A TEAM from Dickinson Dees recently braved the elements to attend the Service Network Culture for Success Awards at the Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle’s Bigg Market.
Congratulations to Exclusive, Calvert Trust, BL Hairdressing, Dipsticks, Th_nk, Spark Response, Baltic and Barclays Contact Centre in Sunderland, which were all well deserved winners on the night.
Despite some of the worst weather ever for a July and the fact it was a Monday night, the event was a sell-out and the crowd were treated to some very interesting advice on relationship management and avoiding speeding tickets by comedian David Hadlingham.
Award ceremonies are inherently difficult to organise, but over the years Service Network has built the Culture for Success Awards into one of the North East business community's key dates for the diary. Culture for Success is probably the most subjective award that a business can receive in the North East although the four criteria are relatively simple and straightforward: staff development, customer service, winning new business and contribution to the region.
Service Network relies very heavily on volunteer judges who give up a great deal of time to assess every single entry and then visit each and every shortlisted business. The judges are drawn from the awards' sponsors which this year included CS Mobile, Cintra, Gateshead College, NCFE and Spacecraft Events.
Everyone has their own version of what good or great service is and yet people still shy away from trying to describe it. Oddly it is incredibly rare to hear someone say they have interacted with an organisation because its profit has increased. Conversely, it is a daily occurrence for someone you know to say you should try a restaurant or a shop because of the service.
Culture for Success seems to have hit on a change in attitude whereby people want to judge quality rather than growth. It is likely that after various recent national scandals such as we've seen in banking have died down, there will be a call for a return to good old-fashioned values of decency and honesty. If this is the case, being subjective may be the new way to value your interaction with organisations.
Neil Warwick is a partner at leading law firm, Dickinson Dees.