Entering awards? Use our top tips for success

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29 / 1 / 2014 3.41pm

Do you have an organisational development success story to tell? If so, then now is the time to shout about it and celebrate your achievements.

Completing an award submission can feel like a job in itself, so we have pulled together some top tips to help you on your way to the winners list.

Top tips

  • Learn from the best - putting an entry together requires time and energy but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at previous winners which you can usually find on the awards website or speak to colleagues in your organisation who have had previous awards success and ask their advice. 
  • Get buy in from the top – make sure your organisation is supportive of your submission and get senior management involved to support your case. 
  • Involve the whole team - make the entry a joint effort, this will often produce a better, more comprehensive summary, as well as making your story more interesting. 
  • Stand out from the crowd – make your story interesting, a linear narrative is not always necessary but make sure you use clear language. 
  • Be a judge - consider who will be reading your entry, the judging panel is usually made up of experts from your field. Imagine you are a judge and what you would expect to see from an entry.
  • Stats and facts - always back up any claims or successes with evidence, this should include quotes from those impacted by your initiative, statistical evidence or compelling before and after data.
  •  Follow the rules - yes, we know this may seem like boring advice but entries are judged against certain criteria. Make sure you read the criteria for each category and the entry rules before you start to complete your application.
  • Try again - if at first you don't succeed, learn from the process and try again!

Why enter awards?

  • Recognition – it is all too easy to fail to properly acknowledge your achievements. However, taking time to celebrate is important and can have a positive impact on team performance and morale. 
  • Sharing good practice - helps spread good ideas across the NHS, so that other trusts can learn from your OD successes. 
  • Networking opportunity – most awards schemes invite the winners and runners up to a celebration event. These events offer a fantastic opportunity to network with other professionals in your field. 
  • Don't just take it from us-  Caroline Mabey from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said, "It was fantastic to be recognised for the OD work that we did at the trust and have the opportunity to share the work across the NHS. It was really rewarding for us to be acknowledged as a trust that has made great progress with OD and we are definitely glad that we entered!"
Caroline was the 2013 winner of the HPMA Gatehouse Award for Excellence in OD, for delivering an OD initiative that has significantly benefited the organisation through improved effectiveness. Read about Royal Free's entry and find out more about the award on HPMA's website 

Click here to see our awards calendar

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