Enterprise election is more than talk and picture

The finals of the Drentse Onderneming van het Jaar and the Groninger Ondernemingsprijs are just around the corner, on November 15 and 29, respectively. What do elections like these mean for the region and, above all, what value does participation have for entrepreneurs? We asked jury members Siem Jansen and Geert Buiter of the NOM.

In Drenthe the companies New Nexus, Proxcys and Vepa Project Furniture are in the finals, in Groningen it is Frits Jurgens, Koopman Logistics and Roossien Hoogwerktechniek who are vying for the highest honor. Chances are that these names have already passed by once in recent weeks, because publicity - especially in the regional media - is one of the great advantages of participating in enterprise elections. But there is more. For example, NOM director Siem Jansen points out the pride it generates among employees and colleague Geert Buiter (plv. director/manager NOM Finance) mentions the importance of insight into one's own company.

Participation is already profit

"Entrepreneurs regain focus on their own story when they participate in an election," Buiter knows from the reactions of (former) participants. "Because we as judges scrutinize everything, they do the same themselves. That takes time and energy, but it also delivers. The company takes a break from the issues of the day and lists what they do, how they do it and why they do it. That's profit already, even if the finals or victory pass them by. For example, one entrepreneur told me that he can now make a good pitch to clients. Others use the insights gained as inspiration for development steps."

Contributing to image

Jansen adds that participating also has a positive effect on engagement and pride within companies. "Employees think it's great that their company is in the spotlight for a while. It is nice to be part of that. They are also more likely to be talked about their work because of the publicity. Those around them get a better idea of what the company actually does. This, in turn, can indirectly contribute to finding good people for vacancies. It is difficult to measure, but I am convinced that proud employees contribute positively to the image of your company. And then participating in an election can give a nice boost."


Opening up a world

Both do sit on the jury more than once, and they find it fascinating each time to get to know the participating companies. "Despite our large network, we are still regularly surprised by gems in the region. There is also so much more happening behind the scenes than you would suspect from the front. Behind every company there is a world of its own, and it's okay to open it up. That is why the publicity surrounding this type of election is so valuable. Companies literally get a stage to make visible what they are doing. That is great for them, but also for the dynamics in the region. Entrepreneurs inspire each other and expand their network."

Drives and development

Jansen was inspired again this year by the drive among the participants. "In conversations within the companies, you notice how strongly companies are committed to improvement and continuity. Their drives become visible and they are important." Colleague Buiter also likes to look beyond the entrepreneur on stage. "It's an enterprise award for a reason, it's about the whole team. Development, commitment, how you stand together in the world as a company, these are things that are more important than the picture and the talk on stage. Although of course a good presentation is also worth something; every participant can benefit from that towards clients as well."

Judges Jansen and Buiter consider the quality of the finalists to be high again this year. Curious about the candidates and the results? Come to the election evenings and read more in advance at: https: //drentseondernemingvanhetjaar.nl and http://groningerondernemingsprijs.nl