Winning a Workplace Award: The Nomination

workplace award 2

Updated in June 2019

The workplace award nomination process for Arizona’s Most Admired Companies (MAC) really gives you the chance to shine. Because the nomination is entirely built on your narrative, you can tell the unique story of your employer brand in a powerful way.

The MAC nomination consists of brief (2500 character limit) essays on five topics: Leadership Excellence, Workplace Culture, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Customer Opinion, and Innovation.

Here’s how to write a winning workplace award nomination:

1. Read the descriptions.

Ensure that you fully understand the criteria judges look for in each category. For example, culture is not defined by a list of benefits. Culture is what it’s like to work at your company, as differentiated from other workplaces.

2. Describe the “flavor” of your company.

Great companies are like ice cream, because there are a few essential ingredients and a variety in the flavors and serving methods. For example, seek out ways your company is different from others in order to define your employer brand in this workplace award nomination.

3. Tell your specific, descriptive stories.

Each category in the Most Admired Companies award nomination has a 2500 character limit. Therefore, this gives you plenty of opportunity to differentiate your workplace. Don’t waste words describing how your workplace is the same as everyone else’s. For instance, maybe you have an employee referral program. That’s great, but so does everybody else. However, do you have branded employee referral program that increases the number of positions filled through referral to 60%? Have you decreased the time to fill by 14 days? Do you pay the referral bonus as part of the on-boarding process? Well, now you have a story to tell!

4. Quantitative data strengthens your workplace award nomination.

Won a previous workplace award? Received a high NPS score from your customers? Perhaps, you can strongly increase your chances of winning by utilizing quantitative data and third-party recognition to back up your specific stories.

5. Tie it all together.

Great employer brands have consistencies across functions and categories because they’re all connected. Furthermore, the Most Admired Companies categories often overlap. A consistent brand message connected to the company’s values, mission, or manifesto, carries more weight with the judges than an array of random programs.

Here are winning excerpts from previous Arizona’s Most Admired Companies’ nominations:

Leadership Excellence, Banner Casa Grande Regional Medical Center

“As reported in the most recent Banner Health VOICE in August 2014 employee survey, BCGMC had an 86% participation rate. Despite being just two months into Banner with the uncertainty to do with the transition, Banner Casa Grande scored 72% on leadership effectiveness and 80% on Job Satisfaction higher than the National Healthcare norm (77%) and only slightly lower than the Best In Class (83%).”

Workplace Culture, GoDaddy

“Leaders share information with employees in our quarterly all-employee meetings. These rock-show type events kick off with high-energy music and create a culture of trust and transparency by sharing key information tied to company financials, product releases and marketing strategies. GoDaddy leaders also take live questions from employees who are encouraged to ask anything. We’ve also added monthly all-employee Town Hall hangouts to ensure our leaders are accessible and we’re sharing timely info and continuing to build a culture of transparency. Each Town Hall inspires colleagues to live our values…”

Corporate and Social Responsibility, Vanguard

“… employees also lead in our communities through skills-based volunteering. My Classroom Economy (launched in 2011) is a financial literacy program created by Vanguard volunteers. The program is aimed at K-12 teachers and students, and is offered free of charge. The Arizona My Classroom Economy team is active, meeting with teachers as well as with Governor Jan Brewer’s office. In all, My Classroom Economy ( has now reached an estimated 10,655 teachers, providing financial responsibility education to more than 317,715 kindergarten through 12th grade students across all 50 states and additional countries worldwide.

Customer Experience, Hyatt Regency Phoenix

“Informatica Corporation, the world’s number one independent provider of date integration software, named Hyatt Hotels & Resorts winner of the 2015 Informatica Innovation Award for the category of Total Customer Relationship….cross-functional IT and analytics work to lean up and connect Hyatt’s global guest information, paving the way for the roll out GEM (Guest Experience Management) Tools….At Hyatt Regency Phoenix, we have recently rolled out this Guest Experience Management Tool which helps us by recognizing the preferences of our guests to help make them feel at home. This is a valuable tool that allows us to show care for our guests in a way we did not have before.”

Innovation, Charles Schwab

“In 2015, Schwab was named to Fast Company’s prestigious list of 2015 “Most Innovative Companies” in the personal finance industry. Also earlier this year, Charles Schwab launched a fully automated investment advisory service, Schwab Intelligent PortfoliosTM, the only investment advisory service using sophisticated computer algorithms to build, monitor, and rebalance diversified portfolios based on an investor’s stated goals, time horizon and risk tolerance – without charging any advisory fees,
commissions or account services fees.”

There’s a common element of each award winner. They describe their practices in detail. Meanwhile, referencing in-house and external data.

Here’s our MAC FAQ’s page with additional information and resources.  We’d be happy to help because we want you to feel supported in this process.

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