If only there were 25 hours in a day. Faced with competing priorities and with resources often stretched, applying for an award is rarely at the top of any business owner’s agenda – too often we simply don’t have enough time. Yet while there are obvious benefits to receiving an award, the process of applying in itself has several advantages for your business that make carving out the time worthwhile.

As a relatively new cyber security consultancy in a very competitive industry, awards have played a central part in MWR InfoSecurity’s growth from a start-up in 2003, to the sector leader it is today. Like all businesses, both new and well-established, we are constantly reviewing how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Entering awards to celebrate particular elements of our business and how we work has been of significant value to us in terms of our reputation.

Let’s take the City & Guilds Group Princess Royal Training Award, which we were thrilled to receive last year in acknowledgement of our annual ‘HackFu’ training event. This is an award to honour employers who have created outstanding training and skills development programmes which have resulted in exceptional commercial benefits.  Applying for this was a no brainer – we felt we were doing something quite unique in this area and wanted to benchmark this in the wider business world.

‘HackFu’ is an immersive training experience, filled with challenges designed around hacking, scripting, lock-picking, crypto and generally thinking outside the box. The event places participants in a live storyline where they work in teams, challenging their own knowledge and skill sets, and sharing tips and tricks to complete as many challenges as they can.

This kind of collaborative approach to training, which we also open up to a number of our sector competitors, is vital in an industry where staying on top of change matters. We know that in cyber security, everything goes out of date so quickly that a traditional course format would simply not be effective.

However, outcomes of this training are difficult to measure and to convey. The results vary for different participants and are a lot about feeling, so having the validation of an accreditation like this is a big thing for a company doing something a bit different.

We have found it really useful to have someone effectively saying not just to us, but to our industry more widely, ‘we know training, and we think what MWR is doing is right’. In an industry where there is a significant recruitment shortage and competition for skilled workers is strong, this message is really quite powerful.

Beyond this, the actual process of applying for the award was extremely valuable for us. It gave us an opportunity to take stock and properly appraise what we are doing and why it works, as well as look at what could be improved. So often, business owners and HR professionals are so heavily occupied with the day-to-day running of their organisation that we don’t get a chance to step back and think about the strengths and weaknesses of our approach. Yet this is not simply a nice-to-have.

The award submission process has actually served to help us develop our programme. We are now in a position to talk more confidently and comprehensively about our training offer, which has become renowned within the sector and increasingly helps us to attract and retain our talent. It has also helped us to develop our business offer; through being able to speak to our clients about the training event, we have subsequently received requests to provide similar offers for our clients and their own teams.

Today, 25 per cent of MWR’s new revenues come from international divisions led by individuals who have participated in HackFu events. It is for this reason that we view ‘HackFu’ as central to the success of our company more broadly.

The City & Guilds Group’s recognition of our company’s commitment to improving industry performance as well as our own, along with increasing the relevance of cyber security today, will play a central part in how we continue to position our offer and attract new talent. Awards matter – and it really is the taking part that counts.

Originally posted by Personnel Today: https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/applying-business-awards-worth-effort/

Other news stories

Gen2 welcomes HRH The Princess Royal

Gen2 were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to their Head Office in Workington, Cumbria to officially open the building. Gen2 is the largest training provider to the UK civil nuclear industry working with over 250 employers. In 2017 it became part of the...

In conversation with Aaron Saxton about UKFast’s £5m commitment to their Community and Education Trust

At our Alumni event in Manchester we caught up with Aaron Saxton, Director of Education at UKFast, to talk about the organisation's Community and Education Trust which has committed £5 million to provide more opportunities to young people in the community. It’s clear...

In the press: Bartlett Mitchell report organic growth drives 16% increase in turnover

Bartlett Mitchell, one of the UK’s leading independent caterers, has announced a 16% increase in turnover – driven through organic growth and strong client retention. For the period ending 31 October 2018, the company has posted a record £45.5m in overall turnover. It...

In the press: AESSEAL boosts turnover to £181.3m after a year of national award success

Manufacturer AESSEAL boosted its turnover by £10m after posting an eight per cent rise in organic sales. During 2018 the business grew earnings by 15.7 per cent to £34.7m and saw its turnover rise to £181.3m. Group net assets rose to £122.8m, an increase of 18.6 per...

Next Alumni meet-up: Manchester Wednesday 1 May 2019

Everybody agrees that employee experience is crucial to business success ― and yet not many organisations are actively addressing this need. How can employee training and development hep you improve employee experience and enhance the performance of your organisation?...

Princess Royal Training Awards now open for entries

The Princess Royal Training Awards – designed to honour outstanding and innovative training and skills development programmes from UK employers – are now open for applications, until 29th March 2019. Created by the City & Guilds Group, which is celebrating its...

It’s time to give learning and development the royal recognition it deserves

It’s common knowledge that business conditions in the UK today are far from optimal. Employers are faced with economic uncertainty, widening skills gaps and lagging productivity. And what’s more problematic is that these aren’t simple issues to fix – there’s no...

Employee experience | How John Lewis & Partners improved staff satisfaction and earned £1.5million

John Lewis & Partners wanted in-store customers to have the same choice and convenience as online shoppers. So they decided to give a digital handheld device to shop floor Partners. If a customer couldn’t find the right size or colour, the Partner could check...

Upskilling: the key to fighting UK business uncertainty, skills gaps and productivity lags

It’s safe to say that UK businesses are facing a period of unprecedented change and challenges and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up any time soon. Despite rising slightly in 2018, our productivity still lags behind our European neighbours and two years of...

In the press: Legal & General recognised for skills training

Legal & General has won a Princess Royal Training Award (PRTA), recognising its StepForward Talent Development Programme. The programme, which is open to around 1,000 employees within the Legal & General’s Insurance (LGI) division, is designed for those who...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This