Are you ready to win an award? Benchmarking can help!

by | Jun 5, 2013 | Articles

Entering awards provides a great opportunity to reflect on your journey so far and to shout about your successes. The awards process itself provides an opportunity to informally benchmark, which helps us raise our game and the game of those around us. But how do you know you are ready?

Last updated June 2014

If you are thinking about entering one of the many L&D awards either in the coming months, I would encourage you to start thinking about benchmarking with your peers before you enter.

Join in the conversation #GetTheEdge and get involved with  Towards Maturity Benchmark today to help you become an award winner tomorrow (or the year after)! – Here’s why:

  • Use our online Benchmark Review to reflect on some of the actions and activities that set the top learning companies apart from the rest
  • You will get a detailed Personalised Report* outlining where your current learning strategy is strong compared to your peers and where others might be stronger than you
  • The report will help you reflect on your ‘best bits’ so that you can chose the right award for you (we don’t all have to be great at everything and most people fall down because they don’t enter the right award!). There is a list of current awards at the end of this article!

How to get immediate feedback on your strengths:

If you are planning to enter an award, you can take part in the Towards Maturity Benchmark at ANY time via our Online Benchmark Centre.  Here you can :

  • Review  your strategy against the practices of the very best. Go to MY Benchmark>My Review to complete the full review, saving your answers as you go.
  • Compare your progress with peers in six areas that are always important to the judges. Go to MY Benchmark>My Personalised report and click on ‘Generate a report’ for immediate feedback.
  • Act on the results!

For more detailed analysis* on your results, contact us by email or via this site to find out how to receive your comprehensive Personalised Benchmark Report with feedback on 12 key performance indicators and 19 activity areas within 48 hours.

The Benchmark review takes about 45 minutes and is completely confidential, it will take you through an opportunity to reflect on all aspects of your learning approach.

*your detailed Personalised Benchmark Report is valued at £300 but free to all Benchmark participants who take part between 3rd June and 31st July 2014 thanks to the support of Towards Maturity’s Ambassadors.

I don’t think I am ready yet!

If you are planning to enter awards NEXT year, you should still benchmark THIS year. Your Personalised Benchmark Report will help you focus on the activity areas that ensure you deliver powerful results to your organisation – adding real business value not just cost cutting. And that will make you a star within your own organisation, which in turn will really strengthen your chances of being shortlisted when it comes to external awards.

Increasing your opportunity for success

Over the last ten years I have probably judged over 70 different awards (and read literally hundreds of submissions) and whilst I can’t guarantee that benchmarking prior to entering the awards process will bring you success, it will help you focus, prioritise and be more confident in your chances of being shortlisted!

The Towards Maturity Benchmark is just the first step to success in external awards – here are my 12 do’s and 4 don’ts for creating your submission and presenting to the judges!

Creating your award submission

1.    Recognise your own achievements benchmark today 🙂
2.    Do some external research – take some inspiration from past award winners
3.    Chose the right award for you – read the categories carefully and enter the category that will really draw on your project’s strengths
4.    Read the award submission guidelines – and keep to them, enough said!
5.    Make sure you clearly map to the criteria – tell a good story but keep to the award criteria
6.    Keep to the word count
7.    Use great evidence to stand out from the crowd – winners are adding business value as well as driving efficiency
8.    Take it one step at a time – You should only have one aim in creating your submission: that it should get shortlisted

Tips for presenting to the judges

9.      Keep to time – question time is built into the presentation process for a reason
10.    Have an authentic voice – let us hear from those who have directly benefitted from your solution
11.    Have fun
12.   Tell others

4 things to avoid

1.    Don’t reinvent the wheel  – don’t make up your own rules about your submission, it may make perfect sense to you but if you don’t follow the competition rules you probably won’t get the recognition you deserve!
2.    Don’t add irrelevant detail – and that includes obvious sales pitches about your company
3.    Don’t make silly mistakes – spell checker is available to everyone for free, so use it
4.    Don’t think negatively – take an honest look at the project you’re most proud of, chose your category and give it a go!

Learning and Development Awards Deadlines

Finally, here are just a few of the L&D awards that you can enter – Have fun!

 

Compare your L&D strategy with the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check

Compare your L&D strategy

Review your L&D strategy to discover your strengths and opportunities for improvement with the Towards Maturity Learning Health Check.

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