REPORT FROM VICE-PRESIDENT, JAYNE HALL
As yet another cabinet member resigns over Brexit, leaving the Prime Minister feeling betrayed and unappreciated, I wonder who doesn’t welcome a little recognition and acknowledgement for their efforts from time to time?
Those of you who know me will be aware that I am a great believer in the power of kindness, showing consideration and valuing and acknowledging the good in people. It is a well-accepted business concept that rewarding individuals and teams for their efforts brings positive results. As my granny used to say... ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar!’
During December and the season of goodwill, our thoughts are on sharing gifts and good times with our friends and families and then the Award season is upon us! Before the New Year kicks in the media’s thoughts turn to the Oscars, the Golden Globes, BAFTAs BRITs and Grammys. We are bombarded with smiling celebrities clutching glistening trophies and delivering heartfelt gratitude to all and sundry in their tearful acceptance speeches.
Perhaps that is why, sometimes, it might feel that there are so many awards that their significance is devalued. I’ve heard colleagues criticise and dismiss our own industry awards as a pointless con... just a contrived and meaningless marketing ploy’
Having attended more than my fair share of awards ceremonies, I feel suitably qualified to write a few words on the subject. So what are these awards all about? The Oxford English dictionary definition of an Award: ‘(n.) - a prize or other mark of recognition given in honour of an achievement’.
We may not all get a buzz out of dressing up to the nines at a formal black tie dinner but who doesn’t enjoy feeling special? What better feeling than that sense of euphoria when we win something! The Winner Effect is recognised in biology and psychology, in both animals and humans, where the brain is flooded with testosterone and dopamine, and it has been shown that winning individuals are more likely to be successful in subsequent competitive situations, making them smarter, more confident and able to take on larger challenges.
As always with this column, I must emphasise I am expressing my personal view and having seen and attended many different industry awards, from the low key local ones in the local town hall to the glitziest glamorous affairs in the heart of the capital city I believe the positive value they bring to the drudgery of the working day should not be underestimated.
I am fortunate to have been involved in various awards in various capacities ... from organising local awards, sitting on the judging panel of regional awards, being part of the assessment team for shortlisting nominees, compèring and handing out prizes. I have even received an award as the designer and project team co-ordinator on a local community engineering project. And the outstanding generosity of people attending the local, regional and national awards helped me to raise over £30,000 for ‘Young Minds’ children’s mental health charity. So the Winner Effect ripples out beyond the award event itself.
Consider the enlivening effect of collaboration and achievement when a business support team is given autonomy by the manager to organise an awards ceremony. Each of them rise to the challenge to work together as a team. The task stimulates better communications with the technical staff as they encourage everyone to put forward their best projects. Customers are contacted and excitement and eager anticipation soon permeate the whole business. As the awards ceremony date draws nearer the time comes to shortlist nominations and the judging panel meet in secrecy to choose the winners! There is no denying that organising an event is hard work and requires commitment from the whole team. But when you face a room full of people you’ve worked with and respect and witness the collective positivity as they network over a welcome drink or share anecdotes over a finger buffet it is difficult not to share in their positivity. To present a winning project team with a coveted award is the best feeling ever! Surpassed only by being a winner yourself!
CABE’s own awards are gaining recognition in the industry – a short film of our 2017 awards can be viewed online where finalists and winners share their thoughts in being involved. And the CABE Built Environment Awards 2018 were showcased in last month’s Building Engineer journal. Recognising excellence and achievements within the field of the Built Environment and Building Engineering, the nominations are judged by a panel that comprises industry experts who provide a wealth of knowledge over a wide-ranging field of expertise.
Entry to the awards is open to an organisation, individual or project where there has been substantial involvement of a CABE member. The subject of the nomination for the award will have demonstrated a range of Building Engineering skills through invention, research, design, education or other related activity and has produced a leading edge, innovative and exemplary project which was completed in the previous year.
I encourage all of our members to grab some of that Winning Effect for themselves and consider nominating a project in 2019.
And congratulate yourselves for all your unremarked upon achievements as the year draws to a close.
Jayne Hall BSc(Hons) C Build E VPCABE F CABE