awards and that loving feeling

A smidge of recognition can spark all sorts of positive vibes into a team. So why do we so rarely do it?

By Darren Caveney

Last week I was fortunate to attend the UK Public Sector Communications Awards and together with a rather brilliant bunch of colleagues pick up an award. It was a reminder of how an award nomination or win can provide a welcome and invigorating dose of feel good factor. A little bit of that loving feeling, even to folks who have been involved in the industry for a long, long time.

I stopped entering awards a few years back for a number of reasons. You don’t need award judges to tell you when you’ve delivered good work, in the same way that you don’t always need a kick up the backside when you know you’ve made a mistake at work. You instinctively know these things and learn from them. But sometimes you work on a project that you know is so good it needs to be shouted about so that your colleagues can receive 15 deserved minutes in the spotlight.

The trouble is the awards business has become an expensive game and the public sector struggles to find the finances to take to the field. And that’s a shame because the looks on people’s faces at last week’s awards event was a pretty clear signal of the positivity of being recognised by our peers for creating great communications campaigns.

It’s one of the reasons why last year we launched the comms2point0 UnAwards but more of that later.

Right now, the public sector needs to become a whole lot better at staff recognition and staff engagement. I’ve a growing sense of it going backwards in some instances when we know oh so well the benefits of doing the simple basics in this area. Why this is so blooming hard I genuinely don’t know. But witnessing nearly a hundred organisations celebrating being recognised for their work last week was a timely reminder of the power of recognition.

Over the years I’ve noticed four important benefits of winning an award…  

  1. It can really enhance internal reputations
  2. It can strongly bond a group of people through a shared cause and outcome
  3. It can provide external recognition which may not necessarily exist within an organisation
  4. It creates an ‘award winner platform’ which allows you to go and innovate with fewer internal barriers

They are four good reason why we need to make sure that awards don’t just become the preserve of those with the largest budgets.

A big well done to all of the nominated teams and organisations at last week’s UK Public Sector Communications Awards and also to the organisers and judges for putting on a really impressive event.

And to finish, here’s a date for your diary – the second comms2point0 UnAwards will take place on Thursday 3 December where I’ll look forward to more of that loving feeling.

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and vice chair of LGcomms

Image via Wikimedia Commons