Popular misconceptions about the West Oxfordshire Business Award categories

Friday November 23rd 2018


Innovation isn’t about widgets, Employer of the Year isn’t a popularity contest and Large Business doesn’t mean you need to have a national presence. Don’t let your preconceptions of what is successful or award-winning hold you back. Simply have a read of what the judges are looking for in each category and if you can answer those points then you should download the entry form.  

Employer of the Year

Many employers believe that to be eligible for The MGroup Employer of the Year Award, they need to prove their popularity with all their staff members, have suffered no staffing issues or have found the elusive secret to hiring success. Whereas the entry criteria state: ‘Successful entrants demonstrate the characteristics of being a great place to work.’

So, think about the culture of your organisation; are your values clear and understood by the staff? Does your mission include the employees? How do you celebrate the teamwork and support one another? How does all of this impact on your staff turnover, happiness and communication?

Before you discount the possibility of being West Oxfordshire’s Employer of the Year, think about what your company does for your employees and what you have put in place over the years to improve employee satisfaction.

And remember, the benefits of being a winner of this category include becoming an attractive employer and a rise in staff morale.

Enter the West Oxfordshire Business Award for Employer of the Year button 

Large Business

To be eligible for the Sandler Training Large Business Award you need to employ 25 or more staff or have a turnover of more than £3 million. Some businesses can achieve this turnover with a small team and, likewise, your annual turnover may not be £3m+ but you may have a team of over 25.

As a large business you may have more than one site, in which case you may think you are not eligible to enter the WOBAs, especially if your registered head office is out of catchment area. However, as long as your site has operational autonomy and can make decisions regarding marketing, finance and management, then you can enter the WOBAs.

Enter the West Oxfordshire Business Award for Large Business of the Year button


Business Person of the Year

Now, the Wise Investment Business Person of the Year Award is about you personally. However, the judges don’t want to hear about how wonderful you are, this is not a battle of egos. This is about recognising individuals who approach business strategically, have implemented plans with successful outcomes, exceeded their client’s expectations and benefited their organisation as a result.

If you have achieved those things for your business, then this award is for you (provided you’ve been in the business for 5 years+). It’s also another step to raising your business’ profile!

Enter the West Oxfordshire Business Award for Business Person of the Year button


Innovation Award

Contrary to popular misconception, The Owen Mumford Innovation Award is not just about product design or innovation. It also refers to any process, service or culture that your business has innovated to enable you to become more efficient, to add value or benefit staff or customers. You don’t have to be an inventor of a widget to enter!

The category criteria sets out:

‘The Owen Mumford Innovation Award recognises all forms of successfully applied innovation, from new products and services to a culture of improvement. The Award celebrates the ideas that have created value, whether to the organisation or society as a whole. This award is open to any organisation, public or private, irrespective of size or industry sector.’

Have you had an original idea that led to improved business performance or processes? Or has your innovation benefitted something outside your business, such as the wider society?

Enter the West Oxfordshire Business Awards Innovation category


Like an exam paper, it’s worth reading through the questions and criteria before you decide which one to enter.

  1. Are you eligible?
  2. Can you provide evidence of what the judges are looking for?

If the answer is yes to both these questions, then download the entry forms for all the categories relevant to you and enter.