Like previous years in the Solent 250 programme, we are giving the Solent 250 businesses the opportunity to nominate themselves or others for an award to celebrate the Solent business community’s talent, while also recognising the challenges that every business on the list has experienced recently.
2020 was a year where the rule book was torn up, and businesses needed to react quickly and decisively, but with flexibility towards constantly changing goal posts as the UK government sought to bring the pandemic under control. This award looks to recognise businesses that have done any of the following:
acted decisively and with agility to adapt their business model or route to market to enable them to continue trading successfully through 2020;
harnessed or accelerated their technology roadmap to reduce disruption to the business, their consumers and their supply chain;
repurposed their facilities or resources to assist with the ‘Covid effort’ (for example manufacturing or distributing PPE and related products);
sought to accelerate their own product/ service delivery, to assist their customers to also better cope with the changed way of working;
acted decisively as a management team, to help their employees to transition safely and productively to a new way of working;
innovated in terms of the products or services they provide in response changing market demands; and/or
grown their business, despite the pressure of the pandemic.
Climate change is one of the most challenging issues ever faced by businesses. There is widespread recognition that if we don’t act quickly to find new sustainable practices in business, the economic and social consequences will be severe and potentially irreversible.
This award recognises the achievements by businesses from the Solent 250 who are leading the way on sustainability and have implemented environmental initiatives to reduces their carbon footprint. Such activities might include:
developing a carbon reduction strategy and taking actions which have resulted in competitive advantage;
innovation of products or services with a positive environmental impact;
increasing environmental efficiencies of production (such as energy and water consumption or waste reduction); and/or
making changes to minimise the environmental impact through the supply chain.
Recent market conditions have presented many businesses with opportunities as well as the more obvious challenges. While growth is by no means the single barometer for success, this award seeks to recognise businesses within the Solent 250 that have made the most of the opportunities presented to them, adapting to achieve their maximum potential within their respective sector and in turn growing market share. Solent 250 companies will need to demonstrate some of the following for this award:
tangible evidence of commercial success with sustained growth over the last 12 – 18 months;
this can include established businesses that have suffered downturns and have implemented recovery programmes;
able to demonstrate they have seized the opportunities available to them within the marketplace in which they operate;
business performance that highlights a gain in market share which has been maintained despite challenging market conditions; and/or
an explanation of the creative initiatives that have been implemented by the business to resolve organisational challenges, establishing an effective business continuity or resilience programme.
This award seeks to recognise businesses who place their culture at the core of their business and make it part of their brand, thereby driving their resilience, especially during the pandemic, and all-round success. This award is aimed at celebrating organisations who put their people, their employees first and invest in their success, increasing purpose, pride, collaboration within the business and giving it a competitive advantage which is difficult for any competitor to replicate. We are looking for businesses who seek to:
prioritise employee engagement as a key driver of their business’s performance;
promote their unique culture internally and externally to their market;
innovate in terms of how their culture adapts to change and new thinking;
align their culture with a clear and strong brand;
maintained high morale, productivity and team collaboration throughout the lockdown periods;
ensured extensive communication through a variety of channels and personnel to maximise engagement levels;
supported staff from a Mental Health & Wellbeing perspective, able to demonstrate initiatives and provision available to team members; and/or
monitored and maintained strong employee engagement, with the ability to demonstrate ROI in creating such an environment for staff.
This award looks to recognise businesses from the Solent 250 that has exhibited exceptional international performance in the last 12 months either through:
growing export sales by entering new regions or significantly increasing revenue in existing markets;
establishing operations in new territories; and/or
taking an interesting, proactive or pragmatic approach to their business activities in the face of the challenges or opportunities presented from the changes in global economic and geo-political landscape.
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