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4 Steps to Win Awards

Winning an award is a prestigious career highlight and bragging point that you and/or your team should share with pride. We at GovLoop are proud to announce that we recently won Bronze in the Chief Learning Officer’s 2015 Learning in Practice Award for Excellence in Social Learning.

**brushes shoulders off**

But this post isn’t about bragging – it’s about the importance of understanding what makes award-winning work, so that you too can create award-winning work.

Winning – or even just applying for awards – allows you to analyze your project and effectiveness. It allows you to ask, “Is what we’re doing award-winning? Can it be?”

So where do you start?

1. Research: You should start by researching prestigious awards in your industry. See what categories there are, read up on what projects/people have won in years past and take notes.

2. Assess: Think about how your project compares to past winners and how it could fit into different categories.

Let’s take the Learning in Practice Awards as an example. Each of the categories provokes important questions:

  • Academic Partnerships – Are you leveraging the best in academia?
  • Blended Technology – How are you combining different technologies and in-person experiences to create the most impactful learning experience?
  • Community Service – What can you learn from intentionally serving side-by-side with your colleagues?
  • Content – Is the information in your training up-to-date, customized and presented in relevant formats for today’s learners?
  • E-Learning – Do you have an e-learning option? Is it effective?
  • Gaming and Simulations – Sometimes your learners need to dig in and do something… are you leveraging virtual capabilities to help them?
  • Vendor Partnership – The public sector is actually multi-sector… how are you leveraging fresh approaches from contractors?
  • Social Learning – Are you bringing the social aspects of in-person training experiences online? Are you providing tools to help people connect and learn from one-another?

3. Apply: After assessing categories and project examples, keep track of when the award deadlines are and what you think you could apply for.

Just reading the application will help you focus your project. Most will ask general questions about the project, but the main focus will be on how the project achieved a desired outcome and then how that desired outcome affected the overall organization.

4. Win: When it comes down to it, there is usually a high likelihood that you can win an award, you just have to know what’s out there.

Have you applied for or won an award? Share your experiences and tips in the comments!

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