BambooHR Blog

Getting Big Recognition for Your Small Company

There’s been a lot of talk in the HR world about employee reward and recognition, with topics discussing how, when, and why you should recognize your employees. But employees aren’t the only ones accomplishing big things. Chances are, your organization as a whole has some noteworthy achievements too.

When your organization gets recognized, your employees feel recognized. They feel proud to work for an award-winning company, and they might even feel inclined to share the accolades on social media (hello, free marketing for your employer brand and product).

But if you’re like most organizations, trophies don’t show up at your office on their own. The truth is, someone will likely need to point out how innovative, thoughtful, and incredible your organization is before any award committees will take notice. Here’s how to get your organization on their radar:

Think Local

People tend to value the opinions of their local communities, and most organizations draw employees and customers from close by. If you win an award from a respected local publication, the impact is likely to resonate more within your company and with more of your consumer base. And as such, an award from people in your community might mean even more to the people who matter most to your organization.

Check around your community for business-networking and industry-specific groups. Find a list of local news and business publications. Then call up and ask them if they do any business awards. 70 percent of our awards for our first few years of business were from local organizations like Utah Business, Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum, The Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret News. And even though we now win awards from more well-known organizations like PC Mag and Fortune, we still wear our local awards with pride.

Think Outside the Box

Just as coffee shops win awards for more than great coffee, HRIS vendors win awards for things that aren’t software. You might be surprised what seemingly small part of your organization might get you recognized. A few examples: customer satisfaction, company culture, best products, best executives, coolest office, greatest perks, highest employee engagement.

So, when you stumble across an awards organization, do a little digging and find out all their awards categories. Thoughtfully consider all possible categories and apply for any that you feel might be a fit.

Think Big

You might think you’re too small to win any awards from big-name organizations, but then again, you might be wrong. Many award groups consider different bands (small, medium, large) for recognition, because they understand that a 15-person company likely won’t have the big workplace perks or global influence of a Google or Facebook.

One of the reasons many employees love working for small and medium businesses is culture. SMBs often provide more flexibility, opportunity, and care than larger organizations can, so you might consider applying for a few of these awards:

Entrepreneur’s Top Company Culture Award: Entrepreneur is a pretty big name, and we’re really proud of making this list a few times. Our only complaint is that they charge licensing fees to use their official award badge. We just mention the award without posting the badge.

Great Place to Work Award: A great benefit of this award is that you’ll get deep insight into employee engagement levels, anonymous feedback, and how employees feel about your organization. Plus, winners are considered for other lists, including Forbes Top Company Cultures.

When Work Works Award: This organization recognizes organizations who provide flexibility, great cultures, and big opportunities. If you let employees work from home, make their own schedules, or even work occasional flexible hours, this could be a great award for you. 

Applying for awards doesn’t take a ton of time, but winning them does a lot for employee morale. You can also glean great information about how your organization’s performance and culture stack up. Look into both local and big organizations and publications to see what opportunities exist, and don’t be afraid to apply for obscure awards. A little bit of time filling out applications can result in some pretty big recognition.

BambooHR is the #1 HR software for small and medium-sized businesses. We set you free from spreadsheets so you can do great work.

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