. If the award is in a category directly related to your market then this becomes valuable marketing collateral. However even if you provide a wholly different service but you win an award for your FM operation, it demonstrates a culture of excellence and can be used to enhance your standing with potential clients, staff and investors.
For the team involved the introspection required to just prepare the award can be really valuable but the benefits of winning are vast. The internal reputation and credibility of the team receives an enormous boost with a consequential increase in self confidence. Once you are known as a winning team it can be used to attract new recruits and to bolster relationships with all of your stakeholders.
Individuals benefit too. Leading or just being part of an award winning team increases personal confidence and looks pretty good on your CV as well. Achieving professional recognition by your peers is a terrific feeling. Those on the supply side also benefit greatly from exposure to the great and good of the sector who are usually found on judging panels.
I have been fortunate enough in my career to collect four BIFM awards and a handful of others from different bodies. I have also helped a number of clients to experience the same thrill and have sat on many judging panels (But never when advising a client who is up for the same award). I can assure all doubters that all the processes I have witnessed are fair and worthwhile; however on my desk is a list of more than 150 different award schemes directly or indirectly related to facilities management so I cannot speak for them all.
The final winner in all of this is the facilities management sector. By celebrating the excellence that exists in our discipline we both encourage others to lift their game and we provide the wider media with case studies of good FM practice to counter the negative stereotypes that are so often employed. So go on then … you’ve got to be in it to win it.