Construction, Human Resources, and Marketing, PR & Advertising

Being award-worthy

September 28, 2016
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Elzinga & Volkers ABC/WM diamond-level STEP Award safety
Members of the team at Elzinga & Volkers, a Holland-based construction firm, pose with the ABC/WM diamond-level STEP Award for safety. Courtesy Elzinga & Volkers

It’s awards season for the West Michigan construction industry.

Two major industry events happen each fall. We recently celebrated the Excellence in Construction Awards hosted by the Associated Builders and Contactors of Western Michigan, or ABC/WM, where projects, programs and people were recognized for their dedication to providing West Michigan with high quality buildings.  Next, on Oct. 13th outstanding, industry-leading general contractors will be recognized at the Michigan Contractor of the Year, or MCOY, Awards hosted by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan, or ASAM. Winning these awards is always our goal, but there is more to these awards programs than trophies and plaques.

Awards are given to companies, projects and teams that are exemplary and award worthy. While the winners get most of the attention, it is important to remember that the real purpose of any award program is to increase the amount of award-worthy entries, which raises the bar industry-wide. Being award worthy can change an organization, the customer’s experience and our industry as a whole. Here are some of the benefits of being an award-worthy organization:

Awards validate and measure efforts

Most awards programs, including the ABC/WM Excellence in Construction Awards and the MCOY Awards, use a rigorous measurement and rating system to determine the winners. The results of these rankings are typically shared with nominees after awards are given. Award-worthy companies use this information to gage their performance year to year and concentrate on areas of improvement. Awards also serve to validate ongoing efforts and inspire successful teams.

Awards foster healthy competition

We are in a competitive business. We compete against each other for customers, projects and people. But our industry awards focus us on the true efforts of all our hard work: the buildings and the people that built them. These programs are an opportunity for us to be judged on our efforts, not by our price or the contents of an RFP.  

Awards spotlight team members

One of the highlights of the recent ABC/WM Excellence in Construction Awards was the Craft Professional of the Year Award, which recognizes the skill, professionalism and heart of West Michigan craft professionals. Awards like this, and those that highlight our buildings, are a great opportunity to recognize team members for the work they do every day. Take the time to nominate those people and those projects that really exemplify what is great about construction.

An award-worthy organization will eventually win an award. Then the real work starts. Like losing the last few pounds of weight to achieve a goal, following the receipt of a top honor, the job of continuous improvement becomes more difficult, because there is less room for improvement. Truly award-worthy companies not only strive to maintain their positions, but push to make the criteria harder, always setting new goals. During this award season, I challenge you to adopt an award-worthy attitude and to strive toward being the best.

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