Recognition - The Icing On The Cake

by Anita Caldwell

(Original blog posted March 2015)

Having attended the Chemicals NW Awards dinner last week, the over-riding impression left for me, was the 'power of recognition'. 

The hard work would have taken place anyway by all the winners and finalists, even if the awards didn't exist, but it is the icing on the cake, or in this instance the 'coconut on the Manchester tart!', to be rewarded and recognised by your peers, colleagues, suppliers, customers, competitors and every other individual operating in your industry. 

It was excellent to see the value of ‘Recognition’ in action at the Awards, and to see the pride of the people accepting the awards on behalf of their teams, due to their successful endeavours. Besides the sheer excitement of winning and celebrating, it was also good to see some surprised acceptances from people having won their award in such quality competition. It was clear how all of the winners have contributed to the sector through their expertise, hard-work and having ‘gone the extra mile’.  

In particular the 'cool' understated acceptance of the 'Young Achiever/Apprentice of the Year Award' was good to see. John Barrett clearly appreciated his company, Incorez Ltd, and the work experience it had given him throughout his studies, he was giving something back to the company too by returning to the business after graduating, recognising the value of its support as a good employer. This category had many finalists all strongly supported and appreciated by their colleagues on the night.

As a specialist Search consultant in the chemicals sector, I often see the importance of 'recognition' in retaining and attracting good people. Besides fair monetary rewards, people are quite often motivated by simple recognition. I help my clients to retain good people and source, attract and secure new people of the highest calibre in the market, when skills are short and in demand. A thank you for a job well done still goes a long way for many people, being the recognition that motivates them as they feel valued in their roles. A candidate accessing the culture of a potential new employer can also 'feel' the genuine passion of the team, (if it is loyal, happy or otherwise..!) before choosing whether to accept an offer. Likewise a positive firm decision to move quickly to a competitive offer by a potential employer goes a long way to show a top quality candidate that their talent has already been recognised. 

I feel fortunate to have attended and observed the 5th Chemicals North West awards ceremony last week, as I felt proud to belong to this thriving Chemicals community, such a diverse, specialist sector of UK industry.  The Chemicals NW event showcased the strength of this leading regional hub and how it operates through all of its’ active, constituent parts from Manufacturers and Distributors, through to all the technical experts and service companies supporting the industry. The NW Chemical industry is seen to be optimistic and expecting further growth in production and sales this year. The Awards recognised excellence and achievements throughout the sector, and highlighted the key elements of success, including continuous improvements, hard work, operational excellence, and it likewise rewarded commercial successes, charitable contribution, team work, encouragement of skill talent and innovation. 

The winners were:
•    Operational Excellence Award - Perstorp
•    Business Improvement Partner Award - Warrant Group
•    International Trade Award - Quat-Chem Ltd
•    Innovation Award - Trelleborg AEM
•    The Young Achiever/Apprentice of the Year Award - John Barrett from Incorez Ltd, with two highly commended runners- up. Lori Bartley, Essar Oil (UK) Ltd and Declan Carberry from Hertel (UK) Ltd 
•    Chemical Services Provider Award – Stewardship Solutions Ltd
•    Charity of the Year Award – The White Horse Project 
•    Health and Safety Award – Banner Chemicals 
•    Engineering Business of the Year Award – PROjEN Ltd
•    Manufacturing Business of the Year Award – Quat-Chem Ltd
•    Sustainability Award – RS Clare & Co Ltd   

Congratulations to all the winners, and finalists, and well done to Alex at Chemicals NW for arranging such an impressive, friendly event! 

I have worked for RMG for over 8 years and one of our internal values is Recognition. The others are; Passion, Excellence, Loyalty, Tenacity and Honesty. As a member of Chemicals NW, I have successfully worked in partnership with many member companies to recruit managers across all functional disciplines. I would be pleased to talk with you if you ever need to recruit a key position or are interested to find out more about our talent mapping & tracking services, my contact details are above.

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