This week’s Guest Blog is from sponsors and INSPIRE award winners Sentinel Housing.
What made you decide to enter/sponsor the Inspire Awards?
We believe investing in our people and offering them a great working environment and benefits package is integral to the success of our business. And when in 2012 we found out there was an Employer of the year award up for grabs we just had to enter. Of course, we feel what we offer is worth shouting about, but we were still really surprised and thrilled when we heard our name announced as the winner. We were even more thrilled when we won for a second time in 2014.
The following year we decided to give something back and to sponsor an award category instead. Now we want to encourage other businesses to come forward and share their stories too.
How did you feel about the awards process?
We found the process really easy to work with. All entrants are given clear guidelines on the information they need to supply and the best way to share their experiences. For us, as sponsors, it’s also really simple. The Inspire Team organise everything, we get to do the fun bits, reviewing the submissions, visiting the shortlisted businesses and joining the judges to pick a winner (actually that’s really tough!).
What advice would you give to future entries/sponsors?
Take a chance and enter for something you feel passionate about. The Inspire Awards are a great way to get your business noticed and get the recognition you and your staff deserve. Follow all the guidance given about what you need to do for your entry and be sure to give yourself enough time to put together your submission. Remember you might need help from a number of people across your business so give them plenty of warning about the information you need.
What has being involved in the awards done for your business?
Winning the award for Employer of the year was a great morale boost for our whole team. We’re really proud of our people and culture, so it was fabulous to be recognised as a great place to work through these awards. That also spurred us on to take part in the Sunday Times Top 100 survey. And we’re really proud to be recognised as one of the top 100 best not for profit companies to work for.
What was your favourite moment from Inspire?
Obviously winning the first 2 awards was really special for us, but being involved in the judging as a sponsor has been really rewarding. As a housing association, we do more than build and manage homes, we’re also committed to investing in the communities where we work. And we know that loads of other businesses out there are also doing great work in the community. So by sponsoring the Business and the Community Award we get to hear about and help to celebrate these fabulous achievements.
Written by Alex Nagle – Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods & Customer Relations at Sentinel Housing.
Want to tell us your INSPIRE awards story?
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As a membership owned business support organisation, it was clear that the purpose of Inspire clearly aligned with our values and we are delighted to be able to use our sponsorship to highlight great businesses in North Hampshire, and share the business success stories that take place in the area.