December 31, 2015 BestCompaniesAZ

Upcoming Awards Programs – Here’s How to Prepare Now

Do you love your workplace and think it’s every bit as awesome as the companies that get all the “great place to work” press? Has your CEO ever asked you, “why aren’t WE on that list”?

You know that a workplace award could be the rocket fuel for your employer brand, but with so many awards with different surveys, requirements, and deadlines, who has time to make sense of it all? Not to worry – BestCompaniesAZ can help you sort it all out and create the awards strategy that’s just right for you.

While there are many smaller, niche award programs promoted at any given time, three major awards are coming up soon that you’ll want to be aware of.

Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. This is the big daddy of all national workplace award programs for large companies. From tech giants like GoDaddy and Google to hospitality favorite Hyatt and military-focused USAA, the companies featured on this list have coveted employer brands. Prior to founding BestCompaniesAZ, Denise Gredler took her former employer to an impressive ranking of #12 and #16 on the national list and since then has also guided many clients to Fortune’s 100 Best status. Says Denise, “Companies that make this list boost not only their employer brands, but their financial performance. The research has proven the ROI for this award over and over again.”

The deadline to register for this list is July 29, 2016 and the deadline to complete the survey and forms (not an insignificant task) is September 9, 2016.

Fortune’s 50 Best Small/Medium Companies has the same entry requirements as the list for large companies, except for head count. The deadline for registration is June 18, 2016. If you make the list, you would be in great company indeed. Currently, the only company headquartered in Arizona on the list is Infusionsoft. BCAZ Consulting and Employer Branding Partner Lee Vikre managed the process for a small Arizona company that was in the top 5 for several years before it was acquired. Lee said about the experience, “If you have a great culture, getting this award is do-able, as long as you understand what the judges look for. It took our employer brand from ‘I’ve never heard of you’ to ‘Wow, I want to work there.’”

The pros of the Fortune lists: These are national awards of the highest caliber. If you qualify, it puts you in the same category as Google, GoDaddy, USAA, and Hyatt as one of the best employers in the United States.

The cons: These lists are highly competitive. The Fortune nomination process is not free, and requires that a company be certified. Completing survey and nomination forms takes a significant amount of time. Understanding the subjective judging requirements is important, since survey scores are not the only consideration. Smaller companies may not be confident they have the bandwidth to devote to the effort. It’s probably not a job for an intern. Although the costs of submitting a national list nomination may be slightly higher than entering a local nomination, the benefits of national recognition can be well worth the investment.

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies. By winning this statewide award, companies can improve their visibility through recognition in five areas: Leadership Excellence, Customer Opinion, Workplace Culture, Innovation, and Social Responsibility.

The nomination form for Arizona’s Most Admired requires descriptive essays outlining strengths in the five spotlight areas. While the MAC program does not have a survey requirement, quantitative data from internal or third-party employee surveys is a part of the judging. Registration will be opening in April and will close June 3, 2016.

The pros: the award is statewide and prestigious, and is free to enter. Since the competition is other Arizona companies rather than the entire country, it can be more achievable but produces similar recognition value.

The cons: The essays require content that will distinguish an organization from others. Since survey data from another source is virtually a requirement, you will have to either have won a previous award or administer a survey prior to nomination.

How can BestCompaniesAZ help? Although BestCompaniesAZ does not select list winners, we know what the judges are looking for. We can guide you, or manage the entire process on your behalf – whatever you need. Here are just a few of the things we can do:

  • Create a business case and get senior leadership buy-in
  • Create nomination essays and prepare qualitative data for nomination forms. We know what the judges are looking for
  • Create a survey strategy and execute it
  • Plan communication activities throughout the process
  • Analyze your data to help improve your culture and employer brand
  • Promote your employer brand in Arizona.

So if you want your company to get the recognition you deserve, elevate your employment brand and gain a stronger advantage in hiring the best talent, then an award program can do just that. Contact the expert team at BestCompaniesAZ –  or 480-545-5151 to get started.