Business Awards: Applauding Excellence & Stroking Egos Day 10 #WinterABC2021 @AfroBloggers

This week is all Business & Tech and while my approach is definitely different ( 😉) I know I will do justice…

Zimbabwe has a considerable number of awards ceremonies but the major player, which has a carved quite the niche, is the business awards. Year after year, the ceremonies pack all the glitz the business community has on offer. They deliberately create an ambience of important and showy people. I mean that in a nice way… It is a great networking opportunity coupled with a lot of ego stroking.

The Recognition

The awards are mainly to honour and recognize outstanding business performances in a calendar year. They aim at fostering a competitive culture within like industries while pushing for companies to exceed expectations in their business practices. The process leading up to the awards involves nominations, shortlisting, vetting by independent adjudicators and eventually selecting the winner and runner up.

It is exciting to win big as your organization gets the recognition which others dream of. You’re elevated to winners status and it enhances your reputation while making your employees feel proud to be a part of this recognition. It is a chance to broaden your spheres of networking as you have to play the game to stay in the game…otherwise you’re forgotten. Winning also makes for good marketing and PR as your accolades can be news worthy pieces without you paying for it.

I believe that much respect should be accorded to legitimate winners. For new players in the industry, it simply means that they have arrived and for the established companies, it speaks of their moving with the tines to stay relevant. For some, however, it is an opportunity for huge sums of money to be spent just to cater to people’s egos. Organizations can be very miserly about their advertising budgets but when awards season starts, they will happily spend just to make an impact, which is a major plus for the award organizers. It would appear that the nominees are people most likely to spend lavishly. Behind the glitz and glamour, a lot of money is channeled towards the ceremony. Nominees are invited to buy tickets to attend the event, varying from a seat to a standard or VIP table. In addition, they are enticed with advertising packages so that they can be part of the branding for the event. Visibility is paramount if you are to stay relevant so companies take this up willingly and the larger the amount of money spent, the greater their feeling of importance. Moreover, there is what is termed sponsorship awards where companies are again invited to pay a certain amount of money so that they can present an award named after them, have their name engraved on a trophy and get free tickets probably… My point is that most companies will not question if their work is worthy of an award. By being nominated, they feel deserving of the recognition and by spending a lot, they want to be seen as the big spenders.

Some organizations even have the accolade syndrome and associate themselves with awards that have little or no recognition in their industry. While this glory chasing might line up the trophies, it also might deter potential business. Some organizers are known to have received bribes to sway the so-called independent adjudicators decision on the winners (story for another day…)

Winning aside, companies can get to reflect on their progress as a unit. The recognition pushes that competitiveness and you also receive useful feedback from peers in your industry. Some companies thrive on the ego boost which comes from being called to speak at conferences, being invited to sit on various boards and the elevation of your business profile.

It is therefore important for a company to weigh in on each nomination on whether it rewards their work or a chance to boost their ego…

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