Awards Entry FAQs
Entries open on 15th March, with Early Bird entry closing on 23rd April and the final entry deadline on 2nd July. Finalists are announced during wc 13th September and Winners on 25th November and we hope that an Award ceremony might be possible in London this year to follow spectacular Awards events we’ve held over the last 5 years!
Our judges are senior leaders in fields spanning company culture, employee experience and engagement, leadership development, wellbeing strategy, DE&I, talent and learning. You can view our current Judging Panel here. They are practitioners in these fields devising the people agenda in their own organisations and with extensive experience in what good looks like. Many of our judges are previous winners themselves. Judging is by invitation only but please contact [email protected] if you’re keen to be considered and are a senior practitioner in one or more of these fields.
In 2021, we’ll celebrate the 6th Annual Business Culture Awards and the companies taking the greatest strides in building an exceptional company culture. The Awards and Events were originally founded by Tim Pointer, a Chief People Officer with 25 years’ leadership experience, directing business transformation (double-digit growth, mergers, acquisitions & IPO) in global organisations. His passion for exceptional culture as the foundation for accelerating business performance has resulted in previous recognition for him and his teams and the desire to promote greater study, celebration and recognition for company culture.
Yes, an entry fee is charged per category that you enter. Early Bird entries cost £125 (+ VAT) for entry on or before 23rd April. Entries cost £250 (+ VAT) thereafter. You’re able to submit in as many categories as you wish and for a number of submissions we’re able to apply additional discounts. Please contact the team to discuss at [email protected].
Entries are limited to 1,500 words (approximately 2 sides of A4), incorporated onto an entry form, outlining the situation/challenge you faced (250 words); the approach and activities you undertook in response (500 words); the results you saw, both quantitative stats and qualitative results such as as staff testimonials (500 words); and next steps (250 words), in other words, where you are going next with this project or whether it has sparked a new initiative. You can include up to 3 supporting documents which strengthen your entry overall.
Up to 3 supporting docs can be added, such as videos, reports, slides, data spreadsheets. A well-written entry about an innovative approach which has seen strong results, with no supporting documents, will score more highly than additional documents included in an attempt to bolster a submission which is not written up clearly or does not include evidence of success.
There is no maximum file size though it’s preferable if a link to a video-sharing platform or your website can be received for very large video files (over 100MB), instead of the video file itself. A sensible and succinct approach is advised for supporting materials – remember that judges are senior leaders in busy roles. They have given their commitment to thoroughly and critically review each of the entries but 50-slide presentations or reports are unlikely to score as well as supporting evidence which is clear and to-the-point.
10-15% over in one of the sections would be permissible but we would advise no more than this. You would lose marks overall for being significantly over length in all/any of the sections, or for being over word limits throughout. A sensible and succinct approach is advised.
The majority of entrants complete the entry form and may also attach one or more supporting documents. It is permissable however to create a separate document which is more “designed” and containing images. If you opt to do this, please incorporate all details requested on the entry form, including entrants details and project name. Be aware of the evidence required in each section of the form and and include the key questions asked. If you give little evidence for one of the questions, you would stand to lose marks, as judges are marking to specific criteria.
It can be really helpful in this case to have a short call to discuss with the team who are very experienced in guiding entrants as to which of the categories is the best match. We also adapt categories each year, including launching new ones based on trends that have been observed in the workplace. There are 4 new categories in 2021 which you can see on our Category page here and you can also download a PDF with all categories and descriptions. If you would like advice from the team, please contact them at +44 (0) 1727 847398 or at [email protected]
No, if you have strong stories to tell in a number of areas, and have seen the impact of these initiatives, you can put forward any number of submissions and often more than one category is applicable to a project/piece of work. A number of companies opt to either submit the same entry in more than one category; the same entry with editing; or a number of completely different submissions into different categories. Please bear in mind that payment is per category entered, with discounts for multiple submissions. We also have an extensive judging panel; therefore a variety of judges would be assigned to scoring and commenting on your entries across all the categories.
You can refer to our Tips for Entry on our homepage, or in your Entry Pack. Judges are marking to criteria and will want to clearly understand the steps of your initiative from outset to review and whether it has delivered on the intended outcomes. They'll be looking for evidence of results and measurability and that the aspect you have improved has delivered value in your organisation.
They’ll also be assessing how your culture is improved or advanced by this work and how it aligns with organisational strategy and performance. Finally they’ll be thinking about whether your approach is creative and whether it sets contemporary standards from which others can learn. The Judges are aware of word counts for entries.
You will lose marks if you’re significantly over the word count on any section, although being 5-10% over on one of the sections, for example, won’t impact your overall score. Try to avoid being significantly short of the word count in any of the sections too.
If you are drafting the entry and are unsure about the best way to tell an engaging story, grammar, or your written style, we’d advise getting an internal comms colleague, or similar, to read over your entry to make sure it is punchy and engaging for the reader.
Remember that the judges assessing are unlikely to know your company and the sector you operate in, so it always makes sense to give a flavour of this to set the scene at the start of your entry.
There is no requirement for our entrants or finalists to make a presentation at the current time and entries are judged wholly on the basis of the written evidence that you submit. Judging takes place over July - August and entries are marked to the criteria outlined above.
It’s completely up to you. Sometimes entrants prefer to send everything in one go, while others prefer to submit each of their entries as and when they are approved internally, or by their clients. It’s always helpful if you can let the team know that you have other submissions to follow and for which categories. This helps with our planning and allocation to Judges, particularly if your entries will be arriving very close to the deadline.
You can send it to [email protected] with your entry form and any supporting documents. If you have larger documents that cannot be sent via email, they can also be shared via WeTransfer, Dropbox or similar. You will receive a confirmation of receipt from the team.
The vast majority of our entrants pay via credit card via our website at the time of submission and there is a link to do this on our homepage. An invoice receipt is emailed by the team when your payment is received. If you need to request an invoice, please contact the team at [email protected] Payment must have cleared before the final entry deadline and before entries are transferred to the judging panel.
Generally you should enter according to the number of employees you have across the whole of your organisation. However, if an area of your business can be taken separately (for example, the UK business, or a subsidiary business within a Group) and the entry pertains to this part of the business alone, it would make more sense in this case to take into account the lesser number of employees.
We promote winners via our social media channels: we’re Business Culture Awards on LinkedIn and @bizcultureawds on Twitter. Be sure to follow us there! We send finalists and winners digital collateral to use for their own promotion, for example, on their email, social media, blogs and website. We write and promote case studies for all winners and highly commended organisations (all case studies are available here). We also run events like this where winners share their approaches and results - those judged to be the best stories are shared at these).
To view the full range of promotional opportunities offered by the Business Culture Awards, download our Media Kit here