Grocery Management Awards  

Judging the Grocery Management Awards is one of my favourite events each year. It’s an opportunity to catch up with some of the best and most passionate retailers across the country.  

With some new and returning categories in the line-up this year, 2024’s GMAs are set to be one of the most exciting years yet!  

This year I reached out to a couple of our clients whom we partner with closely, to encourage them to nominate some of their team for recognition. Whilst most were thrilled to partake a couple of my clients surprised me by turning down the opportunity.  

One of these clients suggested that he didn’t know if it was worth the effort and wasn’t sure if his employees would see the value.  

It got me thinking,  perhaps for those on the fence about whether certain awards are for them and their teams, I should put together a list of benefits I have seen enjoyed by the retailers that have engaged in various awards over the past decade.  

→ Employee retention – I know I have cited this before but feeling undervalued is one of the most common reasons employees look to make a move. Perhaps you think that by highlighting an employee’s talents you will make them ripe for competitors? But we have seen the opposite to be the case over the years. A large number of the retailers nominated for these awards are long-serving employees who have be only to happy to remain in a business where they feel appreciated and their hard work is recognised on a regular basis.  

→ Employee Engagement – nothing brings people together more than award season! And I don’t just mean over a shared bottle of bubbles. Most managers we spoke to this year where at pains to stress how they couldn’t have reached such highs without their wonderful teams. We have seen again and again how store teams rally around their nominated manager to cheer him or her on for a win! 

→ Recruitment – telling new recruits that your store has a wonderful culture or a great leader in their Store Manager is one thing – but showing them your store that won “Team of the Year” or “Manager of the Year” really proves the point! 

→ Customer and community engagement – this one took me a little by surprise. When I questioned participants of previous years, they explained that the buzz the nominations created in their store led to a real sense of community with their regular customer base! With one school even going as far as making good luck cards for a manager in their local store!  

→ Boosts employee morale across the store – win, lose or shortlist – the feeling of knowing your store’s owner or regional manager felt you or your team where worth consideration for any award certainly increases a sense of morale, which spreads across the business!  

→ Innovation and productivity – From Butchers and Deli Managers to Supermarket and Wholesale Managers, every entrant in the process is asked to explain how they have driven their stores or departments forward in the last year. Many past applicants informed me that this question stayed with them over the following years and drove them to keep looking for ways to increase productivity, introduce innovation and strive for better across their businesses. Knowing that each year you will be taking stock of the last 12 months accomplishments in front of your peers and a judging panel can be a real motivator for many!  

→ Sense of purpose –  Annual awards , be they in house or external can instil a real sense of purpose to your team and helps to give them a focus for the year ahead.  

→ Sharing your story – how many of your more junior staff know the story of how their store manager progressed to their current role? Award season is a great excuse to share these stories to help motivate those starting out in retail and laying down the steps it takes to progress up the retail ladder. Most store managers are trailblazers in their own right , many with inspiring stories about how they worked from the ground up. In retail, anything is possible with a bit of hard work and determination! Sometimes it is worth taking a moment to remind your new additions of this!  

→ Fun!  If for no other reason, do it for the fun!  

Wishing you this years entries the very best of luck, we can’t wait to celebrate with you all on May 9th. For more information call us on 01 814 8747 or email

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