How To Approach Best Workplace Awards

Best Workplace Awards

Table of Contents

You’ve probably considered how the best workplace awards can boost your employer brand efforts. Here’s some good news – it may be easier than you think. Maybe you already have an award or two. Or, perhaps you haven’t jumped into the nomination process but are considering.

We’d like to share a simple but valuable pro tip to help you maximize the value of workplace awards: Don’t let rankings become an obstacle to your efforts.

There are dozens of workplace awards designed to recognize excellence in various areas, such as culture, growth, ethics, and innovation. Specific industries may be spotlighted, such as healthcare, banking or advertising. General workplace culture awards may be local or national in scope, typically categorized according to size. Enter the black fly in the chardonnay: rankings.

Do rankings really matter?

Rankings are common in award programs, with the winner of the coveted #1 spot enjoying much prestige. In the minds of many, achieving anything other than the #1 ranking diminishes the value of the award. When can you say, “We won”? Is it when you make the top 10? Top five? Or is only the #1 spot truly worthy of publicity and pride?

Look at the numbers. There are millions of businesses in the United States; about 5,000 hospitals, 7000 banks, 100,000 software companies and more than 120,000 marketing agencies. Some estimates put the number of smaller businesses in Arizona alone at 500,000. Some of those do not qualify to apply for the best workplace awards, but many do. If your company was recognized, for example, as one of the 50 best advertising agencies in the U.S. or one of the top 10 tech companies in Arizona, would that not be a prestigious recognition, regardless of the ranking?

Putting into perspective

If employer branding is the goal of your workplace awards strategy, once you’ve been recognized by a legitimate workplace award, you can confidently say, “We won!” You’re fully legit. And before you start worrying about rankings, take a look at this list and see if you can remember which one of these hit songs was not ranked #1:

  • Material Girl (Madonna)
  • Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)
  • Firework (Katy Perry)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)

That was a trick question — not one of these hit songs made it to #1. But they were hits nonetheless and virtually no one knows or cares where they placed on the charts, except the artists themselves.

Too often, business leaders view these “best workplace awards” as a high-stakes competition — like the Academy Awards — in which there are clear winners and losers among the nominees, and great actors like Brad Pitt, Glenn Close, and Johnny Depp may never win an Oscar. But most workplace awards are not like the Oscars; there are multiple recipients. All too often, business leaders complain about rankings, while at the same time obsessing over them. Don’t waste the branding value of your company’s culture by falling into that trap.

Celebrate your accomplishment!

You worked hard for the workplace recognition you achieve. Be proud! Don’t be ashamed of your spot on a list. The people you want to hire don’t care if you’re company is ranked #1 or #100 — they just want to know you’ve created a great place for them to build a purposeful career. So, promote your award like you mean it. Hang the banners, write the press releases, air the videos, celebrate with your teams, and brag about your award – whatever it is. You won!

One award you may qualify for: Arizona’s Most Admired Companies. For this prestigious statewide competition, be prepared to create essays describing your company’s efforts in Innovation, Customer Opinion, Leadership, Social Responsibility, and Workplace Culture. Not sure where to start? BestCompaniesAZ can help, and we’d love to hear from you.  

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Award-Winning Companies

Click on a program below to meet Arizona’s most diverse, veteran-focused, award-winning companies.

Best Employers

The pay is good, the perks are awesome, but it’s more than that. Respect, opportunity, balance, fun, and pride – you don’t want to settle for less. Why should you? Your dream job is looking for you.

Get updates

Join our network for updates on events, career openings, best practices, and more!

Let us elevate your employer brand

Want to build your employer brand in Arizona? Need help applying for a company award? Looking to fill your talent pipeline?

We can help! We’ve been doing this for 20 years.

customer service career path
Best Careers Blog

​​Accelerate Your Customer Service Career Path

Customer service plays a vital role in every company, ensuring that clients are satisfied thus maintaining customer satisfaction. These professionals are indispensable; nonetheless, it’s often

News & Updates

6 Companies With the Best Health Benefits

Employees care about their health benefits and appreciate working for companies with progressive benefits programs. Many organizations now offer more than standard benefits packages to