Don’t miss the chance to enter your company, your team, your organisation, or yourself in this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.
Entries close for this year’s Awards for Excellence on Friday (October 4) so, if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to download a form and get your submission in.
There are 16 categories in the Awards for Excellence. They cover businesses of all sizes: Company of the Year was won last year by The Claremont in Douglas, in recognition of the exceptional work the company has done to provide a high quality hotel to accommodate business people and visitors from all over the world.
‘We were absolutely delighted to win Company of the Year because it was a culmination of 18 months of hard work from lots of people – the win was great recognition for everybody who was part of that,’ says Mark Wilson, managing director of the Sleepwell Hotels group.
There are opportunities for smaller businesses, too: Medium Enterprise of the Year is for companies with eight - 30 employees, and Small Enterprise of the Year – a new category at this year’s awards – is for businesses employing seven people or less.
Reflecting the increasingly global dimension to the island’s commerce there is a category for International Business of the Year, won last year by Isle of Man Post Office for developing niche products for markets around the world.
The awards are not just for the commercial sector: there have always been some very strong entries from the charitable sector and, last year, the judges were delighted to see a record number of entries from the public sector.
Deb Byron, who has been on the Awards for Excellence judging panel for four years, explained: ‘In the private sector, it’s about growing the business in difficult operating circumstances.
In the public sector or service sector it can be that they’ve been creative or innovative when faced with budget cuts or headcount reductions and we want to know what have they done and how have they achieved this.’
Last year, the team from the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry won the award for Customer Service. They pride themselves on being readily available to their clients, who come from all over the world. Often, these clients will need to register an aircraft within a very tight timeframe, which necessitates working extra hours and weekends.
Director Hartley Elder, who collected the award said: ‘To receive an award on the island was fabulous: it’s local recognition of how well we’re doing but it was also wonderful to win a customer service award when you’re part of the government – to be competing against the private sector which traditionally, you would think, would always outstrip a government department.’
In addition to the company and team awards, there are also opportunities for individual entrants: Volunteer of the Year, Young Achiever and Business Person of the Year.
The latter was won last year by David Hester of Swagelok, an American-owned company making products for the aerospace industry.
He explained that his employees’ motivation came from the knowledge that they were producing a quality product: ‘People are proud to work for Swagelok,’ he said.
The sort of achievements that win at the Awards for Excellence are frequently fuelled by the passion of those driving them.
This was certainly the case with last year’s winners of the Isle of Man Government-sponsored Freedom to Flourish award, the Engineering Sector Skills Group, recognised for their work in encouraging more young people to consider engineering as a career.
‘I was absolutely elated, I was really proud and I felt really pleased that it was a recognition that supported our aim to raise the profile of engineering on the island,’ says Chris Allen, who accepted the award.
He went on to explain: ‘You don’t get involved in these things for rewards, you get involved with them because you’re passionate about the topic and as a general manager of a manufacturing business I know that this is an important topic for the success of my business.’
And, if you’re still wondering what exactly makes a great Awards for Excellence entry, judge Deb Byron sums it up in a few, simple sentences:
‘It isn’t just about business as normal, or having a good year.
‘These awards are for excellence, and excellence is what we are looking for.’
Entries for the Awards for Excellence close on Friday (October 4).
There are 16 award categories covering a wide range of commercial and community-based activities, for both organisations and individuals. Every year we also receive a wide range of entries, from the commercial, public and charitable sectors.
This year’s awards night takes place on Thursday, November 21. The event will be compered by Hugh Dennis, star of the hit TV comedy ‘Outnumbered’, and screened live online to a worldwide audience.
Entry forms are available to download at www.iomtoday.co.im/afe
If you require any assistance, call Trudi Williamson on 494682 or 695695.