ALIGN Awards: Tips for Completing the Application

We know that BizLibrary clients are some of the hardest working L&D professionals out there. We see first hand how your hard work pays off in the form of effective training programs that achieve results – and that deserves recognition!

So, let’s make it official! As the 2019 ALIGN award application deadline approaches, here are five tips for filling out the application and scoring the maximum points!

Read the Entire Application and Gather Your Information First

Read through the application and determine what information you need to gather to complete it. Work with your leadership team, managers, and BizLibrary Client Success Manager to pull all data and information you may need. Having this information will make filling out the application much easier.

In addition, getting a clear picture of your numbers ahead of time will help you determine how to position your program and highlight its overall success. It’s great to reflect on your success!

There is nothing more frustrating than realizing halfway through an application that you’re missing key pieces of information – so get as much as you can to paint the picture you want to portray!

Have a Teammate Review

It’s very easy to begin writing and get lost in the story you’re telling when answering questions.

Have another team member review your answers to check that you answer each part of the question in detail and stay on topic. If you’re an L&D department of one, having leaders look over your numbers is a great way to remind them the value of your training program, and re-invigorate their passion for development.

Ask a trusted teammate or leader for feedback on how they would rate your answer and what you may have accidentally left out. Two sets of eyes are better than one, so ask for help!

Use Organizational Data

It’s not enough to just report how many videos your employees completed. Pull together all the data you have when it comes to the impact your training program has had on the organization.

For example, include how viewing specific video training impacted employees’ job performance and then improved your client retention, satisfaction ratings, or even decreased your company’s turnover. Providing these facts and numbers highlights how you’re helping your organization grow.

But Don’t Forget the Stories

Numbers are important, but also remember to make it personal. Tell a story and provide details about a specific department or person who has grown, thanks to training and development.

Finding the right mix of data and anecdotal stories makes for a compelling application that grabs our judges’ attention.

Using data is like creating a painting with a pencil – adding color through storytelling will bring your program to life, and help our judges understand the impact your program has made!

Just Go for It!

Filling out the award application gives you the chance to really celebrate everything you have accomplished in the past year. It also forces you to take the time to reflect on the goals where you fell a little short.

Completing the application is an excellent exercise to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. Even if you’re unsure, go for it! This process will teach you about your program and give you the opportunity to receive some feedback on how you’re doing.

We believe in the work you’re doing and are ready to celebrate your success! If you’re still unsure, work with your client success manager on what you should highlight in the application.

We can’t wait to celebrate you in August!

Download the application here.

*ALIGN award winners will be announced at the annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, August 27, in St. Louis, MO.


Training & Development Industry Researcher | Derek researches, discusses, and writes about the impacts of employee learning on organizations and individuals. He regularly interviews L&D and HR professionals, sharing their insight on trends and best practices that help organizations create stronger training programs, and help to grow their employees and their business.